Cougars Run to Milestone Victory
COUGAR TOWN -- Curtis Brown ran for a career-high 219 yards and scored a personal-best four rushing touchdowns as BYU (4-4, 3-2) cruised past Air Force (3-6, 2-5), 62-41, in the Cougars' 250th all-time home victory.
"We have some exceptional running backs--Fahu Tahi and Curtis Brown," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "And with the blocking of Manase Tonga and with a pretty solid offensive line, it allows us to control the game and control tempo where we're not one dimensional."
The Cougar offense racked up 300 yards rushing and 383 yards passing, totaling a season-high 683 yards of total offense. The yardage total marked the most yards the Cougars have racked up since the 2001 season. In addition, the team picked up 39 first downs, equaling a team record.
"I'm proud of our football team. It was a great win for our program, for the conference standings and for our goals," Mendenhall said. "We made enough plays to win the football game, and that's the bottom line."
Trailing 41-7 late in the third quarter, Air Force mounted late comeback. The Falcons scored twice in the final minute of the third quarter and posted 27 points in the fourth quarter, cutting the BYU lead to just 55-41 before the Cougars put the game away with Brown's fourth touchdown of the afternoon.
"I want to salute BYU. They have a fine team," Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said. "They're gaining momentum and have an outstanding offense. I'm proud of our team for not quitting. They showed the character of wearing the blue suit and going out there to serve you and me. I'm proud of the way they came back and fought. It really showed the pride these young men have in themselves and the program."
With the loss, the Falcons are assured of a losing season, marking the first back-to-back losing campaign of the DeBerry era. It is also only the fourth losing season in DeBerry's 22-year career at Air Force.
"I believe in this team," DeBerry said. Our kids work hard. They've given a great deal and deserve better. I want them to have success."
The Cougars scored on their first series with a 14-yard pass from John Beck to Michael Reed, which ended a 10-play 86-yard drive with 10:58 remaining in the first quarter.
After a Justin Leuttgerodt interception returned to the Air Force 12-yard line, Nathan Meikle took a handoff around the corner and into the end zone for the Cougars' second touchdown of the quarter to take a 14-0 lead.
The Falcons put seven on the scoreboard with a 15-yard pass from Adam Fitch to Jason Brown ending an eight-play 65-yard drive with 9:47 left in the second quarter.
The Cougars added two more touchdowns in the second quarter on a six-yard run by Brown and a 14-yard pass from Beck to Fahu Tahi, giving the Cougars a 28-7 lead at half.
The third quarter brought two field goals for BYU by Jared McLaughlin from 35 yards and 38 yards. Daniel Coats added a touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Beck.
Air Force scored their second touchdown of the game on the last play of the third quarter with Fitch and Brown hooking up for the second time on a 57-yard pass.
With the Falcons attempting a come back, the fourth quarter turned into a shootout. Air Force scored 27 points, but the Cougars put in 21--all three touchdowns coming off Brown runs to hold off the Falcons.
Beck added another solid performance for the Cougars, completing 31-for-43 attempts with 383 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. With his performance he now has 6,029 career yards, 136 behind former Wyoming quarterback Casey Bramlet for second in conference history. His three touchdown passes moved him from seventh all-time in the MWC for career touchdown passes to a tie for fourth with former Colorado State quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt with 37.
BYU Freshman, Reed led the Cougar receivers with five catches for 103 yard and a touchdown, recording his first career 100-yard performance.
Air Force's Fitch came in during the second quarter when starter Shaun Carney left the game with a hand injury and went 13-of-24 for 265 yards and five touchdowns--three coming in the fourth quarter--and two interceptions.
The Cougar defense forced a season-high four turnovers, including three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Overall, Mendenhall said he is pleased with his team's performance and sees there in a need for continued progress.
"We played well enough to win," Mendenhall said. "The number of points was outstanding. Defensively, that was as good as we've played the option--ever--for three quarters. At the end, obviously, we have to learn from that when the slight edge comes off. We have plenty of room to improve that way. However, I'll take a win any way we can get a win."
Looking to win two of its final three games in order to become bowl eligible for the first time since the 2001 season, BYU will travel to UNLV on Saturday, Nov. 5. Game time is scheduled for 12 noon (PT) at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Box Score (Final)
Air Force vs Brigham Young (Oct 29 2005 at Cougar Town UT)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Air Force........... 0 7 7 27 - 41 Record: (3-6,2-5)
Brigham Young....... 14 14 13 21 - 62 Record: (4-4,3-2)
1st 10:58 BYU - REED, Michael 14 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar
kick), 10-86 4:02, AFA 0 - BYU 7
05:47 BYU - MEIKLE, Nathan 12 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 1-12 0:
05, AFA 0 - BYU 14
2nd 09:47 AFA - BROWN, Jason 15 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott
kick), 8-65 3:27, AFA 7 - BYU 14
07:31 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 6 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 7-77 2:08,
AFA 7 - BYU 21
01:07 BYU - TAHI, Naufahu 14 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar
kick), 8-78 2:18, AFA 7 - BYU 28
3rd 12:04 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 35 yd field goal, 6-23 2:30, AFA 7 - BYU
09:05 BYU - COATS, Dan 15 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar
kick), 5-59 1:53, AFA 7 - BYU 38
00:53 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 38 yd field goal, 5-17 0:59, AFA 7 - BYU
00:00 AFA - BROWN, Jason 57 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott
kick), 4-80 0:53, AFA 14 - BYU 41
4th 12:47 AFA - RYBAK, Garrett 28 yd blocked punt return (EBERLE, Scott
kick failed), , AFA 20 - BYU 41
10:52 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 4 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 4-74 1:55,
AFA 20 - BYU 48
09:50 AFA - HALL, Chad 8 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott
kick), 5-80 1:09, AFA 27 - BYU 48
09:36 AFA - KIRKWOOD, Greg 36 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE, Scott
kick), 1-36 0:07, AFA 34 - BYU 48
05:12 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 20 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 9-74 4:
20, AFA 34 - BYU 55
03:40 AFA - THOMPSON, Victo 18 yd pass from FITCH, Adam (EBERLE,
Scott kick), 6-80 1:32, AFA 41 - BYU 55
00:57 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 4 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 6-60 2:43,
AFA 41 - BYU 62
FIRST DOWNS................... 21 39
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 38-200 42-300
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 279 383
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 31-17-3 43-31-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 69-479 85-683
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-38 3-12
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-158 6-61
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 3-22
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-39.3 2-14.0
Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards............... 5-64 11-115
Possession Time............... 25:57 33:56
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 13 5 of 10
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 5 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 10-10
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-6 2-6
RUSHING: Air Force-KIRKWOOD, Greg 1-44; CARNEY, Shaun 7-36; HALL, Chad 6
-30; FITCH, Adam 9-24; KENDRICK, Jacob 2-21; McCARTHY, Kip 3-19; HANDLEY,
Justin 3-14; WILLIAMS, Ryan 5-9; SMITH, Chad 2-3. Brigham Young-BROWN,
Curtis 25-219; TAHI, Naufahu 10-59; MEIKLE, Nathan 1-12; BECK, John 4-6;
LATU, Wayne 1-5; TEAM 1-minus 1.
PASSING: Air Force-FITCH, Adam 13-24-2-265; CARNEY, Shaun 4-7-1-14.
Brigham Young-BECK, John 31-43-1-383.
RECEIVING: Air Force-BROWN, Jason 9-156; HALL, Chad 4-23; KIRKWOOD, Greg
2-74; THOMPSON, Victo 1-18; HANDLEY, Justin 1-8. Brigham Young-REED,
Michael 5-103; HARLINE, Jonny 5-76; TAHI, Naufahu 5-67; WATKINS, Todd 5
-38; ALLEN, Matt 4-38; BROWN, Curtis 4-22; COATS, Dan 3-39.
INTERCEPTIONS: Air Force-GIANNINI, Bobby 1-0. Brigham Young-MIYAHIRA,
Cole 1-0; GOOCH, Quinn 1-0; LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-22.
FUMBLES: Air Force-FITCH, Adam 1-1; BROWN, Jason 1-0; CARNEY, Shaun 1-1.
Brigham Young-COOPER, Brett 2-1.
Stadium: Edwards Stadium Attendance: 57687
Kickoff time: 13:00 End of Game: 16:51 Total elapsed time: 3:51
Temperature: 41 Wind: S 3mph Weather: Rainy
SACKS (UA-A): Air Force-SPENCE, Overton 1-0. Brigham Young-LUETTGERODT,
Ju 1-0; MADDUX, Justin 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Air Force-MADRID, Julian 9-4; GIANNINI, Bobby 7-2; BIRD,
Carson 6-2; TAIBI, John 3-4; FOWLER, Drew 2-5; SMITH, Nathan 2-3; SUTTON,
Chris 2-2; RABOLD, John 3-0; MEISSEN, Brad 2-1; POLAND, Denny 0-3;
THOMAS, Grant 2-0; RYBAK, Garrett 2-0; PAFFETT, Ty 2-0; SPENCE, Overton
1-1; KELLER, Joey 0-2; GARGUILE, Noah 0-2; JONES, Bryan 1-0; PEREZ,
Gilberto 1-0; GRAY, Andy 1-0; SHAFFER, Dave 1-0; ANDERSON, Erik 1-0;
BAXLEY, Jared 1-0; WILSON, Jon 1-0; 38 1-0; NORMAN, Tony 1-0
MITSCHERLING, R 0-1; CARLSON, Mark 0-1; HUCKINS, Chris 0-1. Brigham
Young-LUETTGERODT, Ju 8-3; GOOCH, Quinn 5-2; JENSEN, Cameron 3-3;
ROBINSON, Justi 0-5; BROWN, Manaia 2-2; TAFUNA, David 3-0; BUCHANAN,
Kayle 3-0; BECK, Ryan 3-0; HODGKISS, Corby 2-1; SITAKE, T.J. 2-1;
GABRIEL, Dustin 2-0; MADDUX, Justin 2-0; WALKENHORST, Pa 1-1; FEULA,
Vince 0-2; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-0; STACEY, Andrew 1-0; LUEKENGA, Kyle 1-0;
STAFFIERI, Mark 0-1; PAONGO, Hala 0-1.
Game Notes: BYU vs. Air Force
COUGARS SET TO BATTLE THE FALCONS
The Cougars, coming off a 49-23 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame, will return to Provo for a conference matchup with Air Force. BYU is now 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West Conference while the Falcons are 3-5 and 2-4. The Cougars were competitive with the Irish for three-and-a-half quarters, pulling within five at 28-23 when John Beck completed a 10-yard scoring pass to Todd Watkins on fourth-and-six. From there, the Irish scored three-consecutive touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Beck completed 26-of-45 attempts for 317 yards and threw for two touchdowns while Jonny Harline had 100 yards and one touchdown on eight receptions. Fahu Tahi also had a solid game for BYU, running for 63 yards on 14 carries and catching five passes for 73 yards.
A LOOK AT AIR FORCE
Air Force is coming off a 42-10 loss to conference-leading TCU. The Falcons ended a four-game losing streak the week before with a 42-7 win over UNLV but fell behind early against the Horned Frogs and never recovered. Air Force is led by quarterback Shawn Carney, who has thrown for 999 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 476 yards and eight scores. Seven Falcons have run for over 100 yards on the season, including Jacobe Kendrick (355 yards and four touchdowns) and Chad Hall (281 yards). As a team, Air Force averages 250.5 rushing yards per game. The team's top receiver is Jason Brown, who has recorded 551 yards and two touchdowns on 31 receptions. The Falcons' conference wins have come against UNLV and San Diego State.
COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS
Television: BYU's game against Air Force will be broadcast on KJZZ. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT). The game can be seen locally on KJZZ-TV Channel 14.
Radio: Fans can also catch the game by tuning into KSL Radio, 1160 AM and 102.7 FM, and follow the game live as Greg Wrubell calls the action, Marc Lyons offers expert analysis and James Dye reports from the sideline.
Internet: A live webcast of the game, which includes play-by-play and up-to-the minute statistics, can be viewed by logging on to: http://www.byucougars.com/football. In addition to the webcast, a live audio stream will be available on the following URLs: http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org
Saturday's game will be the 26th meeting between BYU and Air Force. The Cougars lead the series 19-6 overall and 9-2 in Provo. BYU defeated the Falcons 41-24 in 2004 in Colorado Springs despite trailing 10-3 at the half. The Cougar offense came to life in the second half as John Beck hit Todd Watkins for a 70-yard score on their first possession. Later in the quarter, Beck found Pitta on an 11-yard scoring pass to give BYU the lead at 17-10. Gary Lovely returned a blocked punt for a score, Beck threw two more touchdowns and Matt Payne hit a 53-yard field goal to round out the scoring. Beck threw for four touchdown passes on the day while Curtis Bown ran for 128 yards and Watkins had 153 yards receiving. The last time the teams played in Provo was in 2003 and Air Force won 24-10.
BECK CLOSING IN ON MWC PASSING RECORDS
John Beck threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame. He now has eight career 300-yard passing games, 5,646 career passing yards and 34 touchdown passes. He is now just 41 passing yards from taking sole possession of third in the MWC for career passing yards and two touchdown pass from tying for fifth in the league for most career touchdown passes.
GOOD GRIEF CURTIS BROWN
Curtis Brown carried the ball 31 times for 147 yards and scored two touchdowns against Colorado State, marking season-high numbers in each category. Brown had his eighth career 100-yard game--tied for second most in BYU history--by halftime as he ran for 103 yards on 18 carries in the opening half. Brown opened the scoring in the second quarter with a four-yard touchdown run--his fourth rushing touchdown of the year. For the season, he has 562 yards and five touchdowns on 118 carries. BYU is 7-1 when Brown rushes for over 100 yards. The only loss came in 2004 against UNLV when he had 102 yards on eight carries.
WEARING OUT THE TURF
The Cougars relied on the rushing game in their 24-14 win over Colorado State. Led by Curtis Brown and Fahu Tahi, BYU amassed 274 yards rushing on 52 attempts. Brown accumulated 147, Tahi had 86 and John Beck added 37. It was the most rushing yards gained by BYU since the Cougars had 410 yards on 45 carries against Colorado State on November 1, 2001. The Cougars defeated the Rams 56-34 in that contest.
John Beck and the Cougar offense are among national and conference leaders. Beck currently ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game (317.0 p/g) and is fifth in total passing yards (2,219). He leads the Mountain West Confernce in both categories. BYU's passing offense is 10th in the nation and first in the conference while its total-offense average of 426.6 yards per game is third in the conference and 30th in the nation. Beck is second in the conferenece and is ninth nationally in total offense (312.6 yards p/g). Jared McLaughlin is seventh in the conference in scoring (6.0 pts/g). Curtis Brown is fifth in the conference in rushing yards per game (75.3). Jonny Harline is fifth in the conference in receiving yards per game and 43th nationally (78.6).
IN GOOD COMPANY
Through his freshman and sophomore years, John Beck compiled 3,427 passing yards. Only two BYU quarterbacks passed for more yards in their first two years of college football. Heisman trophy winner Ty Detmer recorded 5,812 yards in 1988-89, including 4,560 in 1989 as a sophomore. John Walsh had 4,678 yards from 1991-93, including 3,727 as a sophomore in 1993. He threw for 857 in 1992 before going down with a shoulder injury and being granted a medical redshirt. Seven games into his junior season, Beck has thrown for 5,646 career yards, including 2,219 yards this season. Following lists each players' total yards through seven games as a junior.
Player Through Seven Games of Junior Year
WHERE'S THE BEEF?
The BYU offensive line doesn't order salads when it goes out to eat. Each starter weighs over 300 pounds for an average of 325 and a total of 1,625 pounds. They will be going up against an Air Force defensive line that weighs an average of 275 pounds. The Falcon offensive line weighs on average of 294.6 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 290 pounds.
'HODG' TYIN' THOSE QUARTERBACKS
Corby Hodgkiss dropped Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn for a four-yard loss with the Irish facing third-and-seven in the second quarter. It was the second consecutive game the sophomore safety recorded a sack.
BYU struck first against Notre Dame on a 44-yard field goal by Jared McLaughlin. It was the fifth game this season the Cougars have scored first. BYU is 3-2 in those games earning wins against Eastern Illinois, New Mexico and Colorado State and losing to TCU and Notre Dame.
Jonny Harline caught eight passes for 100 yards against Notre Dame. It was the third time in four games he had at least 100 receiving yards. Against San Diego State, he caught seven passes for 123 yards and then the next week, he had 10 receptions for 123 yards versus New Mexico. Harline leads the team with 37 receptions for 550 yards, good for an average of 78.6 yards per game.
In the first quarter against Notre Dame, Jonny Harline caught his first career touchdown pass as he leaped to grab a 12-yard lob from Beck in the corner of the endzone. He caught a 27-yard pass on the drive that moved the Cougars to the Irish 22.
-With 317 passing yards against Notre Dame, Beck moved within 41 yards of third all-time in the MWC for the most career passing yards. He has 5,646 career yards.
-With 317 yards passing against Notre Dame, Beck has eight career 300-yard games.
-With 34 career touchdown passes, Beck needs two more to move into a tie for
fifth place on the Mountain West Conference career touchdown completions list.
-With 517 yards against TCU, Beck became only the third player in league
history to pass for over 500 yards in a game.
The Cougars rank last in the MWC and 101st nationally in turnover margin at -0.86 per game and -6 overall. Interestingly, the offense has turned the ball over 15 times, fourth in the MWC. However, the defense has produced nine takeaways, four less than any other team in the conference.
LaVell Edwards Stadium, with its 64,045-seat capacity and immaculate surroundings, is home to BYU football. Originally Cougar Stadium was built in 1964 and seated 45,000. It was expanded in 1982 to seat 65,000. In 1982, 1988 and 1997, the Football Writers Association of America cited BYU for its "outstanding pressbox working area."
Stadium Record: 177-60 (.747)
Stadium Record (since 1982 expansion): 108-38 (.740)
Stadium Record (since renaming in 2000): 17-12 (.586)
Last Six Home Games: 3-3 (.500)
Last 12 Home Games: 5-7 (.417)
Last 18 Home Games: 7-11 (.389)
Last 24 Home Games: 12-12 (.500)
Last 30 Home Games: 18-12 (.600)
BROTHERS DON'T SIT, BROTHERS GOTTA PLAY
BYU has a long tradition of several members from the same family suiting up to hit the gridiron. Brothers Lance, Jr. and Dallas Reynolds have started all seven games this season. Lance, a senior, is on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the top center in the nation. Dallas, a freshman, was heavily recruited out of high school and joined the Cougars this season after serving an LDS mission in Seattle, Washington.
CAREER 300-YARD GAMES
BYU has traditionally focused on the pass, leading to 21 different Cougars throwing for 300 yards in at least one game for a combined 182 games. Junior John Beck has made a contribution of eight games to that list. He entered the 2005 season with four but threw for 330 yards against No. 22 Boston College, 517 against TCU, 371 at New Mexico and 317 at Notre Dame. Beck has now taken sole possession of 10th place. Ty Detmer tops the list with an astronomical 34. Cougars with 300-yard passing games:
Player 300-yard Games
Ty Detmer 34
Jim McMahon 17
John Walsh 17
Robbie Bosco 15
Marc Wilson 13
Steve Young 13
Steve Sarkisian 12
Kevin Feterik 11
Gifford Nielson 9
John Beck 8
Gary Sheide 5
Sean Covey 5
Ryan Hancock 4
Bob Jensen 3
Steve Lindsey 3
Virgil Carter 3
Bret Engemann 2
Charlie Peterson 2
Matt Berry 1
Marc Lyons 1
SURPASSING THE CENTURY MARK
With eight 100-yard rushing games to his credit, junior Curtis Brown is already tied for fifth in Cougar history for the most career 100-yard rushing games. Against Eastern Illinois, he had 110 yards and scored one touchdown and versus New Mexico, Brown had 104 yards and one score on 20 carries. In the 24-14 win over Colorado State, he had 147 yards and two scores on 31 carries. In 2002, Brown had 217 against Utah State, the most by a BYU player since 1998 when Ronney Jenkins had 259 versus San Jose State. Cougars with five-or-more 100-yard rushing games:
Player 100-yard Games
Luke Staley 10
Lakei Heimuli 10
John Ogden 10
Jamal Willis 10
Pete Van Valkenburg 8
Curtis Brown 8
Jeff Blanc 7
Eldon Fortie 7
Brian McKenzie 7
Ronney Jenkins 7
Marcus Whalen 5
Kip Jackson 5
Kalin Hall 5
Senior receiver Todd Watkins, who had 176 receiving yards in BYU's 51-50 loss to TCU, now has six career games with over 100 yards receiving and is tied for ninth most. His 211 yards against Boise State in 2004 were the most receiving yards registered by a Cougar since Ben Cahoon had 219 against Arizona State in 1997. Cougars with four-or-more 100-yard receiving games:
Player 100-yard Games
Eric Drage 12
Chris Smith 11
Margin Hooks 10
Phil Odle 10
Gordon Hudson 9
Matt Bellini 9
Andy Boyce 8
Mike Chronister 8
Mark Bellini 7
Lloyd Jones 7
John Van Der Wouden 6
Todd Watkins 6
Glen Kozlowski 5
Dan Plater 5
Reno Mahe 5
Brent Nyberg 4
Chuck Cutler 4
David Mills 4
Jay Miller 4