After leveling Tulane last Saturday in the BCA Classic in Provo, 70-35, the high-flying Cougars will play host to WAC foe Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 1 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Game time is set for 7:07 p.m. (MDT). Following Saturday's game, BYU will take to the road for three straight games before returning to the friendly confines of LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday, Oct. 5 (vs. Utah State).
The BYU-Nevada Series
The Wolfpack will be making their first trip to Provo since the 1940 season. BYU has posted a 3-0-2 record over Nevada, dating back to the first-ever meeting between the two schools on Sept. 28, 1929. The game will mark only the third time the two teams have met in Provo and the first time in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Throughout the series, each of the games have been close, including two tie games. The Cougars' three wins have come by an average of just 4.7 points, including wins of three, four and seven points.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live to a local television audience on SportsWest. The game will be available in the Salt Lake City market on KSL-TV, Ch. 5. Reno station KAME, Ch. 21 (Ch. 7 on AT&T Broadband Cable) will also carry the game. KSL's Tom Kirkland will call the action, while former BYU player Blaine Fowler will lend expert analysis. Satellite coordinates are: C-Band, Telstar 6, Transponder 11.
In their second year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, the Wolfpack will travel to Provo for the first time since 1940. While BYU has a game under its belt, Nevada will begin the 2001 campaign with 10 offensive starters and eight defensive starters returning from a 2000 squad that posted a 2-10 record. The Wolfpack will look to leading passer, David Neill, to restore the offensive firepower at Nevada. Neill ranks as the Wolfpack's career leader in passing yards, attempts and total offense. The honorable mention All-WAC performer led Nevada to a 26th-place ranking in total offense last season. He will look to an experienced group of receivers, including Nate Burleson, who ranked 36th in the nation in receiving yards, and Mike Crawford, who had 42 receptions for 508 yards over nine games last season. Burleson also returns as the Wolfpack's leading scorer and all-purpose man from a year ago. The junior receiver posted eight touchdowns. Jorge Cordova returns for the Nevada defense after recording a team-leading 91 tackles last season, along with Ronnie Hardiman who posted 86 takedowns. Nevada is under the direction of second year head coach Chris Tormey. Tormey has posted a 35-33 record over six seasons as a head coach, including a record of 33-23 in five seasons as the head coach at the University of Idaho.
Crowton Versus Nevada
As the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech (1995), Crowton and the Bulldogs came up four points short in a Big West showdown in Ruston, La., losing to Nevada, 49-45.
A Look Back ... BYU 70, Tulane 35
When the dust had settled at Edwards Stadium, the Cougars had not only avenged a 1998 Liberty Bowl loss to the Green Wave, but did so with authority. BYU posted a dominating 70-35 victory over Tulane, handing the Green Wave their worst loss since a 42-point debacle against Memphis in 1999. BYU scored early and often, recording the most points in a single game since racking up 70 points against Utah in 1989. The point total also marked the most points ever scored by the Cougars in a season-opening game. In only his third career start, senior quarterback Brandon Doman collected BCA Classic MVP honors after piling up a career-high 115 yards rushing and 286 yards passing. Doman was not the only BYU ball carrier to rack up 100 yards rushing. Junior Luke Staley (142 yds.) and senior Brian McDonald-Ashford (110 yds.) each added over 100 yards, marking the first time three BYU ball carriers eclipsed the century mark since the 1986 season (vs. Utah). All totaled, the Cougars racked up 734 yards of total offense, coming up just 43 yards short of the all-time BYU record (777 yds. vs. New Mexico; 1983). Tulane jumped on top just over a minute into the game with a 75-yard touchdown run from Mewelde Moore. The teams proceeded to trade touchdowns for the rest of the quarter, ending the first quarter tied at 21. BYU opened up the second quarter scoring just four seconds into the period with an eight-yard pass from Doman to tight end Spencer Nead. The Cougars, armed with a 28-21 lead, never looked back. BYU scored 21 more points in the quarter, taking a 49-28 halftime lead. The feverish scoring pace, which saw the Cougars score on possessions of :55, :47, :46 and :33 during the first half, slowed in the second half with BYU scoring just 14 points in the third quarter. With the game well in hand, Doman turned over the reins to senior Charlie Peterson to begin the fourth quarter. McDonald-Ashford finished things off with his third touchdown of the game with 9:25 remaining in the game.
Saturday's game marked the largest margin of victory for BYU since defeating Utah State, 52-0, to open the 1986 season.
BYU's grand total of 437 yards rushing was just 28 yards short of the Cougars' all-time team rushing record of 465 yards (vs. Montana; 1958).
BYU's 49 points in the first half tied a LaVell Edwards Stadium record for the most points scored in a half, set in the first half against Utah in 1989.
Brandon Doman was credited with four TDs on the afternoon, including three via the pass (all to tight ends) and one rushing touchdown (a 14-yard scamper).
BYU's Luke Staley and Brian McDonald-Ashford both scored three touchdowns on the afternoon.
Saturday's game (vs. Tulane) marked only the fourth time in BYU football history the Cougars have scored 70 or more points in a single game. The all-time single-game scoring record stands at 83 points, tallied against UTEP during the 1980 season. Saturday's total of 70 points ranks tied for second on BYU's all-time single-game scoring list.
Doman's three touchdown completions marked the first time a BYU quarterback has had three TD completions since Kevin Feterik connected on four touchdown completions in the Cougars' 1999 season-opening win over Washington.
The Cougars broke eight Mountain West Conference single-game team and two individual records (vs. Tulane), including total offense, total points, rushing TDs, passing completion percentage, combined points in a quarter, combined points in a half, combined total points, most points in a half, most completions (Mahe, 12) and most PATs (Payne, 10).
Horseshoes And Hand Grenades
The Cougars came up just short of three key records in Saturday's 35-point victory over Tulane:
- BYU scored 70 points, 13 points shy of the school record.
- BYU recorded 734 yards of total offense, 43 yards shy of the school record.
- BYU recorded 437 yards rushing, 28 yards shy of the school record.
Brandon "Doman"ation - The "Doman"ator
In only his third career start at BYU, senior quarterback Brandon Doman dominated Tulane with 115 yards rushing and 286 yards passing on 25-of-31 attempts. In his first collegiate start at quarterback (Nov. 18, 2000), the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Salt Lake City native, led BYU to a 37-13 win over New Mexico in the Cougars' final home game of the 2000 season. Now 3-0 as a starter, Doman earned the distinction last season as the first BYU QB to rush for over 50 yards and pass for more than 300 yards since Steve Young. One game into the 2001 season, Doman ran for 115 yards and totaled 286 yards passing, becoming the first BYU signal caller to tally such numbers since Young threw for 351 yards and rushed for 113 yards against Baylor in 1983. All totaled, Doman racked up 401 yards of total offense, marking the second time in his three starts he has had 400 or more yards in a game. (Against New Mexico last season, Doman had 349 yards passing and 51 yards rushing.) The last quarterback to post 400 yards of total offense was during the 1999 season when Kevn Feterik posted 421 yards against Washington. The Doman-led offense produced 734 yards of total offense on Saturday, marking the first time since 1994 (vs. Air Force) the Cougars amassed more than 600 total yards in a game. Doman connected with Spencer Nead (twice) and Gabriel Reid for three touchdown passes, marking the first three-TD performance of his career. Against the Green Wave, Doman completed 25 passes in 31 attempts (.810), including a stretch of eight straight completions to start the game. For his efforts, Doman was named the BCA Classic MVP.
May The Force Be With You
Returning for his junior season, running back Luke Staley is injury-free and poised to rack up even more yards and a few more touchdowns along the way. Against Tulane, Staley had the "force", using it to run all over the Tulane defense. Staley recorded his second career 100-yard game, posting 142 yards on 10 carries, averaging a whopping 14.2 yards per carry. Staley also picked up three TDs, including a career long 65 yard scamper in the first quarter to go along with scoring trots of 29 and 2 yards. Staley also showed his receiving abilities, recording four receptions for 52 yards. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound speedster also returned the opening kickoff for 18 yards. On the day, Staley tallied 212 all-purpose yards to lead the Cougars to a 70-35 win over Tulane.
Has produced at least one touchdown in 13 of the 20 games he has played.
Has scored multiple touchdowns in seven games throughout his career.
Produced a career-high 167 yards rushing on 28 carries against UNLV in 2000.
Racked up 142 yards and three TDs against Tulane in the 2001 season-opener.
Totaled a team-leading 479 yards rushing as a sophomore.
Totaled 75 yards and three touchdowns against Utah State last season.
Has produced 23 career touchdowns, including 20 rushing TDs.
Earned Freshman All-American honors in 1999, scoring 13 TDs on the season.
Accounted for 806 all-purpose yards as a sophomore.
Reno Mahe - The Biggest Little Receiver in the MWC
BYU's Reno Mahe wasted little time making an impression in his return to Edwards Stadium. Mahe, after breaking two bones in his foot in the first week of Fall Camp, led the BYU aerial attack, racking up 96 yards on 12 receptions. Mahe's 12 receptions marked the first time a BYU receiver has had 10 (or more) receptions in a single game since the 1997 season. In the first quarter against Tulane, Mahe also racked up a 55-yard run on a reverse to the left sideline. The run marked Mahe's second-longest run as a Cougar. As a freshman (in 1998) Mahe posted a 57-yard run. Mahe's last game as a Cougar was on Dec. 31, 1998 against Tulane in the Liberty Bowl. Last season, Mahe earned Junior College All-America honors after recording 57 receptions for 1,387 yards and 19 touchdowns for Dixie College. As a freshman at BYU (in 1998), Mahe registered 481 yards rushing on 98 carries, scored six rushing touchdowns and one TD reception. Mahe missed the last week of Fall Camp this season after sustaining a pair of hairline fractures in his foot.
What a Payne
BYU freshman Matt Payne successfully picked up where All-MWC performer Owen Pochman left off. In his first collegiate start, the BYU kicker produced 10 PATs to tie the BYU record for most PATs in a single game. (Jason Chaffetz kicked 10 PATs against Utah in 1989.) Payne also tallied four touchbacks and was the benefactor of his own squib quick with just :37 remaining in the first half. His kick ricocheted off a Tulane defender back to the charging Cougar line. Payne was the first to jump on the "live" ball. The 6-foot-4, 247-pound native of Ogden, Utah, is a perfect 10-for-10 on point-after attempts on the season and is 0-for-1 in field goal attempts, missing a 50-yarder (wide left) against Tulane.
Early Bird Gets The Worm
Saturday's game (vs. Tulane) marked the second earliest start in BYU football history. The Cougars' earliest start was an Aug. 24th matchup against Texas A&M in the 1996 Pigskin Classic. Combined, BYU has played in just three games in the month of August, including last season's Aug. 26th game in Jacksonville, Fla., against defending national champion Florida State in the Pigskin Classic. The victory over Tulane improved BYU's season-opening record in Provo to 5-5 since 1972.
Cougars In Preseason Action
Last Saturday's game marked a record fifth appearance in preseason games for the Cougars, including their second-straight preseason contest. BYU has made more preseason appearances than any other team in the country, including a record three invitations to participate in the Pigskin Classic. Last year the Cougars opened the season in Jacksonville, Fla., against top-ranked Florida State in the Pigskin Classic.
ITS ALIVE ... 325 Games And Counting
With its 70-35 win over Tulane in the BCA Classic, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 325 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State). To put the streak in perspective, there is only one current player on the BYU roster who was alive at that time.. Aaron McCubbins was just two days old, born Sept. 25, 1975
Dating back to 1980, the Cougars have appeared on national television an average three times per season, including last year's single-season record six national television appearances. Since its first national television appearance in 1974, BYU has posted a 43-28-2 (.603) while playing on national television, including a 22-15 mark on ABC and a 27-16-2 mark on ESPN. Current assistant coach Robbie Bosco led the Cougars to a 20-14 win over Pittsburgh in the first live ESPN College Football broadcast in 1984. Over 12 years ago, the Cougars recorded their largest margin of victory while playing on national television, defeating Texas, 47-6, on Sept. 8, 1988.
Ramage Set To Retire After 30th Season
Entering his 30th season at BYU, defensive line coach Tom Ramage announced he will retire following the 2001 season. Ramage came to BYU after a successful playing career at Utah State, where he also served as a graduate assistant coach from 1958-60 and the d-line coach from 1962-65. He left USU to serve as the defensive coordinator at Weber State for seven seasons and was named the head coach at Dixie College in 1971. He coached at Dixie for two seasons before coming to BYU under second-year head coach LaVell Edwards. Ramage has coached over 34 players who have gone on to the NFL. The long-time defensive coach celebrated his 66th birthday (Aug. 25) with a 70-35 win over Tulane in the BCA Classic.
With Saturday's 35-point victory over Tulane, the Cougars are now 6-7 in the opening game of a coach's tenure at BYU. Gary Crowton is the 13th head coach of the BYU football program. (Eddie Kimball served twice as the head coach, including a stint from 1936-1941 and again from 1946-1948.) Crowton's predecessor, LaVell Edwards, won his first game as head coach, a 32-9 win over Kansas. Edwards lost his second game, 42-9, to his alma mater Utah State.
On Saturday, Sept. 8, BYU will travel to PAC-10 country, taking on the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, Calif. The game will mark only the second meeting between the two schools. The Cougars won the first-ever contest in Provo during the 1999 season, 38-28. Former BYU and NFL star, Tom Holmoe returns to Cal for his sixth season. Holmoe has posted a 15-29 mark at Cal and will be looking to turn things around after a disappointing 3-8 season in 2000. The Bears return standout running back Joe Igber, who racked up 939 yards rushing last season. In addition junior quarterback Kyel Boller returns after completing 163-of-349 attempts last season for 2,121 yards and 15 TDs. Cal's top-returning defensive player is Nnamdi Asomugha who registered 76 tackles last season.
Tight End Presence
It didn't take long for opponents to get a good look at one of BYU's most potent offensive threats. By halftime (vs. Tulane) BYU's tight ends had accounted for three of the Cougars' six touchdowns, including a pair of touchdown completions to junior Spencer Nead and another to Gabriel Reid. Both tight ends were credited with their first touchdowns as a Cougar. Nead just happened to be in the right place at the right time on his second touchdown reception of the day, snagging a ball that had bounced off Reno Mahe and a Tulane player just seconds earlier. After making the grab, Nead headed for the endzone for a 27-yard touchdown reception. In all, BYU tight ends recorded four receptions (three for touchdowns) for a combined 62 yards on the day.
"Walken" All Over and Gettin' "Ena" Your Face
The BYU defense is anchored by one of the most physical and athletic group of starting linebackers in recent history. Led by senior middle linebacker Justin Ena, the Cougars return all three starting linebackers from last season. Ena, Isaac Kelley and Paul Walkenhorst accounted for 217 total tackles, including Ena's team-leading 107 takedowns. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound All-Conference first-team selection, has been recognized as one of college football's elite defensive performers, earning a spot on both the Butkus and Lombardi Award watch lists. Ena led the Cougars on Saturday with a team-leading nine tackles, including six solo takedowns. Ena was also credited with two pass deflections. Walkenhorst also came up big for the Cougars, recording three tackles, two pass deflections and an interception with a return of 17 yards. Walkenhorst has also been named to the Butkus watch list. On the season,
Master of His Domain
Senior All-America candidate, Aaron Edmonds, began his senior season at BYU as one of the most accurate and dangerous punters in the nation. Edmonds recorded 67 punts as a junior, averaging 43.6 yards per punt. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound Milpitas, Calif., native registered an impressive 17 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line last season. He produced 19 punts of 50 yards or more, including a season-long 61 yarder against Mississippi State. Edmonds did not have a single punt blocked all season. Off the field, his stats are just as impressive. Edmonds, a marketing communications major, spends each Wednesday at a local-area school, reading, tutoring and helping out in the classroom. He is a popular speaker at elementary school assemblies and is a regular visitor to a local hospital, spending time with sick children. Due to a prolific offense, Edmonds had just two opportunities to punt in Saturday's game (vs. Tulane). He made the most of his opportunities however, connecting on punts of 50 and 27 yards, with both landing inside the 20. On the year, Edmonds is averaging 38.5 yards per punt and is 2-for-2 inside the 20. Edmonds did not punt until the :27 mark in the third quarter, nailing a 50-yarder and pinning the Green Wave back at their six-yard line. His second punt landed at the 14-yard line.
Including BYU's overtime win against Virginia on Sept. 2, 2000, the Cougars have posted a perfect 4-0 record in overtime games. In fact, BYU has never lost an overtime coin toss. Each of the four games have been won by a field goal, including two game-winners by BYU's all-time leading scorer Owen Pochman (New England Patriots). All four games have been played on the road, including a neutral-site game in 1996 against Wyoming at the WAC Championship game in Las Vegas.
Natural Born Winners
After a magical fourth-quarter, come-from behind victory over Utah, 34-27, to end the 2000 season, BYU posted a 6-6 record, marking the 27th straight season without a losing record for the Cougars. BYU has not had a losing season since posting a 5-6 mark in 1973-former head coach LaVell Edward's second season as head coach. The Cougars' streak of 27 straight seasons ranks 11th all-time at the NCAA Division I-A level and is currently the second longest non-losing streak in the nation. (Nebraska leads with an impressive 39 straight seasons without a losing record.)
LaVell Edwards Stadium
On November 18, 2001, Cougar Stadium was forever changed, honoring the man who built BYU's football tradition from the ground up. LDS Church President, Gordon B. Hinckley announced the historic name change prior to Edwards' final home game (vs. New Mexico). Now known as LaVell Edwards Stadium; Home of the BYU Cougars, the stadium has been home to more than 110 games since it was expanded to 65,000 seats in 1982. BYU has produced a 91-22 record in the Stadium since the 1982 season, including a 37-13 victory over New Mexico in Edwards' final game in the stadium. Fittingly, Edwards retired with a perfect record (1-0) in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Since 1972, BYU has posted an impressive 133-22 (.858) record in Provo.
In The Trenches
The experienced BYU offensive line, which includes three seniors and two juniors-all of which started last season, weighs in at a beefy 1,479 pounds, averaging 295.8 pounds per man. The O-line will be squaring off against a Nevada defensive line (one senior, a junior, sophomore and a redshirt-freshman) that tips the scales at an average 246.3 pounds per man. On defense, the Cougars' line (two seniors, a junior and a sophomore) weighs in at 279.5 pounds per man, while the Nevada offensive line (three seniors and two sophomores) average 294.2 pounds per man. Four of the Cougars' five starting offensive lineman received All-Conference honors last season, including Aaron McCubbins, Dustin Rykert, Jason Scukanec and Ben Archibald. The BYU offensive line did not allow a single sack against Tulane.
The Crowton File
Gary Crowton, a native of Orem, Utah, takes over a BYU program that has been under the direction of college football's sixth all-time winningest coach, LaVell Edwards. Edwards took over the program in 1972, coaching the Cougars to a 257-101-3 (.716) record. Crowton, 44, comes to BYU with a long and proven list of coaching accomplishments. Prior to serving the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator with the NFL's Chicago Bears, where his offense ranked third in the NFL in passing yardage during the 1999 season, Crowton was head coach at Louisiana Tech from 1996-1998. There he guided the Bulldogs to a 21-13 (.618) record over three seasons, including a 9-2 mark in 1997. Competing as an independent for three straight years, Louisiana Tech recorded wins over the likes of Mississippi State, Cal and Alabama. Using its Crowton-designed, high-powered offense, the program also recorded impressive wins by scoring 50-or-more points against eight different opponents, including games of 60-or-more points in five different games. Crowton's offense ranked third in the nation, both in passing and total offense, while the Bulldogs racked up 12,746 yards passing in three years, an average of 4,249 yards per season. The prolific Tech offense also produced 115 touchdown receptions, averaging 38.3 TDs per season. Under Crowton, Louisiana Tech engineered 22 different 300-yard passing games, including a school-record 10, 300-yard outings during the 1998 season. In 1998, Crowton's final season at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs combined for a school-record 4,943 yards passing. Crowton's coaching career actually began in 1982 as a student assistant under Edwards at BYU. While at BYU he worked with current Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren and future NFL Hall of Famer, Steve Young. From BYU, Crowton moved on to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he coached from 1983-86. While at Snow College, Crowton moved from defensive backs coach to offensive coordinator. Under his offensive leadership, the Badgers won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship in 1985. From Snow College, Crowton moved to Western Illinois for one season, before taking over as the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire. In 1991, Crowton was hired as the quarterbacks coach at Boston College under head coach Tom Coughlin. There he helped develop quarterback Glenn Foley as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. After three successful seasons with the Eagles, Crowton was hired as the co-offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, where his offense led the Yellow Jackets to a No. 21 national ranking in his first and only season in Atlanta. In 1995, Crowton was hired as the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech, where he would become the head coach the following season. Crowton, who is the first-ever head football coach at BYU to serve an LDS Church mission, is married to the former Maren Peterson of Bountiful, Utah. The couple was married on August 3, 1985. The Crowtons have six children.ÃƒÅ“.
Fast Times at BYU
The Cougars scored a total of 10 touchdowns on Saturday (vs. Tulane), marking the first time since the 1989 season BYU has put 70 points on the board. Six of the Cougars' 10 scoring drives were completed in less than 2:00. In fact, BYU closed out the second quarter with four straight scoring drives of :55, :47, :46 and :33. BYU's longest scoring drive was 4:10.
BYU's 49 points in the first half (vs. Tulane) tied the Edwards Stadium record set in the first half of the 1989 Utah game. The Cougars came up just five points short of the all-time Cougar record for most points in a half. In 1951, BYU scored 54 points against Western State. BYU scored more points in the first half of Saturday's game than it has over an entire game since scoring 49 points against Tulsa in 1997.
The Cougars did not have a fourth down until the 10:05 mark in the third quarter. Matt Payne missed a 50-yard field goal. The offense ended up with just four fourth-down situations for the entire game, resulting in one field goal attempt, two punts and a fourth down conversion.
With 734 yards of total offense, Saturday's game marked the first time BYU had more than 600 yards of total offense since 1994's game against Air Force. The Cougars came up short of their total offense record set in 1983 against New Mexico, where the Cougars piled up 777 yards of total offense. The Cougars also fell just short of the single-game rushing record with 437 yards. The record stands at 465 (vs. Montana) in 1958.
The Cougars had five players with over 100 all-purpose yards, including Brandon Doman, Luke Staley, Reno Mahe, Brian McDonald and Mike Rigell.
Luke Staley, Brian McDonald and Brandon Doman became the first rushing trio since 1986 to each produce 100 yards rushing in a single game. BYU players Heimuli, Parker and Hansen each ran for 100 yards in the 1986 contest vs. Utah.