Defense Dominates; BYU Clinches Winning Season


FORT COLLINS -- Defense propelled BYU, as the Cougars ensured themselves a winning season for the first time since 2001 by beating Colorado State, 24-3 on Saturday.

"I was very pleased with how our team performed tonight," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We knew this game would be a challenge, and I'm pleased with the leadership and poise that our team showed tonight. I was pleased with our defense. They've done exactly what we've asked them to do."

The Cougars, now 7-2 (5-0 MWC), held the Rams (4-5, 1-4) to just 151 total yards while sacking the Colorado State quarterback five times in the victory. Meanwhile, BYU had 402 yards of total offense. John Beck had another efficient day passing, completing 73 percent of his passes (22-of-30) for 290 yards.

With the win, BYU will be playing for at least a share of the MWC title next week at home against Wyoming.

"They are the best team in the leauge," Colorado State head coach Sonny Lubick said. "This team (BYU) is nice and strong. They harassed our quarterback. They came with some blitzes; that gets you out of rhythm."

BYU got on the scoreboard first for the eighth consecutive game when Manase Tonga plunged into the end zone from three yards out. The Cougars' seven-play, 50-yard scoring drive was the eighth consecutive game in which BYU scored first. Colorado State held the Cougars to a punt on BYU's first drive which marked the first time the Cougars were held out of the end zone on their initial drive since TCU held BYU to a three-and-out earlier this season.

The Cougars' defense got a quick start, holding the Rams without a first down on CSU's first two possessions. BYU's Cameron Jensen got his first sack of the season on a third-and-short to force a Colorado State punt.

"We knew they were a team capable of throwing deep passes," Jensen said. "But, we continued to pressure them throughout the game and they weren't able to make any big plays through the air."

On BYU's third possession the Cougars marched down the field before Beck's pass was intercepted by Darryl Williams. Williams read the play to make the leaping pick in the end zone.

Colorado State got on the board in the second quarter. After a short BYU punt, the Rams drove the ball 33 yards on seven plays and scored on a Jason Smith 28-yard field goal to cut the Cougars lead to 7-3. Caleb Hanie hit Damon Morton for a long pass play to set up the field goal.

BYU struck at the end of the half, marching 76 yards on 14 plays and scored when Fui Vakapuna fought his way into the end zone to put the Cougars ahead, 14-3. Vakapuna was initially ruled down on the play. After an instant replay review, the play was ruled a touchdown.

Defense ruled the early part of the second half as neither team was able to move the ball effectively early on.

On the Cougars third possession of the second half, the running game emerged. Curtis Brown, Tonga and Vakapuna led the BYU rushing attack down the field with Vakapuna finishing the drive with a three-yard touchdown run.

The BYU's defense kept the pressure on Hanie throughout the second half while the offense came up with long drives. After the Cougars forced a punt, the offense drove the ball down the field to set up a 25-yard field goal by Jared McLaughlin to put BYU ahead, 24-3. The big play on the Cougars' drive was a 52-yard pass from Beck to McKay Jacobson.

BYU faces a short week as the Cougars return home to play Wyoming on Thursday evening. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. (MST). The game will be broadcast nationally on CSTV.

Box Score (Final)


Brigham Young vs Colorado State (Nov 04, 2006 at Fort Collins, Colo.)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Brigham Young....... 7 7 7 3 - 24 Record: (7-2,5-0)

Colorado State...... 0 3 0 0 - 3 Record: (4-5,1-4)

Scoring Summary:

1st 06:43 BYU - TONGA 3 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN kick), 7-50 3:46

2nd 08:18 CS - SMITH 28 yd field goal, 6-33 2:22

00:55 BYU - VAKAPUNA 5 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, kick), 14-76, 7:11

3rd 00:22 BYU - VAKAPUNA 3 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN kick), 9-57 4:32

4th 07:35 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN 25 yd field goal, 9-79 4:51


FIRST DOWNS................... 21 7

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 37-112 23-26

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 290 125

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 30-22-1 23-13-0

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 67-402 46-151

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-15 0-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-39 3-64

Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-35.8 8-43.2

Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 2-0

Penalties-Yards............... 6-40 5-33

Possession Time............... 34:17 24:13

Third-Down Conversions........ 8 of 13 2 of 12

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 0 of 1

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 4-5 1-1

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 5-38 2-8

RUSHING: Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 16-81; VAKAPUNA, Fui 11-38; TONGA, Manase

3-14; TEAM 2-minus 4; BECK, John 5-minus 17. Colorado State-OHAERI, Nnamdi

13-53; JOHNSON, Gartr. 1-2; HANIE, Caleb 9-minus 29.

PASSING: Brigham Young-BECK, John 22-30-1-290. Colorado State-HANIE, Caleb


RECEIVING: Brigham Young-HARLINE, Jonny 6-59; BROWN, Curtis 5-30; JACOBSON,

McKay 3-105; ALLEN, Matt 3-30; COLLIE, Zac 2-36; VAKAPUNA, Fui 1-13; TONGA,

Manase 1-10; COATS, Daniel 1-7. Colorado State-MORTON, Damon 4-51; WALKER,

Johnny 2-22; ROBERTS, Luke 2-19; OHAERI, Nnamdi 2-11; McPEEK, Kevin 1-11; HILL,

George 1-7; OSBORN, Dustin 1-4.

INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-None. Colorado State-WILLIAMS, Darr. 1-0.

FUMBLES: Brigham Young-BECK, John 2-0. Colorado State-HANIE, Caleb 2-0.

Stadium: Hughes Stadium Attendance: 21117

Kickoff time: 4:36 pm End of Game: 7:14 Total elapsed time: 2:38

Officials: Referee: Terry Leyden; Umpire: Gary Crum; Linesman: Bob Bahne;

Line judge: Gary McNanna; Back judge: Judson Howard; Field judge: Kim Nelson;

Side judge: Craig Battaglia;

Temperature: 50 Wind: SW 5 Weather: Partly Cloudy

Brigham Young vs Colorado State (Nov 04, 2006 at Fort Collins, Colo.)

SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 2-0; TONGA, Matangi 1-0; ANDERTON,

Judd 1-0; PAONGO, Hala 1-0. Colorado State-RUPP, Matt 1-0; RADFORD, Jon 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 7-2; GOOCH, Quinn 4-1; WAGNER,

Aaron 2-1; ROBINSON, Justi 2-1; GABRIEL, Dustin 2-1; KEHL, Bryan 1-2; NIXON,

David 1-2; TONGA, Matangi 2-0; PAONGO, Hala 2-0; TIALAVEA, Russe 1-1; COLLIE,

Zac 1-0; CRIDDLE, Ben 1-0; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-0; ANDERTON, Judd 1-0; VAN SWEDEN,

Dan 1-0; POPPINGA, Kelly 1-0; BOLDEN, Chris 0-1. Colorado State-GALUSHA, Jake

6-5; KUBIAK, Klint 4-6; WILLIAMS, Darr. 5-2; HORINEK, Jeff 1-6; POTTORFF, Jake

2-3; ADKINS, Luke 1-4; RUCKS, Joey 4-0; RUPP, Matt 2-1; BRYSON, Zac 2-1;

RADFORD, Jon 2-1; MOREHEAD, James 1-2; LANDERS, Wade 1-2; NADING, Jesse 2-0;

JUEDES, Steve 1-1; SMITH, Blake 1-0; WEBER, Chase 1-0; VOMHOF, Bob 0-1; SANDIE,

Erik 0-1.