POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: BYU at Florida State
Game notes from BYU's 34-10 loss at Florida State on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
BYU wore all-white jerseys against Florida State. The last time the Cougars went completely white was at New Mexico on Sept 13, 2003, in a 10-7 win.
Still Number One
BYU continued to show why it is the best kickoff return defense in the country, holding Florida State to 18 yards on two returns. Coming into Saturday, the Cougars were first in the country, holding opponents to 8.0 yards per return.
The Mighty Hunter
After catching an interception last week against Air Force for BYU’s first forced turnover of the year, linebacker Shane Hunter recovered a Florida State fumble. It was the first fumble by an opponent BYU has recovered this year.
Freshman to Freshman
Freshman quarterback Jake Heaps found freshman wide receiver Cody Hoffman with 14 seconds left in the second quarter to cut the Seminole lead down to 13-10. The touchdown throw by Heaps and catch by Hoffman were BYU career firsts for both freshmen.
Three Years Coming
BYU defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna sacked Seminole quarterback Christian Ponder for the second sack of his career. Manumaleuna’s first sack came against Air Force in 2007 before he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Long and Gone
Florida State’s 83-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the longest play for a score allowed by BYU since UNLV returned a kickoff 94 yards on Oct. 10, 2009.
BYU linebacker Jordan Pendleton notched a new career-high tackle mark, finishing with 12 total tackles to pass his previous career-high of eight. His nine solo tackles on the day alone passed his previous overall career mark.
With the loss at Florida State, the Cougars have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since the final two games in 2008. BYU has not lost two-consecutive regular-season games since losing at UCLA and at Tulsa in 2007, the same year the Cougars were replacing an established quarterback (Max Hall in 2009, John Beck in 2006), an All-American tight end (Dennis Pitta in 2009, Jonny Harline in 2006) and the school's all-time leading rusher (Harvey Unga in 2009, Curtis Brown in 2006). BYU is now 0-5 all-time playing in the state of Florida and 0-4 in its series against Florida State.
BYU has a tradition of selecting a player before each game to run the team flag onto the field, as well as a former Cougar to carry out the alumni flag. Each member of the team has signed the team flag, while former BYU players have signed the alumni flag. Their signatures reflect their commitment to uphold the tradition, spirit and honor of the BYU football program and to be a flag bearer of the University.
Today, former BYU linebacker Shad Hansen (1989-92) carried out the alumni flag. Hansen is the BYU all-time leader in tackles with 408. He also holds the record for most tackles in a season with 193 and holds the third and fourth spots in BYU history for tackles in a game. Carrying the team flag was senior defensive back Brandon Bradley, a Tallahassee, Fla., native and the second-leading tackler on the team from last year.
BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall
"I think Florida State executed at a higher level for longer than our team did. I thought we had a real strong chance to make a comeback at the end of halftime and coming into the third quarter. They made all the critical plays as the game wore on and that ended up in the outcome we had."
(On running back JJ Di Luigi's performance)
"I think the word playmaker is the right word (for JJ) as you look out there and continue to scan the offense for playmakers and balls to go to in critical situations. JJ right has been consistent."
(On some of the positives of his team)
"I think there were some critical instances where the defense made stop after stop in the first half in pretty short fields. I think we were able to add some degree of efficiency in the passing game -- more than we've had before. I think Riley Stephenson punted the ball well, and I thought our special teams was solid."
(On Christian Ponder's ability)
I think Ponder is a good football player. He has the ability to create and scramble, which is frustrating if your coverage does hold. Then he has the ability to pull the ball down and run with it, and that's always frustrating for the defense."
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher
"We scored some points early. Good job by BYU. We got some field goals, had some touchdowns, and had some not very smart penalties down there. They get back in it and got the momentum going into halftime."
"(In the second half) we wanted to get the momentum of the ballgame back, go down and take a drive, and get up. That was our whole goal and what we challenged them to do at halftime. (We wanted to) control both lines of scrimmage and I think that is what our defensive line and offensive line was able to do."
Game 3: BYU vs. Florida State
Game 3: BYU Cougars vs. Florida State Seminoles
BYU will take on Florida State on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live from Doak Campbell Stadium on ESPNU and KSL Radio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM. The game will be rebroadcast Saturday evening on BYUtv at 9:30 p.m. MT.
BYU (1-1) at Florida State (1-1)
September 18, 2010
3:30 p.m. ET
Doak Campbell Stadium
THE BYU-FLORIDA STATE SERIES
BYU has had little luck against Florida State and is still looking for its first win in the series. Last season, the Seminoles came into LaVell Edwards Stadium and upset BYU, ranked No. 7 in the country. BYU also played Florida State in two season openers in 1991 and 2000. In 2000, the two teams played in the Pigskin Classic in Jacksonville, Fla., where quarterback Chris Weinke lead Florida State to victory. In 1991, Ty Detmer and the Cougars traveled to Anaheim, Calif., for another Pigskin Classic in one of three losses for BYU that year.
BYU VS. FLORIDA STATE NOTES
- BYU is looking for its first win in four tries against Florida State. The game is the first the Cougars have ever played in Doak Campbell Stadium.
- The Cougars have never won a football game in the state of Florida in four tries. BYU’s first attempt was in the Tangerine Bowl where the Cougars lost, 49-21, to Oklahoma State. In the Citrus Bowl in 1985, BYU dropped a close decision to Ohio State, 10-7. The latest two games have been regular season contests with the Cougars falling at Miami, 41-17, and at Jacksonville against Florida State, 29-3.
- BYU has not defeated an ACC team since August 28, 2003, against Georgia Tech, a 24-13 win in Provo. The last time the Cougars defeated an ACC opponent on the road was a 38-35 win at Virginia on September 2, 2000.
After two games, 22 different BYU defenders have notched at least one tackle. Four players have double-digit totals while four others have nine tackles apiece. Seven defenders have at least 0.5 tackles for loss while the defense has two sacks, one interception, eight pass break-ups, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
BYU rushed for 139 yards in the first quarter alone after gaining 140 yards total on the ground last week against Wash- ington. The Cougars finished with 221 yards on 34 carries against Air Force.
FIRST IN THE NATION
BYU’s kickoff return defense has been ranked first in the nation both weeks of the 2010 football season. The Cougars allowed just 20 yards on three punts against Washington and 12 yards on one punt at Air Force for an average of 8.0 yards per game.
RUN, RUN, RUN
JJ Di Luigi led the Cougars for the second week in a row on the ground, rushing for his first-ever 100-yard rush- ing game. Di Luigi ran for a career-high 103 yards on seven carries. The junior had 76 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone. He also set a new career-long rush of 43 yards in the first quarter.
Di Luigi is 24th in the country in all-purpose rushing, averaging 157.5 yards per game. That mark is also good for first in the MWC.
See the attached PDF for the complete Air Force game notes.