Title Hopes Dashed With Loss to Utah
SALT LAKE -- In what was billed as the game of the decade, No. 7 Utah took advantage of several Cougar mistakes en route to a 48-24 victory over No. 14 BYU.
Before a crowd of 46,488 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the second largest in Ute history, the two nationally ranked teams matched field goals, touchdowns, punts, but not interceptions and fumbles.
"We made too many mistakes to win the game," said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Turnovers were the name of the game. That was the difference. Utah was opportunistic and made the most of those opportunities, and we did not.
Quarterback Max Hall completed 21-of-41 passes for 201 yards, but had a career-high five interceptions. A bright spot for the Cougars was the performances of wide receiver Austin Collie, whose 104 yards receiving gave him his 10th consecutive 100-yard performance. He also surpassed Eric Drage to become BYU’s all-time leading receiver setting a new school record with 3,136 receiving yards. Sophomore running back Harvey Unga had 116 yards rushing on 15 carries to go over 1,000 yards for consecutive seasons.
The lost ended a streak of 20-straight BYU wins while playing in the state of Utah, dating back to November 2005 when the Utes won 41-34 in overtime in Provo. The Cougars had not lost in Salt Lake City since 2004.
Behind 19 seniors playing their final home game, Utah took an early 17-3 lead before BYU, now 10-2, came back to tie the game 17-17 in the first half.
Utah got the scoring going early on a 37-yard Louie Sakoda field goal with 9:48 in the first quarter. Collie countered with a 70-yard kickoff return to the Utah 38-yard line that set up a 40-yard field goal by Mitch Payne to knot the score, 3-3. Utah scored next on an 80-yard drive that ended in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Brent Casteel. The accompanying PAT put Utah up 10-3.
Utah scored again just 1:16 into the second quarter, when Matt Asiata lined up behind center in shotgun formation and took the snap into the end zone from five yards out. Sakoda’s kick increased the Utah lead to 17-3.
On its next possession, BYU scored on a 23-yard Unga touchdown run and with Payne’s kick closed the gap to 17-10.
After forcing Utah’s first punt of the game, BYU went on a nine-play, 75-yard drive to tie the score at 17-17. Unga scored on a direct snap while Hall was waving an audible to the opposite side of the field.
With 1:41 left in the first half, a 36-yard field goal by Sakoda gave the Utes a 20-17 lead. On the next BYU possession Collie broke the BYU all-time career reception record, but a few plays later Hall threw an interception to end the drive. The miscue allowed Johnson to connect with David Reed on a 32-yard touchdown strike with just 15 seconds left in the second quarter to give Utah a 27-17 halftime margin.
Dennis Pitta caught his first pass of the game, a 16-yarder at the 10-minute mark of the third quarter to give BYU a critical third-down conversion. Bryan Kariya, Fui Vakapuna and Unga took turns via the ground game, and a pass interference penalty put BYU in the Blue Zone. With 6:36 in the third quarter, Hall scrambled up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown to draw within three at 27-24.
BYU’s defense stiffened, forcing a third consecutive Utah punt, this time three-and-out. Utah, however, forced a Hall fumble as he scrambling out of the pocket with Paul Kruger recovering on the BYU 31-yard line as the third quarter came to an end.
The fourth quarter was all Utah as three BYU interceptions led to three Ute touchdowns in a game that was much closer than the 48-24 final score.
Box Score (Final)
#14 BY vs #7 Utah (Nov 22, 2008 at Salt Lake City)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
BY.................. 3 14 7 0 - 24 Record: (10-2,6-2)
Utah................ 10 17 0 21 - 48 Record: (12-0,8-0)
1st 09:48 UU - SAKODA, Louie 37 yd field goal, 12-60 5:12, BY 0 - UU 3
08:27 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 40 yd field goal, 4-8 1:09, BY 3 - UU 3
04:25 UU - CASTEEL, Brent 16 yd pass from JOHNSON, Brian (SAKODA, Louie kick), 10-80 4:02, BY 3 - UU 10
2nd 13:44 UU - ASIATA, Matt 5 yd run (SAKODA, Louie kick), 8-66 3:22, BY 3 - UU 17
10:38 BY - UNGA, Harvey 23 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-68 3:00, BY 10 - UU 17
06:26 BY - UNGA, Harvey 2 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 9-75 2:38, BY 17 - UU 17
01:41 UU - SAKODA, Louie 35 yd field goal, 9-57 4:39, BY 17 - UU 20
00:15 UU - REED, David 32 yd pass from JOHNSON, Brian (SAKODA, Louie kick), 3-44 0:21, BY 17 - UU 27
3rd 06:46 BY - HALL, Max 11 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 11-83 4:06, BY 24 - UU 27
4th 14:31 UU - CASTEEL, Brent 8 yd pass from JOHNSON, Brian (SAKODA, Louie kick), 4-31 0:37, BY 24 - UU 34
12:00 UU - JOPPRU, Chris 4 yd pass from ASIATA, Matt (SAKODA, Louie kick), 1-4 0:04, BY 24 - UU 41
02:48 UU - SAMPSON, Colt 1 yd pass from JOHNSON, Brian (SAKODA, Louie kick), 9-29 5:14, BY 24 - UU 48
FIRST DOWNS................... 25 27
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 30-214 35-108
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 205 307
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 41-21-5 37-31-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 71-419 72-415
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 0-0 1-14
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 8-226 3-70
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 5-77
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 2-54.5 4-44.2
Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-1 2-0
Penalties-Yards............... 9-85 5-51
Possession Time............... 26:14 33:46
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 12 4 of 11
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 2 1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-3 7-7
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-4 0-0
RUSHING: BY-UNGA, Harvey 15-116; HALL, Max 7-42; VAKAPUNA, Fui 4-36;
COLLIE, Austin 2-14; KARIYA, Bryan 1-8; TEAM 1-minus 2. Utah-MACK, Darrell 9-40;
ASIATA, Matt 10-33; JOHNSON, Brian 13-28; CASTEEL, Brent 2-9; Team 1-minus 2.
PASSING: BY-HALL, Max 21-41-5-205. Utah-JOHNSON, Brian 30-36-0-303;
ASIATA, Matt 1-1-0-4.
RECEIVING: BY-COLLIE, Austin 10-104; REED, Michael 5-58; UNGA, Harvey
3-5; PITTA, Dennis 2-33; KARIYA, Bryan 1-5. Utah-BROWN, Freddie 8-97; CASTEEL,
Brent 6-60; BROOKS, Jereme 5-49; REED, David 4-60; ASIATA, Matt 3-21; GODFREY,
Bradon 3-15; JOPPRU, Chris 1-4; SAMPSON, Colt 1-1.
INTERCEPTIONS: BY-None. Utah-DALE, Joe 2-9; SMITH, Sean 1-38; KRUGER,
Paul 1-30; JOHNSON, Robert 1-0.
FUMBLES: BY-HALL, Max 1-1. Utah-JOHNSON, Brian 1-0; CASTEEL, Brent 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): BY-AH YOU, Matt 0-1; DENNEY, Brett 0-1. Utah-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): BY-BAUMAN, Matt 9-3; NIXON, David 4-4; FOWLER, Kellen
2-6; CLAWSON, Coleby 1-6; BRADLEY, Brando 4-2; DOMAN, Shawn 2-3; AH YOU, Matt
2-3; DENNEY, Brett 1-4; TAFUNA, David 1-3; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-3; SORENSEN, Danie
2-1; HOWARD, Brandon 2-0; RICH, Andrew 1-1; PRITCHARD, Iona 0-2; HADLEY, Spencer
0-2; PUTNAM, Matt 1-0; REYNOLDS, Dalla 1-0; FOKETI, Mosese 1-0; COLLIE, Austin
1-0; HALL, Max 1-0; TIALAVEA, Russe 0-1; DILUIGI, JJ 0-1; DULAN, Ian 0-1;
SORENSEN, Justi 0-1; HUNTER, Shane 0-1. Utah-WRIGHT, Mike 6-3; DALE, Joe 5-2;
MISI, Koa 3-3; KRUGER, Paul 3-3; MCCAIN, Brice 3-3; JOHNSON, Robert 2-3;
SYLVESTER, Stev 0-5; STANFORD, R.J. 4-0; SMITH, Sean 2-2; SHELBY, Derrick 0-3;
COLE, Terrell 0-3; PEEL, John 2-0; RICE, RJ 2-0; RICHARD,Deshawn 1-1; NEWMAN,
Greg 0-2; WALKER, Chaz 1-0; TANNER, Damilyn 0-1; WIDE, Eddie 0-1; JONES, Justin
Game Notes: Football Deseret Duel Set for Saturday
Coming off a 38-24 win at Air Force last Saturday, the Cougars are set to close the regular season with a visit to in-state rival, University of Utah, in the second annual football battle of the Deseret First Duel. With a win, BYU would put a dent in their foe’s perfect record and claim a piece of the Mountain West Conference title. For the first time since 2006, BYU will have faced two top-25 ranked teams in a single season. The Cougars previously played against then-No. 24 TCU on Oct. 16, a game which BYU lost 32-7.
Utah (11-0, 7-0) enters Saturday’s game as one of five undefeated FBS teams, along with a top-10 national ranking. The Utes are coming off a 63-14 win over San Diego State last weekend.
Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast nationally on The Mtn.
THE BYU-UTAH SERIES
The BYU vs. Utah rivalry has become one of the most exciting rivalries in the nation. The Utes and the Cougars have met 83 times since the first official meeting in 1922. Utah dominated the rivalry until 1965 when the Cougars began to hold the advantage over the Utes. Since 1965, BYU is 28-14 against Utah. Each team has enjoyed a nine-game winning streak over the other at some point in the series. Except for 2004, the last nine meetings in this rivalry have been decided by seven points or less including four last-minute comebacks by BYU in 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2007. The Cougars’ 2006 come-from-behind victory, in which quarterback John Beck found tight end Jonny Harline all alone in the end zone with no time left on the clock, broke a four-game losing streak against Utah. Another last-minute victory in 2007, thanks to the game-changing pass from quarterback Max Hall to wide receiver Austin Collie on a 4th-and-18 situation during BYU’s final scoring drive, gave the Cougars their first two-game winning streak against the Utes since the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
ON THE TUBE
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on The Mtn. Rich Cellini will call the action while Jon Berger and Blaine Fowler lend analysis. Both Sammy Linebaugh and Toby Christensen will report from the sidelines.
A LOOK BACK: BYU 38-AiR FORCE 24
All-America candidate Austin Collie continued his record-setting pace with 130 receiving yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Max Hall threw for 354 yards to lead No. 14 BYU to a 38-24 win at Air Force on Saturday. With the victory the Cougars have achieved 10 wins for the third straight season. BYU improves to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in the Mountain West Conference while the Falcons fall to 8-3 and 5-2. Collie, one of 10 receivers selected as a Biletnikoff Award finalist, totaled more than 100 receiving yards for the ninth straight game to extend his MWC record, while setting the new conference mark for total 100-yard games overall at nine. With 1,315 receiving yards on the season, Collie is now BYU’s all-time single-season leader.Collie was joined by tight end Dennis Pitta, who caught nine balls for 113 yards as the Cougars rolled up 354 passing yards among 480 yards of total offense. Air Force gained 323 yards on the ground and totaled 421 yards overall in the competitive contest.
COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM
After Saturday’s win over Air Force, the Cougars are 148-42 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. With the win, a ranked BYU team has won 17 of its last 18 games, dating back to 2006.
COLLIE HITS CENTURY MARK-EXTENDS MWC RECORD
Junior Austin Collie broke the 100-yard receiving mark for the ninth straight game with 130 yards on seven catches against the Falcons. Collie’s nine-consecutive games extend a MWC record he broke three weeks ago against UNLV. The record was previously held by SDSU’s J.R. Tolver (2002) with five.
With his nine 100-yard games on the season, Collie now stands alone in the MWC record book. SDSU’ Kassim Osgood and J.R. Tolver held the previous record of eight 100-yard games in a single season.
CLIMBING UP THE BYU RECORD CHARTS
With his 130 yards receiving against Air Force, Austin Collie now has 3,032 career-receiving yards, needing only 35 more yards to pass Eric Drage (3,066 yards) and claim the No. 1 spot on BYU’s all-time receiving list.
On the season, Collie has 1,185 yards receiving and is now BYU’s all-time single-season leading receiver.
The junior now has 15 career 100-yard receiving games—a BYU record. He also holds the MWC record, two game ahead of the old leader, SDSU’s J.R. Tolver.
Counting his two touchdowns today, Collie now has 30 career touchdowns, coming in as No. 6 on BYU’s career touchdown list. Collie’s 30 touchdowns also surpass the previous MWC leader, Jovon Bouknight of Wyoming (29). He also now holds the MWC record for most touchdowns caught in a single season, with 15. The previous record was 13 held by SDSU’s J.R. Tolver in 2002. Collie has hauled in at least one touchdown pass in eight games this season.
With one MWC game remaining, Collie has caught 10 touchdowns, tying former BYU tight end Jonny Harline’s 10 scoring receptions in conference play.
SCORING HALL PASSES-NEW MWC RECORD
Quarterback Max Hall recorded two touchdown passes against Air Force, giving him 34 on the season. His 34 touchdown passes breaks a single-season MWC record previously held by former Cougar, and current BYU quarterbacks coach, Brandon Doman (2001). The junior has thrown a scoring pass in every game this season except for the Cougars’ loss to TCU earlier in October. Hall has now thrown a touchdown pass in 22-of-24 career games.
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 Utah defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-4, 258 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Utah offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-4, 307 pounds per man.
Freshman defensive back Blake Morgan forced a fumble early in the third quarter against Air Force, which was recovered by freshman linebacker Spencer Hadley, his second recovery this season. BYU capitalized on the turnover, with Harvey Unga scampering into the endzone for a one-yard touchdown run, giving BYU a 24-14 lead. Morgan made the trip to Air Force in place of junior linebacker Shawn Doman.
TURNOVERS TRANSLATING TO POINTS
The Cougars forced two Air Force turnovers last week, including Spencer Hadley’s fumble recovery and Brandon Howard’s 4th-quarter interception. In 11 games this season BYU has forced 27 turnovers, converting 18 of those into points. Of those 18 turnovers, 15 have resulted in touchdowns (105 points) for the Cougars.
The Air Force game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 49th 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 first 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.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
Senior Fui Vakapuna’s 11-yard touchdown run with 7:41 remaining in the first quarter against Air Force gave BYU the early 7-0 lead. BYU has scored first in eight games this season, marking the 30th time in the last 36 games. The Cougars are 28-2 in those 30 games. Vakapuna has scored first for BYU in two consecutive games, including his seven-yard run in the first quarter against San Diego State last Saturday.
The Air Force game marked the sixth time this season BYU won the opening coin toss, with the Cougars electing to receive. BYU is now 5-1 when winning the opening toss.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
BYU has been unable to return a kickoff for a touchdown for 129 consecutive games. Mike Rigell was the last Cougar to accomplish the feat, turning in a 96-yard touchdown in a 31-9 victory at Hawaii on October 17, 1998.
TRAILING AT THE HALF
For only the second time this season, the Cougars found themselves down at the halfway mark to the Falcons, entering the locker room behind 14-10. The last time the Cougars trailed at the half was at TCU—a game they lost 32-7. BYU is now 1-1 when down at halftime.
DON’T LOOK BACK
In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 33-4 when leading at halftime and 32-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
SCORING IN NO TIME...
Forced and recovered turnovers have resulted in fast scoring drives for the Cougars, who have put together nine scoring drives of a minute or less so far this season, including two against Utah State. BYU’s second quarter scoring drive of six seconds against 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.
The Air Force game marked the second time this season, both wide receiver Austin Collie and tight end Dennis Pitta finished the game surpassing 100-yards receiving, with 130 and 113 yards, respectively. The last time the duo accomplished this feat was on Nov. 1 at CSU. In that game Pitta recorded 175 yards, while Collie followed with 156 yards.
Sophomore Harvey Unga ran for two touchdowns in today’s game, the first time he has scored more than one rushing touchdown since BYU’s season-opener against Northern Iowa.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen’s sack against CSU’s Billy Farris in the fourth quarter gave him 21.5 career sacks, breaking the previous MWC record of 20.5 he shared with New Mexico’s Michael Tuohy, TCU’s Chase Ortiz and former Cougar Brady Poppinga. Jorgensen added a second sack and forced a fumble with just 22 seconds remaining to help secure the win and bring his career sack total to 22.5. He recorded four sacks his freshman season in 2006, 13.5 his sophomore season and five to date in 2008. Through ten games this season the Cougar defense has recorded 20 sacks.
THREE IN A ROW
With its win at Air Force Saturday, BYU has achieved 10 wins in each of the last three seasons. This is the third time in school history the Cougars have accomplished the feat, having done so previously from 1979-81 and 1983-85.
Senior linebacker David Nixon kept the Falcons off the scoreboard late in the first quarter after blocking a 54-yard field goal attempt by Lou Groza Award candidate Ryan Harrison.
As a team, BYU has blocked five kicks this season, surpassing the three blocks recorded in 2007. Along with Nixon, Bryan Kariya blocked a punt against UNLV, Jan Jorgensen blocked a potentially game-tying PAT at Washington, Russell Tialavea blocked a UCLA field goal attempt and Michael Alisa blocked a kick against New Mexico. The last time BYU recorded five or more blocked kicks in a season was back in 1998 (6).