17th Street & East Stadium Way Reno NV 89557
Wolfpack Holds on For First-Ever Win
RENO -- Despite being shutout in the second half of play, Nevada-Reno held on for its first-ever win over No. 24 BYU, defeating the Cougars, 31-28, today in Reno.
Nevada's Zack Threadgill threw for a career-high 410 yards and four touchdowns on 28-of-37 attempts, leading the Wolfpack to its first victory over a top-25 team in school history.
"You have to give Nevada credit," BYU head coach Gary Crowton said. "They are a veteran team and they made the plays today that counted. We just didn't play that well today. We've got to grow up and get better as individuals and as a team. We can't have penalties like we did today and expect to win."
The game was a contest of two halves, with Nevada dominating in the first half and BYU controlling the second, pitching a Wolfpack shutout over the final two quarters. The second-half shutout marked the first time BYU has held a team scoreless in a half since blanking the Wolfpack in last year's 52-7 victory in Provo.
During the game, the Cougars were penalized 13 times for 140 yards, marking the third straight games BYU has had 10 or more penalties.
Nevada came out ready to play and was first to strike, putting 10 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, including a 40-yard field goal by Damon Fine and a 96-yard touchdown completion by Nate Burleson. Burleson ended the game with 213 yards receiving on 12 catches.
The BYU offense was able to put a drive together late in the first quarter, scoring just six seconds into the second quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Bret Engemann to Rod Wilkerson -- his first touchdown reception of the season.
But Nevada came back and answered with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Threadgill to Dan Bythwood to extend the Wolfpack's lead to 17-7.
On Nevada's next possession, BYU defensive end Brady Poppinga recovered a fumble inside the Nevada 10 yard line, leading to a Reno Mahe four-yard touchdown run four plays later. The TD marked Mahe's first score of the season. Mahe's touchdown pulled BYU to within three at 17-14 with 6:59 remaining in the first half.
The Wolfpack was able to tack on two more touchdowns late in the second quarter, including a 18-yard fade to tight end Erick Streelman on a fourth down situation with just :48 remaining. Moments later, after Ronnie Hardiman picked off Engemann, Threadgill went to the endzone to find junior receiver Tim Fleming for the touchdown with no time remaining on the clock. The last-second touchdown gave the Wolfpack a commanding 31-14 lead at the half, marking the first time the Cougars had trailed by 17 points at the end of the first half since trailing Hawaii by 21 last season. At the end of the half, Threadgill had racked up 287 yards in the air.
On Nevada's first possesion of the second half, the Wolfpack continued to move the ball downfield against the Cougars before Threadgill was hit and fumbled the ball. Colby Bockwoldt recovered the ball on the Wolfpack 48-yard line.
With Engemann finishing the first half with 80 passing yards on 6-of-16 attempts, red-shirt freshman Lance Pendleton started the second half at the quarterback for BYU. Pendleton promptly led the Cougars on a six-play, 48-yard scoring drive, capped by a Marcus Whalen 30-yard touchdown run to put the Cougars back in the game. Whalen finished the game with 135 yards on 14 carries, marking his third straight 100-yard game.
"Bret Engemann has got to get better," Crowton said. "He was 6-for-16 in the first half. He is a better quarterback than that. He is a competitive guy. I want to see him playing like he did against Syracuse. Bret will be our starting quarterback next week. The only way to get better is to go out there and play. I kept Lance Pendleton in the game to give him the chance to get better, and he did."
The defense held Nevada on the next series and got the ball back with good field position. The BYU offense was able to move the ball down field 62 yards in five plays, concluding with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Pendleton to Gabe Reid to cut the Nevada lead to just 31-28.
Late in the game, Nevada moved the ball deep into BYU territory, looking to drive the proverbial nail in the BYU coffin. But, the Cougar defense stiffened, stopping Nevada on a fourth-and-one at the goal line to set up a final scoring attempt for the offense.
"I really felt like we were going to win the game at that point," Crowton said. "I thought we could get the ball into the position were Matt Payne could make a big field goal for us, but we ran out of time."
Taking over with just under 2:00 remaining, and looking at the endzone some 99 yards away, the Cougars managed to move the ball up to the Nevada 38-yard line. Looking to get one more play in before a game-tying field goal attempt, the Cougars were unable to stop the clock as Nevada and its fans stormed the field to celebrate its first-ever victory over the Cougars -- perhaps the school's biggest football victory.
"We are a young team, and it shows sometimes," Crowton said. "We need guys to step up on offense and on defense. I don't want to point my finger at reasons why we lost. We just have to step up and make plays consistently. Anything can happen in football. That is why we play the game. Anyone can win. We have to play to win and go out there thinking that we have to play to win. We had some chances to win this game, but we made some mistakes, and those mistakes cost us the game."
The Cougars returned to Provo immediately following the game, and will begin working the game plan for Georgia Tech. The Cougars will travel to Atlanta next weekend, taking on The Ramblin' Wreck at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech also lost today, falling to Clemson, 24-19. Both teams will enter next Saturday's game with a 2-1 record. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m. (EDT).
MARCUS WHALEN NOTES
Running back Marcus Whalen had a career-high 71-yard run in the second quarter that set up BYU's first touchdown of the game. The play could have gone for a 92-yard touchdown, but the Cougars were called for a illegal block that brought the ball back to the Wolfpack 21-yard line. Whalen ended the game with 135 yards on 14 carries, marking his third straight 100-yard performance of the season. The 6-foo-1, 205-pound back is averaging 138.6 yards per game.
Sophomore defensive end Brady Poppinga recorded two sacks in the first quarter against Nevada. He also caused a fumble that was recovered by BYU. The fumble recovery led to BYU's second touchdown. The last time a BYU player had two sacks in a quarter was Setema Gali in 1999 against New Mexico.
BYU receiver Kish Beverley caught his first pass as a Cougar this afternoon, posting a five-yard reception (Beverley had a touchdown reception against Dixie State College in JV action.) Beverley was a sprinter at Ricks (JC) and at BYU before joining the football team this year for his final year of eligibility. Another Cougar receiver, Reno Mahe, recorded his first touchdown of the season. He scored on a four-yard reverse to put the Cougars to within three points of the Nevada lead, 17-14.
ALL THOSE FLAGS
Penalties plagued BYU all afternoon. The Cougars were penalized 13 times for a season-high 140 yards. Saturday's game marks the third straight game BYU has been flagged 10 or more times. The Cougars are averaging 12.3 penalties per game, including an average 108.3 yards penalty yards per contest.
BYU trailed Nevada 31-14 at halftime, marking the largest halftime deficit since trailing Hawaii by 21 points last season. The Cougars have trailed at the half in two of the three games this season.
In last year's game against Nevada, BYU led 38-0 and had 432 yards at halftime. The BYU defense held the Wolfpack to just 119 total yards in last season's 52-7 BYU victory. On Saturday, Nevada led by 17 points and had 380 total yards in the first half. The Wolfpack held BYU to 172 total yards in the first half. Wolfpack quarterback Zack Threadgill threw for 287 yards. BYU had the ball for 9:46, while Nevada ran off 20:15.
BYU safety Aaron Francisco intercepted a pass in the third quarter for his first of the year. The interception is the third of his career. Overall, the BYU defense has seven interceptions on
the season and leads the battle of the turnovers by a 10-4 margin over its opponents.
BYU punter Matt Payne entered today's game ranked ninth in the country with a 44.9 yards per punt average. Payne punted the ball a season-high seven times for 402 yards against the Wolfpack, averaging 57.4 yards per kick. Payne was credited with a career-long 72 yard punt that pinned the Pack on their own two-yard line. John Denney, the Cougars deep snapper, returned to action after the Cougars first two games of the season with a herniated disk in his neck. With his performance on Saturday, Payne is now averaging 50.1 yards per punt on the season.
The victory over the Cougars was the first ever for the Wolfpack. The victory was also the first win over a ranked opponent for Nevada. For BYU, it was its third straight loss away from home. The Cougars are now 1-7 all-time against the Wolfpack.
With Rod Wilkerson's 31-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, the Cougars extended their NCAA record streak to 341 games without being shutout.
Box Score (FINAL)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 0 14 14 0 - 28 Record: (2-1)
NEVADA.............. 10 21 0 0 - 31 Record: (1-1)
1st 03:31 NEVADA - Fine, Damon 41 yd field goal,
BYU 0 - NEVADA 3
01:30 NEVADA - Burleson, Nate 95 yd pass from Threadgill, Zac
(Fine, Damon kick), BYU 0 - NEVADA 10
2nd 14:54 BYU - WILKERSON, Rod 31 yd pass from ENGEMANN, Bret
(PAYNE, Matt kick), BYU 7 - NEVADA 10
11:02 NEVADA - Bythwood, Dan 16 yd pass from Threadgill, Zac
(Fine, Damon kick), BYU 7 - NEVADA 17
06:59 BYU - MAHE, Reno 4 yd run
(PAYNE, Matt kick), BYU 14 - NEVADA 17
00:48 NEVADA - Streelman, Eric 13 yd pass from Threadgill, Zac
(Fine, Damon kick), BYU 14 - NEVADA 24
00:01 NEVADA - Fleming, Tim 9 yd pass from Threadgill, Zac
(Fine, Damon kick), BYU 14 - NEVADA 31
3rd 10:21 BYU - WHALEN, Marcus 30 yd run
(PAYNE, Matt kick), BYU 21 - NEVADA 31
04:09 BYU - REID, Gabriel 9 yd pass from PENDLETON, Lance
(PAYNE, Matt kick), BYU 28 - NEVADA 31
FIRST DOWNS................... 15 25
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 30-164 38-119
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 192 410
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 36-19-1 37-28-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 66-356 75-529
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-0 3-25
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3--54 1-23
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 1-15
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 7-57.4 4-43.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 3-2
Penalties-Yards............... 13-140 9-82
Possession Time............... 21:28 38:32
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-21 1-3
RUSHING: Brigham Young-WHALEN, Marcus 14-135; PENDLETON, Lanc 11-21; MAHE,
Reno 2-11; BROWN, Curtis 2-0; ENGEMANN, Bret 1-minus 3. NEVADA-Milton, Matt
21-94; Mitchell, B.J. 7-19; Burleson, Nate 3-19; Kretschmer, Cha 1-8;
Threadgill, Zac 6-minus 21.
PASSING: Brigham Young-PENDLETON, Lanc 13-20-0-112; ENGEMANN, Bret
6-16-1-80. NEVADA-Threadgill, Zac 28-37-1-410.
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-WILKERSON, Rod 6-87; MAHE, Reno 4-41; REID, Gabriel
2-19; ORD, Andrew 2-18; WHALEN, Marcus 2-4; NEAD, Spencer 1-12; CHRISTENSEN,
To 1-6; BEVERLEY, Kish 1-5. NEVADA-Burleson, Nate 12-213; Fleming, Tim 5-61;
Streelman, Eric 4-47; Carter, Aaron 3-26; Bythwood, Dan 2-34; Milton, Matt
1-16; Mann, Maurice 1-11.
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-FRANCISCO, Aaro 1-0. NEVADA-Hardiman, Ronni
FUMBLES: Brigham Young-PENDLETON, Lanc 2-0. NEVADA-Milton, Matt 2-1;
Threadgill, Zac 1-1.
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-WALKENHORST, Pa 10-0; BOCKWOLDT, Colb 6-0;
FRANCISCO, Aaro 5-1; WRIGHT, Bill 5-0; POPPINGA, Brady 5-0; MADARIETA, Levi
4-0; MARQUARDT, Dani 3-0; MADSEN, Michael 3-0; BARNEY, Chad 3-0; NIELSEN,
Kip 2-1; YOUNG, Scott 2-0; PILI, Ifo 2-0; HEANEY, Brandon 2-0; NUA, Shaun
1-0; GILFORD, Jernar 1-0; BEVERLEY, Kish 1-0; AIONO, Aisaac 1-0;
CHRISTENSEN, To 1-0; DEANS, Logan 1-0; ORD, Andrew 1-0; 72 1-0; BURBIDGE,
Jon 0-1; ANDERSON, Nick 0-1. NEVADA-Towns, Daryl 5-0; Handy, Chris 4-1;
Agwuenu, Ekene 4-0; Kennard, Derek 4-0; Carter, Logan 4-0; Kauo, Keone 3-1;
LaGrone, Carl 3-1; Morscheck, J.D. 3-0; Dean, Aaron 2-0; Cruz, Domonic 2-0;
Tagatauli, Shau 2-0; Hardiman, Ronni 1-1; Lewis, Leondre 0-2; Cordova, Jorge
1-0; Barry, Chris 1-0; Curtis, Keenan 1-0; Jolley, Paul 1-0; Burleson, Nate
1-0; Jones, Ali 1-0.
Stadium: Mackay Attendance: 23109
Kickoff time: 1:07 End of Game: 4:31 Total elapsed time: 3:24
Officials: Referee: G. Semko; Umpire: K. Matthews; Linesman: J. Laborde;
Line judge: R. Baker; Back judge: B. Wucetich; Field judge: D. Rhone-Dunn;
Side judge: D. Romeo; Scorer: Jo Dunlap;
Temperature: 85 Wind: light Weather: sun with high clouds
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-NUA, Shaun 1-0; NIELSEN, Kip 1-0.
NEVADA-Kennard, Derek 1-0.
Off to a 2-0 start to the 2002 season, including last week's 35-32 victory over Hawaii, the Cougars will take to the road for the first of four straight road games. BYU will travel to Reno, Nevada for the first time since 1939, taking on the Wolfpack at Mackay Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14. Game time is slated for 1:05 p.m. (PDT). The game will mark the seventh meeting between the two schools, dating back to the 1929 season. The Cougars own a 4-0-2 record in the series, including a 52-7 win in Provo last season. BYU is 3-0 against the Wolfpack in Reno, including wins in 1929, 1931 and 1939. While the Cougars have outscored Nevada by an average 9.8 points per game since the series first began, BYU has only outscored the Wolfpack by an average 4.7 points per game in Reno. When last the two teams met in Reno (1939), BYU defeated Nevada 7-0.
SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK
Nevada opened the 2002 season in Seattle, falling to nationally-ranked Washington State, 31-7. The Wolfpack passed for 174 yards, including eight receptions for 58 yards to junior receiver Tim Fleming, who was just one catch shy of his career-high. Senior quarterback Zac Threadgill completed 17-of-30 attempts for 155 yards, also recording three interceptions.Last year's national rushing leader, Chance Kretschmer, carried the ball 26 times for 67 yards, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry. The Wolfpack played four true freshman in their season-opener, including J.J. Milan and Chris Handy on defense, and Anthony Pudewell and Jeff Rowe on offense. Keenan Curtis, a transfer from El Camino College, earned his first start at defensive end, leading the Wolfpack with five tackles, including a tackle-for-loss and a forced fumble. Nevada is under the direction of head coach Chris Tormey, who is 5-19 in three seasons at Nevada. Last year, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 3-8 record, including wins over Hawaii, SMU and UTEP.
The Cougars will depart Provo at 8:30 a.m.(MDT) on Saturday, Sept. 14, arriving in Reno at 8:30 a.m. (PDT). The team will have its pregame meetings and meal at the Ruby River Steakhouse in Reno. BYU will return to Provo via SportsJet immediately following the game.
WHEN LAST THEY MET (BYU 52, Nevada 7; Sept. 1, 2001)
Luke Staley ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns and Brandon Doman threw for 222 yards and one TD, all in the first half, as BYU beat Nevada 52-7 in Provo. One week after a 70-35 win over Tulane, BYU showed its offensive outburst against the Green Wave was no accident. The Cougars led 38-0 and had 432 yards against Nevada by halftime. The BYU defense held the Wolfpack to just 119 total yards in the first half. The Cougars pulled away early in the second quarter. Leading 10-0, the Cougars faced fourth-and-three on the Nevada 44. Doman started left, then pitched to Staley, who sprinted to the endzone for a 44-yard TD. On the Wolfpack's next possession, Levi Madarieta intercepted a deflected pass. Five plays later, running back Brian McDonald-Ashford scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night. Red-shirt freshman Chance Kretschmer rushed for 94 yards on 14 carries, while receiver Nate Burleson caught six passes for 56 yards.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live to a locall television audience on SportsWest, beginning at 1:05 p.m. (PDT). Dave McCann will call the action, with Blaine Fowler lending color analysis. Fans can also tune to KSL 1160-AM for all the action. Greg Wrubell, who is in his second season as the play-by-play voice of the Cougars, will be joined by his broadcast partner Marc Lyons. Bill Riley will
COUGS PERFECT IN PAYBACK OPPORTUNITIES SINCE 1998
Since 1980, BYU has had 62 different opportunities to repay an opponent for a previous loss. When the Cougars face an opponent, having lost in the previous meeting, they have recorded a 41-21 (.661) record. Since Nov. 7, 1998, BYU has not lost to an opponent in a payback situation, posting a perfect 15-0 record. BYU knocked off Syracuse on Aug. 29, the held off Hawaii on Sept. 6 for two straight payback opportunities this season.
CROWTON HITS MINI-MILESTONE
BYU head coach Gary Crowton, now in his second season at BYU -- his fifth as a college head coach -- coached his 50th career game on Friday (vs. Hawai'i). Crowton has produced a 35-15 (.700) record in five seasons as a head coach. In his first year at BYU, Crowton led the Cougars to a 12-2 season, marking a five game improvement over the Cougars' 6-6 record in 2000. With a five-game improvement, Crowton's success ranked fifth overall in the nation, and tops among first-year coaches. Since arriving in Provo, Crowton has led the Cougars to a 14-2 (.875) record.
COUGARS OUTLAST WARRIORS, 35-32
BYU mounted a 35-32 come-from-behind, marathon victory against Hawaii last Friday, Sept. 6 at LaVell Edwards Stadium, extending their current home win streak to 10 straight games. The win was also a memorable milestone for BYU head coach Gary Crowton, it was his 50th career game as a head coach and increased his all-time record to 35-15 (.700). In the first quarter Hawaii managed to shutout the Cougars and built a 10-point lead. It marked only the eighth time in the previous 60 quarters of play that the Cougars failed to score in a quarter. Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, Engemann and the Cougars drove 65 yards, fueled by the solid running of sophomore running back Marcus Whalen. Whalen carried the ball eight out of the 11 plays, racking up 40 yards, including a one-yard run for the touchdown. On the night Whalen ran for 141 yards on a career-high 30 carries and had two touchdowns. The Warriors quickly answered with a 44-yard drive on six plays. Running back Thero Mitchell carried the ball in from four yards out to extend the Warrior lead to 10 again at 17-7. But before the end of the half, the Cougars would mount another attack, putting together a drive which saw Engemann go 5-for-6 for 56 yards, rush for 12 more yards and top it off with a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Toby Christensen, cutting the UH lead to 17-14. The third quarter belonged to the Cougars as Hawaii was shutout and the Cougars took a 28-17 lead, and never looked back. The Cougar defense posted two more interceptions in the quarter, including the second pick of the night for walk-on BYU cornerback Kip Nielson. In all the Cougars put up 14 points thanks to Chang's four thrown interceptions. Reserve quarterback Lance Pendleton took over for BYU in the fourth quarter, scoring his second touchdown of the night to put the Cougars up 35-24. Pendleton's first touchdown of his career came in the previous quarter, and gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 20-17. Hawaii quarterback Jason Whieldon threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Britton Komine in the closing minutes of the game, but the a final Cougar interception by linebacker Levi Madarieta secured the win for the Cougars as the team would kneel out the final seconds of the game.ÃƒÅ¸
BYU BACK AMONG NATION'S TOP-25
Following the Cougars' 35-32 victory over Hawaii on Sept. 6, BYU climbed from among the unranked to No. 24 in this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. The Cougars have been ranked in the top-20 or top-25 polls in 23 of the last 27 seasons. The only years in which BYU has never been ranked during the season (since 1976) were 1978, 1987, 1998 and 2000. Last season BYU broke into the top-25 on Sept. 9, following a 44-16 win at Cal. The Cougars climbed as high as No. 7 in the USA Today/Coaches' Poll and No. 8 in the AP Top-25 poll.
ENGEMANN HELPS COUGARS TO 2-0 START
Nearly two years after being sidelined with a shoulder injury, junior quarterback Bret Engemann made his return to the field in the Cougars' season-opener against Syracuse. In his first start since Sept. 30, 2000, Engemann led BYU to a season-opening victory, recording three touchdown completions and running for another in the Cougars' 42-21 victory over Syracuse. Engemann completed a career-high 35-of-54 (.648) attempts for 386 yards, marking the second 300-yard game of his career. In his come-back performance against the Orangemen, Engemann was responsible for four touchdowns on the evening, including a career-high three TD completions and a three-yard run. The 6-foot-5 Provo, Utah, native started things off with an 11-for-15 (.733) performance in the first quarter, racking up 111 yards and a six-yard touchdown strike to Andrew Ord. In the second quarter, Engemann racked up another 105 yards, 10 more completions, and a two-yard pass to Toby Christensen to put the Cougars up 14-7. During the second quarter, he also engineered a school-record 99-yard scoring drive to give BYU a 21-7 lead with 4:53 remaining in the first half. After the half, Engemann kept up his blistering assault on the Syracuse defense, posting 12 more completions on 15 attempts (.800) for 80 more yards. After the Orangemen had tied the score at 21-21, Engemann led the Cougars on a 10-play, 92-yard drive and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard run. On the night, Engemann produced scoring drives of 99, 92, 80, 73 and 71 yards. Against Hawaii, Engemann racked up 26 yards on 21-of-46 attempts, including a touchdown pass to Toby Christensen. Trailing by 10 in the final minutes of the second quarter, Engemann got the Cougars on the board with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard strike to Toby Christensen in the endzone.On the season, Engemann has had just one interception in 100 attempts.
COUGARS RECORD 10th STRAIGHT HOME VICTORY
With a 35-32 victory over Hawaii on Sept. 6, the Cougars extended their home win streak to 10 straight games. The current home win streak dates back to Oct. 26, 2000 (vs. Wyoming). Since Cougar Stadium was renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium on Nov. 18, 2001, the Cougars have never lost a game in Provo, posting a 9-0 record. The current streak marks the longest home win streak for the Cougars since winning 17 straight from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991.ÃƒÅ¸
ATTENDANCE FIGURE RANKS NATIONALLY
The Cougars' season-opener against Syracuse drew a capacity crowd of 65,612 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium, marking the 56th sellout at the stadium (since it was expanded in 1982.) That crowd also marked the 15th largest gathering in the nation on opening weekend. Michigan hosted a national leading 111,491 fans in the Wolverine's season-opener victory against Washington. Interestingly, BYU ranked 12th nationally in accumulated capacity. Edwards Stadium was filled to 100.94 percent of its capacity. In two games this season, the Cougars are averaging a league-leading 64,349 fans per game.
PRESEASON INJURY BUG BITES COUGARS
Even before the 2002 season began, the Cougars lost three players to season-ending injuries. Redshirt freshman C.J. AhYou was lost on the first day of Fall Camp, suffering a torn ACL. AhYou, who was slated to start at defensive end missed the majority of last season also with a torn ACL. Just under two weeks prior to the Cougars' season-opener, senior offensive tackle Ben Archibald was lost for the season after suffering a mid-shaft compound fracture. Archibald, an Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award candidate, is expected to apply for a sixth-year following the 2002 season. Reserve senior cornerback Todd Barker injured his surgically-repaired shoulder and will be unable to return for his final season at BYU. Following the Cougars' game against Hawaii, head trainer George Curtis reported only one injury that would prevent a player from participating in this week's game at Nevada. Cornerback Mike Sumko suffered a torn abductor muscle and is expected to miss up to 4-5 weeks.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
In the first game of the 2002 season (vs. Syracuse), the Cougars allowed just one sack, while producing three sacks against the Syracuse offense for a combined loss of 13 yards. Against Hawaii, the Cougars failed to produce a sack against the Warriors' run-n-shoot offense. Offensively, the physical offensive line allowed just one sack. Last season, the BYU offense gave up 24 sacks, averaging 1.8 sacks per game. Defensively, BYU recorded 25 sacks, averaging 1.9 sacks per game.
Against Syracuse, BYU converted 11-of-18 (.611) third-down attempts, including five-straight conversions on the Cougars' first drive of the game. All totaled BYU reeled off seven straight third-down conversions before the Orangmen were able to stop BYU on a third-and-22 attempt early in the second quarter. Against the Warriors, the Cougars were a mere 7-of-20 on third down attempts, including an 0-for-4 start in the first quarter. On the season, the Cougars are 18-of-38 (.470) on third-down conversions.
DRIVIN' THE DISTANCE
On Aug. 29, the Cougars drove 99 yards (vs. Syracuse) to set a BYU record for the longest scoring drive in school history. The drive, which lasted nine plays and took 2:59, was highlighted by a 58-yard run by sophomore running back Marcus Whalen. Against the Orangemen, the Cougars racked up drives of 99, 92, 80, 73 and 71 yards. Against Hawaii, the Cougars posted long-distance drives of 65, 80 and a game-high 95-yard, go-ahead touchdown drive in the third quarter. During the 2001 season, BYU produced 20 different 80-yard drives. In the first game of the 2002 season, the Cougars produced two 90-yard scoring drives, equaling last year's entire season total.
BYU and Nevada will face three common opponents during the 2002 season, including Colorado State, UNLV and Hawaii. While the Cougars recorded a 35-32 win over Hawaii, the Wolfpack will travel to Honolulu on Oct. 12. The Cougars travel to Colorado State on Oct. 24, while Nevada will host the Rams on Sept. 28. Finally, BYU will face UNLV on Oct. 19, while Nevada will travel to Las Vegas on Oct. 5. Last season the two teams also faced three common opponents, with the Cougars posting a 2-1 record, while the Pack won just one of three games.
THE TETON TERROR
Known over the past 20+ years for its All-American quarterbacks, BYU is quickly becoming known for its outstanding tight ends. Senior tight end Spencer Nead is making a solid case to join the ranks of BYU's long line of outstanding tight ends, including Gordon Hudson, Chad Lewis, Itula Mili and Doug Jolley. Nead started the 2002 campaign with a career-high 80-yard performance in the Cougars' 42-21 win over Syracuse. Nead was one of three different receivers with five receptions on the night. All totaled three different BYU tight ends, including Gabe Reid and Aisaac Aiono accounted for 133 yards on 11 receptions. Against Hawaii, Nead recorded three receptions for 41 yards, including a team-high 22-yard reception. On the season, Nead ranks third on the BYU roster with eight receptions for 121 yards, averaging 60.5 yards per game.
A WHALE OF A TALE
After redshirting the 2001 season, sophomore running back Marcus Whalen is doing his best to answer the question, "How will BYU deal with the loss of Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley?" In the season-opener (vs. Syracuse), Whalen turned in 140 yards on 19 carries, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Whalen was credited with a career-high 58-yard run to the goal line, then punched it in on the next play for his first TD of the season. Against Hawaii, Whalen was credited with a career-high 30 carries, racking up 141 yards and two more touchdowns. On the season, Whalen ranks second in the MWC with a 140.5 yards-per-game average, and ranks fifth in overall scoring, averaging 9.0 points per game. On pace to record over 1,600 yards on the season, Whalen would eclipse Staley's single-season rushing record.
THE STREAK IS STILL ALIVE ... 340 GAMES AND COUNTING
With Marcus Whalen's one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter (vs. Hawaii), BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 340 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars don't have a single person on their 2002 roster that was alive the last time BYU was shut out.
A WINNING TRADITION
Over the past two decades, BYU has consistently ranked as one of the nation's top winning programs. During the 1990s, BYU ranked 16th nationally with an 86-39-2 record (.685). In the 80s, the Cougars won 102 of 128 games to rank third nationally. Since the 2000 season, BYU has posted an impressive 20-8 (.714) mark, including a 12-2 record during the 2001 campaign.
? BYU will play at USC and Notre Dame in 2003. The Cougars' home schedule will include games against Boise State, Georgia Tech and Stanford.
? The Cougars will have as many as 15 of 22 starters returning for the 2003 season, including 10 defensive starters.
Of all the members of the BYU roster, 70 players have served a full-time, two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (63.3 percent). Over 60 percent of those returned-missionaries, 60 percent speak a foreign language, including 23 players who speak Spanish as a second language. 96 players on this year's roster are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (87.3 percent). Interestingly, 43 different players are married (40.9 percent). Of the 43 married players, there are eight couples with children and five couples expecting children in the near future.Reserve offensive lineman Nake Mali leads the group with two children, while receiver Reno Mahe has a son and is expecting a daughter in November. The average of the Cougars' 22 starters is 22 years old.
Sixth-ranked Snow College racked up 488 total yards en route to a 38-27 rain-drenched win against the BYU-junior varsity squad on Saturday. The win marked the Badgers' first of the season, and their sixth straight, dating back to last season. Snow scored first on its third possession of the game when Paul Peterson, brother of former BYU quarterback Charlie Peterson, engineered a 54-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard pass to Ameen Shaheen. Snow missed an opportunity earlier when they had the ball on the BYU-JV 14 yard line after a fumble, but an interception gave the ball back. The Cougars matched the Badger score after Matt Berry led the offense on an 80-yard drive, capped by a 28-yard strike to tight end Andy Hadfield. Hadfield, a junior tight end, was the favorite target all afternoon for the BYU-JV quarterbacks as he accounted for nearly 200 of the 298 yards receiving. Snow College answered back with two touchdowns on an 11-yard pass from Peterson to Ben Anderson and then a 14-yard pass to Nate Meikle. The Badgers missed the first PAT and then missed the two-point conversion after the second touchdown, leading 19-7 midway through the second quarter. Mid-way through the second quarter, BYU defender David Johnson picked off a Peterson attempt, returning it 35-yards for the touchdown. Trailing 19-14, the Cougars then gave up 19 unanswered points in the driving rain before they were able to put more points on the board. The Badgers scored with 6:58 remaining in the third on another Peterson to Anderson strike that covered 30 yards. Those two teamed up again at the 3:30 mark of the quarter on a three-yard strike. Both PAT's failed, but Snow College led 31-14 going into the final quarter of play. Peterson threw his sixth touchdown of the game when he found Shaheen open in the end zone early in the fourth quarter from ten yards out. The PAT was good and the Badgers were ahead for good 38-14. The Cougars made a run late in the fourth quarter, scoring on a Steve Later three-yard touchdown run with 6:43 remaining. Todd Mortensen threw a ten-yard pass to another junior, Jay Omer for the final touchdown with 1:19 left on the clock. The two-point conversion failed. Saturday's game marked the final game for the BYU-JV squad. The Cougars finished their abbreviated season with a 1-1 record, including a hard-fought 21-14 win over top-ranked Dixie State College.
MACKEY WATCH LIST
In addition to being named among those being considered for the Lombardi Award, senior tight end Spencer Nead has been listed as a candidate for the John Mackey Award, which honors the top tight end in the country. Nead is the Cougars' top returning tight end after recording 22 receptions for 266 yards as a junior last season. Nead averaged 12.1 yards per reception and scored five touchdowns.
TURNIN' IT UP FIELD
In the Cougars' season-opener against Syracuse, quarterbacks Bret Engemann and Lance Pendleton combined for 397 yards passing. Of the 397 yards, BYU receivers were responsible for 175 yards after the reception. Sophomore receiver David Christensen led all receivers with and average 9.4 yards after each of his five receptions. In the Cougars' 35-32 win over Hawaii, the Cougars totaled 226 yards passing. Of the 226 yards, Cougar receivers were responsible for 112 yards after the reception. Marcus Whalen leads the team with an average 8.6 yards gained after a reception.
GILFORD AMONG NATIONAL INTERCEPTION LEADERS
Cornerback Jernaro Gilford currently ranks 12th among active players with seven career interceptions. Louisville's Anthony Floyd leads with 17. Gilford recorded a career-high six interceptions last season, marking the most interceptions in a single season since Jason Walker picked off six in 1998. Gilford has been slowed by a knee injury and has not played in the Cougars' first two games of the season. His status vs. Reno has been listed as probable.
With six home games during the 2002 season, and two other games within the state of Utah, the Cougars will play a total of eight games in Utah. With the exception of a non-conference battle at Georgia Tech, the Cougars will also play three other road games that will require a quick, one-hour flight. In fact, BYU will not stay in Reno the night before the game. The Cougars will stay at their home headquarters (Holiday Inn) in Provo, and travel to Reno the morning of the game. Since 1980, the Cougars have posted a record of 119-25 (.826) when playing in the state of Utah, including games in Provo, Salt Lake City (U of U) and Logan (Utah State).
MARGIN OF VICTORY
Throughout the 2001 season, the Cougars tallied 608 points, averaging a nation's best 46.8 points per game. BYU allowed 396 points, giving up an average 30.5 points per contest. Overall, the Cougars registered a +16.3-point margin of victory. The Cougars won four games on the season by 30 or more points, including a season-high 45-point win over Nevada on Sept. 1. The 2002 season got off to a similar start, with the Cougars posting 42 points on Syracuse. BYU outdistanced the Orangemen by 21 points. In the second game of the season, (vs. Hawaii), the Cougars held on for a three-point victory. In 2002, the Cougars are averaging 12.0 margin of victory.ÃƒÅ¸
LAVELL EDWARDS STADIUM
On November 18, 2001, Cougar Stadium was forever changed, honoring the man who built BYU's football tradition from the ground up. President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, announced the historic name change prior to Edwards' final home game (vs. New Mexico). Now known as LaVell Edwards Stadium; the stadium has been home to 120 games since it was expanded to 65,000 seats in 1982. BYU has produced a 98-22 (.817) record in the Stadium since the 1982 season, including a 37-13 victory over New Mexico in Edwards' final game in the stadium. Fittingly, Edwards retired with a perfect record (1-0) in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Since 1972, BYU has posted an impressive 140-22 (.864) record in Provo. The Cougars have won 10 straight in Provo, including a stretch of nine straight games since the stadium was renamed.
UP OR DOWN
During Saturday's game, the following personnel will be coaching from the sidelines: Gary Crowton (head coach), Robbie Bosco (quarterbacks), Lance Reynolds (offensive line), Ken Schmidt (linebackers), Steve Kaufusi (defensive line) and Brian Mitchell (cornerbacks) and Paul Tidwell (running backs). Mike Borich (wide receivers), Mike Empey (tight ends) and Barry Lamb (safeties) will be in the pressbox.
LOMBARDI WATCH LIST
Three BYU players were originally named to the preseason Rotary Lombardi Award watchlist, which annually honors college football's top lineman. Senior offensive lineman Ben Archibald was on the list, but due to a season-ending injury has been removed. His capable bookend, left tackle Dustin Rykert (6-foot-7, 315) is also a candidate for the Lombardi Award. Senior tight end Spencer Nead has also been listed as a candidate for the prestigious award.
IN THE TRENCHES
The BYU offensive line, which includes three seniors and two juniors, weighs in at a beefy 1,525 pounds, averaging 305 pounds per man. This season's offensive line weighs an average 9.3 pounds heavier per man. The O-line will be squaring off against a Nevada defensive line (three juniors and one sophomore) that tips the scales at an average 254 pounds per man. On defense, the Cougars' line (one senior, two juniors and one sophomore) weighs in at 278.8 pounds per man, while the Wolfpack offensive line (two seniors, two juniors and one sophomore) average 295.6 pounds per man.
BYU's opponents for the 2002 season had a combined 70-70 record in 2001. Four of those teams, including Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Colorado State and Utah, recorded bowl game victories last season. The Cougars open the season against two team that posted a combined 19-6 record. In fact, three of BYU's first four opponents had eight or more wins during the 2001 campaign. Following the first two weeks of competition, BYU opponents have posted a combined record of 11-14 on the season.