PROVO, Utah – Led by Tanner Mangum’s record-breaking night, BYU football defeated Connecticut 30-13 at home on Friday night.
BYU (3-2) had 539 total yards in the win compared with 230 from UConn (3-2, 0-1 AAC). The Cougar defense had four sacks in the game and allowed just one touchdown.
Mangum completed 35 of 53 passes for 365 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, breaking the record for passing yards in a single game by a freshman quarterback at BYU.
Terenn Houk led the receivers with career-high 129 yards and Mitchell Juergens led the team with a career-high 10 receptions. Mitch Mathews caught two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, totaling 78 receiving yards in the game. Running backs Algernon Brown and Francis Bernard rushed for 95 and 69 yards, respectively. Bernard had one touchdown.
Defensively, linebacker Sae Tautu led the team with six total tackles to go along with three tackles for loss and a sack. Bronson Kaufusi had three tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and one interception.
In BYU’s first series of the game, a miscommunication caused the first lost fumble of the season for the Cougars. However, the defense held strong and a sack from Sae Tautu forced the Huskies to punt.
BYU marched down the field 87 yards on 12 plays to get into the end zone on its second drive of the game with 2:44 remaining in the first quarter. Houk grabbed a 34-yard reception for the longest play of the drive, and Bernard rushed the ball at the 1-yard line to score his first career touchdown to put BYU up 7-0.
The Cougar defense held strong in the second quarter, making up for a missed field goal and an interception. UConn's last drive of the half resulted in a touchdown after a targeting foul on the defense on quarterback Byron Shirreffs. Arkeel Newsome had a 30-yard reception to tie the game up 7-7 with 1:42 left in the half.
Trying to respond after the touchdown, BYU marched down the field. Houk caught another big pass for first down, this time for 28 yards. The drive ended with a field goal attempt, which was blocked by the Huskies.
Mangum threw another interception at the start of the third quarter, and UConn took a 10-7 lead with 7:11 left in the third.
Defense swung the momentum in BYU’s favor in the fourth quarter. Kai Nacua's quarterback hurry forced the UConn quarterback to throw it up in the air, setting up Kaufusi's interception. The pick put the Cougars on the 21-yard line, paving the way for their second touchdown of the game. Mangum found Mathews in the end zone for a 21-yard pass, extending the lead to 20-10 with 12:03 left in the game.
At the 8:59 mark, the Huskies were held to a field goal again, making the score 20-13. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on UConn saved BYU’s next drive after what would have been a third-down stop. Bernard then followed with a 19-yard run before Mathews caught another touchdown pass from Mangum with 7:26 left to push BYU’s lead to 27-13.
Michael Shelton picked off Shirreffs with less than five minutes in the game to give the Cougars possession to run out the clock. Bernard ran 46 yards during BYU’s last possession to set Samson up for a the final field goal with 0:26 left for the final score, 30-13.
BYU will be back at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday Oct. 10 at 5:30 MDT for a homecoming matchup with East Carolina. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and Sirius XM 143.
BYU hosts UConn at home Friday
PROVO, Utah - BYU football returns home after back-to-back road games to start a four-game homestand. The Cougars are set to begin the month of October with a Friday night matchup against the University of Connecticut on Oct. 2. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and Watch ESPN online.
After a road-heavy September for BYU (2-2), the UConn (2-2, 0-1) game is the start of four straight October tilts at home with East Carolina, Cincinnati and Wagner filling out the rest of the month.
Fans can tune in for live coverage on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which can be found on 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, Sirius XM 143, BYUcougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. IMG's radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. MT.
BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 7 p.m. MT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game.
BYU (2-2) vs UConn (2-2, 0-1)
Friday, Oct. 2
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
BYU is facing UConn for just the second time in school history. The Cougars topped UConn 35-10 in the 2014 season opener. BYU totaled 513 yards of total offense, led by 308 passing yards from Taysom Hill to go along with 97 rushing yards, accounting for five total touchdowns. He threw three and ran for two more scores.
HOME SWEET HOME.
The team returns home after back-to-back road games and playing three out of four on the road to start the season. BYU won its home opener against Boise State with a 35-24 comeback win. The Cougars start a series of four straight home games with UConn, East Carolina (Homecoming), Cincinnati and Wagner.
LOOKING FOR 300.
BYU’s record in Provo is 299-134-6 since 1922. A win over UConn will give the Cougars their 300th program win in Provo. Since moving into LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU is 226-69. Under Mendenhall the Cougars have gone 51-11 at home.
BYU is 8-2 under Mendenhall in the fifth game of the year. The Cougars have outscored opponents 30-20 in the fifth game of the year over the last 10 seasons.
SPREADING THE WEALTH.
12 different players have caught a pass for BYU this season. Nine of the 12 have recorded multiple catches. In the run game, nine different players have had touches running the ball in 2015.
MITCH AND MITCHELL.
BYU’s pair of receivers both named Mitch have been go-to targets in the first four games. The combo of Mitch Mathews and Mitchell Juergens have combined for 33 receptions, 439 yards and five touchdowns.
THE BIG THREE.
BYU’s receiving combination of Mitch Mathews, Nick Kurtz and Terenn Houk stands at 6-foot-6, 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4. The three big receivers accounted for 38 receptions, 459 yards and three touchdowns.
OFFENSIVE LINE EXPERIENCE.
BYU returns an experienced offensive line for 2015. The five projected starters for BYU have logged 88 starts between them and have played in 107 games. Offensive tackle Ryker Mathews has the most games under his belt with 26 starts in 37 games played.
The Cougars are starting a true freshman quarterback for just the fourth time. Tanner Mangum and Taysom Hill are the only two to win their first starts as true freshman. BYU has also had significant contributors as freshman this year with wide receiver Moroni Laulu-Pututau and running back Francis Bernard.
THIRD DOWN IS KEY
In half their games in 2015, the Cougars have held opponents to a third-down conversion rate of under 20 percent. BYU held opposing offenses to under 20 percent in only two games in 2014 (vs. Savannah St. & Texas).
THREE AND OUT
The BYU defense has held opponents to three and out in 21 out of 52 drives this season, averaging 5.25 times per game holding opponents to four downs or less per possession. The Cougars are tied for No. 25 in the country along with Florida and Colorado.
BYU is 51-8 under Bronco Mendenhall with a positive turnover margin. Neither the Cougars nor the Wolverines had turnovers in last Saturday’s game.
The Cougars have picked off opponents three times per game in the past three out of five games dating back to the bowl game in 2014, contributing to a 2015 season total of seven interceptions.
GETTING BEHIND THE LINE
In 2014, the Cougars were 4-0 when notching at least three sacks in a game. In 2015, they are 2-0. Since 2005, BYU is 43-2 when notching three or more sacks in a single game.
It was a hard game in terms of how we played. There were certainly a lot of correctable things in terms of simple execution, consistency or communication. But I don’t take anything away from Michigan. They’re a really good team and they played particularly well that game. I still like our team, and there are some good things I took away from the game.
Somewhere between the first three games and this last game is where our team really is. I’ve taken the approach with the team to get the most out of everyday, but only one day. Today, we’ll get the most out of Monday that we can. Tomorrow, we’ll get the most out of Tuesday that we can. We wont focus on any day or any game that is farther out than that day.
On what the next step is:
It is one day at a time and only one game at a time. Regardless of whom we’ve played, what the outcome was determined on was how we played. I showed examples of that.
On the postgame interviews:
If I were to reframe it, we’ve played four games, we’ve won two and we’ve lost two. We’ve played really well in three games and not played well in one. I think it’s just a new start for the rest of the year rather than going all the way back. That month is over and now it’s time to play the rest of our season. I would have said it in that tone and that way, and I’m sure it didn’t come out in that tone after the game. I was not in a good place after the game.
Nate Carter, RB, Sr.
On running back injuries:
“Those are some of my best friends. There’s a lot of pride in our friendships. It’s really hard to watch those guys go down because you love them. We’re going to be fine moving forward, though. I believe that.”
On Francis Bernard:
Francis Bernard is a phenomenal player. He brings a lot to the team. I think he’s a hybrid like Algie (Brown). He’ll go out and throw a block but then run the ball really well. He’s a fullback that can really run the ball. He’s a big, powerful guy. He’s really done a great job.
I wouldn’t say the offense is limited with Tanner [Mangum] instead of Taysom [Hill]. Taysom went down early last year too, but Christian Stewart came in and did a great job. I think with Tanner it’s a similar situation. Our offense is different now and it takes some time to adjust, but we had a great end to our season last year and I think it will be the same this year with Tanner.
Graham Rowley, DL, Sr.
On mood of the team:
Hungry. It was a tough loss, but you can’t travel back in time and do it all over again. So we have to look forward and fight for every win we can get. We’re not down. That’s what Connecticut wants us to be, because then they can take advantage, but we’re in the fight and we’re going for it.
On the loss:
It wasn’t because Michigan was better than us, it was because we weren’t ready for that play or situation at that time and that’s all on us. We got to the ball a lot better this game and tackled a lot better this game than against UCLA. I think we’re getting better.
Defense against Michigan:
Michigan wanted to move around their blockers and confuse us. They did a lot of motioning to throw us off and they did. They threw us off. Our scheme was to move with the mover. Second half we came out and played base defense. It was so much better.
Where to go from here:
We’re hungry. We have that bitter taste in our mouth that we want to get out. We want to get back on that winning streak. This is a reminder that we have to play better football if we want to win, and I believe we’re going to do that this week, next month and the rest of the season.
Terenn Houk, WR, Sr.
How to beat man coverage:
Same way we try to beat any team on man, we have to be very physical off the ball. Coach Anae stressed that all week against Michigan. As players, that’s our job to step up and be as physical as we can and we just didn’t get that job done. We need to do a better job against UConn.
Playing against big teams:
It’s been hard, but it’s been an awesome experience. We’ve got to play at places like the Big House, Nebraska and UCLA. I never thought my senior year I’d get to play in such big places and I don’t think our team did. It’s surprising to see how well we matched up against them. That’s what hurts the most. We don’t look at it as a loss. We look at it as a missed opportunity. At BYU we try to show everybody how good we are. You know how good you are and your coaches believe in you, but when it comes time for a big test like Michigan, it’s hard.
Having Taysom at Michigan:
I don’t think anyone knew he as coming. I was sitting down in the plane and came rolling in on his scooter. He brought a positive attitude. On the sideline he did a good job just sitting down with Tanner and trying to talk with him. It’s awesome to have a guy like that on your side.
How to get past the loss:
You’ve got to get on your guys. There’s no more just going half speed. We showed what happens when we don’t execute and it’s hard. We, as seniors, don’t want to be remembered for losing, especially against teams like Michigan and UCLA, teams we could have beat. Our job is to elevate those younger guys and have them help the team and move them forward.
Micah Hannemann, DB, So.
On Michigan’s physicality:
They’re definitely one of the most physical teams we’ve played. Every team we’ve been playing for the past month has been physical. It’s just starting to take a toll on our bodies.
On Bronco’s message on the loss:
There was a lot of disappointment in the way that we didn’t communicate and execute mentally. We tackled better this game, but we messed up a lot in our communication.
On the team mentality:
There was a lot of regret on missing some of the assignment areas, but then there was a lot of pump-up, like ‘Let’s go! Let’s not have that game define us.’ At the end of the morning, it was a positive experience for us and helped up look forward to winning the rest of the season.