Another Blocked Kick Secures Win Over Washington
SEATTLE -- BYU extended its nation-leading win streak to 12 games on Saturday after a narrow 28-27 victory over the Washington Huskies. Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen blocked the potentially game-tying extra point with two seconds remaining on the game clock to secure the Cougars’ victory.
“Our kids played really hard today—from beginning to end—and it was a great college football game,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “I credit (Washington’s) quarterback Jake Locker for his courage, effort, play-making ability and for leading his team. They have a bright future with him in that position.
“I’m proud of our team. When it came down to making a play to win the football game, our players demonstrated their will one more time. That’s a phenomenal thing. I’m excited for our program. We can learn still from the positives and the things we need to improve and now we go forward.”
With the Cougars up 28-21 following a 15-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Max Hall to tight end Dennis Pitta, the Huskies regained control of the ball with 3:31 remaining in the game. Washington made its way down the field, finally stopping at the three-yard line. The BYU defense was unable to hold back the Huskies, as quarterback Jake Locker ran in for a three-yard touchdown.
Washington kicker Ryan Perkins attempted to tie the game as he prepared to kick the extra point. Jorgensen’s block on the attempt solidified the win for BYU, its first non-conference road win since Oct. 4, 2002 when the Cougars defeated Utah State 35-34.
“I asked (Assistant Coach) Paul Tidwell if there was any chance they would have the nerve to fake it and he said, ‘there’s always a chance.’” Mendenhall said. “So I said, ‘all out rush.’ And the players nodded like they believed they could block it. They were smiling, just like they were against UCLA.”
Junior quarterback Max Hall led the Cougars by completing 30-of-41 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. For the second week in a row, junior tight end Dennis Pitta was the game’s leading receiver, pulling down 10 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore running back Harvey Unga recorded his first 100-yard rushing game of the 2008 season, with 136 yards on the ground against the Huskies.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Cougars moved quickly down the field, beginning with back-to-back first-down completions from Hall to Austin Collie and Unga. Pitta, who led the country in receiving yards after the opening week of the season, recorded consecutive receptions, setting BYU up on the 28-yard line.
A fumbled snap on the following play forced the Cougars back 10 yards, setting up a third-and-14 situation. Not discouraged, the duo of Hall and Collie connected for a 38-yard touchdown pass. The Cougars converted on eight-of-10 third-downs in the first half alone. The touchdown also marked the 24th time in the last 27 games BYU has scored first.
While the Cougar defense held the Huskies to a quick third-and-out on their opening drive, Washington returned the favor once the BYU offense retook the field.
Locker led the Husky offense to its first score of the game following back-to-back completions to receiver D’Andre Goodwin for 11 and 25 yards, respectively. On the BYU 14-yard line, Locker ran the ball into the endzone, tying the score 7-7.
"We had about three different plans for Locker,” Mendenhall said. “None of which I would say were dominant. We certainly had a pressure plan and we had unblocked players that couldn’t get him on the ground. He ran around us or through us. He scrambled and had open receivers and he was able to carry the ball. I’m not sure there is an effective plan when basically you don’t match up athletically. He is a phenomenal player so we used every weapon we thought we had and I think what it showed is we’re going to have to look a little further if we ever play a young man like that again.”
Washington’s first drive of the second quarter began with a sack by senior linebacker David Nixon. Despite a third-and-23 situation, Locker found Goodwin for 25 yards and a first-down. The Huskies utilized a late-hit call against the Cougars to find their way into the endzone and take a 14-7 lead.
Unga rushed for a combined 41 yards on six carries on the Cougars’ following drive. Marching its way down the field, BYU tied the game following a one-yard touchdown reception from Hall to junior tight end Andrew George.
The scoring drives continued as the second half got underway, as Washington scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Luke Kravitz. The Cougars followed with a score of their own on the ensuing drive as senior fullback Fui Vakapuna ran for an 11-yard touchdown—his first carry of the season.
After forcing UW to punt, the Cougars took the lead on a 15-yard pass from Hall to Pitta with 3:31 left in the game. That’s when Locker and the Huskies began their march down the field to get within one point on Locker’s three-yard touchdown run. Following the touchdown, the Huskies were assessed a 15-yard penalty for celebrating in the endzone. The penalty forced the Huskies to attempt the extra-point from the 25-yard line – a 35-yard attempt, as opposed to a regular 20-yard point-after attempt.
“After scoring the touchdown, the player threw the ball into the air and we are required, by rule, to assess a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, referee Larry Farina said. “It is a celebration rule that we are required to call. It was not a judgment call.”
The Cougars (2-0) will return to Provo to take on UCLA (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Edwards Stadium. Game time is set for 1:0 p.m. (MT).
Box Score (Final)
BYU vs Washington (Sep 06, 2008 at Seattle, WA)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
BYU................. 7 7 7 7 - 28 Record: 2-0
Washington.......... 7 7 7 6 - 27 Record: 0-2
1st 09:38 BYU - COLLIE, Austin 38 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 9-76 5:22, BYU 7 - WASH 0
03:24 WASH - Locker, Jake 14 yd run (Perkins, Ryan kick), 7-66 3:52, BYU 7 - WASH 7
2nd 10:38 WASH - Kearse, J. 48 yd pass from Locker, Jake (Perkins, Ryan kick), 7-79 3:25, BYU 7 - WASH 14
04:18 BYU - GEORGE, Andrew 1 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 14-71 6:11, BYU 14 - WASH 14
3rd 07:38 WASH - Kravitz, Luke 1 yd run (Perkins, Ryan kick), 13-65 7:12, BYU 14 - WASH 21
04:17 BYU - VAKAPUNA, Fui 11 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-63 3:11, BYU 21 - WASH 21
4th 03:31 BYU - PITTA, Dennis 15 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 9-84 4:39, BYU 28 - WASH 21
00:02 WASH - Locker, Jake 3 yd run (Perkins, Ryan kick blockd), 17-76 3:24, BYU 28 - WASH 27
FIRST DOWNS................... 25 22
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 28-137 35-133
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 338 204
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 41-30-1 32-17-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 69-475 67-337
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-2 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-94 5-96
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 2-27.5 5-47.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 7-60 4-25
Possession Time............... 31:04 28:56
Third-Down Conversions........ 12 of 14 9 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 1 of 1
Blue-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 3-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-33 0-0
RUSHING: BYU-UNGA, Harvey 23-136; VAKAPUNA, Fui 2-15; TEAM 3-minus 14.
Washington-Locker, Jake 18-62; Freeman, David 6-30; Polk, Chris 6-14; Griffin,
Willie 2-14; Homer, Paul 1-6; Polk, Jordan 1-6; Kravitz, Luke 1-1.
PASSING: BYU-HALL, Max 30-41-1-338. Washington-Locker, Jake 17-32-0-204.
RECEIVING: BYU-PITTA, Dennis 10-148; REED, Michael 7-55; COLLIE, Austin
5-74; UNGA, Harvey 5-39; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-14; WHITE, Reed 1-7; GEORGE, Andrew
1-1. Washington-Goodwin, D. 5-83; Middleton, K. 4-30; Kearse, J. 2-54; Polk,
Jordan 2-20; Freeman, David 2-11; Homer, Paul 1-6; Polk, Chris 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: BYU-None. Washington-Foster, Mason 1-0.
FUMBLES: BYU-TEAM 1-0; UNGA, Harvey 1-1. Washington-Locker, Jake 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): BYU-BAUMAN, Matt 1-0; CLAWSON, Coleby 1-0; NIXON, David
1-0; DULAN, Ian 1-0. Washington-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): BYU-JOHNSON, Scott 6-3; BAUMAN, Matt 4-5; FOWLER, Kellen
6-2; DOMAN, Shawn 3-5; CLAWSON, Coleby 3-2; NIXON, David 2-3; TAFUNA, David 3-1;JOREGENSEN, Jan 1-1; HOWARD, Brandon 1-1; RICHARDSON, Bro 1-1; PRITCHARD, Iona1-1; DENNEY, Brett 1-1; AH YOU, Matt 1-1; DULAN, Ian 1-0; PITTA, Dennis 1-0; TE'O, Shiloah 1-0; BELL, Jeff 1-0; JAUSSI, Landon 1-0; TIALAVEA, Russe 1-0;
SORENSEN, Justi 0-1. Washington-Williams, Nate 7-6; Harris, Darin 6-4; Foster,
Mason 5-4; Forrester, M. 4-5; Te'o-Nesheim, D 2-5; Butler, Donald 3-2; Johnson,
T. 2-1; McDowell, V. 2-1; Tuiasosopo, T. 1-2; Jones, Darrion 0-2; Gage, Joshua
0-2; Elisara, Cam. 1-0; Aldrich, Kalani 1-0; Wiggs, Fred 1-0; Richardson, Q.
1-0; Homer, Paul 0-1; Mosley, Matt 0-1.
Game Notes: No. 15 BYU at Washington
PROVO -- Saturday’s matchup will be the seventh meeting between BYU and Washington, dating back to the 1985 season. Washington owns a 4-2 advantage over BYU, as the Cougars have an 0-3 record playing against the Huskies in Seattle. Washington won four consecutive matchups throughout 1986-1998, before BYU rebounded in 1999 with a 35-28 win in Provo.
ON THE TUBE
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Network. The game will be regionally available on FSN through cable and satellite providers.
2008 BROADCAST PLANS
Ten of BYU’s 12 games this season will be broadcast to a national audience on The Mtn., VERSUS and CBS College Sports Network. The Cougars will have seven games televised on The Mtn., including the season opener against Northern Iowa and the closing game against in-state rival the University of Utah. Direct TV launched The Mtn. nationally on Aug. 27, 2008, giving fans from across the country ultimate access to Mountain West Conference sports. VERSUS will carry the UCLA and TCU games, and CBS-CS will televise the Cougars’ trip to Air Force on Nov. 15. BYU’s game at Washington will be shown regionally on FOX Sports.
VERSUS THE PAC-10
A 17-16 victory over UCLA in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl improved BYU’s record against Pac-10 opponents to 3-2 over the past two seasons. Throughout the 2006-07 seasons, the Cougars are 1-1 against Arizona, 1-1 against UCLA and 1-0 against Oregon. Interestingly, BYU has outscored Pac-10 opponents 120-93 over the past five match-ups.
A LOOK BACK: BYU 41-NORTHERN IOWA 17
No. 16 BYU extended the nation’s longest win streak to 11 games after downing FCS opponent Northern Iowa, 41-17, in front of a sell-out crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars were led by junior tight end Dennis Pitta who racked up 213 yards receiving with 11 catches--a new MWC tight end record. An All-America candidate, Pitta’s performance equaled the 10th highest performance by a receiver in BYU history. Another All-America candidate, Max Hall, threw for 486 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. Junior linebacker Matt Bauman led the defense with 11 tackles on the night. With the win the Cougars extend their home-opening record to 31-11-1, bringing their overall home winning streak to 13 games.
Junior tight end Dennis Pitta racked up 213 yards receiving with 11 catches last week against Northern Iowa. Pitta’s performance equaled the 10th highest performance in BYU history, tying Eric Drage’s mark set against Air Force back in 1993. He also set the MWC record for receiving yards by a tight end with his performance, breaking Jonny Harline’s record of 181 yards against Oregon in the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl. Pitta’s performance against Northern Iowa also marked the top receiving performance during the opening week of the 2008 season. The Mackey Award and All-America candidate not only led all receivers, nationally, but also he was the top-ranked tight in the country by 90 yards. Pitta, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound native of Moorpark, Calif., is a 2008 Mackey Award and All-America candidate.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU’s starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 326.4 pounds and average 6-feet-6. The front five will be going up against a Washington defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-3, 264 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Washington offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-5, 325 pounds per man.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME TO START THE SEASON
Dating back to the Cougars’ first season in 1922, BYU has posted a record of 31-11-1 when opening the season in Provo -- that’s a winning percentage of 73.3 percent! Interestingly, BYU’s longest home-opening win streak is 10 seasons, dating from 1930 through 1939. Overall BYU has won six of its last seven home-openers.
The Cougars opened with a win for only the second consecutive season as BYU defeated Northern Iowa 41-17 at home in LaVell Edwards Stadium. In 2007, BYU edged Arizona, 20-7. Since 1922, the Cougars have posted a 48-35-2 record in season-opening games.
HAVE BAGS; WILL TRAVEL
Interestingly, Hall of Fame Coach LaVell Edwards opened the season in Provo only nine times during his 29-year career. From 1978 to 1995, BYU opened the season on the road in 16 of 18 seasons. He was 5-4 in season-openers at Cougar Stadium.
EDWARDS’ STADIUM STREAK NOW SPANS THREE SEASONS
With No. 16 BYU’s 42-17 win over Northern Iowa on Saturday, Aug. 30, the Cougars have not lost in Edwards Stadium since November 19, 2005. BYU has won 13 straight home games, dating back to September 9, 2006. The last time the Cougars won 13 consecutive home games was 16 seasons ago when the team won 17 in a row from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991.
ACTIVE WINNING STREAKS
BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 11 consecutive games. The top, current winning streaks in the NCAA are as follows:
Team, Current Streak
COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN
With a 41-17 victory over Northern Iowa in their season opener, the Cougars have won 22 of their last 24 games, dating back to the 2006 season. BYU is currently on an eleven-game win streak that includes a narrow 17-16 win over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, a 25-point win at Wyoming, a win over TCU, a 19-point victory over CSU, a 35-point victory over Eastern Washington, a 25-point win over Air Force, and road wins over New Mexico, UNLV and San Diego State. BYU holds the nation’s longest active win streak. Over the past 27 games, the Cougars have posted a record of 23-4.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
Against Northern Iowa, senior Michael Reed’s 27-yard touchdown reception with 8:56 remaining in the first quarter, gave BYU an early 7-0 lead. The play marked the 23rd time in the last 26 games BYU has scored first. BYU is 21-2 in those 23 games.
For the first time since 1997, BYU will kick off the season ranked among the nation’s top-25 programs in both the USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 17), and the Associated Press Top-25 (No. 16). This marks the Cougars’ highest preseason ranking since picked No. 16 in 1990. BYU finished the 2007 season ranked as high as No. 14 with an 11-2 record, including a 17-16 victory over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The 64,108 fans in attendance for the Cougars’ 41-17 win over Northern Iowa marked the seventh consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1991-92 seasons.