Brigham Young University
Oct 28 | 12:00 PM
33 - 14
U.S. Air Force Academy
Falcon Stadium

Falcon Stadium Air Force Academy CO 80840

Anonymous | Posted: 28 Oct 2006 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars Become Bowl Eligible


AIR FORCE ACADEMY -- A balanced offensive attack and stingy defense led BYU to a 33-14 victory over Air Force (3-4, 3-2) on Saturday. With the victory, the Cougars improve to 6-2 overall and maintain the conference lead with a 4-0 record against Mountain West opponents.

"We just need to stay the course and continue to improve," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "There is room for improvement and we'll point that out to our players. They'll embrace that because they want to win. We'll tell them exactly what they need to do, very bluntly, very candidly and they'll respond to that."

The win was the fifth consecutive victory for the Cougars who become bowl eligible for the second consecutive year with their sixth win on the season. It is the first time BYU is bowl eligible for two straight years since the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

"BYU has a good football team," Air Force head coach Fisher DeBerry said. "Their defense is a little bit stronger than I thought it was coming into the game. I thought their linebackers played extremely well. They're a good tackling football team. They're as good a defensive football team as we've seen."

BYU rushed for 153 yards while John Beck had another efficient outing, completing 74 percent of his passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns.

Entering the game, Mendenhall said he was concerned about the Falcons' ability to convert on third down and control the clock. Air Force converted 8-of-14 third-down attempts while the Cougars converted 75 percent (9-of-12) of their third-down tries. As a result, BYU won the time-of-possession battle, holding the ball for 30:34 to 28:59.

"Going into the game, I believe we were in the top-10 in the nation in third-down conversions," he said. "So what you saw today was a continuation of that. But, our main concern was not only that, but Air Force was ranked first in the nation, converting 59 percent on third down. We knew third down was going to be critical in terms of time of possession."

For the fourth straight game, BYU got on the scoreboard on its first possession, marching 81 yards on 14 plays to put the Cougars ahead, 7-0. BYU's drive ate 7:07 off the clock and was capped when Fui Vakapuna bulled into the end zone from six yards out. BYU converted three a big third-and-eight on a 10-yard pass from John Beck to Vakapuna.

Air Force moved the ball effectively on its first drive before the Cougars defense stiffened at the BYU 35. The Cougars forced a fumble that Cameron Jensen fell on to end the Falcons threat.

"Obviously, BYU did an outstanding job on that first drive and got ahead," Air Force coach DeBerry said. "We came back and went for it on fourth and three, but we fumbled the football and gave BYU good position. Then we threw an interception."

After the Cougars were stopped on their second drive, the BYU defense came up with another big play. Air Force quarterback Shaun Carney dropped back for a pass and was drilled by Bryan Kehl as he threw the ball. The ball popped up into the air and was brought down by BYU's Aaron Wagner.

The Cougars capitalized on the second Air Force turnover, marching the ball 44 yards on five plays before Beck hit Michael Reed on a quick slant for an eight-yard touchdown connection.

BYU's defense held the Falcons' option attack for the third consecutive time, forcing a punt with seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Cougars' offense took advantage of a short field after a poor punt and marched 64 yards for another touchdown. BYU chipped away down the field before Beck found Jonny Harline for a one-yard touchdown pass.

"In the first half, we just didn't tackle as well as I think we can as a team," DeBerry said. "Of course, the poor punt we had also gave them great field position and accounted for them being able to drive the ball and get up 21-0 at halftime."

After the Cougars' defense pushed Air Force back inside its on five-yard line with a sack by Jan Jorgensen to start the third quarter, BYU forced a quick Falcon's punt. The first BYU drive started inside Air Force territory. The Falcons then held the Cougars to a Jared McLaughlin career-best 53-yard field goal to go ahead 24-0.

Air Force responded with its first scoring drive of the game, marching 80 yards with Carney sneaking the ball in from the one-yard line. With the extra point, the Falcons cut BYU's lead to 24-7.

"I am very proud of the fact that our guys did not quit," DeBerry said. "We were limited because we had some guys get hurt early in the game. We've been somewhat of a bruised football team for a good while."

After a kick return miscue that put the Cougars on the six yard line, BYU's offense went 94 yards on 12 plays and scored when Beck scrambled and found Vakapuna just before he was hit. Vakapuna ran the ball in to give the Cougars a 30-7 lead.

"There were some acrobatics on the part of their quarterback," DeBerry said of Beck's toss to Vakapuna.

The Cougars added a fourth-quarter field goal to push the lead to 33-7. Air Force scored its final touchdown with :27 seconds remaining.

BYU will make a return trip to Colorado next week when the Cougars travel to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State. Kickoff is set for 4:30 (MDT) and will be broadcast on the mtn.

Box Score (Final)


BYU vs Air Force (Oct 28, 2006 at USAFA, Colo.)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

BYU................. 7 14 3 9 - 33 Record: (6-2,4-0)

Air Force........... 0 0 7 7 - 14 Record: (3-4,3-2)

Scoring Summary:

1st 07:53 BY - VAKAPUNA 6 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN kick)

2nd 10:12 BY - REED 8 yd pass from BECK (MCLAUGHLIN kick)

00:58 BY - HARLINE 1 yd pass from BECK (MCLAUGHLIN kick)

3rd 11:08 BY - MCLAUGHLIN 53 yd field goal

03:54 AF - CARNEY 1 yd run (SASSER kick)

4th 13:40 BY - VAKAPUNA 4 yd pass from BECK (MCLAUGHLIN kick blockd)

06:38 BY - MCLAUGHLIN 27 yd field goal

00:27 AF - SUDER 3 yd run (SASSER kick)


FIRST DOWNS................... 22 16

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 34-153 49-190

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 258 39

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 31-23-0 10-4-1

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 65-411 59-229

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-26 0-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-21 2-31

Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 0-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 1-40.0 3-44.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 0-0 1-1

Penalties-Yards............... 8-50 1-10

Possession Time............... 31:01 28:59

Third-Down Conversions........ 9 of 12 8 of 14

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 1 of 2

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 5-5 2-2

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-11 0-0

RUSHING: BYU-VAKAPUNA, Fui 12-52; BROWN, Curtis 10-42; BECK, John 4-28; TONGA,

Manase 7-23; SEMANOFF, Joe 1-8. Air Force-KENDRICK, Jacob 14-58; CARNEY, Shaun

10-50; OLLIS, Jim 4-25; WILLIAMS, Ryan 4-16; PEEPLES, Scott 4-13; HALL, Chad

6-13; SUDER, Beau 3-6; McCARTHY, Kip 2-5; THOMPSON, Victo 1-3; HANDLEY, Justin


PASSING: BYU-BECK, John 23-31-0-258. Air Force-CARNEY, Shaun 2-6-1-16; OLLIS,

Jim 2-4-0-23.

RECEIVING: BYU-HARLINE, Jonny 4-68; REED, Michael 4-47; BROWN, Curtis 3-22;

TONGA, Manase 3-17; COLLIE, Zac 2-26; COATS, Daniel 2-21; VAKAPUNA, Fui 2-14;

MEIKLE, Nathan 1-16; MAHUIKA, Bryce 1-14; ALLEN, Matt 1-13. Air Force-THOMPSON,

Victo 2-16; ROOT, Mark 1-16; SUDER, Beau 1-7.

INTERCEPTIONS: BYU-WAGNER, Aaron 1-0. Air Force-None.

FUMBLES: BYU-None. Air Force-KENDRICK, Jacob 1-1.

Stadium: Falcon Stadium Attendance: 35521

Kickoff time: 12:06 pm End of Game: 3:02 pm Total elapsed time: 2:56

Officials: Referee: Rich Kollen; Umpire: Doug Wilson; Linesman: Tim Schlenvogt;

Line judge: Randy Campbell; Back judge: Gregory Wilson; Field judge: Brad Robinson;

Side judge: Mike Cuttone;

Temperature: 62 Wind: SE 10 Weather: mostly sunny

BYU vs Air Force (Oct 28, 2006 at USAFA, Colo.)

SACKS (UA-A): BYU-JORGENSEN, Jan 1-0; KEHL, Bryan 1-0. Air Force-None.

TACKLES (UA-A): BYU-JENSEN, Cameron 3-10; WAGNER, Aaron 2-6; KEHL, Bryan 3-2;

POPPINGA, Kelly 2-3; GABRIEL, Dustin 0-5; NIXON, David 0-5; CRIDDLE, Ben 4-0;

FUGA, Romney 2-2; BOLDEN, Chris 3-0; GOOCH, Quinn 1-2; PAONGO, Hala 1-2;

JORGENSEN, Jan 1-2; TIALAVEA, Russe 2-0; STAFFIERI, Mark 1-1; ROBINSON, Justi

1-1; ANDERTON, Judd 0-2; TEAM 1-0; HOOKS, Terrance 1-0; UNGA, Harvey 1-0;

BUCHANAN, Kayle 1-0; DOMAN, Shawn 0-1; HODGKISS, Corby 0-1; JACOBSON, McKay 0-1.

Air Force-FOWLER, Drew 7-6; GIANNINI, Bobby 3-5; THOMAS, Chris 2-6; RYBAK,

Garrett 2-4; RABOLD, John 1-5; THOMAS, Grant 1-4; MEISSEN, Brad 1-4; SUTTON,

Chris 2-2; MADRID, Julian 1-3; KELLER, Joey 0-4; KEMP, Ryan 2-1; RANDLE, Austin

1-2; PEREZ, Gilberto 1-1; SMITH, Nathan 0-2; BIRD, Carson 0-2; KIRCHOFF, Aaron

0-2; BAXLEY, Jared 0-2; ZANOTTI, Adam 0-2; MARVIN, Jared 1-0; ALTMAN, Hunter

1-0; CLAYTON, Josh 0-1; GARLAND, Ben 0-1; GONZALES, Ryan 0-1.


Anonymous | Posted: 23 Oct 2006 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

GAME NOTES: BYU looks to Remain Atop MWC


PROVO -- After another lopsided home victory for BYU, the Cougars head back out on the road to take on Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo. After BYU won and Air Force lost last week, the Cougars stand alone in first place in the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars will look to hold on to first place as they take on the Falcons.


For the third consecutive Homecoming game Curtis Brown rushed for more than 140 yards, as BYU (5-2, 3-0) defeated UNLV (1-6, 0-3) 52-7 Saturday afternoon. Brown got 141 of his 148 rushing yards in the first half, pushing him past Jeff Blanc and Lakei Heimuli into second place on BYU's all-time rushing list with 2,717 career yards. The senior running back needs 253 yards to surpass Jamal Willis as the Cougars' all-time rushing yards leader.

"There have been a lot of great players that have come through this program as is attested by the conference championships and the national championship," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "That's who BYU is and was for a long time and you have to be able to run the ball effectively to make that happen. We're very optimistic about the way our program is moving, and Curtis has a tremendous impact in terms of leadership as well as his production on the field."


BYU and Air Force will be playing for the 27th time. The Cougars hold a 20-6 all-time series record and have won the past two games. Previously, Air Force had won two of the past three matchups. Since 2001, no game in the serious has been decided by less than 14 points. In 2001, BYU beat Air Force, 63-33. The Falcons got revenge with victories in 2002 (52-9) and 2003 (24-10) before BYU got back on the winning track, defeating Air Force, 41-24, in 2004 and 62-41 last season. The Cougars and Falcons have met every year since 1997 when the two teams were in different divisions of the 16-team WAC. The two teams first played in 1956 with BYU taking home a 34-21 victory.


BYU's offensive line checks in at an average 6-foot-4, 316.8 pounds. The Cougars' front line will be going up against an Air Force defensive front that averages just over 6-foot-3, 260 pounds. (Advantage: BYU +56.8 pounds per man.) BYU's defensive line weighs in at 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, Air Force's offensive line averages 6-foot-5, 286 pounds. (Advantage: Air Force +6 pounds per man.)


BYU quarterback John Beck continues to put up big numbers on the season, leading the Cougars to 5-2 overall record and a perfect 3-0 mark in conference play. Following his performance against UNLV on Saturday, Beck is one of four finalists for Cingular All-America Player-of-the-Week honors. Beck, a 6-foot-2, 216-pound senior led BYU to a dominating victory over the Rebels on Saturday, connecting on 18-of-23 attempts for 250 yards and four touchdown completions in just three quarters of play.

With his four touchdown completions in the Cougars' 52-7 win over UNLV, Beck moved into fifth place in school history with 63 career touchdown passes, moving past Marc Wilson. Beck is the Mountain West Conference all-time touchdown completions leader. In addition, with another 250 yards passing on Saturday, Beck has 8,939 yards and has moved within 598 yards of passing Jim McMahon for second place on BYU's all-time passing list. Beck now ranks third on the school's all-time total yards list with 8,941, passing Steve Young (8,817) on Saturday.

Beck, a native of Mesa, Ariz., posted a rating of 218.3. Two weeks ago, against San Diego State, Beck had a career-best rating of 245.9. On the season, Beck ranks sixth nationally (and leads the Mountain West Conference with an efficiency rating of 171.93. He leads the country in completion percentage, connecting on 140-of-199 (.704) attempts for 17 touchdowns.


"I think John just continues to run one of the most high-powered offenses in the country like it's second nature. He's not surprised when we do well. I think he's poised and he has his vision; not only each week, but also the long term. His goal is a conference championship and I think he expects each week to go out there and perform at a very high level. It's been fun to watch." -- BYU HEAD COACH BRONCO MENDENHALL


Over the past three games, Beck has posted an efficiency rating of 229.2. He has completed over 70 percent of his pass attempts, connecting on 57-of-81 for 838 yards. Beck has thrown 11 touchdown completions in the past three games. During that stretch, the Cougars are averaging over 43 points per game and defeating opponents by an average margin of 29.7 points per game. In the first-quarter alone, the Cougars are outscoring opponents 44-3. In the first half, the Beck-led offense is posting an overall 77-13 advantage by halftime.


ý Leads the nation in completion percentage, connecting on 70.4 percent of his attempts (140-for-199)

ý Ranks sixth nationally and leads the Mountain West Conference with an efficiency rating of 171.93.

ý Ranks fifth nationally and leads the Mountain West Conference with an average 301.7 yards of total offense per game.

ý Has been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times this season.

ý Has 17 touchdown completions on the season, including 11 in the past three games.


Against UNLV, Curtis Brown had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season (Tulsa). Brown rushed for 141 yards in the first half alone. Brown finished the game with a season-best 148 total rushing yards. Brown has now moved into second place all time at BYU with 2,717 total rushing yards, passing both Jeff Blanc (2,663) and Lakei Heimuli (2,710) on Saturday.


Several BYU players rank nationally in various statistical categories:

John Beck

Passing Efficiency: 6th (170.3)

Total Offense: 6th (293.2 yards per game)

Completions: 7th (23.17 per game)

Total Passing Yards: 15th (1,803)

Passing Yards per Game: 5th (300.5)

Points Responsible for: 4th (18 points per game)

Curtis Brown

Rushing: 60th (72.29 yards per game)

Receptions: 44th (5 receptions per game) -- third amongst running backs nationally in this category.

All-purpose yards: 11th (145.29)

Nathan Meikle

Punt Returns: 15th (13.18 yards per return)

Jared McLaughlin

Field Goals: 37th (1.14 per game)

Scoring: 27th (7.86 points per game)

Fui Vakapuna

Scoring: 48th (7 points per game)

Ben Criddle

Solo Tackles: 37th (5 per game)


In the first seven games of the 2006 season, BYU has allowed just 111 points. With an average of 15.9 points per game, the Cougars currently ranked 21st in the country in scoring defense. BYU's current average is the lowest scoring defense mark over the first seven games of a season since allowing just 15.4 points per game back in 1988.


In the first five games of the 2006 season, BYU has scored 33 touchdowns (one against Arizona, seven against Tulsa, two against Boston College, five against Utah State, four against TCU, seven against San Diego State and seven against UNLV). All totaled, 14 different Cougars have found their way to the end zone for including Fui Vakapuna, Jonny Harline, Matt Allen, Manase Tonga, Daniel Coats, Curtis Brown, Zac Collie, John Beck, Harvey Unga, Justin Robinson, Michael Reed, Dustin Gabriel, McKay Jacobson and Mike Hague.


Since it was built in 1964, the Cougars have fielded several dominating teams. This season, BYU is averaging 46.5 points per game at home while limiting its opponents to just 12. The margin of difference has the Cougars beating their opponents by an average of 34.5 points. The 34.5-point differential (through three games) ranks first in scoring margin in the Stadium's 42-year history.


With Saturday's 52-7 victory over UNLV, the Cougars are off to a 3-0 start in Mountain West Conference play, marking the best league start for the Cougars since the 2001 season.


In addition to currently having the largest scoring margin in stadium history, the Cougars rank third nationally amongst Division IA schools that have played at least three home games.


BYU has outscored its opponents in 20 of 28 quarters this season. The Cougars have not trailed since the Boston College game (16 consecutive quarters). Overall, BYU has outscored its opponents 253-111. The Cougars are averaging 36.1 points per game in comparison to their opponents 15.9. BYU has dominated its opponents in the first, second and fourth quarters while holding a nine-point advantage in the third quarter. The Cougars have outscored their opponents 75-12 in the first quarter, 68-29 in the second quarter, 52-43 in the third quarter and 58-20 in the fourth quarter.


BYU will be looking to improve its home record to a perfect 4-0 this week against UNLV. If the Cougars beat the Rebels it will mark the first home winning record since 2002 when BYU posted a 4-2 record. The Cougars recorded back-to-back 3-3 seasons in 2005 and 2004 after a 1-5 record in 2003. The last time BYU had a perfect record at home was 2001 when the Cougars went 6-0 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Since the stadium was built in 1964, BYU has gone undefeated at home 12 times:

2001: 6-0

1998: 6-0

1996: 7-0

1991: 6-0

1990: 6-0

1988: 6-0

1984: 6-0

1983: 5-0

1980: 6-0

1979: 5-0

1977: 5-0

1967: 5-0


Curtis Brown has been all over the field for BYU in its six games. In addition to leading the team in rushing yards, receptions and receiving yards, he has returned kickoffs for the Cougars. Brown returned a kick for 48 yards against San Diego State and currently leads BYU in kick returns with an average of 25.3 yards per return.


BYU's four consecutive victories over Utah State, TCU, San Diego State and UNLV mark the first time the Cougars have won at least four in a row since 2001. BYU's longest winning streak last year was three games and the Cougars won five games during a six game stretch. In 2001, BYU won 12 consecutive games on its way to a perfect 8-0 MWC record and 12-2 season.


BYU has scored first in six consecutive games. The last time a BYU opponent took an early lead was in the Cougars' opener when Arizona scored an early field goal to go ahead 3-0. All totaled, BYU has outscored its opponents 75-12 in the opening period. The Cougars have only surrendered one first quarter touchdown on the season (Boston College).


BYU's 28-7 halftime lead over UNLV extended the Cougars' streak of being ahead at half to seven straight games. BYU has held a halftime advantage in every game this season. In the Cougars two losses, they held one-point halftime leads. In any game that BYU has led over a one point lead at the break, the Cougars have won.


BYU is currently third nationally in turnover margin. The Cougars are coming off a game against UNLV where they won the turnover battle 6-1. BYU forced and recovered two fumbles and intercepted four passes. The Cougars only turnover was John Beck's third interception of the season. Beck went 69 pass attempts between interceptions and has thrown only three picks in 199 attempts (1.5 percent).

In addition to holding on to the ball, the Cougars have found a way to force 18 turnovers. The Cougars have a +1.43 turnover margin heading into this week's action.


The 2005 BYU team has used full team efforts to lead the Cougars to first place in the Mountain West Conference. Below are various team statistical categories where the Cougars are ranked in the top-25:

Defensive Stats:

Scoring Defense: 21st (15.9 points per game)

Passing Effieciency Defense: 18th (105.27)

Turnovers Gained: 17th (18)

Interceptions: 10th (11)

Offensive Stats:

Scoring Offense: 8th (36.14 points per game)

Total Offense: 7th (450.57 yards per game)

Passing Offense: 5th (303.4 yards per game)


When BYU takes on Air Force this week and Colorado State next week it marks the only back-to-back road games on the Cougars schedule this season. BYU has played back-to-back home games once this year and will do it again when the Cougars take on Wyoming and New Mexico in consecutive weeks.