PROVO, Utah - Quarterback Riley Nelson threw three early touchdown passes and the BYU football team held off a pesky San Jose State team 29-16 at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night.
BYU will play San Jose State during Homecoming weekend on Saturday, Oct. 8, with kickoff set for 8:17 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on ESPNU, WatchESPN.com and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.
BYU (3-2) vs. San Jose State (2-3, 1-1 WAC)
Oct. 8, 2011
8:17 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
For the complete BYU vs. San Jose State game notes, download the attached PDF file below.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Saturday's game marks BYU's annual Homecoming contest. The Cougars have a 43-21 record all-time on Homecoming games, including a 5-1 record under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. BYU has a 26.5 - 14.8 scoring margin in those six games and a 30.4 - 10.2 margin in the five victories.
- The game marks BYU’s first meeting against San Jose State since 1998 and only the second since 1969. BYU has won five of the last six meetings after losing its first eight games to the Spartans between 1946 and 1961.
- This Saturday’s 8:17 p.m. (MT) kickoff is the latest for BYU since the Cougars played at UNLV in 1999. That game began at 8:37 p.m. (MT) and saw No. 19 BYU defeat the Rebels 29-0. Owen Pochman set a BYU kicking record that game with 17 points, including five field goals.
- The game will mark the BYU football program’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Players will wear pink athletic tape, sweatbands and other athletic gear.
- BYU is 3-0 this season when playing in a game televised by ESPN and 0-2 on ESPN2 this season. This weekend’s game is the second in program history on ESPNU after its initial contest against Florida State last season.
- For his efforts last week against Utah State, junior quarterback Riley Nelson was named the FBS Independent Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Rivals.com Independent Player of the Week. Nelson led the Cougars on two fourth quarter touchdown drives, the second resulting in the game-winning score with 11 seconds left in the game.
THE BYU-SAN JOSE STATE SERIES
BYU and San Jose State are meeting for the 15th time. The Spartans hold a 9-5 advantage over the Cougars with the last meeting coming as a 46-43 BYU victory on Oct. 24, 1998, in Provo. The Cougars led 39-22 going into the fourth quarter before a furious comeback attempt from San Jose State. The Spartans got the score to 39-36 before BYU running back Ronney Jenkins scored his third rushing touchdown of the game to help hold off San Jose State. Jenkins ran for 250 yards on 31 carries and scored three touchdowns on the ground. He also added 25 yards receiving, including one catch for a score.
GOLDEN STATE FOES
BYU has played several schools from California throughout the history of the program. The Cougars have faced off against San Diego State the most, playing the Aztecs 35 times. The San Jose State Spartans have battled BYU the second-most times, playing 14 games over the years. BYU is currently 54-37-2 overall when playing teams from California and 33-15 while playing at home in Provo against opponents from the Golden State.
The Spartans call sunny San Jose, Calif., home and have 94 Californians on the roster. By comparison, BYU has 21 California natives. Defensive back Joe Sampson comes the closest to San Jose, hailing from Oakland, Calif., and playing at the College of San Mateo, just 30 miles away from San Jose.
FOURTH QUARTER COMEBACKS
Just five games into the season, BYU has already had three fourth-quarter comebacks, accounting for all three wins of the season. Last week’s heroics over Utah State featured two late touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to help the Cougars overcome a 24-13 lead and go on to win 27-24. BYU also came back in the fourth the week before to beat UCF 24-17 with a 6-yard touchdown run from Bryan Kariya after a muffed punt return from UCF for the eventual game-winner. In the season opener at Ole Miss, late in the fourth quarter linebacker Kyle Van Noy stripped the ball from the Rebels’ quarterback
and scooped up and took it three yards into the end zone for the score to help BYU win 14-13.
RUNNING AS EQUALS
BYU’s ground game saw three running backs and quarterback Riley Nelson each take at least 10 rushing attempts to help the Cougars to their highest rushing output of the season against Utah State. Nelson rushed 11 times for 62 yards and JJ DiLuigi also carried the ball 11 times for 50 yards. Bryan Kariya had 11 rushes for 42 yards and Josh Quezada picked up 41 yards on 10 carries. Altogether, BYU’s running game picked up 200 yards.
In a dramatic comeback victory, the BYU offense managed to roll up 451 total yards with the football, the highest output of the season. The Cougar passing game accounted for 251 yards through the air and two touchdowns while the ground game picked up 200 yards and one touchdown on a quarterback keeper from Jake Heaps. In the fourth quarter alone BYU had 198 of its total yards with 96 coming on the game-winning drive alone.
After failing to force a turnover against Utah State, BYU’s streak of forcing a turnover ended at nine games. Utah State had one fumble in the contest but the ball rolled out of bounds before either team was able to recover.
PREVENTING THE PASS
For the third time in five games this season the BYU defense held the opposing quarterbacks to less than 150 yards passing. Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton to just 122 yards on 26 passing attempts. The Cougars held Ole Miss to 145 yards passing and Texas to 123 yards through the air. The Cougars currently rank 28th in the NCAA in passing defense, allowing an average of 189.20 yards per game. BYU also ranks 36th in passing efficiency defense.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS
After dominating the first half of play during the first three regular season games, the Cougars waited until the second half to secure the victory over UCF. BYU allowed 10 offensive points in the first half, a season high, before limited the Knights to seven points in the second half and no points in the fourth quarter. BYU also forced three second half turnovers against UCF. Against in-state rival Utah State, the BYU defense allowed only three fourth quarter points as the Cougars outscored the Aggies 14-3 in the final period to take home a 27-24 victory. The Cougars did not allow an Aggie third-down conversion in the fourth (0-3) and limited Utah State to a time of possession of just 5:59 in the quarter.
In five games this season the BYU defense has forced nine total turnovers. The Cougars are nearly halfway to their total of 23 turnovers in 2010, which took the team 13 games to accrue last season. The nine turnovers gained currently ranks 18th in the NCAA. Cincinnati is number one with 16 turnovers gained.
ALL OVER THE FIELD
Sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy has tallied at least one statistic in every major defensive category in 2011, making him one of four players in the FBS to do so this season. Van Noy has 24 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, 2 quarterback hurries and 2 pass breakups so far this season.
MOVING ON UP
After the fifth game of the season againt Utah State, the BYU special teams unit improved in nearly every statistical category. The BYU kickoff teams have led the Cougars so far this season, as the return defense ranks 16th in the NCAA and the return team ranks 24th in the nation. Punter Riley Stephenson currently ranks 31st in the NCAA in punt average (42.42) and Cody Hoffman ranks 28th in yards per kickoff return (25.47).