Brigham Young University
Dec 20 | 06:00 PM
21 - 31
University of Arizona
Sam Boyd Stadium

7000 East Russell Road Las Vegas NV 89122

Anonymous | Posted: 21 Dec 2008 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Collie Ties NCAA Record, But Cougars Fall in Vegas


LAS VEGAS -- BYU totaled 444 yards of total offense compared to Arizona’s 416, but the No. 16 Cougars fell short of their third-straight bowl victory Saturday, falling 31-21 to the Arizona Wildcats in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“You have to give Arizona a lot of credit,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall, whose teams have won at least 10 games each of the past three seasons. “I thought in those critical moments, Arizona made plays. There are usually 3-5 plays in a game that can change the outcome of the game. I like the effort of our team but we didn’t execute well enough to make those plays.”

BYU put pressure on Arizona with a comeback attempt when the Cougars followed a touchdown with a successful on-side kick. Wide receiver O’Neill Chambers recovered the ball for BYU but the ensuing field-goal attempt hit the upright and left the Wildcats with a two-possession lead with just 2:07 remaining.

Despite the loss, the Cougars boasted two 100-yard receivers for only the third time this season with wideouts Austin Collie and Michael Reed recording 119 and 117 yards, respectively. The game also marked Reed’s only 100-yard receiving game of his senior season.

With his performance, Collie continued to set BYU records in career receptions (215) and single-season receptions (106). The All-American receiver also tied an NCAA single-season record held with Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree with his 11th consecutive 100-yard receiving game.

BYU quarterback Max Hall completed 30-of-46 passes for 328 yards and one touchdown pass. He also scrambled into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown with 3:38 remaining in the game. Sophomore running back Harvey Unga recorded a rushing touchdown for the Cougars and ended the night with 71 yards on 17 carries.

Thanks to a 71-yard pass play to wide receiver Terrell Turner, Arizona was the first team to put points on the scoreboard when Nic Grisby scored from 1-yard out at the 6:23 mark of the first quarter. The Wildcats followed with a 31-yard field goal in the second quarter to take a 10-0 lead. On the series, Arizona recovered a BYU fumble at the BYU 24, but the Cougar defense allowed only 9 yards to force the field goal.


The Cougar offense found some rhythm in the second quarter when Hall marched BYU 78 yards in six plays for a touchdown. Hall connected on two big pass plays to fuel the drive, first finding Reed crossing over the middle for a 35-yard gain and later connecting over the top to Collie for 36 yards to the 3-yard line. A play later, Unga carried the ball in the end zone from 1-yard out to make the score 10-7 with 6:50 to go in the half.

BYU had another good opportunity to score late in the half but came away without points. Starting on their 22, the Cougars moved downfield to the Arizona 18 before three straight penalties stalled the drive. Mitch Payne attempted a 40-yard field goal but his kick sailed wide left. The half ended with both teams totaling 205 yards of total offense.

The Cougars got on the board quickly in the third after Coleby Clawson recovered a Wildcat fumble at the Arizona 27 just 12 seconds into the half. Hall completed the short drive by finding Andrew George wide open in the back of the end zone for a 1-yard strike to put BYU on top, 14-10, at the 11:21 mark on the clock.

The Wildcats regained the momentum with two third-quarter touchdowns to enter the final quarter with a 24-14 advantage. In the fourth, Arizona took advantage of a BYU turnover to increase their lead to 31-14.

With 6:03 remaining in the game, the Cougars put together a scoring drive of 10 plays for 68 yards, capped by Hall’s 1-yard touchdown rush. During that drive Hall completed a 24-yard pass to tight end Dennis Pitta and two passes to Reed for a combined 21 yards.

As Justin Sorensen took the field to kickoff to Arizona with just under four minutes remaining, his 15-yard on-side kick was fumbled by the Wildcats and recovered by Chambers. Hoping for a quick score and chance for the comeback win, Hall led the Cougars down the field, setting up a 38-yard field goal attempt for BYU. Mitch Payne’s kick, however, bounced off the left upright.

The Cougars finished the year 10-3 while the Wildcats improved to 8-5. A crowd of 40,047 watched the game, marking the fourth-highest attendance at a Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl and the seventh-best attendance in Sam Boyd Stadium history.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes

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Box Score (Final)


BY vs Arizona (Dec 20, 2008 at Las Vegas, NV)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

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

BY.................. 0 7 7 7 - 21 Record: (10-3)

Arizona............. 7 3 14 7 - 31 Record: (8-5)

Scoring Summary:

1st 06:23 ARIZ - Grigsby, N. 1 yd run (Bondzio, Jason kick), 8-96 3:21, BY 0 - ARIZ 7

2nd 09:21 ARIZ - Bondzio, Jason 31 yd field goal, 4-9 0:28, BY 0 - ARIZ 10

06:50 BY - UNGA, Harvey 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 6-78 2:24, BY 7 - ARIZ 10

3rd 11:21 BY - GEORGE, Andrew 1 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 6-27 3:24, BY 14 - ARIZ 10

07:07 ARIZ - Dean, D. 37 yd pass from Tuitama, Willie (Bondzio, Jason kick), 2-40 0:46, BY 14 - ARIZ 17

00:25 ARIZ - Gronkowski, C. 24 yd pass from Tuitama, Willie (Bondzio, Jason kick), 5-65 1:48, BY 14 - ARIZ 24

4th 06:09 ARIZ - Tuitama, Willie 6 yd run (Bondzio, Jason kick), 7-82 3:54, BY 14 - ARIZ 31

03:38 BY - HALL, Max 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 10-68 2:25, BY 21 - ARIZ 31


FIRST DOWNS................... 22 20

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 32-116 28-91

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 328 325

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 46-30-1 35-24-0

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 78-444 63-416

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

Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-2 2-15

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 6-120 4-86

Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-18

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-37.0 3-32.3

Fumbles-Lost.................. 4-2 3-3

Penalties-Yards............... 10-76 7-54

Possession Time............... 32:48 27:12

Third-Down Conversions........ 8 of 15 9 of 14

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

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 3-4

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-8 2-7

RUSHING: BY-UNGA, Harvey 17-71; KARIYA, Bryan 3-24; HALL, Max 10-16;

COLLIE, Austin 1-3; VAKAPUNA, Fui 1-2. Arizona-Grigsby, N. 20-87; Thomas, Mike

3-12; Tuitama, Willie 3-minus 4; Team 2-minus 4.

PASSING: BY-HALL, Max 30-46-1-328. Arizona-Tuitama, Willie 24-35-0-325.

RECEIVING: BY-COLLIE, Austin 11-119; REED, Michael 9-117; PITTA, Dennis

5-58; GEORGE, Andrew 2-15; KARIYA, Bryan 1-8; UNGA, Harvey 1-6; VAKAPUNA, Fui

1-5. Arizona-Dean, D. 7-88; Turner, T. 4-111; Thomas, Mike 4-29; Gronkowski, R.

4-27; Gronkowski, C. 2-43; Antolin, K. 2-21; Criner, J. 1-6.

INTERCEPTIONS: BY-None. Arizona-Hundley, M. 1-18.

FUMBLES: BY-HALL, Max 2-2; WHITE, Reed 1-0; CHAMBERS, O'Nei 1-0.

Arizona-Tuitama, Willie 1-1; Grigsby, N. 1-1; Team 1-1.

SACKS (UA-A): BY-NIXON, David 1-0. Arizona-Reed, B. 1-0; Kelley, X. 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): BY-FOWLER, Kellen 6-9; BAUMAN, Matt 2-5; BRADLEY, Brando

5-1; NIXON, David 2-3; TAFUNA, David 1-4; DOMAN, Shawn 1-3; PUTNAM, Matt 2-1;

SORENSEN, Danie 1-2; ALISA, Michael 2-0; TEAM 2-0; DENNEY, Brett 1-1; CLAWSON,

Coleby 1-1; JOHNSON, Scott 1-1; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-0; SORENSEN, Justi 1-0; AH YOU,

Matt 1-0; DULAN, Ian 0-1; HADLEY, Spencer 0-1; HOWARD, Brandon 0-1; MUEHLMANN,

Chri 0-1; HOOKS, Terrance 0-1; PITTA, Dennis 0-1; REYNOLDS, Dalla 0-1.

Arizona-Kelley, X. 4-11; Nelson, C. 4-7; Hundley, M. 3-5; Palmer,Ronnie 2-6;

McCovy, A. 2-5; Ross, D. 5-1; Mitchell, E. 2-3; Ness, N. 1-4; Reed, B. 1-3;

Tuihalamaka, V. 2-1; Horton, D. 2-1; Wade, T. 1-2; Perkins, J. 1-1; Hall, C.

0-2; Elmore, R. 0-2; Gronkowski, R. 1-0; Reed, D. 0-1; Tuipulotu, K. 0-1;

Vargas, O. 0-1; Foster, T. 0-1; Golden, R. 0-1.


Anonymous | Posted: 10 Dec 2008 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Game Notes: Cat Fight in Las Vegas



After its third straight 10-2 regular season record, No. 16 BYU has accepted an invitation to play Arizona in Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl XVII on Saturday, Dec. 20. The invitation marks the fourth straight appearance for the Cougars in Las Vegas and the team’s 27th overall bowl appearance since the 1974 season. The Wildcats, who earned their invitation by defeating arch-rival Arizona State, will play in the state of Nevada for the first time since traveling to Reno in 1924 and make their first postseason appearance since winning the 1998 Holiday Bowl. The MWC and Pac-10 have met the last six seasons in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, with the MWC winning four times.

Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PT) and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.


The 2008 Las Vegas Bowl will mark the 22nd meeting between these two teams. BYU and Arizona first met in 1936 in Tucson with the Wildcats running to a 32-6 victory. The Cougars won the first meeting in Provo back in the 1967 season, 17-14. Arizona owns an 11-9-1 advantage in the series, including a 16-13 victory in Tucson to open the 2006 season, while BYU returned the favor in 2007 with a 20-7 win in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Both members of the old Western Athletic Conference, the two teams met every year from 1962 through 1977. During that time, Arizona won nine of the 16 games. Dec. 20 will mark the first time these two teams will meet at a neutral site.


- A win against Arizona would give the Cougars their third straight bowl win, including their 10th bowl victory overall.

- A win against Arizona would mark the first time BYU has won three straight bowl appearances.

- A win over Arizona would secure the third straight season BYU has finished the season ranked among the nation’s top-25 programs. After a 38-8 win over Oregon in the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl, the Cougars finished the season ranked 15th in the USAToday Coaches Poll and 16th in the Associated Press Top-25. The 2007 season ended with BYU ranked 14th in both polls following its nail-biting 17-16 win over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl. The 1990-92 seasons marked the last time BYU finished the year ranked in the top-25 in three consecutive seasons.

- A victory over Arizona would give the Cougars a 5-1 record over teams from the Pac-10 over the past two seasons. Since 2007 BYU has posted a 4-1 record against the likes of Arizona (1-0), UCLA (2-1) and Washington (1-0). Interestingly, the Cougars have outscored Pac-10 opponents 141-77 in the previous five match-ups.


With a win against New Mexico on Oct. 11, the Cougars picked up their sixth win of the season and qualified to participate in their fourth straight bowl game for the first time since 1994 season. BYU has not played in four straight bowl games since playing in the 1991 Holiday Bowl, the 1992 Aloha Bowl, the 1993 Holiday Bowl and the 1994 Copper Bowl. From 1978 through 1994, the Cougars participated in a school record 17 straight bowl games. The 2008 season marks the third straight year BYU has qualified for a bowl game with more than four regular-season games remaining.


The Cougars’ 38-24 victory over Air Force on Nov. 15 improved the team’s record to 10-2 on the season, marking the third-straight 10-win season and the 14th since the 1979 campaign. It is also the first time since the 1983-85 seasons BYU has had three consecutive 10-win seasons. BYU is one of only 15 Football Bowl Subdivision teams (out of 119) in the nation to win 10 or more games this season.


After their loss at Utah, the Cougars are 148-43 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. A ranked BYU team has won 17 of its last 19 games, dating back to 2006.


This season BYU became one of only nine schools nationally to be ranked in the top 25 of the final BCS standings each of the past three seasons, joining Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, USC, Ohio State, Boise State, Boston College and Virginia Tech.


Over the past three seasons only five teams have won more games than the Cougars. With BYU’s 32-6 three-year record, only Boise State (35-3), Florida (34-6), Oklahoma (34-7), Ohio State (33-5) and USC (33-5) have more victories over the past three seasons.


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 an Arizona defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-2, 259 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Arizona offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-5, 313 pounds per man.


After its 59-0 victory over UCLA on Sept. 13, 2008, BYU is now 5-1 in the last six meetings with Pac-10 opponents, including back-to-back wins against Washington and UCLA. Overall the MWC has a 6-1 record against Pac-10 foes this season.

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.


For only the third time this season and second consecutive game, the Cougars found themselves down at the halfway mark--entering the locker room behind the Utes 27-17. The Cougars last trailed 14-10 heading into the break at Air Force, as well as 23-0 at TCU. BYU is 1-2 when down at halftime.


Academically, only Penn State (4) placed more student-athletes on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America First Team than BYU as starters David Oswald (offensive tackle), Matt Bauman (linebacker) and Kellen Fowler (safety) each earned the high honor. Dating back to 1966, 28 BYU football players have received Academic All-America honors but never before have the Cougars had three members earn first-team accolades during the same season.


The Utah game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 50th 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.


BYU’s seniors had a strong showing against SDSU, playing in their last home game in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Linebacker and team captain David Nixon led the defense with a career-high 14 tackles. Running back Fui Vakapuna recorded the first touchdown of the game on a seven-yard run. BYU’s first score of the second half came on a three-yard run by Wayne Latu, and wide receiver Michael Reed finished the game with a season-high 95-yards receiving.


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.


The Cougars last forced two Air Force turnovers, 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.


Louie Sakoda’s 37-yard field goal for Utah with 9:48 remaining in the first quarter marked the fourth time this season BYU has failed to score first. The Cougars previously gave up touchdowns to New Mexico, TCU and CSU and are now 2-2 when giving up the first points of the game. BYU has scored first in eight games this season, marking 30 times in the last 37 games. The Cougars are 28-2 in those 30 games.


The Utah game marked the seventh time this season BYU won the opening coin toss, with the Cougars electing to defer to the second half. BYU is now 5-2 when winning the opening toss.


BYU has been unable to return a kickoff for a touchdown for 130 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.


In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 33-4 when leading at halftime and 32-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.


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.


Junior linebacker Matt Ah You’s sack against Utah’s Brian Johnson in the second quarter marked a career first. Through 12 games this season the Cougar defense has recorded 21 sacks. 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.


The Cougars held a lead at halftime against San Diego State, for the first time since the New Mexico game on Oct. 11. It marks the 17th time in the past 24 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half six times in 12 games this season. BYU is undefeated in those six games.


After its loss to TCU, BYU now holds a 1-1 record when playing night games. The Cougars’ game against Utah State (W, 34-14) marked BYU’s first night game of the 2008 season.


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).


After a close 45-42 victory over the CSU Rams, the Cougars have won eight consecutive games decided by seven points or fewer, including back-to-back nail-biters against UNLV and CSU this season.


With his 116 yards rushing against Utah, sophomore running back Harvey Unga now has 1,082 yards on the season, surpassing the 2,000-yard career mark with 2,319. Unga racked up 1,227 yards on the ground in his freshman season and 10 before redshirting the 2006 season.


BYU’s first touchdown drive against New Mexico of 95 yards marked the longest of the 2008 season in terms of yardage. The drive which lasted 5:04 minutes, ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Max Hall to tight end Andrew George. The Cougars’ longest drive in terms of time off the clock was in the second-quarter of the UCLA game. The 13-play drive of 48 yards took 6:43 minutes off the game clock.


In the first quarter against Utah State on Oct. 3, sophomore defensive back Brandon Bradley recovered the first fumble of his career, returning it for a 38-yard touchdown. The touchdown marked the second straight game the Cougars scored off a fumble recovery, as fellow defensive back Scott Johnson returned a loose ball for a touchdown in BYU’s 44-0 victory over Wyoming on Sept. 20.