Cougars Run Past Rams
FORT COLLINS -- BYU opened conference play with a 31-21 win over Colorado State Saturday on a night when the running game came alive for the first time this season, recording 207 yards and scoring three touchdowns.
"It's fun to win, I'll tell you that," BYU head coach Gary Crowton said. "Our team has been developing and it's been very encouraging to see the growth of our players. It always helps our confidence to get a win."
Curtis Brown and Fahu Tahi led the Cougar rushing attack, with Brown going for 93 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and Tahi totaling 98 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. John Beck finished 24-for-42 for 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Austin Collie was on the receiving end of Beck's only touchdown pass, the game winning score, and finished with four catches for 60 yards.
The 207 rushing yards is a huge improvement on the 115 yards total the Cougars had gained in the first four games.
"Our running backs did run very hard," Crowton commented. "We've really been working hard on the running game. Because of the ability of Todd Watkins and Austin Collie on the outside, they couldn't put as many guys on the line."
Justin Holland led the Colorado State attack, finishing 22-for-36 for 359 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His main target was David Anderson, who finished with 12 catches for 232 yards and one touchdown. Uldis Jaunarajs scored rushing two touchdowns for the Rams.
The lead change hands several times before BYU went up for good in the fourth. The Cougars took a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter only to see the defense yield another Colorado State touchdown with 12:51 to go in the fourth when Jaunarajs scampered in from five yards out.
The Rams lead was short lived as the Cougars scored just over a minute later when Beck hooked up with Austin Collie on a 40-yard touchdown. The score was the first long passing play of the night for BYU, giving the Cougars the 24-21 advantage.
BYU almost extended the lead on its next drive, driving the ball to the Colorado State one-yard line. Facing fourth down and one foot, the Rams stopped a sneak by Beck short of the first down.
The Cougar defense stepped up when Colorado State took possession and forced the Rams to go for it on fourth down deep in their own territory. Manaia Brown made sure the drive would end there, sacking Holland and turning the ball back to BYU.
The Cougars scored on the next play, a three-yard run by Fahu Tahi to give BYU a tem point cushion at 31-21, with 2:25 left. The two touchdowns scored by BYU were the first fourth quarter points of the season for the Cougars.
BYU's Micah Alba shut the door on any hopes of a Colorado State comeback when he made a diving interception with 2:03 left in the game, the first of his career. The running game of BYU was then able to run out the clock.
The scoring started in the second quarter on a 52-yard field goal by Lou Groza and Ray Guy awards candidate Matt Payne of the Cougars. It was his second longest of the season and of his career. Payne finished the game one of one on field goals and was perfect on all four extra point attempts. He was also impressive punting the ball, finishing with a 47.6 yards per punt average on five punts.
BYU extended the lead to 10-0 when Curtis Brown scored on a 14-yard run with just 1:46 left in the first half, taking advantage of good field position thanks to fumble recovery in Ram territory.
While the Cougars left Colorado State with little time to make anything happen, the Rams moved down the field quickly to get on the board for the first time of the night on a six-yard touchdown pass from Holland to Anderson. The four play 80-yard drive took only 46 seconds and made the score 10-7.
BYU looked to score again on a quick drive of its own, moving the ball to the Colorado State 39. A sack on third down moved the Cougars out of field goal range and an attempt at the end zone failed as time expired.
Colorado State started quick in the second half, picking apart the Cougar defense for the second consecutive drive. Uldis Jaunarajs finished off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run, putting the Rams up 14-10.
The BYU offense struggled throughout the quarter until the final drive. A strong running attack combined with key passes by Beck put Brown and the Cougars in the end zone again, this time on a bruising five-yard run.
Up 17-14, the BYU defense yielded another Colorado State touchdown with 12:51 to go in the fourth when Jaunarajs scampered in from five yards out.
Crowton was pleased with the win and is confident his team will continue to improve and play well throughout conference play.
"We have to take each game one at a time and continue to prepare well and work on the little things," Crowton said. "If we keep doing what we've been doing we'll have some momentum and confidence going into the game."
The Cougars, now 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Mountain West Conference, play UNLV at home next Friday. ESPN2 will broadcast the game.
Box Score (Final)
Brigham Young vs Colorado State (Oct 02, 2004 at Fort Collins, Colo.)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 0 10 7 14 - 31 Record: (2-3,1-0)
Colorado State...... 0 7 7 7 - 21 Record: (1-4,0-1)
2nd 09:55 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 52 yd field goal
01:45 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 14 yd run (PAYNE, Matt kick)
00:59 CS - ANDERSON, 6 yd pass from HOLLAND (BABCOCK, kick)
3rd 11:37 CS - JAUNARAJS,Uldis 3 yd run (BABCOCK, Jeff kick)
02:15 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 5 yd run (PAYNE, Matt kick)
4th 12:51 CS - JAUNARAJS,Uldis 5 yd run (BABCOCK, Jeff kick)
11:48 BYU - COLLIE, A. 40 yd pass from BECK, Jo.(PAYNE, kick)
02:25 BYU - TAHI, Naufahu 3 yd run (PAYNE, Matt kick)
FIRST DOWNS................... 27 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 46-207 30-103
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 238 359
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 42-24-1 36-22-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 88-445 66-462
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 4-28 2-5
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-64 2-42
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 1-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 5-47.6 6-43.0
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards............... 7-69 6-70
Possession Time............... 32:26 27:34
Third-Down Conversions........ 6 of 17 3 of 12
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 3 1 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-5 3-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-7 1-7
RUSHING: Brigham Young-TAHI, Naufahu 16-98; BROWN, Curtis 15-93;
KUKAHIKO, Jason 1-12; HARRIS, Antwaun 2-8; BECK, John 10-0; Team 2-minus 4.
Colorado State-JAUNARAJS,Uldis 24-88; BELL, Kyle 4-19; HOLLAND, Justin 2-
PASSING: Brigham Young-BECK, John 24-42-1-238. Colorado State-HOLLAND,
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-COLLIE, Austin 4-60; HARRIS, Antwaun 4-38;
WATKINS, Todd 4-29; BROWN, Curtis 4-28; TAHI, Naufahu 3-28; WILKERSON, Rodn
3-23; PITTA, Dennis 1-20; KUKAHIKO, Jason 1-12. Colorado State-ANDERSON,
David 12-232; OSBORN, Dustin 5-76; DREESSEN, Joel 4-43; JAUNARAJS,Uldis 1
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-ALBA, MICHA 1-0. Colorado State-HERBERT,
FUMBLES: Brigham Young-TAHI, Naufahu 1-0; BECK, John 1-0. Colorado
State-BELL, Kyle 1-1; ANDERSON, David 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-BROWN, Manaia 1-0. Colorado
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 7-1; FRANCISCO, Aaro 5-3;
WHITE, Spencer 5-0; HEANEY, Brandon 5-0; BURBIDGE, Jon 4-0; POPPINGA,
Brady 3-0; BROWN, Manaia 3-0; DENNEY, John 2-0; CARLSON-MADDUX 2-0;
LUETTGERODT, Ju 2-0; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-1; SOELBERG, Natha 1-0; PAYNE, Matt
1-0; AH YOU, Matt 1-0; GOOCH, Quinn 0-1; ALBA, MICHA 0-1; BAUMAN, Matt 0-1;
NUA, Shaun 0-1; PAONGO, Hala 0-1.
Cougars Open MWC Schedule at CSU
PROVO -- Following a tough loss on the road to No. 21 Boise State, BYU looks to rebound on Oct. 2 in Fort Collins, Colo., when the Cougars take on Colorado State.
The Rams enter the game 1-3 following a 39-14 victory over Montana State on Saturday. Colorado State, like BYU, has faced a very difficult schedule, losing games against returning National Champion USC and No. 19 Minnesota.
Last season the Rams defeated BYU 58-13 in Provo. Senior quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt led the Rams attack throwing for three touchdowns in the Colorado State victory. The Cougars lead the series 32-27-3. The two teams first faced off in 1922, a 33-0 victory. BYU hasn't defeated the Rams in Fort Collins since a 28-21 victory in 1995.
RECORD IN MWC OPENERS
Since 1999, BYU has posted a 3-2 record in Mountain West Conference openers. Last season, BYU recorded a 10-7 win over New Mexico in Albuquerque in a game that the Cougars lost starting quarterback Matt Berry for four games after he injured his hand in the first half. BYU has also posted a 3-2 record in conference road openers. Including Saturday's game against Colorado State, BYU has opened its Mountain West schedule on the road in five out of six seasons.
SETTING THE GAME
Kickoff: 8 p.m. (MST)
Site: Hughes Stadium (30,000)
Television (Regional): Fox Sports Rocky Mountain; Tim Nevritt, David Diaz-Infante, Keith Bleyer
Television (Local): SportsWest; Tom Kirkland and Blaine Fowler
Last 10 Games: BYU leads 6-4
Last 5 Games: CSU leads 3-2
Radio (Local): SL-Radio; 1160 AM (Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons, Bill Riley)
The Series: BYU leads 32-27-3
In Fort Collins: CSU leads 13-16-3
Last Meeting: Oct. 9, 2003 (Colorado State, 58-3)
Last Meeting in Fort Collins: Oct. 24, 2002 (Colorado State, 37-10)
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH COLORADO
The Cougars have two players from Colorado on their roster, John Denney (Thornton) and Nick Alletto (Parker). BYU has played Colorado State 52 times since 1922 when the precursor to Colorado State--Colorado A&M--defeated BYU 33-0. One of BYU's most memorable games came against the Rams in 1974 that helped propel the Cougars, who were 0-3 going into the game, to a 7-4-1 season and their first-ever bowl game. The Rams scored a touchdown to tie the game with no time on the clock, but missed the extra point. BYU coach Gary Crowton also has ties to Colorado State, having played quarterback in Fort Collins in the late seventies.
BYU'S RECORD IN THE MWC
The Cougars have posted a 21-14 record in the MWC since it was formed in 1999. BYU has won one outright MWC title in football when the Cougars posted a 7-0 conference record in 2001, the only perfect conference record in the brief history of the MWC, and has tied for one championship (1999). In all sports, BYU has won an overwhelming number of MWC championships, winning 53 out of a possible 95 championship titles.
COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS
TELEVISION: Saturday's game will be broadcast to locally on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. The game will be broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. MST. The Fox Sports team that will call the game consists of Tim Nevritt, David Diaz-Infante, Keith Bleye.The game will also be broadcast locally on SportsWest with Tom Kirkland and Blaine Fowler calling the game.
RADIO: Fans can tune into KSL Radio--the 50,000-watt home of the Cougars--and follow the action with the broadcast team of Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons and Bill Riley. The game can also be heard on Dish Network channel 980.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU's projected starting offensive line averages an enormous 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds. They will face a CSU defensive line that averages 6-foot-4 and 268 pounds. When the Rams have the ball, Cougar defensive linemen that average 6-foot-4 and 293 pounds will face a CSU front five that are listed at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds.
Following his breakout game against Boise State in which he caught nine passes for 211 yards and one touchdown, wide receiver Todd Watkins is currently fourth in the nation and first in the MWC in receiving yards per game with an average of 127 yards per game. Watkins has recorded touchdown receptions of 69 and 79 yards on the season. He ranks just ahead of Colorado State wide receiver David Anderson, who is ninth nationally and second in the conference with 108.25 yards per game.
THE HOUSE OF PAYNE IS IN EFFECT Y'ALL
BYU punter Matt Payne currently ranks third in the nation and first in the MWC in punting with an average of 46.25 yards per game. Behind Payne's potent leg, the Cougars lead the MWC and are fifth in the nation in net punting, posting a 45.14 yard net average per punt. The 6-4, 234 pound kicker from North Ogden, Utah has also been a terror on punt coverage, recording two highlight-reel hits on Boise State kick returner Chris Carr.
LAST WEEK: BYU at Boise State
The Cougars suffered their third straight setback last week, losing 28-27 at Boise State. BYU lost when a Matt Payne field goal attempt that would have given the Cougars a two-point victory sailed wide left. BYU had its highest offensive output of the season against the Broncos. Quarterback John Back racked up a career-high 390 yards passing and two touchdowns--one to Todd Watkins and one to Austin Collie. The touchdown pass to Watkins was a 79-yarder. Watkins finished the game with 211 yards receiving and the one score.
BYU is currently last place in the MWC and 95th nationally in total offense with an average of 309 yards per game. Despite the low ranking in total offense, the Cougars are second in the conference in passing offense and 14th nationally. Following John Beck's career-high 390 yards against Boise State, the Cougars are now averaging nearly 284 yards passing per game. BYU continues to struggle in the running game, ranking last in the conference and next to last in the nation in rushing. The Cougars average just 25.25 yards rushing per game. BYU will face a defense that ranks seventh in the MWC in total defense, giving up just over 434 yards a contest. The Rams are 112th in the nation against the rush, yielding 262.25 yards per game, but are first in the conference and 33rd in the nation against the pass. Colorado State gives up just 172 yards a game through the air.
The Cougars rank fifth in the MWC and 79th nationally in total defense, giving up 389.5 yards per game. BYU ranks seventh in the MWC against the pass, giving up 277 yards passing a game, and third in the conference against the rush giving up 112.5 yards per game. BYU will face off against a Ram offense that boasts the nation's ninth best passing attack. CSU quarterback Justin Holland is fourth in the conference in pass efficiency, and Ram receiver David Anderson ranks ninth nationally with 108.25 yards per game. Colorado State ranks just ahead of BYU in rushing offense in the MWC, compiling just 82.75 yards per game.