Defense Fuels 55-14 Victory
LAS -- BYU forced three interceptions and had five sacks en route to a 55-14 Mountain West victory over UNLV on Saturday. With the win, the Cougars improve to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in league play, while the Rebels fall to 2-7, 1-5 on the year.
"This was the next step," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "It isn't over. This is only the beginning. This program is being shaped and molded with every situation that comes along."
BYU held the Rebels to a season-low two yards rushing, marking the fourth time this season the Cougars' defense has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing.
"They did a good job defending the run and we didn't run the ball well," UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said. "We threw a lot of passes, threw way too many passes and had way too many sacks."
Senior Justin Maddux was credited with a team-leading 3.0 sacks for a combined loss of 22 yards. Fifth-year senior Kyle Tew and sophomore defensive back Dustin Gabriel were also credited with a sack each.
For the second straight week, the Cougars were credited with three interceptions. The three picks led to 21 of BYU's 55 points.
"We played three or four more concepts than we've shown in previous games," Mendenhall added. "We created turnovers and turned them into points. The number of points (55) was directly tied to turnovers, which was the same as last week. I think our team can play better. I'm glad we are scoring and putting up points."
Offensively, the Cougars rolled up 224 yards rushing and added 267 yards passing, marking the second straight week BYU used a balance attack to post big numbers on the scoreboard. BYU quarterback John Beck passed for 267 yards, completing 23-of-34 attempts and had three touchdown receptions. Interestingly, all three of Beck's touchdown completions went for 11 yards.
The Cougars got on the board first for the fifth straight game, scoring on Fahu Tahi's one-yard run with 6:15 remaining in the opening quarter. Tahi's run capped a six-play, 38-yard drive that was set up after the BYU defense forced UNLV to punt from its own 4-yard line.
After holding the Rebels scoreless in the first quarter--the fifth time this season the BYU defense has posted a first-quarter shutout--the Rebels drove to the BYU five-yard line before Jarrod Jackson hooked up with tight end Greg Estandia for the five-yard touchdown reception. The 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive tied the score at 7-7 with 12:21 remaining in the second quarter.
On the following drive, the Cougars took a 10-7 lead on Jared McLaughlin's 45-yard field goal with 8:42 left in the second quarter. BYU drove to the UNLV 18-yard line after Tahi rolled down the field for a season-high 31-yard gain. Manase Tonga added a five-yard run on the following play; however, a holding penalty and a UNLV sack forced the Cougars into a fourth-and-14 situation from the Rebels' 35-yard line.
On the following drive, Justin Leuttgerodt picked off Jackson at the BYU 48-yard line--his second pick in as many weeks--and returned it 28 yards to the UNLV 24-yard line. The Rebels forced BYU to kick a 38-yard field goal; however, a UNLV personal foul gave the Cougars a first down on the 11-yard line. On the next play, Beck went over the top to Todd Watkins for the 11-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cougars a 17-7 lead with 6:17 remaining in the second quarter. The play marked Watkins' team-leading seventh touchdown reception of the season.
Kayle Buchanan stopped UNLV's next drive with his first-career interception. Six plays later, the Cougars took a 24-7 lead with 3:22 left in the half on Curtis Browns' one-yard run--his 10th rushing touchdown of the season.
On the final drive of the opening half, the Cougars faced a third-and-13 from the UNLV 42-yard line. The Rebels appeared to have stopped BYU; however, another untimely personal foul game the Cougars a first down with just eight seconds remaining on the clock. After Beck spiked the ball, McLaughlin nailed the 37-yard field goal attempt.
In the second half, the BYU defense picked up where it left off. Spencer White recorded the Cougars' third interception of the day, returning it to the UNLV 26-yard line. On the next play, Tahi barreled ahead for a 15-yard gain, giving the Cougars a first-and-10 from the UNLV 11-yard line. Two plays later, Beck found Brown all alone in the flat for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Cougars' a 34-7 lead with 12:51 remaining in the third quarter.
On UNLV's next drive, Justin Maddux came up with back-to-back sacks, forcing the Rebels into a third-and-22 situation from their own 31-yard line. After a dropped pass, UNLV was forced to punt.
BYU extended its lead to 41-7 after Tahi picked up his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. The Cougars racked up 63 yards in 13 plays on the drive, scoring with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
UNLV's Erick Jackson scored on a 15-yard run to cut the BYU lead to 41-14; however, Beck found tight end Jonny Harline for an 11-yard touchdown.
Freshman running back Wayne Latu completed the scoring on a one-yard run with 4:49 left in the game. Latu led the Cougars with 93 yards on 15 carries, including a career-best 23 yard run during the drive.
The Cougars will look to pick up their sixth win next weekend at Wyoming. The Cowboys have lost four straight, including a loss at Utah on Saturday.
Box Score (Final)
Brigham Young vs UNLV (Nov 05, 2005 at Las Vegas, Nev.)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 7 20 14 14 - 55 Record: (5-4,4-2)
UNLV................ 0 7 0 7 - 14 Record: (2-7,1-5)
1st 06:15 BYU - TAHI 1 yd run, 6-38 2:09, BYU 7 - LV 0
2nd 12:21 LV - ESTANDIA 5 yd pass from JACKSON, 11-80 4:38, BYU 7 - LV 7
08:42 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN 45 yd field goal, 7-50 3:33, BYU 10 - LV 7
06:17 BYU - WATKINS 11 yd pass from BECK, 4-24 0:59, BYU 17 - LV 7
03:22 BYU - BROWN 1 yd run, 6-40 2:19, BYU 24 - LV 7
00:00 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN 37 yd field goal, 6-48 0:55, BYU 27 - LV 7
3rd 12:51 BYU - BROWN 11 yd pass from BECK, 3-26 1:12, BYU 34 - LV 7
05:15 BYU - TAHI, 1 yd run, 13-63 3:59, BYU 41 - LV 7
4th 13:49 LV - JACKSON, 15 yd run, 6-33 1:23, BYU 41 - LV 14
10:07 BYU - HARLINE 11 yd pass from BECK, 8-57 3:41, BYU 48 - LV 14
04:49 BYU - LATU 1 yd run, 8-55 3:42, BYU 55 - LV 14
FIRST DOWNS................... 29 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 46-224 20-2
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 279 329
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 35-24-0 53-31-3
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 81-503 73-331
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-12 2-13
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-38 3-64
Interception Returns-Yards.... 3-37 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-32.2 5-38.2
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 6-50 10-81
Possession Time............... 32:32 27:28
Third-Down Conversions........ 8 of 15 4 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 1 1 of 4
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 9-9 2-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 5-40 2-8
RUSHING: Brigham Young-LATU, Wayne 15-93; TAHI, Naufahu 11-62; BROWN, Curtis
10-43; TONGA, Manase 3-20; MEIKLE, Nathan 2-12; BECK, John 5-minus 6.
UNLV-JACKSON, Erick 11-34; SAINT PREUX, R. 1-7; JACKSON, Jarrod 8-minus 39.
PASSING: Brigham Young-BECK, John 23-34-0-267; BERRY, Matt 1-1-0-12.
UNLV-JACKSON, Jarrod 31-52-3-329; KIRKLAND, T. 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-WATKINS, Todd 7-66; HARLINE, Jonny 6-80; TAHI,
Naufahu 3-27; ALLEN, Matt 2-23; TONGA, Manase 2-21; REED, Michael 1-22;
COLLIE, Zac 1-17; COOPER, Brett 1-12; BROWN, Curtis 1-11. UNLV-JACKSON,
Erick 8-91; SAINT PREUX, R. 8-59; ANDERSON, Corey 4-53; ESTANDIA, Greg 4-45;
WHEATON, D. 3-36; FLAIR, Casey 2-27; WILLIAMS, S. 1-14; KIRKLAND, T. 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 1-9; BUCHANAN, Kayle 1-0;
LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-28. UNLV-None.
FUMBLES: Brigham Young-BECK, John 2-0. UNLV-JACKSON, Jarrod 1-0.
Stadium: Sam Boyd Stadium Attendance: 23677
Kickoff time: 12:05 End of Game: 3:55 Total elapsed time: 3:50
Officials: Referee: Terry Leyden; Umpire: Gary Crum; Linesman: Robert Bahne;
Line judge: Gary McNanna; Back judge: Judson Howard; Field judge: Ken Lucido;
Side judge: Craig Battaglia; Scorer: Jim Shaffer;
Temperature: 70 Wind: 6MPH SE Weather: Clear
Brigham Young vs UNLV (Nov 05, 2005 at Las Vegas, Nev.)
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-MADDUX, Justin 3-0; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-0; TEW,
Kyle 1-0. UNLV-HALES, Jacob 1-0; WATTS, Isaac 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-WHITE, Spencer 4-3; LUETTGERODT, Ju 2-4;
MADDUX, Justin 3-2; ROBINSON, Justi 4-0; WALKENHORST, Pa 2-2; BILLS, K.C.
2-2; JENSEN, Cameron 2-1; BUCHANAN, Kayle 2-1; BROWN, Manaia 1-2; MIYAHIRA,
Cole 2-0; BECK, Ryan 2-0; HODGKISS, Corby 2-0; KEHL, Bryan 1-1; STAFFIERI,
Mark 0-2; FEULA, Vince 0-2; ALLEN, Matt 1-0; SEKONA, Sosiua 1-0; HOWELL,
O'Neil 1-0; MORRIS, Michael 1-0; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-0; TEW, Kyle 1-0; TAFUNA,
David 0-1; COATS, Dan 0-1; SITAKE, T.J. 0-1; GORDON, Aaron 0-1. UNLV-BELL,
Beau 7-8; MIKLOS, Joe 6-9; GUICE, John 8-1; KELLY, Bobby 7-1; STAGGS, Jay
4-1; ASIODU, KC 2-3; BLOOMER, Chanti 0-4; HALES, Jacob 3-0; MOORE, Leon 1-2;
KENION, Nate 2-0; WATTS, Isaac 2-0; GORDON, Ernest 1-1; SMART, Solomon 1-1;
FAGA, Faauo 0-2; HOLLERMEIER, C. 1-0; OLSEN, David 1-0; WILLIAMS, S. 1-0;
HEISE, Ryan 1-0; BOWSER, Chris 1-0; DUNBAR, Pete 0-1.
Game Notes: BYU at UNLV
COUGARS TO TAKE ON UNLV
The Cougars are back at .500 at 4-4 overall and are 3-2 in the Mountain West Conferece after a 62-41 win over Air Force in Provo. BYU needs to win at least two of its last three games to be bowl eligible. The Cougars led big early on against Air Force, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and taking a 28-7 lead into the half. Michael Reed and Nathan Meikle each scored their first-career touchdowns in the first quarter. The Cougars continued to roll, leading 41-7 before the Falcons cut the lead to 48-34. BYU added two more scores, compared to one for Air Force, to seal the victory. Curtis Brown had a career day, running 25 times for 219 yards and four touchdowns while John Beck threw for 383 yards and three scores. As a team, BYU amassed 683 yards of total offense.
A LOOK AT THE REBELS
UNLV is coming off a bye week and currently stands at 2-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Rebels' only conference win came against San Diego State. Prior to the bye week, UNLV played the University of Utah, losing at home, 42-32. Jarrod Jackson threw for 356 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 29-of-54 attempts. Two of the scoring passes went to Greg Estandia, who finished with 10 receptions for 120 yards. The Rebels also ran the ball 40 times for 132 yards. Jackson has thrown for 840 yards, five touchdowns and eight interceptions on the year since replacing the injured Shane Steichen after four games. Estandia has 38 receptions for 444 yards and five touchdowns while Erick Jackson leads the team in rushing with 524 yards and four touchdowns.
COMPLETE BROADCAST PLANS
Television: BYU's game against UNLV will be broadcast by ESPN+Plus. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon (PST). 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://unlvrebels.collegesports.com/. In addition to the webcast, a live audio stream will be vailable on the following URLs: http://ksl.com and http://www.byuradio.org
Saturday's game will be the 13th meeting between BYU and UNLV. The Cougars lead the series 9-3 overall and 5-0 in Las Vegas. Last season the Rebels defeated the Cougars 24-20 in Provo. BYU led early in the game 3-0 after a 47-yard field goal by Matt Payne and again in the second quarter at 10-7 following a Todd Watkins touchdown reception. Dominique Dorsey scored on a 12-yard run in the third to give the lead back to the Rebels. The Cougars would score 10-unanswered points on a 50-yard field goal by Payne and a 26-yard interception return for a score by Cameron Jensen to take the lead again at 20-14. UNLV took the lead for good with another touchdown in the third and added a field goal in the fourth quarter. BYU had its chances to get the lead back but was plagued by two lost fumbles in the fourth. John Beck finished 34-of-67 for 358 yards while Curtis Brown had 102 yards on eight carries. Beck's 67 attempts set an MWC record.
The Cougars' 62-41 victory over Air Force marked the 250th all-time home victory for BYU. It also marked the 460th victory in the program's 83-year history.
BYU IN THE STANDINGS
With Saturday's 62-41 victory, BYU improved to 4-4 on the season and 3-2 in the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars are currently in sole possession of third place in the MWC and have won three consecutive conference games. They will be gunning for their fourth consecutive when they play UNLV, which would be the first four-game conference win streak since 2001. Mathematically, the Cougars are still in contention for a share of the league championship. In order for BYU to claim a share of the MWC title, the Cougars must win their final three league games (at UNLV, at Wyoming, vs. Utah) and TCU must lose to both Colorado State and UNLV. Colorado State, which suffered its only league loss at BYU on Oct. 15, can also claim a share of the title by winning its final three games of the season, including a critical match-up at TCU on Nov. 5.
300 x 300
Against Air Force last Saturday, BYU ran for 300 yards and passed for 383 yards, marking the first time the Cougars have passed for over 300 yards and ran for over 300 yards since the 1989 season. On Nov. 18, 1989, the Cougars passed for 421 yards and ran for 329 yards in the BYU's 70-31 victory over the Utes at Cougar Stadium.
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
Since 1972--LaVell Edwards first year as a head coach at BYU--the Cougars have posted an impressive 90-25-1 (.780) record in the month of November. There have been a total of 17 times over that span that BYU has gone undefeated during the month of November, including a stretch of seven straight seasons where the Cougars did not lose a single game in the month of November (1979-1985). Throughout his 29 seasons, Edwards won over 81 percent of his games during the month of November, including a record of 84-19-1 from 1972 until his final season in 2000. During that span, the Cougars had only three losing records during the month of November.
Since Edwards' retirement in 2000, the Cougars have tallied a 6-6 (.500) record in the month of November. During Gary Crowton's first season as head coach, BYU went 3-0 in November to finish as the first MWC team to sweep its league schedule. Since that time, the Cougars have gone 3-6 over the next three seasons during the month of November. BYU will need to win two of its final three games during November in order to become bowl eligible. The Cougars have not been to a bowl game since the 2001 season. During the month of November, the Cougars will face UNLV, Wyoming and Utah. BYU has played UNLV only once in the month of November, posting a 54-14 win in Las Vegas back in 1980. Since 1922, the Cougars are 16-12-1 against Wyoming during the month of November, and have registered a mark of 25-20-1 against Utah during November.
NO RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT
Saturday's game against Air Force marked the 100th game since BYU has returned a punt for a touchdown. The streak dates back to Oct. 18, 1997 when Jaron Dabney returned a punt 83 yards in the Cougars' 17-3 win at Hawaii. BYU has a streak of 278 punt returns without a return for touchdown.
Interestingly, it has also been 88 games since the Cougars have returned a kickoff for a touchdown, marking a string of 282 kick returns without a touchdown. Mike Rigell was the last BYU player to return a kickoff (96 yards), leading the Cougars to a 31-9 win against Hawaii on Oct. 17, 1998 in Provo.
GOOD GRIEF CURTIS BROWN
With a four-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Curtis Brown set new career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns. Brown finished the game with 219 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries and did not have any negative rushes on the day. Curtis Brown now has nine-career 100 yard rushing games, including four this season. Brown's nine-100-yard games are second most in BYU history. He is one game behind Luke Staley, Lakei Heimuli, John Ogden and Jamal Willis.
With 71 first-half rushing yards against Air Force, Curtis Brown passed Eldon Fortie for ninth all-time in BYU history for career rushing yards. Fortie, who played from 1960-62, had 1,666 yards. At half-time, Brown had 1,686 career yards and added 148 in the second, giving him 1,834 career yards. On the season Brown has 143 carries for 746 yards and nine touchdowns.
MOST YARDS SINCE...
With 383 passing yards and 300 rushing yards, BYU accumulated 683 yards of total offense against the Falcons. The combined total surpasses the 614 the Cougars had against TCU earlier this season and is the most yards BYU has amassed since November 1, 2001 when the Cougars had 694 in a 56-34 win over Colorado State. In that game, BYU had 410 rushing yards and 284 passing yards. The 300 rushing yards was the most for the Cougar since the 2001 Colorado State game.
John Beck and the Cougar offense are among national and conference leaders. Beck currently ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game (325.2 p/g) and is third in total passing yards (2,602). He leads the Mountain West Confernce in both categories. BYU's passing offense is 8th in the nation and first in the conference while its total-offense average of 458.6 yards per game is first in the conference and 15th in the nation. Beck is second in the conferenece and is eighth nationally in total offense (322.1 yards p/g). Jared McLaughlin and Curtis Brown are tied for fifth in the conference in scoring (7.0 pts/g). Brown is fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game (93.2). Jonny Harline is sixth in the conference in receiving yards per game and 45th nationally (78.2).
THIRD ALL-TIME IN THE MWC
When Beck completed a 13-yard pass to Todd Watkins on BYU's second drive against Air Force, he surpassed former New Mexico quarterback Casey Kelly for third all-time in the Mountain West Conference for most career yards. Beck entered the game with 5,646 yards, 40 behind Kelly. He had 383 for the game and now has 6,029 yards, 136 behind former Wyoming quarterback Casey Bramlet for second in conference history. Beck also replaced Gifford Nielsen for ninth all-time in Cougar history for most career passing yards when he threw for 383 yards against Air Force to give him 6,029 career yards. Nielsen had 5,833 yards, playing from 1975-77. Beck also tied Nielsen for ninth most 300-yard games in Cougar history with nine.
CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASSES
John Beck threw three touchdown passes against Air Force, moving 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. Beck tied former BYU quarterback and current quarterback's coach Brandon Doman for sixth in conference history with his first scoring pass of the game, which went to Michael Reed.
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, while John Walsh had 4,678 yards from 1991-93, He threw for 857 in 1992 before going down with a shoulder injury and being granted a medical redshirt. Eight games into his junior season, Beck has thrown for 6,029 career yards, including 2,602 yards this season. Following lists each players' total yards through eight games as a junior.
Player Through eight 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 a UNLV defensive line that weighs an average of 295 pounds. The Rebel offensive line weighs on average of 295 pounds while BYU's defensive line weighs an average of 290 pounds.
MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Oct. 29)
Curtis Brown was named MWC Co-offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Air Force. He ran for a career-high 219 yards on 25 carries (8.8 yards per carry) and career-best four touchdowns in BYU's 62-41 victory over Air Force. Three of his four touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. Brown was named MWC Offensive Player of the Week in 2002 after his 217-yard, three-touchdown performance against Utah State.
With 746 yards on the season, averaging 93.2 yards per game, Curtis Brown is on pace to run for over 1,025 yards this season. Should Brown eclipse the 1,000 yard mark, it would be the first time since the 2001 season a BYU running back had ran for 1,000 yards in a season. Brown is on pace to record the sixth highest single-season rushing total in BYU history.
After 16 seasons as an assistant coach, including the past two years as the defensive coordinator for the Cougars, Bronco Mendenhall was promoted to head football coach at Brigham Young University on December 13, 2004. Mendenhall becomes the 14th head coach since the University first officially recognized football as an intercollegiate sport in 1922.
Mendenhall (38)--one of the youngest NCAA Division I-A head coaches in the country--has served the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for the Cougars. During his first season in Provo, Mendenhall engineered the nation's 14th-ranked defense, holding opponents to just 307 yards per game. Under Mendenhall's direction, the Cougars ranked eighth nationally in passing defense, giving up just 176.17 yards per game.
In 2004, the Cougars ranked third in the Mountain West in rushing defense, allowing 149.3 yards per game. The Cougars also ranked second in the league, with 34 sacks for a combined loss of 232 yards.
A native of Alpine, Utah, Mendenhall began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1989 at his alma mater, Oregon State. After earning his master's degree in 1990, he moved to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he served as the secondary coach and defensive coordinator from 1991-92 under current BYU assistant coach Paul Tidwell. Following two seasons with the Badgers, Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Northern Arizona, where the Lumberjacks boasted the top-ranked defense in the Big Sky Conference. He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator for the 1994 season.
In 1995, Mendenhall returned to Oregon State to become the defensive line coach under then defensive coordinator Rocky Long. When Long left to become the defensive coordinator at UCLA, Mendenhall was promoted to defensive coordinator for the 1996 season. At just 29 years of age, Mendenhall was the youngest defensive coordinator in Pac-10 history.
In 1997, Mendenhall became the secondary coach at Louisiana Tech where he helped the Bulldogs to a remarkable 9-2 record as his defensive unit was credited with 17 interceptions, allowing just 15 touchdowns on the season.
In 1998, Mendenhall moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to become the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of New Mexico. Over the next five seasons, the Lobos improved from just three wins in 1998 to seven wins and an invitation to the Las Vegas Bowl in 2002. In the Lobos' 27-13 loss against UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Mendenhall-led defense held the Bruins to a season-low 167 yards.
Under Mendenhall, the Lobos led the Mountain West Conference in rushing defense for three straight seasons. In 2001, New Mexico gave up just 87.4 yards per game over the season. In his final season in Albuquerque, Mendenhall led the Lobos to a top ranking against league opponents in total defense, allowing just 316.4 yards per game. The Lobos also led the MWC in sacks in both the 2000 and 2002 season, totaling 46 and 38, respectively.
At New Mexico, Mendenhall played a valuable role in the development of the 1999 Mountain West Player of the Year, Consensus All-American and first-round NFL Draft pick Brian Urlacher. The ninth overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher was voted the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a Pro Bowl selection. Urlacher was one of two rookies to play all 16 games, starting at middle linebacker the final 14 games to establish a team record for starts at the position by a rookie. He shattered Bears rookie records with 165 total tackles and eight sacks, making him the second Chicago first-year player to lead the team in tackles. Urlacher finished his collegiate career ranked third on New Mexico's all-time list with 442 tackles.
As a player, Mendenhall was a two-year starter at cornerback for Snow College from 1984-85. In his second season, Mendenhall captained the Badgers to a perfect 11-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship. That same season, he earned many
accolades, including first-team all-conference, all-region, second-team NJCAA All-America and JC Gridwire Academic All-America honors.
Mendenhall transferred to Oregon State and was a two-year starter, playing free safety, strong safety and linebacker for the Beavers. Mendenhall was a team captain as a senior and received the Leo Gribkoff Memorial Award, given to the team's most inspirational player.
Mendenhall was raised in Alpine, Utah, and graduated from American Fork High School in 1984. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Oregon State in 1988 and a master's degree in education with an emphasis in exercise physiology also from OSU in 1990.
His older brother, Mat, played football at BYU from 1975-79, before spending four years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Another brother, Marty, was a former Mr. Utah bodybuilder. Mendenhall's father, Paul, was a defensive end at BYU from 1953-54.
Mendenhall, who resides in Alpine, Utah, is married to the former Holly Johnston of Missoula, Mont. The couple have three sons: Cutter (5), Breaker (3) and Raeder (18 mo.).
-With 383 yards against Air Force, Beck moved into third all-time in the MWC for the most career passing yards. He has 6,029 yards.
-With 383 yards passing against Notre Dame, Beck has nine career 300-yard games.
-With 37 career touchdown passes, Beck is tied for fourth 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.
-Beck has passed for 2,602 yards this season, averaging 325.2 yards per game. Beck is on pace to pass for over 3,577 yards in 2005. While that total would not eclipse the single-season top-10, it would give Beck over 7,000 career passing yards and would rank ninth on BYU's all-time passing list with one year remaining.
Freshman Michael Reed scored his first career touchdown when he caught a 14-yard pass from John Beck on first drive of game against Air Force. Nathan Meikle also scored his first-career touchdown in the first quarter of the game. Following Justin Luettgerodt's interception, Meikle ran it in on the first play of the drive from 12-yards out.
Justin Luettgerodt had an interception in the first quarter, Quinn Gooch picked off a pass in the second and Cole Miyahira had one in the fourth against Air Force, BYU's second, third and fourth of the season. It was the Cougars' first multiple interception game of the season and the first since BYU had two picks against Alex Smith of Utah on November 20, 2004.
Entering the Air Force game, BYU had turned the ball over 15 times and forced nine, good for a -6 turnover margin which ranked 101st in the nation. The Cougars closed the gap on Saturday, forcing five Air Force miscues, compared to two turnovers for BYU.
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 eight 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.
ON THE AIR
The exclusive radio home of BYU Football and flagship of the Cougar Sports Network is KSL NEWSRADIO (1160 AM and 102.7 FM) in Salt Lake City. The "Voice of the Cougars" is Greg Wrubell, now in his 5th season as play-by-play commentator. A BYU alum, Wrubell joined the broadcast crew in 1992 as the sideline/lockerroom reporter. He began calling BYU basketball games in 1996.
Joining Wrubell is game analyst and former BYU quarterback Marc Lyons. Lyons is a 24-year veteran of Cougar football broadcasts and co-host of the midweek "Bronco Mendenhall Show." A pair of BYU greats join the KSL Broadcast team this season, with two-time all-conference kick returner James Dye reporting from the sidelines and lockerroom, and three-time NFL Pro-Bowl selection Chad Lewis joining Lyons and Dye on the pregame "Cougar Countdown Show." The gameday studio host is KSL's Scott Haws, a former BYU student-athlete and all-conference pitcher for the baseball Cougars.
Chief Engineer John Dehnel returns for his 21st season, while veteran statistician Ralph Sokolowsky and spotter Doug Martin complete the lineup in the booth.
KSL's game day coverage begins two hours prior to kickoff with the "Cougar Countdown Show." The "Cougar Pregame Scoreboard Show" starts the broadcast's second hour, with the "Cougar Pregame Coach's Show" 35 minutes prior to kickoff, followed by the "Cougar Kickoff Show."
After the game, KSL presents the "Cougar Postgame Scoreboard Show," followed by the "Cougar Locker Room Show," "Cougar Postgame Coach's Show," "Cougar Call-In Show" and "IFA Country Store Replay."
In-week programming includes, "Coach's Corner with Bronco Mendenhall and Greg Wrubell," Mondays and Thursdays at 8:45 am and "Cougar Matchup," Thursdays and Fridays at 8:15 am and 4:15pm. The "Bronco Mendenhall Show" airs Wednesdays at 7:00pm, while the "Coordinators' Corner" with coaches Barry Lamb and Robert Anae hits the air Thursdays at 7:00pm. KSL's Tom Kirkland co-hosts the "Bronco Mendenhall Show" on Wednesdays, while Rod Zundel host the "Coordinators' Corner" on Thursdays.
KSL also airs Cougar Sports programming exclusively online at ksl.com, including "CougarRadio," Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00pm. The weekly "Bronco Mendenhall Press Conference," live from Legends Grille, is heard live online Wednesdays at noon. In addition, Greg Wrubell will provide a weekly look inside Cougar Football on "Cougar Tracks." All online programs are archived, download-able and formatted for podcasting.
Stations on KSL's Cougar Sports Network include:
KSL-AM - Salt Lake City, UT
KSL-FM - Salt Lake City, UT
KDXU-AM - St. George, UT
KMGR- FM - Delta, UT
KSLJ-AM - Idaho Falls, Blackfoot & Pocatello , ID
KSSL-AM-Idaho Falls, Blackfoot & Pocatello, ID
Games can also be heard on ksl.com, byuradio.org and on BYU Radio on channel 980 of Dish Network.
THE BRONCO MENDENHALL SHOW
The Bronco Mendenhall Show hosted by Tom Kirkland airs live, Sundays at 11:00 p.m. on KSL-TV, Channel 5. Join Mendenhall and Kirkland as they review the previous weekend and discuss the Cougars' upcoming game.
HOLDING ON FOURTH
Entering Saturday's game, Air Force had converted 14-of-16 fourth down conversions, good for 88 percent. The Cougars held the Falcons to just two conversions on five attempts.
HIGHEST SCORING REGULATION GAME
With 103 combined points in BYU's 62-41 win over Air Force, Saturday's game was the highest scoring regulation game and second highest scoring game in the NCAA this season, behind Ball State's 60-57 overtime-win over Western Michigan. The Cougars were also part of the third highest scoring game of 2005 in their 51-50 loss to TCU. The last time BYU scored 62 points was in 2001 when the Cougars defeated Air Force 63-33 on October 20. The 62 points is the second highest total ever allowed by the Air Force. The Cougars' 63-point outing in 2001 marked the most points ever allowed by an Air Force team.
Michael Reed capped BYU's opening drive against Air Force by catching a 14-yard touchdown pass from John Beck. The drive covered 86 yards on 10 plays in 4:02. It was the freshman's first-career touchdown and the sixth time this season and fourth-consecutive game the Cougars have scored on their opening drive.
The Cougars held Air Force scoreless in the first quarter, marking the third time this season BYU has shutout its opponent during the opening frame. It was also the eighth quarter the Cougars have held their opponent scoreless this season.
CAREER HIGHS AND SINGLE-GAME RECORDS
When John Beck completed a 37-yard pass to Jonny Harline against TCU, he had 420 passing yards, surpassing his career high of 390, which came against Boise State in 2004. He finished the day with a Mountain West single-game record 517 yards. Beck also set a new career high and tied a MWC record for touchdown passes with five when he completed a 25-yard scoring strike to Todd Watkins in overtime. Watkins finished with 176 yards and tied an MWC record with three touchdowns.
FIRST DOWNS EQUALS SCHOOL RECORD
With 39 first downs against Air Force on Saturday, the Cougars tied a team record set in 1983 against the Falcons. The Cougar won that game 46-28.
MOST POINTS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
BYU's 62-point outing on Saturday marks the most points scored by a Mountain West Conference team this season. San Diego scored 52 points against San Jose State on Sept. 24. Air Force scored 41 points in the loss, including 27 points against the Cougars in the fourth quarter, marking the most points the Cougars have allowed in a single quarter this season. The previous high was 21 against Notre Dame and TCU.
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, 317 at Notre Dame and 383 against Air Force. Beck is now tied for ninth place. Ty Detmer tops the list with 34. Cougars with 300-yard passing 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
John Beck 8
Gifford Nielson 9
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 nine 100-yard rushing games to his credit, junior Curtis Brown has the second most career 100-yard rushing games in BYU history. Against Eastern Illinois, he had 110 yards and scored one touchdown. 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. Brown set career highs against Air Force with 219 yards and four touchdowns. Cougars with five-or-more 100-yard rushing games:
Luke Staley 10
Lakei Heimuli 10
John Ogden 10
Jamal Willis 10
Curtis Brown 9
Pete Van Valkenburg 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:
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
THE 100-YARD CLUB
Michael Reed's 50-yard reception in the fourth quarter against Air Force put him over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. He is the third Cougar to record over 100-yards receiving this season. Todd Watkins had 176 yards against TCU while Jonny Harline has recorded 100 or more yards three times, including 123 at San Diego State, 123 at New Mexico and 100 at Notre Dame.