Cougars Run Over Cowboys
PROVO -- BYU running back Curtis Brown did it all in the Cougars' 24-13 win over the Wyoming Cowboys Saturday, running for a touchdown, throwing for another, and rushing for a season-high 159 yards.
With the victory, the Cougars improved to 3-4 overall, 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
"It feels good to win," BYU coach Gary Crowton said. "The defense played strong. They've been playing strong all year. I also thought the offensive line did a great job."
The Cougar defense limited the Cowboys to 322 net yards and forced four turnovers, all interceptions.
Behind a solid offensive line, the BYU running game gained 237 yards and scored two touchdowns. As a team, the Cougars had 416 yards of total offense. The other BYU touchdown was a 40-yard pass from Brown to Austin Collie, the first score of the game.
"Early in the game we did some good things and we kept running it," Crowton said. "Curtis (Brown) did a good job and so did Fahu (Tahi). We tried to keep them rotating to keep them fresh."
Tahi had 12 carries, 70 yards, and one touchdown.
Wyoming quarterback Corey Bramlet completed 23 of 40 pass attempts for 219 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. His longest pass was a 35-yard touchdown strike to Jovon Bouknight in the third quarter, giving Wyoming its only lead of the night at 13-10.
The Cowboy lead was short lived as BYU answered on its next possession, traveling 80 yards on nine plays, all runs, in 3:49 to take a 17-13 lead with 13:37 left in the game. Brown had five runs for 43 yards on the drive and capped it off with a nine-yard touchdown run. Tahi added 25 yards on three carries and Collie had a 12-yard run on a reverse.
Tahi sealed the deal in the fourth with a 15-yard touchdown run, putting the Cougars up 24-13 to cap a 12-play 83-yard drive.
On Wyoming's first two drives, the BYU defense forced a punt, which the Cougars lost, and then a missed field goal.
Once the offense got the ball, it was all Curtis Brown. After an incomplete pass, Brown ran twice for 29 yards to put the Cougars on the Wyoming 40. He then took a pass from John Beck behind the line of scrimmage and threw a perfect 40-yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie to put the Cougars up 7-0. It was Collie's fourth touchdown of the season, all of which have been for 40 yards or more.
Wyoming got on the board with 12:01 to go in the second on a 45-yard field goal by Deric Yaussi, making the score 7-3. The Cowboys only moved the ball 16 yards on six plays but had excellent field position thanks to a 24-yard punt return by Hoost Marsh that put the ball on the BYU 43.
After the Wyoming field goal, the Cougars were forced to punt and lost a fumble. Wyoming was no better during the stretch, throwing two interceptions. The first was a pick by Aaron Francisco on the BYU two after the ball bounced off the helmet of Nate Soelberg.
The second interception of the quarter was by Jon Burbidge, giving the ball to the Cougars on their own five-yard line. A pass interference call gave BYU the ball on the 19 and two plays later, Beck connected with Todd Watkins on a 52-yard pass moving the Cougars to the Wyoming 26. Three unsuccessful plays later and Matt Payne came on to hit a 46-yard field goal with 4:18 left in the second, his 12th consecutive successful attempt from 40 to 49 yards, tying an NCAA record set by John Carney of Notre Dame in the 1984-85 season.
Yaussi hit another field goal just before the end of the first half, cutting the BYU lead to 10-6. The field goal came at the end of a 52-yard, seven play drive.
The name of the game in the third quarter was field position. Both teams struggled to move the ball, punting the ball back and forth. Payne pinned the Cowboys inside the 20 twice but on his third punt of the quarter, Marsh returned the ball 22-yards to put Wyoming on the BYU 39. After two short runs, Bramlet found Jovon Bouknight on a 35-yard touchdown pass over the middle to give the Cowboys the 13-10 advantage.
The Cougars will be back in action next Saturday at Air Force (3-3 overall, 2-1 MWC). The game will be broadcast at 1 p.m. on ESPN plus.
Box Score (Final)
Wyoming vs Brigham Young (Oct 16, 2004 at Provo, Utah)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Wyoming............. 0 6 7 0 - 13 Record: (4-2,1-1)
Brigham Young....... 7 3 0 14 - 24 Record: (3-4,2-1)
1st 10:46 BYU - COLLIE, Austin 40 yd pass from BROWN, Curtis (PAYNE, Matt kick)
2nd 12:01 WY - YAUSSI, Deric 45 yd field goal, 6-16 2:04, WY 3 - BYU 7
04:18 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 46 yd field goal, 7-67 2:56, WY 3 - BYU 10
01:11 WY - YAUSSI, Deric 40 yd field goal, 7-52 3:01, WY 6 - BYU 10
3rd 02:26 WY - BOUKNIGHT,Jovon 35 yd pass from BRAMLET, Corey (YAUSSI, Deric kick)
4th 13:37 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 9 yd run (PAYNE, Matt kick), 9-80 3:49, WY 13 - BYU 17
02:06 BYU - TAHI, Naufahu 15 yd run (PAYNE, Matt kick), 12-83 4:33, WY 13 - BYU 24
FIRST DOWNS................... 17 22
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 37-103 44-237
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 219 179
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 40-23-4 26-11-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 77-322 70-416
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 4-67 2-4
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-80 2-47
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-8 4-86
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-46.2 7-40.3
Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-0 3-2
Penalties-Yards............... 6-66 3-30
Possession Time............... 32:02 27:58
Third-Down Conversions........ 7 of 17 3 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 2 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 0-1 2-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 0-0 2-17
RUSHING: Wyoming-HARRISON, Ivan 20-59; BOUKNIGHT,Jovon 1-25; HARRIS,
Joseph 2-10; BRAMLET, Corey 13-10; TEAM 1-minus 1. Brigham Young-BROWN,
Curtis 24-159; TAHI, Naufahu 12-70; COLLIE, Austin 1-12; TM 1-minus 1;
BECK, John 6-minus 3.
PASSING: Wyoming-BRAMLET, Corey 23-40-4-219. Brigham Young-BECK, John
10-24-1-139; TAHI, Naufahu 0-1-0-0; BROWN, Curtis 1-1-0-40.
RECEIVING: Wyoming-FORD, Michael 7-63; BOUKNIGHT,Jovon 4-59;
4-42; HOLDEN, Tyler 4-40; HARRISON, Ivan 3-14; COX, Chris 1-1. Brigham
Young-COLLIE, Austin 3-74; BROWN, Curtis 3-31; HARRIS, Antwaun 3-9;
WATKINS, Todd 1-52; KUKAHIKO, Jason 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS: Wyoming-BUTLER, T. 1-8. Brigham Young-WHITE, Spencer 1-46;
FRANCISCO, Aaro 1-34; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-6; BURBIDGE, Jon 1-0.
FUMBLES: Wyoming-BRAMLET, Corey 1-0. Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 1-1;
WHITE, Spencer 1-0; MAHUIKA, Bryce 1-1.
Stadium: Edwards Stadium Attendance: 58737
Kickoff time: 8:07 End of Game: 11:23 Total elapsed time: 3:16
Officials: Referee: Gerald Wright; Umpire: Kevin Matthews;
Linesman: Brian Matthew; Line judge: Jack Lynch; Back judge: Craig Clark;
Field judge: Tom Beller; Side judge: Mike Weseloh
Temperature: 68 Wind: SW 7 mph Weather: clear
SACKS (UA-A): Wyoming-None. Brigham Young-BAUMAN, Matt 1-0; MARQUARDT, Dani
TACKLES (UA-A): Wyoming-WENDLING, John 8-3; TUELL, Guy 5-4; MARTIN, Derrick
5-1; TATNALL, Jeff 2-3; FLORA, John 3-1; HOFFSCHNEIDER,D 3-1; ROBBINS,
Aaron 2-1; PRATER, John 2-1; ROCKETT, Ron 2-1; BUTLER, T. 2-0; MORRIS, Zach
2-0; TSCHARNER,Randy 1-1; STINSON, Julius 0-2; GOUGH, David 1-0; COX, Chris
1-0; HALL, Austin 1-0; GARDNER, Chad 0-1; 03 0-1; CHASE, Luke 0-1. Brigham
Young-POPPINGA, Brady 2-9; JENSEN, Cameron 6-3; ALBA, MICHA 3-3; BURBIDGE,
Jon 5-0; FRANCISCO, Aaro 4-1; BAUMAN, Matt 3-2; SOELBERG, Natha 4-0; WHITE,
Spencer 4-0; DENNEY, John 3-1; LUETTGERODT, Ju 3-0; STAFFIERI, Mark 2-1;
GABRIEL, Dustin 1-2; GOOCH, Quinn 1-2; FEULA, Vince 0-3; BROWN, Manaia 0-3;
NUA, Shaun 2-0; CARLSON-MADDUX 1-1; LOVELY, Gary 1-0; AH YOU, Matt 1-0;
ALLEN, Matt 1-0; PAYNE, Matt 1-0; MARQUARDT, Dani 1-0; BECK, Ryan 0-1.
Y Looks to Rebound Against Wyoming
COUGARS LOOK TO REBOUND AGAINST COWBOYS
Following a close loss last week to UNLV, the Cougars look to pick up a win against conference rival Wyoming Oct. 16 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cowboys are coming off of a 20-10 victory over San Diego State and are currently 4-1 and are tied with Utah atop the MWC standings. Wyoming's only loss came against Texas A&M, and they own a victory over Mississippi of the Southeastern Conference. Last season the Cowboys defeated BYU 13-10 in Laramie. The Cougars' comeback hopes were dashed last year when a Matt Berry pass was tipped and intercepted late in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars hold a 36-30-3 edge in the series against Wyoming, dating back to BYU's inaugural football season in 1922. The Cougars won that game to earn their first-ever football win. BYU owns a 23-12 advantage in Provo, including a hard-fought 35-31 shootout in 2002 the last time the two teams squared off at LaVell Edwards Stadium. In that game, quarterback Matt Berry, starting as a redshirt freshman, threw for a career-high 360 yards and three touchdowns.
SETTING THE GAME
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. (MST)
SITE: LaVell Edwards Stadium (64,045)
TELEVISION (Local): SportsWest; Tom Kirkland and Blaine Fowler
LAST TEN: BYU leads 8-2
LAST FIVE: BYU leads 3-2
RADIO (Local): KSL-Radio; 1160 AM (Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons, Andy Boyce)
INTERNET WEBCAST: http://www.byucougars.com/football
THE SERIES: BYU leads 36-30-3
IN PROVO: BYU leads 23-12
LAST MEETING: Oct. 18, 2003 (Wyoming, 13-10)
LAST MEETING IN PROVO: Nov. 9, 2002 (BYU, 35-31)
TIES TO WYOMING
Two members of BYU's squad hail from Wyoming. Starting linebacker and Nagurski Award candidate Brady Poppinga is from Evanston and prepped at Evanston High School. While playing at Evanston, Poppinga earned all-state honors as both a linebacker and tight end. Also hailing from Wyoming is reserve defensive lineman Kyle Tew. Tew is from Gillette and prepped at Campbell County High School. While at Campbell, Tew was a unanimous all-state selection at linebacker while helping to lead his team to a 5A state championship.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU's projected starting offensive line averages an enormous 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds. They will face a Wyoming defensive line that averages 6-foot-1 and 297 pounds. When the Cowboys have the ball, Cougar defensive linemen that average 6-foot-4 and 293 pounds will face a Wyoming front five that are listed at 6-foot-4 and 268 pounds.
After six games, Todd Watkins is currently second in the MWC and ninth nationally in receiving yards per game, averaging 109.2 yards per contest. Through six games, Watkins has accumulated 655 yards, which is more than last year's leader, Toby Christensen, had all season. Watkins has touchdown receptions of 69 and 79 yards and was referred to as possibly the nation's best "deep threat" by Sports Illustrated. He scored the Cougars' only offensive touchdown against UNLV, stretching above Rebel defenders to make the seven yard grab. He is tied for the team lead with three touchdown receptions.
THE HOUSE OF PAYNE
Six games into the 2004 season Ray Guy award candidate Matt Payne has punted 40 times for 1,849 yards, including a 79-yarder against USC. He leads the MWC in punting and is fifth in the nation with a 46.23 yards-per-punt average. Payne also wreaks havoc on punt and kick coverage, recording two highlight-reel-quality hits on Boise State punt returner Chris Carr as well as on an unsuspecting kick returner for Colorado State. Payne also hasn't been a slouch when kicking field goals or extra points. The Lou Groza award candidate has scored a team-leading 40 points, including three field goals 50 yards or greater. He is a perfect 8-8 from 40-plus yards. Payne has hit all 13 of his extra points this season and 9 of 11 field goals.
LAST WEEK: BYU vs. UNLV
UNLV forced six fumbles recovering four and intercepted one pass en route to a 24-20 victory over the Cougars Oct. 8 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars beat UNLV in almost every statistical category except the one that matters most, scoring. The Rebels were able to take advantage of BYU's five turnovers, usurping any momentum the Cougars gained during the game. Quarterback John Beck attempted a BYU and MWC record 67 passes, completing 34 of them for 356 yards for his second 300-plus yard performance of the season. Also of note, kicker Matt Payne kicked a 47- and 50-yard field goal in the game. He has now hit his last three from beyond 50 yards and his last 11 from 40-49 yards.
The Cougars enter this week's game against the Cowboys ranked sixth in the conference in total offense, averaging 355 yards per game. Despite improvements over the last two weeks, which saw BYU rush for over 200 yards against Colorado State and have its first 100-yard rusher of the season against UNLV, the Cougars rank last in the nation in rushing offense with 66.5 yards per game. BYU has faired better through the air, ranking second in the MWC and 12th nationally in passing offense. The Cougars average 288.5 yards passing. BYU will face a Cowboy defense that ranks second in the MWC and 35th in the nation, but they only rank seventh in the conference in pass defense, yielding 262.2 yards per game through the air. Wyoming ranks second in the conference in rushing defense and 32nd nationally, allowing 113.2 yards per game. Overall the Cowboys rank fourth in the MWC in total defense.
Defensively, the BYU ranks fifth in the conference and 74th nationally in total defense, allowing 379.8 yards per game. The Cougars rank 8th in the MWC against the pass and third against the rush. The Cougars face a Wyoming offense that ranks fifth in the conference in total offense, averaging 363 yards per game. The Cowboys average 150.8 yards on the ground and 212.2 through the air.