Post-game Notes: BYU-SDSU


SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State defeated BYU, 31-10, on Saturday, marking the first time since Nov. 5, 1988 the Aztecs have defeated the Cougars in San Diego. Following are a few notes from Saturday's game.


The Cougar defense has shutout its opponents on their opening drive for 18-consecutive games, including Saturday against San Diego State. The last team to score on its opening drive was UNLV, Oct. 25, 2003, when the Rebels managed a field goal to open the game. The last team to score a touchdown on its opening drive against the Cougars was Colorado State on Oct. 9, 2003. It has now been 20 games since BYU has allowed its opponents to score a touchdown on its opening drive.


The Cougar defense made itself at home in the Aztec backfield in the first quarter, registering five tackles for a loss of 23 yards. Aaron Wagner led the way with 1.5 while Justin Maddux and Markell Staffieri had 1.0 a piece and T.J. Sitake, Nathan Soelberg and Dustin Gabriel each had an assist.


In BYU's game against San Diego State, both teams failed to score in the first quarter. It was the first time the Cougars were scoreless in the first since their season-opening loss to Boston College. The last time a BYU opponent threw a donut on the board in the first quarter was Eastern Illinois in the second game of the season. The last time neither the Cougars nor their opponent scored in the opening frame was on Oct. 8, 2004 against UNLV.


Breyon Jones returned a San Diego State kickoff just before halftime for 32 yards. Not only was it his first return of the season, it was also the longest by a BYU player this season. The previous long was 22 yards by Justin Robinson against TCU. In the fourth quarter, he added a 36-yard return to establish a new season-high.


The BYU defense spent its share of time on the field during the first half against San Diego State. The Aztec offense had the ball for 19:29 during the first two quarters and ran 51 plays. The BYU offense had the ball for 10:31 and ran 31 plays.


Including the 2004 season and Saturday night's game at San Diego State, the Cougars have trailed at the half in eight of the last 15 games. BYU's record is 1-7 in those eight games, including a 31-10 loss to the Aztecs.


A week after scoring three touchdowns on one-play drives against TCU, the Cougar offense struggled to move the ball at San Diego State. The Cougars had five drives that ended after just three plays.


Tight end Jonny Harline had the best game off his career, catching seven passes for 123 yards against SDSU. Both numbers were career highs. Fahu Tahi also set career highs for receptions and receiving yards as he caught eight passes for 80 yards.