Freshmen Shine in Record-Setting Day at the New Mexico Bowl
ALBUQUERQUE -- BYU opened the 2010 bowl season with its fourth bowl victory in the last five years with a 52-24 triumph over UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday.
The Cougars had a record-setting day to finish the season with a 7-6 record and wins in five of their last six games.
New Mexico Bowl Offensive MVP Jake Heaps went 25-of-34 for 264 yards and four touchdown passes, passing Ty Detmer’s freshman record for most touchdown passes. Heaps also set the BYU bowl record for best completion percentage (.735) in a bowl game.
Senior safety Andrew Rich was awarded the game’s Defensive MVP in his final game as a Cougar, finishing with four solo tackles, two interceptions, one tackle-for-loss, one sack and a pass breakup.
BYU played well for the start at University Stadium, scoring on its first five possessions to take a 31-3 lead and set a new first-half New Mexico Bowl scoring record. After forcing UTEP to punt to open game, freshman JD Falslev returned the ensuing punt 43 yards to set up BYU’s first score of the day. Junior running back Bryan Kariya capped the four-play, 37-yard drive with a 4-yard run into the south end zone.
The Cougars went up 14-0 after Heaps found senior wide receiver Luke Ashworth for a nine-yard score with 4:37 to go in the first quarter. BYU put together 12 plays to cover 78 yards on the drive with Ashworth breaking a tackle at the 2-yard line to get in for the touchdown.
While BYU’s offense was successfully moving the ball, the Cougar defense was equally successful keeping the Miners from gaining ground. BYU finished the first quarter with a 17-3 lead while totaling 143 yards and holding UTEP to minus-5 yards.
UTEP’s only score of the quarter was set up by a 72-yard kickoff return by Marlon McClure. Even then, BYU’s defense forced a 52-yard field goal after pushing the Miners back 13 yards in three plays. Reserve cornerback Corby Eason blindsided Miner quarterback Trevor Vittatoe for a 10-yard sack on the first play of the possession at the 22-yard line, marking 3.5 sacks on the year for the junior from Columbus, Ga.
Special teams continued to provide return highlights as BYU freshman Cody Hoffman ran back UTEP’s ensuing kick a career-best 51 yards to set up Mitch Payne’s 38-yard field goal for the 17-3 advantage. The Cougars quickly added to the lead in the opening moments of the second quarter after sophomore linebacker Brandon Ogletree intercepted Vittatoe’s tipped pass on the Miners’ first-down play. Eight seconds and one-play later, Heaps connected with Hoffman for a 31-yard strike.
The 24-3 lead became 31-3 when Heaps and Hoffman again teamed for a touchdown, this time from three yards out. The eight-play, 64-yard drive completed a string of five straight possessions that resulted in a BYU score. The touchdown also moved Heaps past Ty Detmer for the most scoring throws by a Cougar freshman, giving Heaps 14 on the year and three for the half.
The Miners responded quickly to slow BYU’s momentum as Vittatoe found wide receiver Kris Adams over the top for a 67-yard touchdown. The one-play drive took only nine seconds off the clock.
On BYU’s next possession, Cougar punter Riley Stephenson made the most of his lone punt attempt of the half, booming his kick 60 yards. His effort not only tied his career best but also equaled the BYU bowl record Stephenson set in last year’s Maaco Las Vegas Bowl.
BYU finished the half with 286 yards of total offense with Heaps connecting on 18-of-25 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. The Cougar defense held the Miners to 80 yards, with 67 of that total coming on one play.
The Cougars outscored the Miners 14-7 in the third quarter to take a 45-17 lead into the final quarter. JJ Di Luigi finished off a 14-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half with a two-yard sweep to paydirt, and Heaps and Hoffman connected for the third time just before the end of the quarter on a 29-yard pass play. UTEP’s touchdown was another long pass play to Adams, this time covering 37 yards.
Hoffman set career highs across the board with eight receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns, tying a BYU bowl game record for most touchdown receptions in a game.
After freshman running back Joshua Quezada bulled his way to an 8-yard touchdown with 12 minutes remaining, Payne converted the point-after attempt to pass Owen Pochman as the Cougars’ all-time scoring leader with 334 points. With the score 52-17, UTEP added another touchdown to make the final tally 52-24.
Overall, BYU outgained the Miners, now 6-7 on the year, 514 total yards to 233. Quezada rushed for a game-high 101 yards on 15 carries to average 6.7 yards per carry while Di Luigi added 98 yards on 20 carries as the Cougars totaled 219 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, Heaps and sophomore James Lark combined for 295 yards with Heaps finishing the game with four touchdowns.
BYU (7-6) vs. UTEP (6-7)
Date: Dec 18, 2010 Site: Albuquerque, N.M.
Stadium: University Stadium
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
BYU................. 17 14 14 7 - 52
UTEP................ 3 7 7 7 - 24
1st 10:29 BY - KARIYA, Bryan 4 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 4-37 1:43, BY 7 - UTEP 0
04:37 BY - ASHWORTH, Luke 9 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 12-78 4:47, BY 14 - UTEP 0
02:42 UTEP - WARREN, Dakota 52 yd field goal, 4--13 1:42, BY 14 - UTEP 3
00:34 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 38 yd field goal, 8-28 2:00, BY 17 - UTEP 3
2nd 14:43 BY - HOFFMAN, Cody 31 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 1-31 0:08, BY 24 - UTEP 3
08:55 BY - HOFFMAN, Cody 3 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-64 4:22, BY 31 - UTEP 3
08:38 UTEP - ADAMS, Kris 67 yd pass from VITTATOE,Trevor (WARREN, Dakota kick), 1-67 0:09, BY 31 - UTEP 10
3rd 08:18 BY - DI LUIGI, JJ 2 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 14-75 6:36, BY 38 - UTEP 10
04:55 UTEP - ADAMS, Kris 37 yd pass from VITTATOE,Trevor (WARREN, Dakota kick), 6-66 3:16, BY 38 - UTEP 17
00:14 BY - HOFFMAN, Cody 29 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 5-46 2:12, BY 45 - UTEP 17
4th 12:00 BY - QUEZADA, Joshua 8 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-65 2:41, BY 52 - UTEP 17
09:48 UTEP - ADAMS, Kris 49 yd pass from VITTATOE,Trevor (WARREN, Dakota kick), 4-60 2:06, BY 52 - UTEP 24
FIRST DOWNS................... 28 13
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 50-219 22--12
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 295 245
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 36-26-2 33-14-3
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 86-514 55-233
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-42 2-2
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-125 8-202
Interception Returns-Yards.... 3-42 2-55
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-53.3 6-47.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards............... 6-54 7-52
Possession Time............... 38:16 21:44
Third-Down Conversions........ 9 of 16 3 of 12
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 5-5 0-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-58 0-0
RUSHING: BYU-QUEZADA, Joshua 15-101; DI LUIGI, JJ 20-98; KARIYA, Bryan
6-18; HAGUE, Mike 3-9; LARK, James 1-minus 1; FOOTE, David 2-minus 2; TEAM
3-minus 4. UTEP-BANYARD, Joe 2-11; THOMAS II,James 4-10; BUCKRAM, Donald 6-10;
MYERS, Leilyon 1-3; MCCLURE, Marlon 1-minus 3; VITTATOE,Trevor 8-minus 43.
PASSING: BYU-HEAPS, Jake 25-34-1-264; LARK, James 1-2-1-31.
UTEP-VITTATOE,Trevor 14-29-3-245; THOMAS II,James 0-3-0-0; TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: BYU-HOFFMAN, Cody 8-137; JACOBSON, McKay 4-32; DI LUIGI, JJ
3-21; MAHINA, Devin 2-20; WILSON, Richard 2-16; QUEZADA, Joshua 2-15; FOOTE,
David 1-31; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-9; HAGUE, Mike 1-6; HAFOKA, Spencer 1-4; HOLT,
Austin 1-4. UTEP-MCCLURE, Marlon 4-38; ADAMS, Kris 3-153; HUNTER, Pierce 3-27;
TRISBY, Corey 2-14; THOMAS II,James 1-7; CARR, Russell 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: BYU-RICH, Andrew 2-43; OGLETREE, Brand 1-minus 1.
UTEP-NIXON, Travaun 1-43; OBI, Bernard 1-12.
FUMBLES: BYU-HOFFMAN, Cody 1-0. UTEP-None.
SACKS (UA-A): BYU-FRAZIER, Jameso 1-0; EASON, Corby 1-0; SO'OTO, Vic 1-0;
RICH, Andrew 1-0. UTEP-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): BYU-RICH, Andrew 4-0; HUNTER, Shane 1-3; JORGENSEN, Aust
3-0; STOUT, Zac 3-0; BRADLEY, Brando 2-1; FRAZIER, Jameso 2-1; MANUMALEUNA, Ea 1-2; WAGNER, Jadon 1-2; HESS, Connell 1-2; VAN NOY, Kyle 2-0; OGLETREE, Brand 1-1; LOGAN, Brian 1-1; PUTNAM, Matt 1-1; FOOTE, David 1-1; EASON, Corby 1-0; PETERSON, Matt 1-0; MENDENHALL, Zek 1-0; SO'OTO, Vic 1-0; KARIYA, Bryan 1-0; JAUSSI, Landon 0-1; MARSHALL, Matt 0-1; LARK, James 0-1; UALE, Travis 0-1; QUEZADA, Joshua 0-1.
UTEP-JEUNE, Wiston 7-3; MORROW, Anthony 5-4; CARTER, Isaiah 4-4; SPRINGER,Jeremy
4-3; NIXON, Travaun 5-1; GRAYSON,DeShawn 2-3; SMITH, Royzell 1-4; BLAKE, Antwon
4-0; REED, Germard 3-1; ALEXIUS, Aubrey 3-0; WATKINS, Greg 2-1; AYALA, Adam 1-2;
BAGLEY, Marcus 1-2; MILLER, Brandon 2-0; SPENCER,Richard 2-0; BANYARD, Joe 1-1;
CONTRERAS, A. 1-1; SOLEYJACKS, R. 0-2; CULLUMBER, T. 1-0; EVBUOMWAN, L. 1-0;
CAMILLI, Matt 1-0; CAMPBELL, Ian 1-0; IRVING, Jamie 1-0; MUNOZ, Ruben 0-1;
STRANGE, Martel 0-1; OBI, Bernard 0-1; THOMAS, Drew 0-1.
Game 13: New Mexico Bowl - BYU vs. UTEP
Game 13: BYU Cougars vs. UTEP Miners
BYU will play UTEP at noon MT on Saturday, Dec. 18, in the New Mexico Bowl. The game will be broadcast live from University Stadium on ESPN and ESPN HD and KSL Radio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.
BYU (6-6, 5-3 MWC) vs. UTEP (6-6, 3-5 C-USA)
Dec. 18, 2010
Albuquerque, New Mexico
THE BYU-UTEP SERIES
The New Mexico Bowl is a new twist on an old matchup between former Western Athletic Conference foes BYU and UTEP. Despite playing against each other consistently from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, the Cougars and Miners are meeting up for the first time in 12 years at the home of another former WAC opponent, New Mexico, the two teams’ first meeting ever at a neutral site. BYU has traditionally dominated the series, including wins in 20 of the last 22 games.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- BYU is making its sixth-straight bowl appearance, all under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars are 3-2 during that span, and have won three of their last four, including a 44-20 win over No. 16 Oregon State last year in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas.
- BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is the first BYU head coach to lead his team to a bowl game each of his first six seasons.
- BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall returns to University Stadium where he coached from 1998-02 at the University of New Mexico as the defensive coordinator.
- The New Mexico Bowl marks the first time BYU and UTEP have played at a neutral site. The Cougars are 14-2 in Provo and 14-5-1 in El Paso overall.
- BYU quarterback Jake Heaps is the first freshman ever to start a bowl game for the Cougars in program history. The true freshman has had the best freshman quarterback season in BYU history, holding school freshman records in passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions, games started and games won. Heaps is also just three touchdown passes away from breaking Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer’s school freshman record of 13 touchdown throws.
BYU VS. UTEP BOWL FACTS
- BYU’s bowl date of Dec. 18 this year is tied for the second earliest the Cougars have ever played in a bowl game. The earliest date was the Holiday Bowl in 1982 when BYU played Ohio State on Dec. 17. BYU competed in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl and the 1981 Holiday Bowl also on Dec. 18.
- UTEP is the second team from Texas that BYU has played in a bowl game. BYU competed against Texas A&M in the 1990 Holiday Bowl. BYU has also competed once in a Texas-based bowl game, facing Kansas State in the 1996 Cotton Bowl game held in Dallas. UTEP is the third Conference USA opponent the Cougars have played in a bowl game. BYU is 0-2 all-time against C-USA bowl opponents, losing 41-27 to Tulane in the 1998 Liberty Bowl and 28-10 in the 2001 Liberty Bowl to Louisville (now in the Big East). BYU is 1-1 against current C-USA membership, including a win over SMU when the Mustangs were a member of the Southwest Conference in 1980, winning 46-45 in the now-classic “Miracle Bowl.”
- Meeting for the 37th time, BYU and UTEP are playing each other at a neutral site for the first time. The New Mexico Bowl host school, the University of New Mexico, was also in the Western Athletic Conference with BYU and UTEP when all three schools were together from 1967 when UTEP joined the conference until 1999 when BYU and New Mexico left the league to help form the Mountain West Conference.
- New Mexico is also the only common opponent between the two schools this year, with UTEP defeating the Lobos, 38-20, in Albuquerque on Oct. 2, while BYU secured a 40-7 win over New Mexico in Provo on Nov. 20.
- The New Mexico Bowl is BYU’s 29th bowl appearance and sixth-straight bowl game. UTEP is playing in its 13th bowl game and its first since 2005.
- UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe will look to throw one more passing touchdown to jump former BYU quarterback Max Hall for 18th all-time in NCAA history.
Only USC (48), UCLA (30) and Washington (30) have more bowl appearances than BYU (29) among teams west of Texas. BYU’s 29 bowl appearances is ninth among teams west of the Mississippi River (includes 2010 bowl season):
1. Texas 49
2. USC 48
3. Nebraska 47
4. Oklahoma 44
5. Texas Tech 34
6. Texas A&M 32
7. UCLA 30
9. BYU 29
10. Colorado 28
BYU VS. CONFERENCE USA
Since 1980, BYU is 26-6 (.813) against current C-USA teams, having played Marshall, SMU, Tulsa, UTEP, Rice and Tulane. The Cougars’ most recent game against a C-USA team was in 2009 when they traveled to Tulane and defeated the Green Wave, 54-3. BYU has an 0-2 bowl record against C-USA teams, including a 21-3 loss to quarterback Chad Pennington and No. 11 Marshall in the Motor City Bowl in 1999 and a 41-27 defeat to quarterback Shawn King and No. 10 Tulane in 1998 at the Liberty Bowl.
MULTIPLE COUGARS NAMED ALL-MWC
COLORADO Springs, Colo. (Nov. 30, 2010) - BYU senior safety Andrew Rich, senior defensive lineman Vic So’oto and junior offensive lineman Matt Reynolds were named All-Mountain West Conference First Team and junior running back JJ Di Luigi was named All-MWC Second Team as announced by the conference on Tuesday.
In addition, seven BYU players received All-MWC honorable mention. Senior wide receiver Luke Ashworth, senior kicker Mitch Payne, senior linebacker Shane Hunter and senior defensive back Brian Logan joined offensive linemen Jason Speredon, Terence Brown and Braden Hansen in receiving recognition.
“Our players honored are all very deserving,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “This recognition highlights their strong contributions to our football team.”
The first-team recognition is the second straight for Reynolds, an anchor at left tackle who started every game of his career for the Cougars, and has received top grades every game while giving up just one sack this season. Among
offensive first-teamers, Reynolds is one of four repeat selections and the only junior on the squad.
Joining Reynolds as a two-year honoree is fellow team captain Rich, a second-team All-MWC selection last season. The senior safety leads BYU in tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and pass breakups.
Also on the defensive first team, So’oto earned his first all-conference award of his career. So’oto is first on the team and third in the conference in solo tackles-for-loss while also leading BYU in sacks and quarterback hurries.
Di Luigi, the Cougars’ lone second-team selection and a first-year conference honoree, is second among all MWC players in receiving and rushing yards combined and was third in the conference in rushing yards per game and all-purpose yards per game.
BYU scored at least 14 points in the first quarter in four-straight games this season, the first time the Cougars have done so in in program history. BYU has scored 14 in the first quarter six times this season overall, the most since 1983. BYU also scored 14 in the first quarter six times in 1981 and 1980 and did so a record seven times in 1977. BYU has outscored its opponents 104-44 in the first quarter on the year.
For the complete New Mexico Bowl, BYU vs. UTEP game notes, see the attached PDF file.