Defense Holds for Cougars
PROVO, Utah -- The Cougar defense held on late in the fourth quarter to give BYU (3-5, 2-2 MWC) a 25-20 victory over Wyoming (2-6, 0-4) in front of 60,505 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.
With 27 seconds left in the game and the Cowboy offense facing a 4th-and-10 at the Cougar 26-yard line, freshman linebacker Kyle Van Noy batted down an Austyn Carta-Samuels pass to seal the Cougars' second conference win of the season.
“It was a great football game," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “I was glad to see signs of improvement. We relied heavily on run game and completed some passes at critical times."
With the win, BYU improved its winning streak against Wyoming to six straight, including eight in a row dating back to the 1987 season at Edwards Stadium.
The Cougar defense held Wyoming to 18 yards of total offense in the first half including minus-15 yards rushing while posting a season-high 12 tackles-for-loss on the day. Senior Vic So'oto had a strong outing with four tackles, three for loss, including one sack and a game-high two quarterback hurries.
Seniors Shane Hunter and Vic So'oto recorded six and five tackles, respectively, while Van Noy, senior Andrew Rich and sophomore Brandon Ogletree added four tackles apiece. So'oto set a new career mark with a game-best four tackles-for-loss, including one sack, while adding a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries. Rich broke up a game-high three passes.
Junior running back Bryan Kariya led the Cougar ground game with a career-high 88 yards rushing on 19 carries. Junior JJ Di Luigi added 82 yards of his own on 16 carries, while freshman Joshua Quezada carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards.
"We had a number of chances to pull away," Mendenhall said. "I like this team’s resilience and we played well enough to win the game.”
An impressive opening Cougar drive ate up 4:25 of game clock and covered 58 yards on 10 plays. Di Luigi gave BYU a 7-0 lead, scoring his sixth touchdown of the season on a seven-yard touchdown run. Junior Mitch Payne converted his 166th career PAT attempt.
On the ensuing Wyoming possession, a bad snap over the head of Carta-Samuels resulted in a safety and two points for the Cougars.
With 4:53 left in the first quarter, the Cougars increased the lead to 16-0 on a four-yard touchdown run from Kariya. The scoring drive covered 33 yards on five plays.
The Cowboys got on the board with four minutes left in the first half when linebacker Keith Lewis intercepted BYU quarterback Jake Heaps and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore Ian Watts converted the PAT attempt to narrow the Cougar lead to nine points. Wyoming scored again after a BYU turnover but the Cougar defense made sure it was only a field goal. After recovering a Quezada fumble at the Cougar 20-yard line, Wyoming's next next three plays resulted in a loss of seven yards before Watts added three more for the Cowboys with 42 seconds left in the first half to make the score 16-10.
Payne extended the Cougar lead in the third quarter with a 42-yard field goal, capping a 5-play, 18-yard drive. Quezada had three carries for 14 yards on the drive.
After being held to only one yard of total offense for most of the first half, Wyoming completed a 56-yard drive with a Watts field goal to make the score 19-13.
Heaps completed the second touchdown pass of his career with a 12-yard strike to junior wide receiver Luke Ashworth just under three minutes into the fourth quarter to extend the Cougar lead to 25-13 after a failed two-point conversion. Heaps was 3-of-4 for 40 yards during the 7-play, 70-yard drive.
“It was a play we’ve been practicing all week,” Ashworth said. “The coaches knew what routes we should run and it worked well.”
Ashworth finished the day with a season-high 57 receiving yards on a career-high six catches and one touchdown.
The Cowboys would not go silently, pulling within five after a 16-yard Carta-Samuels touchdown pass to sophomore Chris McNeill with 6:50 left in the game.
The Cougars have a bye next week before returning to LaVell Edwards Stadium Nov. 6 in a Mountain West Conference matchup against UNLV. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Scoring Summary (Final)
Wyoming (2-6,0-4) vs. BYU (3-5,2-2)
Date: Oct 23, 2010 Site: Provo, Utah Stadium: LaVell Edwards
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Wyoming............. 0 10 3 7 - 20
BYU................. 16 0 3 6 - 25
1st 10:35 BY - DI LUIGI, JJ 7 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 10-58 4:25, WY 0 - BY 7
09:53 BY - TEAM safety, , WY 0 - BY 9
04:53 BY - KARIYA, Bryan 4 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 5-33 1:52, WY 0 - BY 16
2nd 03:50 WY - LEWIS, Keith 55 yd interception return (WATTS, Ian kick), , WY 7 - BY 16
00:52 WY - WATTS, Ian 44 yd field goal, 4--7 1:56, WY 10 - BY 16
3rd 05:20 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 42 yd field goal, 9-48 4:32, WY 10 - BY 19
00:30 WY - WATTS, Ian 38 yd field goal, 11-56 4:45, WY 13 - BY 19
4th 12:34 BY - ASHWORTH, Luke 12 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (HEAPS, Jake pass failed), 7-70 2:31, WY 13 - BY 25
06:50 WY - MCNEILL, Chris 16 yd pass from CARTA-SAMUELS,A (WATTS, Ian kick), 4-80 1:20, WY 20 - BY 25
FIRST DOWNS................... 13 20
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 27-63 51-217
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 110 81
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 29-13-0 18-10-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 56-173 69-298
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1--4 2-12
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-88 6-157
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-55 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-31.0 4-40.0
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards............... 7-65 8-70
Possession Time............... 26:35 33:25
Third-Down Conversions........ 2 of 12 5 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 2 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-1 3-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-11 3-18
RUSHING: Wyoming-HERRON, Robert 6-62; CARTA-SAMUELS,A 9-13; CRUM, Dax
2-10; ALEXANDER, A. 9-minus 7; TEAM 1-minus 15. BYU-KARIYA, Bryan 19-88; DI
LUIGI, JJ 16-82; QUEZADA, Joshua 14-59; TEAM 1-minus 1; HEAPS, Jake 1-minus 11.
PASSING: Wyoming-CARTA-SAMUELS,A 13-26-0-110; CRUM, Dax 0-3-0-0.
BYU-HEAPS, Jake 10-18-1-81.
RECEIVING: Wyoming-BOLGER, Zach 4-44; STUDNICKA, B. 2-26; LEONARD, David
2-10; MCNEILL, Chris 1-16; BURKHALTER, T. 1-13; ALEXANDER, A. 1-5; HERRON,
Robert 1-2; CARLSON, Nick 1-minus 6. BYU-ASHWORTH, Luke 6-57; MATHEWS, Marcus
1-17; HOFFMAN, Cody 1-7; MUEHLMANN, Mike 1-4; DI LUIGI, JJ 1-minus 4.
INTERCEPTIONS: Wyoming-LEWIS, Keith 1-55. BYU-None.
FUMBLES: Wyoming-TEAM 1-0. BYU-QUEZADA, Joshua 1-1.
SACKS (UA-A): Wyoming-BIEZUNS, Josh 1-0. BYU-WAGNER, Jadon 1-0;
MANUMALEUNA, Ea 1-0; SO'OTO, Vic 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Wyoming-GARY, Shamiel 7-6; SCHOBER, Oliver 4-5;
PROSINSKI,Chris 5-3; GIPSON, Tashaun 4-2; PURCELL, Mike 2-4; RUFF, Luke 3-1;
TONEY, Alex 2-2; MERTENS,Patrick 2-2; HENDRICKS,Brian 2-2; GIPSON, Marcell 3-0; MUHAMMAD,Ghaali 2-1; BIRKENESS, Mat 2-1; LEWIS, Keith 2-0; HALL, Reece 2-0;
DURBIN, Ben 1-1; BIEZUNS, Josh 1-1; KNAPTON, Gabe 0-2; HARRIS, Devyn 1-0; HUFF,Marqueston 0-1; LAWSON, Eric 0-1; HARTFORD, P. 0-1. BYU-HUNTER,
Shane 3-3; SO'OTO, Vic 4-1; OGLETREE, Brand 4-0; RICH, Andrew 3-1; VAN NOY, Kyle
2-2; JORGENSEN, Aust 3-0; UALE, Travis 3-0; WAGNER, Jadon 1-2; MANUMALEUNA, Ea
2-0; LOGAN, Brian 2-0; PUTNAM, Matt 1-1; BRADLEY, Brando 1-1; FOOTE, David 1-0;
EASON, Corby 1-0; ANSAH, Ezekiel 1-0; HESS, Connell 0-1.
Game 8: BYU vs. Wyoming
Game 8: BYU Cougars vs. Wyoming Cowboys
BYU will play against Wyoming on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 12 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium on The Mtn. and KSL Radio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.
BYU (2-5, 1-2 MWC) vs. Wyoming (2-5, 0-3)
Oct. 23, 2010
12 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
THE BYU-WYOMING SERIES
BYU has simply dominated its series with Wyoming in recent memory. The Cowboys have not scored against the Cougars in the last nine-straight quarters of play. Since 2006, BYU has defeated Wyoming by an average score of 46.5-4.3 and outgained the Pokes in total yardage by an average of 464.5-225.3. The two teams challenged each other every year from 1929-1992 (excluding the war years) and every year since 1999, with the Cougars leading the series, 43-30-3 overall.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- BYU has won six-straight games against Wyoming, including eight in a row dating back to the late 1980s at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall has never lost to the Cowboys, going 5-0. Since Mendenhall took over, BYU has outscored Wyoming 222-38, with 21 Wyoming points coming in 2005 alone. In those five wins, Wyoming has 17 turnovers to BYU’s zero.
- In the last two meetings between BYU and Wyoming, the Cougars have outscored the Cowboys 96-0, including a 52-0 win in 2009 and a 44-0 victory in 2008. BYU forced nine turnovers in the two games while giving up zero.
- All five of Wyoming’s losses have come against teams ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season (Texas, Boise State, Air Force, TCU and Utah). The Cowboys have played the fifth-toughest schedule in the nation, according to Sagarin computer ratings. To compare, four of BYU’s five losses (Florida State, Air Force, Nevada and TCU) have come to teams ranked this season. The Cougars have played the fourth-toughest schedule in the nation, also according to Sagarin.
- Freshman quarterback Jake Heaps will start his fourth game, tied for second-most among BYU freshman quarterbacks all-time. Heaps already owns BYU freshman records for most pass completions and pass attempts and is second for most wins and third for most passing yards.
MOVE FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD
As a team, the Cougars are one of the least penalized squads in the nation, averaging just 4.86 penalties per game, tied for 14th among all FBS schools and third in the MWC. BYU’s average of 35.0 penalty yards per game is 8th in the nation and the best in the conference. Against Nevada, BYU had one turnover for minus-five yards.
FIRST FRESHMAN RECORD FALLS
Freshman quarterback Jake Heaps broke the BYU freshman quarterback record for most pass completions, completing his 109th pass against TCU to pass Matt Berry’s previous record, finishing the game with 110 completions overall. Against Wyoming, Heaps will start his fourth game, tied for second-most among BYU freshman quarterbacks all-time. Heaps already owns BYU freshman records for most pass completions and pass attempts and is second for most wins and third for most passing yards.
For the first time this season, the BYU defense started the same 11 players in back-to-back games versus San Diego State and TCU. Numerous injuries have been a key factor in the constant shakeup, with 13 players getting the first starts of their careers on the defensive side this year.
STEPHENSON KICKS CAREER HIGH
BYU sophomore Riley Stephenson averaged 48.0 yards while punting a career-most seven times during BYU’s game at TCU. He booted five of his seven punts more than 50 yards to help total a career-high 336 punting yards on the day. Two of his punts sailed a season-high 59 yards, one yard off his career mark, while he also had punts of 54, 53, and 50 yards.
CHAMBERS SETS BYU CAREER RECORD
Junior kick returner O’Neill Chambers became the Cougars’ all-time career leader in kickoff return yardage on Saturday against TCU, taking five returns a total of 112 yards to give him 1,612 on his career. Chambers passed Mike Rigell (1998-01) who had 1,545 career return yards.
For the complete BYU vs. Wyoming game notes, see the attached PDF file.