Cougars Host Hawaii; First Time Since 1997
Fresh off a decisive 42-21 victory over Big East power Syracuse, BYU will play host to Hawaii on Friday, Sept. 6. Game time is slated for 5 p.m. (MDT) and will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN. The game will mark the first meeting between the two teams in Provo since the 1997 season. Hawaii ended the Cougars' 12-game win streak last season, knocking off BYU in Honolulu, 72-45. Since the two teams first met in Provo back in 1951, the Cougars have posted a 7-0 home record against the Warriors. Overall, BYU owns an 18-8 record over Hawaii, dating back to 1930. Despite last season's set-back, the Cougars have won six of the last seven meetings between the two schools.
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS
Hawai'i will enter Friday's game against BYU following a season-opening victory in Honolulu over Division-IAA opponent Eastern Illinois, 61-36. UH quarterback Timmy Chang completed 19-of-30 (.633) attempts for 374 yards, while Chad Owens recorded a team-high five receptions for 56 yards. Mike Bass posted a team-leading 35 yards rushing on just four carries. All totaled, the Warriors' run-and-shoot offense produced 578 yards of total offense. Defensively, the Warriors struggled to contain the EIU offense, giving up 475 yards of total offense, including 156 yards rushing and 319 yards passing. The UH defense forced three Eastern Illinois turnovers, including two interceptions and one fumble. Interestingly, the Panthers produced 28 first downs to the Warriors' 23, out-rushed UH, 156 to 125, recorded 94 offensive plays to Hawai'i's 63 and controlled time of possession, 37:40 to 22:20. Hawai'i finished the 2001 season with a 9-3 record, including home victories over nationally ranked Fresno State and BYU. Offensively, the Warriors return five starters from last season's team, while the defense returns eight starters.
WHEN LAST THEY MET (Hawai'i 72, BYU 45; Dec. 8, 2001)
Late-game heroics had become a staple for the BYU football team, but late in the season, and having just been snubbed by the BCS, the Cougars ran out of tricks against the Warriors. Led by special teams play and an aerial assault, Hawaii knocked off previously unbeaten BYU 72-45 in the Dec. 8, 2001 matchup in Honolulu. Hawaii jumped out to an early lead behind two kick returns for touchdowns by Chad Owens, all in the first quarter. Owens took the opening kick all the way to the BYU 32-yard-line, returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and for and encore, returned a kickoff the length of the field for a touchdown. BYU lost six fumbles and threw one interception, and it seemed the turnovers would come just when things were looking good for the Cougars. Almost all hopes were dashed for the Cougars by the end of the third quarter, when Hawaii receiver Ashley Lelie caught an 80-yard touchdown pass to take a commanding 58-31 lead. Both teams scored two touchdowns in the final quarter, but despite scoring 45 points, the Cougars were unable to put a dent in the Warriors' lead. The two teams combined for an amazing 1,258 yards of total offense. Despite the loss, Reno Mahe provided an amazing performance, lining up in the backfield and as a receiver. Fighting a hip pointer and an injured knee, Mahe had 14 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Mahe rushed for 69 yards on eight carries.
Friday's game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN, beginning at 5 p.m. (MDT). Jeff Hullinger will call the action, with former BYU standout Todd Christensen lending color analysis. Alex Flanagan will report on the action from the sidelines. Fans can also tune to KSL 1160-AM for all the action. Greg Wrubell, who is in his second season as the play-by-play voice of the Cougars, will be joined by his broadcast partner Marc Lyons. Bill Riley will
COUGS SUCCESSFUL IN PAYBACK OPPORTUNITIES
Since 1980, BYU has had 61 different opportunities to repay an opponent for a previous loss. When the Cougars face an opponent, having lost in the previous meeting, they have recorded a 40-21 (.656) record. Since Nov. 7, 1998, BYU has not lost to an opponent in a payback situation, posting a perfect 14-0 record. BYU knocked off Syracuse on Aug. 29 for the first of two possible payback opportunities this season.
CROWTON HITS MINI-MILESTONE
BYU head coach Gary Crowton, now in his second season at BYU -- his fifth as a college head coach -- will be coaching in his 50th career game on Friday (vs. Hawai'i). Crowton has produced a 34-15 (.694) record in five seasons as a head coach. In his first year at BYU, Crowton led the Cougars to a 12-2 season, marking a five game improvement over the Cougars' 6-6 record in 2000. With a five-game improvement, Crowton's success ranked fifth overall in the nation, and tops among first-year coaches.
COUGARS SPEED PAST ORANGEMEN, 42-21
The Cougars avenged their loss of two years ago and proved that they once again will be a team to contend with, beating Syracuse 42-21on Aug. 29 in front of a sell-out crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars managed to rack up 615 yards of total offense against the Orangemen, over 50 yards more than their average from last year that made BYU the NCAA leader in offense. Junior quarterback Bret Engemann threw for a total of 386 yards on 35-54 passing, with three touchdowns and one interception. He proved that he can also run the ball by posting 50 yards rushing on eight carries, and scoring a three-yard rushing touchdown to put the Cougars up 27-21 in the second quarter. Sophomore running back Marcus Whalen stepped up to fill the hole left by 2001 Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley, BYU?s all-time single season rushing leader. Whalen carried the ball 19 times for 152 yards and one touchdown. Ten different BYU receivers recorded 397 total yards for the night, including junior Toby Christensen with six receptions for 98 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore David Christensen pulled in five passes for 74 yards and one touchdown, and senior Reno Mahe was unusually quiet with four receptions for 35 yards. BYU tight ends also had a strong showing in the first game of the season, combining for 11 receptions and 131 yards. Spencer "The Teton Terror" Nead recorded eight receptions for 80 yards, while senior Gabe Reid caught four passes for 29 yards and sophomore Aissac Aiono caught two for 24 yards. The Cougar defense held the Orangemen to 326 yards on 8-24 passing, with two interceptions and three sacks, for a loss of 13 yards. Senior defensive end Jeff Cowart recorded one sack and his first career interception, and sophomore Brady Poppinga had one sack and three tackles for a total loss of 12 yards.
ENGEMANN NAMED MWC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nearly two years after being sidelined with a shoulder injury, junior quarterback Bret Engemann made his return to the field. In his first start since Sept. 30, 2000, Engemann led BYU to a season-opening victory, recording three touchdown completions and running for another in the Cougars' 42-21 victory over Syracuse. Engemann completed a career-high 35-of-54 (.648) attempts for 386 yards, marking the second 300-yard game of his career. In his come-back performance against the Orangemen, Engemann was responsible for four touchdowns on the evening, including a career-high three TD completions and a three-yard run. The 6-foot-5 Provo, Utah, native started things off with an 11-for-15 (.733) performance in the first quarter, racking up 111 yards and a six-yard touchdown strike to Andrew Ord. In the second quarter, Engemann racked up another 105 yards, 10 more completions, and a two-yard pass to Toby Christensen to put the Cougars up 14-7. During the second quarter, he also engineered a school-record 99-yard scoring drive to give BYU a 21-7 lead with 4:53 remaining in the first half. After the half, Engemann kept up his blistering assault on the Syracuse defense, posting 12 more completions on 15 attempts (.800) for 80 more yards. After the Orangemen had tied the score at 21-21, Engemann led the Cougars on a 10-play, 92-yard drive and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard run. Holding to a narrow six-point lead in the fourth quarter, Engemann found David Christensen down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown strike, giving BYU a 33-21 advantage with 6:33 remaining. On the night, Engemann produced scoring drives of 99, 92, 80, 73 and 71 yards.
ATTENDANCE FIGURE RANKS NATIONALLY
Thursday's season-opener against Syracuse drew a capacity crowd of 65,612 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium, marking the 56th sellout at the stadium (since it was expanded in 1982.) Thursday's crowd also marked the 15th largest gathering in the nation, spanning the first full weekend of college football. Michigan hosted a national leading 111,491 fans in the Wolverine's season-opener against Washington. Interestingly, BYU ranked 12th nationally in accumulated capacity. Edwards Stadium was filled to 100.94 percent of its capacity.
COUGARS RECORD NINTH STRAIGHT HOME VICTORY
With a 42-21 victory over Syracuse on Aug. 29, the Cougars extended their home win streak to nine straight games. The current home win streak dates back to a 19-7 win over Wyoming on Oct. 26, 2000. During that span, BYU has outscored its opponents 46.3-22.8, averaging a 23.5 margin of victory. Since BYU's football stadium was renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium on Nov. 18, 2001, the Cougars have never lost a game in Provo.
HOME SWEET HOME
With a perfect 6-0 record in Provo last season, the Cougars have recorded 12 undefeated home season since the 1967 campaign. In fact, since the stadium was expanded to 65,000, the Cougars have posted eight different seasons without losing a game in Provo. The 2001 perfect home season marked the first since 1998.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
In the first game of the 2002 season (vs. Syracuse), the Cougars allowed just one sack, while producing three sacks against the Syracuse offense for a combined loss of 13 yards. Last season, the BYU offense gave up 24 sacks, averaging 1.8 sacks per game. Defensively, BYU recorded 25 sacks, averaging 1.9 sacks per game.
Against Syracuse, BYU converted 11-of-18 (.611) third-down attempts, including five-straight conversions on the Cougars' first drive of the game. All totaled BYU reeled off seven straight third-down conversions before the Orangmen were able to stop BYU on a third-and-22 attempt early in the second quarter.
DRIVIN' THE DISTANCE
On Aug. 29, the Cougars drove 99 yards (vs. Syracuse) to set a BYU record for the longest scroing drive in school history. The drive, which lasted nine plays and took 2:59, was highlighted by a 58-yard run by sophomore running back Marcus Whalen. Against the Orangemen, the Cougars racked up drives of 99, 92, 80, 73 and 71 yards. During the 2001 season, BYU produced 20 different 80-yard drives. In the first game of the 2002 season, the Cougars produced two 90-yard scoring drives, equaling last year's entire season total.
BYU and Hawai'i will face two common opponents during the 2002 season, including Nevada and San Diego State. The Cougars will travel to Nevada on Sept. 14, while the Warriors will face the Wolfpack at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 12. BYU will also take on San Diego State on Nov. 2, while the Warriors will take on SDSU in the regular-season finale in Honlulu on Dec. 7. Last season, BYU and Hawaii also had two common opponents. The Cougars were 2-0 against those teams (win against Nevada; win against Air Force), while the Warriors were 1-1 (loss at Nevada; win against Air Force).
THE TETON TERROR
Known over the past 20+ years for its All-American quarterbacks, BYU is quickly becoming known for its outstanding tight ends. Senior tight end Spencer Nead is making a solid case to join the ranks of BYU's long line of outstanding tight ends, including Gordon Hudson, Chad Lewis, Itula Mili and Doug Jolley. Nead started the 2002 campaign with a career-high 80-yard performance. Nead was one of three different receivers with five receptions on the night. All totaled three different BYU tight ends, including Gabe Reid and Aisaac Aiono accounted for 133 yards on 11 receptions.
THE STREAK IS STILL ALIVE ... 339 GAMES AND COUNTING
With Andrew Ord's 6-yard touchdown reception vs. Syracuse in the Cougars' 2002 season-opener, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 339 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars don't have a single person on their 2002 roster that was alive the last time BYU was shut out.
Of all the members of the BYU roster, 70 players have served a full-time, two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (63.3 percent). 96 players on this year's roster are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (87.3 percent). Interestingly, 43 different players are married (40.9 percent). Of the 43 married players, there are eight couples with children and five couples expecting children in the near future.Reserve offensive lineman Nake Mali leads the group with two children, while receiver Reno Mahe has a son and is expecting a daughter in November. The average of the Cougars' 22 starters is 22 years old.
AMONG THE TOP
Over the past three seasons, BYU ranks 18th nationally with an overall record of 27-12 record (.692). Miami (Fla.) leads the group with a combined record of 33-5 (.868) during that span.
The BYU-JV squad saw its first action of the season, knocking off top-ranked Dixie State College on Aug. 30, 21-14. Dixie, ranked No. 1 in the preseason NJCAA polls, got off to a 6-0 lead before the Cougars scored 14 unanswered points before halftime. The Rebels tied things up in the third quarter after Christian Smith latched on to a three-yard pass from Casey Rehrer. Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Berry led BYU's second-half effort, recording 144 yards on 12-of-23 passing. Berry completed a 39-yard strike to Kish Beverley with 4:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving the Cougars the game-winning touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Todd Mortensen handled the quarterback duties in the first half, completing 6-of-15 attempts for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Jason Kukahiko led BYU with nine recpetions for 120 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Curtis Holder and junior Steve Later combined for 81 yards rushing on 12 carries. Sophomore defensive back Jared Meibos recorded a team-high 11 tackles on the night, including two for a combined loss of 12 yards. The BYU defense ended any chance for a Dixie scoring drive during the game's final series, recording back-to-back-to-back sacks. On the night, the Cougars recorded nine sacks for a total loss of 62 yards. True freshman Bryan Kehl and sophomore Chris Stevens each recorded three sacks.
TURNIN' IT UP FIELD
In the Cougars' season-opener against Syracuse, quarterbacks Bret Engemann and Lance Pendleton combined for 397 yards passing. Of the 397 yards, BYU receivers were responsbible for 175 yards after the reception. Sophomore receiver David Christensen led all receivers with and average 9.4 yards after each of his five receptions.
With six home games during the 2002 season, and two other games within the state of Utah, the Cougars will play a total of eight games in Utah. With the exception of a non-conference battle at Georgia Tech, the Cougars will also play three other road games that will require a quick, one-hour flight. In fact, BYU will not stay in Reno the night before the game. The Cougars will stay at their home headquarters (Holiday Inn) in Provo, and travel to Reno the morning of the game. Since 1980, the Cougars have posted a record of 118-25 (.825) when playing in the state of Utah, including games in Provo, Salt Lake City (UofU) and Logan (Utah State).
PICK A RECEIVER, ANY RECEIVER
Throughout the 2001 season, the Cougars used a single-season record 20 different receivers, including a season-high 12 different receivers against Nevada. In BYU's season-opening game against Syracuse, the Cougars used a combination of 10 different receivers. Junior Toby Christensen led all pass catchers with six receptions for 98 yards. Tight end Spencer "The Teton Terror" Nead was close behind with 80 yards on five receptions. Of the 10 receivers BYU used against Syracuse, six different recivers had four or more receptions.
UNLUCKY No. 13
Many people have long been superstitious of the number 13. Starting quarterback Bret Engemann wore the number during his sophomore campaign before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Syracuse. He has switched to No. 5 this season. Interestingly, 13 days prior to the season-opener (against Syracuse), senior offensive lineman Ben Archibald suffered a season-ending compound fracture in his left leg.
BEST IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
In the three-year history of the Mountain West Conference, the Cougars have posted a 16-5 record against league opponents. The Cougars are tied with Colorado State for the best league record in the history of the MWC, however BYU has posted a 2-1 mark against Colorado State over the past three seasons, including a 56-34 win last season.
MARGIN OF VICTORY
Throughout the 2001 season, the Cougars tallied 608 points, averaging a nation's best 46.8 points per game. BYU allowed 396 points, giving up an average 30.5 points per contest. Overall, the Cougars registered a +16.3-point margin of victory. The Cougars won four games on the season by 30 or more points, including a season-high 45-point win over Nevada on Sept. 1. The 2002 season got off to a similar start, with the Cougars posting 42 points on Syracuse. BYU outdistanced the Orangemen by 21 points.
STADIUM RECORDS 56th SELLOUT
The 2002 season-opener against Syracuse marked the 56th sellout in Edwards Stadium history. BYU hosted 65,612 fans in the second straight sellout, dating back to last season's home finale against Utah. Since the stadium was expanded, 7,608,825 fans have filed into the friendly confines of Edwards Stadium.
IN THE TRENCHES
The BYU offensive line, which includes three seniors and two juniors, weighs in at a beefy 1,525 pounds, averaging 305 pounds per man. This season's offensive line weighs an average 9.3 pounds heavier per