Cougars Claim Consecutive Shutouts
PROVO -- No. 11 BYU continued its quest for perfection with another shutout victory Saturday, defeating Wyoming 44-0 at LaVell Edwards Stadium to begin Mountain West Conference play.
With the win the Cougars extend the nation’s longest active winning streak to 14 games, and remain perfect on the season at 4-0. Saturday’s 44-0 victory and last week’s 59-0 win over UCLA are BYU’s first back-to-back shutouts since 1985 and mark only the second time since 1938 that the Cougars have held opponents scoreless in consecutive contests.
“I think the shutout is significant in terms of being back-to-back,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “The main emphasis of our program is how many points we can score and how many we can limit.”
As a large factor in the team’s performance, the BYU defensive unit rolled over Wyoming. BYU forced six turnovers and only allowed the Cowboys to convert on 4-of-13 third-down attempts. The Cougars allowed the Cowboys into the red-zone only once during the game.
“I was really impressed by the defensive performance and their ability to not only have great enthusiasm, but to have it result in turnovers,” Mendenhall said. “Not only did we not risk giving up big plays, but now they are starting to take the ball away. That was probably the biggest improvement I saw.”
On the offensive end junior quarterback Max Hall passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns, going 16-for-27. Among Hall’s highlights was a 62-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Austin Collie in the second quarter. Collie finished the game with 122 yards over eight receptions.
The Cougars jumped on the scoreboard first for the fourth-straight game when junior defensive back Scott Johnson made an alert play on an ill-executed Wyoming swing pass. When Wyoming’s Greg Bolling wasn’t able to handle the ball thrown back to him, Johnson picked up the live ball and raced 64-yard for the touchdown.
After a slow first quarter the BYU offense began to gain momentum heading into the latter-half of the second quarter. With a combined effort between the running and passing game, the Cougars culminated an 86-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Harvey Unga. Despite sophomore kicker Mitch Payne’s efforts, the Wyoming defense managed to block the PAT, holding BYU to a 13-0 lead.
Following the kickoff Wyoming grabbed a first down off a 29-yard pass, but the Cougar defense only allowed a 3-yard gain before forcing a punt on the fourth down.
BYU made quick work of the opportunity. The drive began with Unga rushing for a Cougar first down on a 17-yard run, his longest of the day. On the second play of the drive Hall connected with junior receiver Austin Collie for a 62-yard touchdown.
The BYU defense continued its domination, forcing another punt and giving the Cougars another series.
After a 9-yard reception to Collie, Unga rushed for a total of 28 yards over six plays before Hall connected with Collie for a 7-yard touchdown. Wyoming positioned themselves on the 35 following the kick return before junior linebacker David Nixon recovered a Wyoming fumble to give BYU the ball with 20 second remaining in the half. An incomplete pass followed when Hall tried to reach Mackey Award candidate Dennis Pitta, forcing BYU to settle for a 27-0 lead after the first half.
With the Cougars returning the kickoff to begin the third quarter, Hall piloted BYU going 5-for-5 on the drive. An 11-yard pass to Unga for a Cougar touchdown highlighted his performance.
In a turn of events, both Wyoming and BYU went three-and-out on the following series before Brandon Bradley tipped the pass of Wyoming quarterback Karsten Sween, giving Nixon a chance to intercept the pass and return it for the second defensive touchdown of the game.
The two teams continued to battle for the remainder of the third quarter without gaining much ground on one another. BYU quarterback Brenden Gaskins entered the game with four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Wyoming made its first major scoring threat of the game at the start of the fourth quarter. With the Cowboys having the ball at the 13-yard line, Wynel Seldon rushed for four yards before freshman Daniel Sorensen picked off Crum’s pass to keep BYU’s back-to-back shutouts intact.
Sophomore quarterback Kurt McEuen made his first appearance for BYU in the fourth quarter. McEuen went 1-for-3 while helping the Cougars downfield for freshman kicker Justin Sorensen’s 31-yard field goal. The attempt marked Sorensen’s first collegiate field goal.
The Cougars kept Wyoming off the scoreboard the remainder of the game to keep their shutout. Now 4-0 overall and 1-0 in MWC play, BYU takes a break before returning to face in-state foe Utah State on Oct. 3 in Logan, Utah.
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Box Score (Final)
WY vs BYU (Sep 20, 2008 at Provo, UT)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
WY.................. 0 0 0 0 - 0 Record: (2-2,0-2)
BYU................. 7 20 14 3 - 44 Record: (4-0,1-0)
1st 11:10 BY - JOHNSON, Scott 64 yd fumble recovery (PAYNE, Mitch kick), , WY 0 - BY 7
2nd 06:08 BY - UNGA, Harvey 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick blockd), 14-86 6:09, WY 0 - BY 13
04:03 BY - COLLIE, Austin 62 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-79 0:33, WY 0 - BY 20
00:31 BY - COLLIE, Austin 7 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-59 2:31, WY 0 - BY 27
3rd 11:45 BY - UNGA, Harvey 11 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-72 3:00, WY 0 - BY 34
08:25 BY - NIXON, David 19 yd interception return (PAYNE, Mitch kick), , WY 0 - BY 41
4th 06:51 BY - SORENSEN, Justi 31 yd field goal, 4-3 0:49, WY 0 - BY 44
FIRST DOWNS................... 19 23
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 36-137 34-163
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 136 201
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 36-17-3 37-20-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 72-273 71-364
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 1-64
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-28 4-22
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-114 1-28
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 3-20
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 9-42.7 7-46.7
Fumbles-Lost.................. 4-3 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 9-100 9-79
Possession Time............... 31:09 28:51
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 13 6 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 0-1 4-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 0-0 1-9
RUSHING: WY-MOORE, Devin 14-97; SELDON, Wynel 11-25; STUTZRIEM, C. 2-11;
TERRY, Darius 2-10; JOHNSON, Chris 1-6; BOLLING, Greg 3-5; CRUM, Dax 3-minus 17.
BYU-UNGA, Harvey 19-95; VAKAPUNA, Fui 5-28; KARIYA, Bryan 3-13; MAHUIKA, Bryce
1-11; DILUIGI, JJ 3-10; LATU, Wayne 2-7; TEAM 1-minus 1.
PASSING: WY-CRUM, Dax 15-28-1-119; STUTZRIEM, C. 2-4-1-17; SWEEN, Karsten
0-3-1-0; SELDON, Wynel 0-1-0-0. BYU-HALL, Max 16-27-0-189; GASKINS, Brende
3-7-0-7; MCEUEN, Kurt 1-3-0-5.
RECEIVING: WY-BOLLING, Greg 4-69; LEONARD, David 3-10; MOORE, Devin 3-8;
BURKHALTER, T. 2-12; SALYARDS, J. 2-7; JACOBO, Kyle 1-12; MORGAN, Donate 1-10;
BIEZUNS, Josh 1-8. BYU-COLLIE, Austin 8-122; PITTA, Dennis
4-35; UNGA, Harvey 2-16; GEORGE, Andrew 1-13; DILUIGI, JJ 1-5; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-4; KOZLOWSKI, Tyle
1-3; CHAMBERS, O'Nei 1-3; WHITE, Reed 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: WY-None. BYU-NIXON, David 1-19; SORENSEN, Danie 1-2;
PENDLETON, Jord 1-minus 1.
FUMBLES: WY-BOLLING, Greg 1-1; STUTZRIEM, C. 1-0; MOORE, Devin 1-1; CRUM,
Dax 1-1. BYU-KOZLOWSKI, Tyle 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): WY-None. BYU-BELL, Jeff 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): WY-KNAPTON, Gabe 1-7; PROSINSKI, C. 5-2; ROGERS, Quincy
3-4; GIPSON, Tashaun 4-2; GIVENS, Fred 1-5; JOHNSON, Weston 2-3; FLETCHER, John
2-3; DOBBS, Ward 3-1; UNREIN, Mitch 0-4; WHIPP, Zeb 2-1; EDMUNDS, Jake 2-1;
JUERGENS, Mike 0-3; DUTMER, Danny 1-1; BARELLA, Matt 1-1; GIPSON, Marcell 1-1;
FELKER, Marcus 0-2; MCDONALD, Darin 1-0; LEWIS, Keith 1-0; TEAM 1-0; BOLLING,
Greg 1-0; DEANDREA, Jimmy 0-1; MITCHELL, Eric 0-1; NEUHAUS, Mike 0-1; STUTZRIEM,
C. 0-1; HAYS, Alex 0-1; LANDESS, Nick 0-1; SALYARDS, J. 0-1. BYU-BRADLEY, Brando
5-1; AH YOU, Matt 2-4; NIXON, David 1-5; JOHNSON, Scott 4-1; BAUMAN, Matt 4-1;
HADLEY, Spencer 3-2; TAFUNA, David 3-1; RICH, Andrew 2-2; FOWLER, Kellen 3-0;
TE'O, Shiloah 2-1; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-2; HOWARD, Brandon 1-2; PUTNAM, Matt 0-3;
PENDLETON, Jord 1-1; CLAWSON, Coleby 1-1; ALISA, Michael 1-1; WOLFLEY, Rick 1-1;
PRITCHARD, Iona 0-2; TIALAVEA, Russe 0-2; DENNEY, Brett 0-2; DOMAN, Shawn 0-2;
BELL, Jeff 1-0; WAGNER, Jadon 0-1; MORGAN, Blake 0-1; TAYLOR, ISAAC 0-1; REDEN,
Garrett 0-1; DULAN, Ian 0-1; MARSHALL, Matt 0-1; KOZLOWSKI, Tyle 0-1.
Game Notes: Cougars Open Conference Play Hosting Wyoming
COUGARS OPEN CONFERENCE PLAY
After posting a 3-0 nonconference record to start the season, the Cougars will open Mountain West Conference play against Wyoming on Saturday. BYU is riding the nation’s longest active winning streak at 13 games and has a perfect 16-0 league record over the past two seasons--a MWC record. The Cougars have not lost a conference game since dropping their MWC finale to Utah in 2005. BYU also has an eight-game home win streak in league contests, eclipsing the old mark of six held by Utah and Colorado State.
THE BYU-WYOMING SERIES
Saturday’s game will mark the 75th meeting between Wyoming and BYU. The Cougars lead the series 41-30-3, which dates back to the 1922 season. The two teams first met in 1922 when BYU handed Wyoming a 7-0 defeat. That first meeting also marked the first win for a young BYU program, a team that until that point in the 1922 season was 0-3. The Cougars have defeated the Cowboys in seven of the last eight meetings, losing only twice since the inception of the MWC. Wyoming’s last win in Provo was in 1987 when the Cowboys spoiled homecoming celebrations with a 29-27 win over BYU.
ON THE TUBE
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on The Mtn. James Bates will call the action and Todd Christensen will lend analysis, along with Sammy Linebaugh as the sideline reporter. Bates was an All-Southeastern Conference linebacker at the University of Florida and captain of the Gators’ 1996 national championship football team. Christensen was a standout at BYU before launching an NFL career, playing as a tight end with the Cowboys and the Raiders. Linebaugh is a former news reporter for KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and has worked as a freelance reporter before joining The Mtn. as a reporter.
BRIGHAM YOUNG-WYOMING TIES
Rick Wolfley is the lone Cougar on the roster from the state of Wyoming. The sophomore defensive lineman hails from the town of Afton and attended Star Valley High School, the same alma mater as Logan Fitzgerald, a freshman safety on the Cowbow roster.
COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN
With their 59-0 win over UCLA, the Cougars’ extended their nation-leading winning streak to 13 games. BYU has won 25 of its last 29 games, dating back to the 2006 season. During that season, the Cougars finished 11-2, followed by another 11-2 season in 2007, and they are off to a 3-0 start this season. BYU’s 3-0 record this season marks its best start since the 2001 season.
EDWARDS’ STADIUM STREAK NOW SPANS THREE SEASONS
With BYU’s 59-0 shutout of UCLA, the Cougars have not lost in Edwards Stadium since November 19, 2005. BYU has won 14 straight home games, dating back to September 9, 2006. The last time the Cougars won 14 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 13 consecutive games. The Cougars have put together their longest win streak since winning 12 straight games during the 2001 season.
The Cougars’ victory over UCLA increased BYU’s consecutive home winning streak to 14 games, dating back to the 2006 season. Over that span, the Cougars have beaten their opponents by an average of 28.5 points per game and have allowed just 10.8 points per game. The Cougars have allowed seven points or less in seven of the last 14 home games.
The 64,153 fans in attendance for the Cougars’ 59-0 win over UCLA marked the
eighth consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1991-92 seasons. Over 128,000 (128,261) fans have attended the first two home games at Edwards Stadium this season, averaging 64,138 fans per game. After averaging 64,497 in 2007, BYU finished ranked fourth overall in the West behind USC (87,476), UCLA (76,379) and Washington (67,732). BYU has annually been the top school in average attendance for teams from conferences that do not receive automatic BCS bowl bids. BYU has led the MWC in home attendance in all nine years of the league’s existence. In fact, Edwards Stadium has been the site of the league’s all-time top-10 crowds.
For the third week in a row, BYU won the opening coin toss. For the second time this season, the Cougars elected to defer. BYU is 3-0 when winning the opening coin toss.
SHUTOUT WIN OVER UCLA
The Cougar’s 59-0 win marked the Cougars’ first shutout since a 38-0 win over Utah State on Sept. 23, 2006. The game ranks third in the program’s list of largest shutouts, behind a 65-0 win over New Mexico on Oct. 29, 1988 and a 63-0 win at UTEP on Dec. 1, 1973.
HALL SETS BYU RECORD
Quarterback Max Hall’s six touchdown passes in the first half broke BYU’s previous record of five, held by Marc Wilson (CSU 1977), Robbie Bosco (Baylor 1984) and Gary Sheide (UNM 1973). Halls seven touchdown passes on the day, matched a program record of seven, shared by Wilson and Jim McMahon (CSU 1981).
VERSUS THE PAC-10
After its 59-0 victory over UCLA, BYU is now 5-1 in the last six meetings with Pac-10 opponents, including back-to-back wins against Washington and UCLA.
LARGEST LEAD OVER PAC-10
The 59-0 final score between BYU and UCLA marked a new BYU record-high lead over a Pac-10 opponent. The Cougars’ largest lead prior to Saturday’s game was 31-0 against Oregon in the fourth quarter of the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl.
BYU’s 42 points against UCLA in the first half are the most scored by the Cougars since a 42-13 score against Air Force on Oct. 20, 2001. Earlier that same year, on Aug. 25, the Cougars recorded a BYU stadium-record 49 points in the first half against Tulane.
HALL BREAKS MWC TOUCHDOWN RECORD
With his seven touchdown passes on the day against UCLA, junior quarterback Max Hall set a new Mountain West Conference record. His six touchdown passes in the first half alone broke the previous record of five. The previous record has been tied several times over the past nine years—most recently by TCU’s Jeff Ballard in 2006 and SDSU’s Kevin O’Connell in 2007. BYU’s John Beck also reached the five touchdown passes mark as a junior in 2005.
SECOND QUARTER BREAKS BYU SCORING RECORD
The Cougars’ set a new program record of points scored in the second quarter against UCLA with 35. BYU’s 35 points also rank as the second highest point total ever in any quarter, behind the 36 points scored against Washington State on Sept. 15, 1990 in the fourth quarter.
PAYNE TIES SOPHOMORE MWC RECORD
Kicker Mitch Payne connected on a perfect 8-of-8 PAT attempts in BYU’s win over UCLA, tying the number of extra points made by a sophomore in a single game.
UNGA FINDS SUCCESS THIS TIME AROUND
With just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter against UCLA, running back Harvey Unga’s surpassed his rushing mark against the Bruins in the Las Vegas Bowl with a 2-yard pickup. Unga ran for just 16 yards on 17 carries in the bowl game, but finished today with 72 yards on the same 17 carries.
SCORING HALL PASSES
Quarterback Max Hall’s touchdown pass to senior Michael Reed on BYU’s first possession against UCLA marked the fifth consecutive game Hall has recorded a touchdown pass, dating back to Dec. 1, 2007 at San Diego State. In fact, Hall has thrown a touchdown pass in 15-of-16 career games.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
Two Cougars recorded sacks against UCLA’s Kevin Craft on Saturday, including Ian Dulan and Jan Jorgensen. With his sack, Jorgensen is half a sack behind the MWC career record of 20.5, currently held by New Mexico’s Michael Tuohy, TCU’s Chase Ortiz and former Cougar Brady Poppinga.
SCORING IN NO TIME...
BYU’s 2nd-quarter scoring drive of six seconds agaisnt UCLA, marked the shortest Cougar scoring drive since a three-yard touchdown run by Harvey Unga against TCU on Nov. 8, 2007 knocked four seconds off the clock.
ANOTHER BLOCKED KICK
With Russell Tialavea’s block on UCLA’s Kai Forbath’s field goal attempt in the second quarter, the Cougars have recorded a block on a kicking attempt in three of the past four games, including a blocked PAT against Washington last week, and Forbath’s game-ending field goal attempt at the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl.
COLLIE HITS CENTURY MARK
Junior Austin Collie surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark with 10 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns against UCLA. This marked the first time Collie has caught over 100 yards since facing the Bruins in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl.
HALL OF MAX
Heisman Trophy candidate Max Hall turned in another standout performance in the Cougars’ 59-0 victory over UCLA. Hall completed 27-of-35 attempts for 271 yards and seven touchdowns. During the opening drive of the game, Hall led the Cougars on an 11-play drive, for 75 yards. During the drive he was 6-for-6 for 51 yards, including a 10-yard pass to Dennis Pitta for the early 7-0 lead. Hall came out of the game with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter.
The UCLA game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 41st straight career start. During that streak, Reynolds has started at every position on the offensive line, including tackle, guard and center. Reynolds’ younger brother Matt started at left tackle in the 2008 season opener. His father, Lance, is the associate head coach for the Cougars. Reynolds is currently tied at second for the most consecutive starts by an active Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) player. Reynolds has started in every game of his BYU career, beginning with the Cougars’ 20-3 loss to Boston College on Sep. 3, 2005.
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 Wyoming defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-3, 283 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Wyoming offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-5, 300 pounds per man.
DON’T LOOK BACK
In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 29-4 when leading at halftime and 28-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
FIRST HALF DOMINANCE
The Cougars held a 42-0 lead at halftime against UCLA, marking the 13th time in the past 14 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half nine times in 14 games. During those 14 games BYU is 13-1.
MOVING THE CHAINS
BYU continued its ability to convert on third down, going 13-of-17 on third-down conversions against UCLA, including 8-of-9 in the first half. The Cougars are now 32 of 41 (.781) on third-down conversions on the year.
TOP-30 IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL CATEGORIES
Category National Rank Actual
Passing Offense 5 387.00
Total Offense 10 521.33
Scoring Offense 14 42.67
First-Downs Per Game 5 27.67
Scoring Defense 26 14.67
Kickoff Returns 12 28.25
Passing Efficiency 3 187.02
Tackles for Loss T-22 7.00
Sacks Allowed T-1 0.00
3rd Down Efficiency 1 78.10
Category Player National Rank Actual
Passing Efficiency Max Hall 7 186.82
Total Offense Max Hall 4 370.33
Total Passing Yards Max Hall 3 1095.00
Completions per Game Max Hall 4 30.33
Passing Yards per Game Max Hall 4 365.00
Pts Respon For per Game Max Hall T-3 26.00
Receptions per Game Dennis Pitta T-4 8.67
Austin Collie T-15 7.33
Receiving Yds per Game Dennis Pitta 2 136.00
Kickoff Returns O’Neill Chambers 17 28.25
Scoring Harvey Unga T-27 10.00