Undefeated Cougars Travel to Mississippi State
Originally scheduled for Sept. 15, BYU (11-0, 7-0) will travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State (3-7, 2-6) on Saturday, Dec. 1 after the original game was postponed following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. The Cougars remained undefeated after a dramatic fourth-quarter come-from-behind victory over Utah on Saturday, Nov. 17. With the win, BYU became the first undefeated champion of the Mountain West Conference and received an invitation to the Liberty Bowl on Jan. 31 in Memphis, Tenn. A win at Mississippi State would not only preserve the undefeated campaign, but would keep BYU's hopes of a BCS Bowl invitation alive. The Cougars are just one of two undefeated teams in the country, while Mississippi State enters the game following an impressive 36-28 victory over in-state rival Mississippi on Thursday, Nov. 22. Although Thursday's game marked just the third victory of the season for the Bulldogs, MSU has lost four games throughout the season by seven points or less, including three games by three points or less.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN2 - the Cougars' fifth of six scheduled appearance on ESPN2 this season. Pam Ward will call the action with Dean Blevins lending analysis from the booth. Heather Cox will report from the sidelines. Kickoff is slated for 7:06 p.m. (CST).
The BYU-Mississippi State Series (The 2nd Meeting)
Saturday's game will mark only the second meeting between the two schools. (The game will be the third time this season BYU has met an opponent for only the second time. The Cougars are 2-0 in those games.) The Bulldogs and Cougars last met last season in Provo. MSU owns a 1-0 record in the series after producing a 44-28 win at Cougar Stadium last season. BYU has never defeated a current SEC team, posting an 0-3 mark against teams from the Southeastern Conference. Before playing the Bulldogs last season, the Cougars last played an SEC team in 1998, traveling to Alabama, which resulted in a 38-31 loss. The only other game against an SEC opponent was a 17-14 loss at Georgia.
Bulldog Three-Dot Data
The Bulldogs have lost four games by seven points or less, including three games by three points or less ... MSU has been shutout twice during the 2001 season, including a 52-0 loss at Florida and a 42-0 loss at Louisiana State ... The Bulldogs are 20-4 in Starkville, dating back to the 1998 season ... The Bulldogs have lost just one non-conference game in Starkville since Gary Crowton's Louisiana Tech Bulldogs knocked off MSU in Starkville during the 1996 season, 38-23 ... MSU will enter the game without its all-time passing leader, Wayne Madkin ... Madkin's season ended after suffering a broken bone in his foot against Alabama.
BYU in the Deep South
The Cougars' trip to Mississippi will mark only the second time BYU has played in the Magnolia State. BYU's only other trip to Mississippi was a 42-14 loss at Southern Mississippi on Nov. 29, 1975. The Cougars are 0-4 when playing in the deep south, including losses at Southern Miss (1975), Georgia (1982), Alabama (1998) and Virginia (in Birmingham, Ala.) at the 1987 All-American Bowl.
The Cougars will depart Provo on Friday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. and will travel to Mississippi aboard ATA charter service. BYU will stay at the Landmark Hotel in Columbus, Mississippi and will depart for Provo immediately following Saturday's game. BYU will not practice in Starkville on Friday.
A Look Back ... MSU 44, BYU 28 (Sept. 14, 2000)
In front of a national television audience and 60,278 fans at BYU's Cougar Stadium, the Cougars could not overcome an explosive MSU defense that scored three touchdowns, including Josh Morgan's 97-yard fumble recovery for a TD. After Dicenzo Miller's first-quarter touchdown and a Scott Westerfield field goal, BYU's Charlie Peterson connected with Jonathan Pittman on a 39-yard pass to cut the MSU lead to 10-7. But it would be as close as the Cougars would get as the Bulldogs went on a 21-point run to end the first half. Although BYU outscored MSU in the second half 21-14, they could not overcome the 24-point halftime deficit.
With Liberty and Justice For All
With the win over Utah, BYU has accepted an invitation to the 2001 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. The Cougars are slated to take on Conference USA champion, Louisville (10-2), in the New Year's Eve classic. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. (CST) at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. ESPN will broadcast the game to a national television audience. Tickets for the 43rd Liberty Bowl can be purchased by calling (801) 378-BYU1. Even though BYU has accepted an invitation to the Liberty Bowl, the Cougars will try and keep their perfect season hopes alive against Mississippi State and Hawai'i over the next two weeks. A 13-0 record and a top-12 ranking in the BCS rankings could land the Cougars an invitation to a BCS Bowl. Should BYU end up traveling to Memphis, as expected, it will mark the Cougars' second appearance in the Liberty Bowl. (The Cougars lost to Tulane in the 1999 Liberty Bowl.)
BYU Chops Away at BCS Rankings
BYU remained in the top-15 of the BCS rankings for the fourth straight week, climbing to that magical No. 12 position. (Teams must be ranked in the top-12 to be eligible for a BCS Bowl invitation.) The Cougars ranked 12th with a combined point total of 25.49. Miami (Fla.) leads the rankings with a total of 2.92 points. BYU would need to finish in the top six in order to be guaranteed a BCS Bowl invitation. Currently Tennessee ranks sixth - 13.62 points ahead of BYU.
Renewing a Winning Tradition
During the 1980s, BYU ranked as one of the winningest programs in the country, posting a combined record of 102-27, including seven WAC titles and 10 straight bowl appearances. After posting a record of 32-17-2 from 1990-1993 (including four straight WAC titles), BYU has gone on to post a record of 71-28 since the 1994 season, ranking as the 10th winningest program in the country.
Cougars Claim MWC Title
BYU captured its second MWC championship in the past three years after a thrilling come-from-behind 24-21 win over Utah on Saturday, Nov. 17. The win marked the first outright title for the Cougars since the 1996 season and became the first-ever MWC team to win the league title with a perfect 7-0 record. Since winning its first conference title in 1965, BYU has won a total of 21 league titles, including 10 straight championships from 1976-1985. Of the 21 conference titles, BYU has won the championship outright 13 times.
Cougars Continue to Climb National Polls
Following the Cougars' 24-21 victory over Utah, BYU stayed at No. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and fell to No. 9 in the Associated Press top-25 poll. The Cougars' current 7th-place rankings in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll marks the highest BYU has been ranked in either poll since the 1996 season. After entering both polls on Sept. 9, following a 44-16 win at Cal, the Cougars climbed to No. 20 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll on Sept. 23. The Sept. 9 polls marks the first time BYU had been ranked nationally since the final game of the 1999 season - a 21-3 loss to Marshall in the Motor City Bowl. BYU entered the Motor City Bowl ranked 25th in the coaches poll, while it had dropped from the AP poll on Nov. 21. Nov. 14, 1999 marked the last time BYU was ranked in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. BYU was ranked 19th in each poll that week, but dropped out of the AP poll and fell to 25th in the coaches poll on Nov. 21. BYU has now been ranked in the Top-20 or Top-25 polls in 22 of the last 26 years. The only years in which BYU has never been ranked during the season since 1976 were 1978,1987, 1998 and 2000. The Cougars, along with Nebraska and Miami (Fla.), are the only three undefeated teams in the country.
Week USAToday/ESPN AP
Aug. 26 NR NR
Sept. 2 NR NR
Sept. 9 25th 24th
Sept. 16 No Polls No Polls
Sept. 23 20th 20th
Oct. 7 17th 18th
Oct. 14 13th 18th
Oct. 21 10th 16th
Oct. 28 8th 13th
Nov. 4 9th 9th
Nov. 11 8th 8th
Nov. 18 8th 9th
Nov. 25 7th 10th
Cougars Edge Utah in Come-From-Behind Thriller
With less than four minutes left in the game and down 11 points, BYU's hopes for a perfect season seemed dim. But All-American Luke Staley scored two touchdowns in just over two minutes apart to erase the deficit and give the Cougars the 24-21 victory. Following the game, fans stormed the field and lifted Brandon Doman, now 13-0 as a starter, on their shoulders. The game was far from over after Staley's 30-yard touchdown run with just over a minute to play. Lance Rice tried to do his best Doman impression in leading Utah on a final drive in the last minute. Rice converted a key fourth-and-10 with a trick play, advancing the ball to the BYU 30-yard line. But on the very next play, Jernaro Gilford stepped in front of a Rice pass and intercepted the ball to seal the game. Cougar fans prematurely charged the field before Doman took the final knee. Gilford's interception marked his sixth of the season. Utah gave its best effort, holding BYU's potent offense to only 10 points late in the game. The Utes controlled the ball for more than 34 minutes in the game, but couldn't hold on during the final few minutes. At the half, Doman was only 10-24 with an interception and a fumble. But "The Domanator" poured it on in the second half, throwing for 154 yards and two touchdowns to finish the game with 270 yards on 21-of-42 attempts. With Doman not clicking through the air in the first half, Utah keyed on Staley and it worked. Staley had only 28 yards at the half, but in the second half and with the game in doubt, Staley stole the show. He finished the game with 169 yards rushing on 17 carries, 28 yards receiving on three catches, two more touchdowns and a two-point conversion. With his performance, Staley became BYU's all-time leading single-season rusher, taking over a 29-year-old record. While BYU's offense sputtered in the first half, its defense played one of its best halves of the season. The defense allowed only a touchdown after Doman threw an interception, but generally contained the Utes throughout the half. Reno Mahe was the unsung hero of the game. Mahe led the Cougars with five receptions for 94 yards, none bigger than his 23-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Only five days earlier, Mahe was in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy.
Cougars Clinch 28th Straight Non-Losing Season
Following a 63-33 win over Air Force on Oct. 20, the Cougars improved to 7-0, ensuring their 28th straight non-losing season. 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 28 straight seasons ranks 11th all-time at the NCAA Division I-A level and is currently the third longest non-losing streak in the nation. (Nebraska leads with an impressive 40 straight seasons without a losing record.)
11 Wins and Counting
Saturday's win against Utah marked the Cougars' 11th straight win of the season. With the victory, BYU has posted seven 11-win seasons, dating back to the 1979 campaign. From 1979-1981, BYU posted three consecutive 11-win seasons, including a 12-1 mark in 1980. The Cougars matched that effort from 1983-1985, racking up three straight 11-win seasons, including a perfect 13-0 record in 1984. That record currently stands as the best single-season in BYU history. In 1996, the Cougars registered a 14-1 mark, which still stands as the most single-season victories in NCAA history. With an 11-0 (1.000) record on the season, BYU's win total is the highest since the 1996 season and has recorded the best winning percentage since the 1984 National Championship campaign. With two regular-season games remaining and a bowl game scheduled (vs. Louisville), should the Cougars run the table, BYU will finish with a mark of 14-0, tying the NCAA record for the most wins in a single season.
After picking up its seventh victory of the season (vs. Air Force), BYU became the first team in the Mountain West Conference to become eligible for post-season bowl consideration.
Bowl Game Bound
The Cougars' invitation to play in the 43rd annual Liberty Bowl will mark the team's 23rd bowl appearance since the 1974 season. BYU last went bowling during the 1999 season - a 21-3 loss against undefeated Marshall in the Motor City Bowl. This year's bowl contest will mark the third post-season bowl appearance for the Cougars in the past four seasons and the first-ever for head coach Gary Crowton. The Cougars lead the Mountain West Conference with 22 current bowl appearances, while Air Force ranks second with 16, Wyoming third with 10, Utah fourth with eight and Colorado State fifth with seven. Of the eight teams in the Mountain West, BYU, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado State are all bowl eligible. The MWC is contracted to send its champion to the Liberty Bowl, the second selection goes to the Las Vegas Bowl and a third team will be sent to the New Orleans Bowl. The fourth MWC will have to hope for an at-large selection.
Staley Earns First-Team All-America Honors
A Doak Walker Award semifinalist ... Named Football News First-Team All-American ... Leads the Nation in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per game ... Leads the Nation in yards per carry, averaging 8.5 yards per touch ... Ranks second in the Nation in yards per game, averaging 143.3 yards per contest ... Has recorded more yards rushing by any back in the Nation with less than 170 carries ... Only one of seven BYU running backs in Cougar Football history to run for over 1,000 yards in a single season ... Has scored more touchdowns than any other player in the Nation ... Set the BYU single-game yards-per carry record, averaging 14.2 yards per carry against Tulane ... Broke the 29-year-old BYU single-season rushing record, recording 1,433 yards in just 10 games ... Set the single-season touchdown scoring record with 28 TDs on the season ... Tied a BYU single-season record with 30 points against Utah State and Colorado State ... Set the BYU career touchdown scoring record during the season, having recorded 48 touchdowns in just three seasons ... Has produced eight multi-touchdown performances on the season, including five games with three or more touchdowns ... Twice scored a career-high five touchdowns on the season, including games against Utah State and Colorado State ... Has chalked up 100-or-more yards rushing in eight different games this season, including five games with 150-or-more yards ... Has put together six straight games with over 100 yards rushing, including four straight games with 150-or-more ... Set a MWC record with his fourth Offensive Player-of-the-Week honor after knocking off Utah ... On Oct. 8, was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week after a a career-high 207 yard rushing performance against Utah State, scoring four rushing and one touchdown reception ... Earned player-of-the-week honors on Nov. 5 after scoring five touchdowns against a stingy Colorado State defense, recording 196 yards on 22 carries ... Also named player of the week after racking up another 172 yards on 31 carries, scoring four touchdowns against Wyoming ... earned MWC Offensive Player-of-the-Week and CNN.SI National Player-of-the-Week recognition after scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the final 3:22 of the Cougars' come-from-behind win over Utah ... Averaging 11.1 yards per reception ... Has scored four touchdown receptions on the season and 24 rushing TDs ... Owns the BYU and MWC single-season and career scoring records (including kickers) with 170/290 points ... Needs just 871 yards to become BYU's all-time leading career rusher.
STALEY QUICK FACTS
* Leads the nation in scoring, averaging 17 points per game
* Ranks second in the nation in rushing yards per carry,
averaging 8.5 yards per touch
* Ranks 2nd nationally in yards per game, averaging 143.3
yards per contest
* Has tallied 14 multiple-scoring games over his career
* Has produced at least one touchdown in 22-of-29 career games.
* Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 207 yards and five
TDs against USU.
* Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 196 yards and five
TDs against CSU.
* Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 172 yards and four
TDs against Wyoming.
* Named Sporting News Nissan Frontier National Player of the
Week (Nov. 11)
* Named Football News First Team All-American
* Has 2,334 career rushing yards
* Has 1,433 yards rushing this season - a career high.
* Has produced 290 career points
STALEY RECORD WATCH
* Twice tied BYU single-game record with 30 points
(vs. Utah State; vs. Colorado State)
* Twice tied a school record with five touchdowns
(vs. Utah State; vs. Colorado State)
* Set BYU single-season touchdown record with 28 TDs (2001)
* Set BYU single-game record with 14.2 yards per carry
(vs. Tulane; 10-for-142)
* Set BYU single-season scoring record with 170 points scored
* On pace to set single-season yards per carry record,
averaging 8.5 y/c
* Set BYU career touchdown scoring record (48)
* Set BYU's single-season rushing record with 1,433 yards
* Needs just 626 to become all-time leading rusher
* Became BYU's first 1,000-yd rusher since 1998 (Jenkins; 1,307)
* Needs 43 points to become BYU's all-time leading scorer
* Became BYU's all-time (non-kicker) leading scorer (288)
BYU CAREER TOUCHDOWN LIST
Player Years TDs Rushing Receiving
Luke Staley 1999-Present 44 37 7
Jamal Willis 1991-94 40 35 5
Lakei Heimuli 1984-86 32 30 2
Waymon Hamilton 1981-83 32 29 3
Eric Drage 1990-93 29 0 29
Ronney Jenkins 1996,98 29 24 5
Scoring Defense Busters
Through 11 games, the Cougars have paid little attention to their opponents scoring defense average. On the season, BYU has surpassed its opponent's previous scoring defense average by 39.05 points per game. The Cougars' largest point differential came against Air Force, putting up 43.8 points more than the Falcons had previously allowed. Against San Diego State, BYU posted 33.6 points over the Aztecs' previous scoring defense mark of 25.4 points per game. The potent BYU offense continued its scoring ways against Colorado State, cruising past the Rams' scoring defense average of just 20 points per game, racking up 56 points. The Cougars posted 24 points against a Ute defense that had allowed a league-leading 15.8 points per game.
Domanating the Season
In only his 13th career start (vs. Utah), senior quarterback Brandon Doman became the first BYU signal caller since Robbie Bosco in 1984 to win his first 13 games as a starter. Doman led BYU to back-to-back wins to close out the 2000 season and has guided the Cougars to 11 straight wins to open the 2001 season - the Cougars best start since the 1984 season. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior has paced the Cougars to a national-leading 47.5 points per game this season, posting 537.8 yards of total offense per game, which ranks second in the country. His passing efficiency (162.6) also ranks 5th in the nation.
Single-Season Scoring Record in Sight
Through the first 11 games of the season, BYU has produced 522 points, averaging a nation's best 47.5 points per game and the best scoring average through 11 games in BYU football history. During the 1980 campaign, BYU logged an average 46.0 points per game over the first 11 games, then went on a mid-season scoring barrage, averaging a school single-season record 46.6 points per game at season's end. Averaging nearly 50 points per game, the 2001 Cougars are on pace to clip the 21-year-old single-season scoring record. Army holds the NCAA scoring average record, posting 56.0 points per game during the 1944 season. Nebraska holds the NCAA record for most points scored in a single season with 624 over 12 games during the 1983 season.
A Look At The Rivalries
Since 1922, BYU has maintained several long-standing rivalries. BYU will face each of its oldest rivals during the 2001 season. The Cougars own a winning record against four of the five rivals. Last week's opponent, Utah, is the only long-standing rival the Cougars do not have a current winning record. Following is a look at the Cougars' five oldest rivalries:
School No. Games Series Record First Game Last Game
Utah 77 Utah leads, 45-28-4 Oct. 14, 1922 Nov. 17, 2001
Utah State 75 BYU leads, 39-33-3 Oct. 7, 1922 Oct. 5, 2001
Wyoming 68 BYU leads, 36-29-3 Nov. 14, 1922 Nov. 10, 2001
Colorado St. 60 BYU leads, 32-25-3 Nov. 25, 1922 Nov. 1, 2001
New Mexico 51 BYU leads, 38-12-1 Nov. 17, 1951 Oct. 13, 2001
Margin of Victory
Throughout the season, the Cougars have tallied 522 points, averaging a nation's best 47.5 points per game. BYU has allowed 286 points, giving up an average 26.0 points per contest. Overall, the Cougars have tallied a +21.5-point margin of victory. The Cougars have won four games on the season by 30 or more points, including a season-high 45-point win over Nevada on Sept. 1.
Scoring by Quarters
BYU racked up 21 points in the first quarter against Colorado State, marking the third time on the season the Cougars have scored 21 points in a single quarter, and the ninth time the Cougars have scored 21 or more points in a single quarter. The Cougars have enjoyed their highest point production during the second quarter, scoring an average 15.2 points during the second quarter.
Red Zone Review
The Cougars have scored on an amazing 55-of-60 trips to the Red Zone (.920), including a season-high nine-of-nine trips inside the Red Zone against Air Force. Including a six-for-six performance against Colorado State and Wyoming, the Cougars have scored at least six times inside the Red Zone in six different games this season. Prior to a BYU fumble on the eight-yard line against UNLV, the Cougars were a perfect 20-for-20 inside the Red Zone. 48 of the Cougars' 55 Red Zone scoring drives have been touchdowns, while just seven have been field goals. The BYU defense has held its opponents to 35-of-47 Red Zone scores on the season, including an impressive 1-for-4 against SDSU. The Cougar defense forced two missed field goals (including one blocked attempt) and an interception to prevent the Aztecs from scoring on three of their four trips inside the Red Zone. BYU also forced an interception and a fumble, halting two CSU Red-Zone drives. The Cougars have scored 48 Red Zone touchdowns, which is more TDs than BYU scored during the entire 2000 season (32).
Fast Times at BYU
On the season, BYU has produced 12 scoring drives of under 1:00 or less. The Cougars began the 2001 campaign with a season-high four scoring drives under 1:00 against Tulane. The quickest drive came at San Diego State, when Brandon Doman connected with Gabe Reid for a four-yard touchdown pass, completing the scoring drive in just one play. Equally impressive, the Cougars have 34 scoring drives of under 2:00. Against Tulane, BYU produced a season-high six scoring drives under 2:00. BYU closed out the second quarter (against the Green Wave) with four straight scoring drives of :55, :47, :46 and :33. A week later, the Cougars posted five scoring drives of 1:58 or less. Against Cal, the Cougars recorded five scoring drives of 1:50 or less, including two scoring drives under 1:00. On the Cougars' six scoring drives against Cal, two totaled three plays or less. On the season, BYU has totaled 31 scoring drives of five plays or less, including two against Utah. Against Air Force, the Cougars racked up four scoring drives of under 2:00 and added three more scoring drives under 2:20. All totaled, all nine scoring drives were produced under 3:48. All three of BYU's touchdown drives against Utah were scored in 2:25 or less.
THE STREAK IS STILL ALIVE ... 335 Games And Counting
With Matt Payne's 35-yard field goal in the second quarter against Utah, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 335 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars have only one player on its 2001 roster who was alive the last time BYU was shutout. Offensive lineman Aaron McCubbins was just two days old.
Another Streak of Note
Dating back to last season, BYU has won a total of 13 straight games, marking the second longest winning streak in the country. Miami (Fla.) leads the nation with 20 straight wins. Nebraska held a one-game lead over BYU until losing to Colorado on Nov. 23, ending the nation's second longest win streak at 13.
BYU head coach Gary Crowton became only the second coach in BYU football history to win 11 games in a single season after defeating Utah, 24-21, on Nov. 17. LaVell Edwards accomplished the feat seven times during his 29-year career. Crowton's previous single-season best record was 9-2 at Louisiana Tech during the 1997 season.
It's No Coincidence
While at Louisiana Tech, Gary Crowton recorded three straight seasons with a scoring average of 33 points per game or better. In 1996, the Crowton-led Bulldogs averaged 36.4 points per game, but dropped off to a mear 33.1 points per game in 1997. In 1998, Crowton's final season at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs published a 41.1 points-per-game average. This season, in his first year at BYU, Crowton and the Cougars lead the nation, averaging an amazing 47.5 points per game.
Pick A Receiver; Any Receiver
Throughout the 2001 season, the Cougars have used a single-season record 20 different receivers, including a season-high 12 different receivers against Nevada. The BYU receiving corps has accounted for 3,320 of the Cougars' 5,916 (56.1 percent) total yards on the season, including a season high 408 yards against Air Force. Reno Mahe ranks nationally with 67 receptions for 841 yards and five touchdowns. The Cougars rank 10th in the nation in passing offense, averaging 301.8 yards per game. 10 different receivers have over 100 yards on the season, including seven receivers with 200 or more yards. Nine receivers have 10 or more receptions. Mahe leads all receivers with five touchdown receptions, while Doug Jolley and Luke Staley each have four. All totaled 11 different receivers have scored at least one touchdown.
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 MSU defensive line (two seniors, two juniors and one freshman) that tips the scales at an average 276.6 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 State offensive line (three seniors and two sophomores) average 312.6 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 has allowed just one sack on the season, while MSU has given up three sacks. The BYU defense has produced six sacks, while the MSU defense has tallied four sacks in only one game.
Turnovers = Points
On the season, BYU has forced 26 turnovers, including 19 interceptions and seven fumbles. The Cougars have converted the 26 turnovers in to a total 107 points, averaging 4.1 points per turnover. BYU is averaging 9.7 points per game on turnovers.
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 earlier this season.
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 46-28-2 (.618) while playing on national television, including a 23-15 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. BYU is 4-0 this season when playing on national television. Including its post-season bowl game, the Cougars have three more nationally televised appearances. Both the Mississippi State and Hawai'i games will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
All That Scoring
On the season, BYU has produced 522 points, including 71 touchdowns. The Cougars are averaging a nation's best 47.5 points per game and 6.5 touchdowns per contest. Luke Staley leads the team with 170 points on 28 touchdowns and one two-point conversion. Staley became the single-season scoring leader in BYU and MWC history this season and needs just 44 points to become BYU's all-time leading point producer. Interestingly, BYU needs just two more touchdowns this season to eclipse the combined touchdown total of the 1999 and 2000 season. BYU scored 40 touchdowns in 1999 and only 32 during the 2000 season.
Cougars Record 12th Perfect Home Season
Since BYU's football stadium was renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium on Nov. 18, 2001, the Cougars have never lost a game in Provo. BYU has posted seven straight wins in Edwards Stadium and eight straight over the past two seasons in Provo. With the 2001 home schedule now complete, the Cougars have recorded their 12th undefeated home season since the 1967 campaign. In fact, since the stadium was expanded to 65,000, the Cougars have posted eight seasons without losing a game in Provo. This year's perfect home season marks the first since 1998.
Stadium Records 55th Sellout
During the 2001 season, the Cougars witnessed one of the largest crowds in BYU football history. On Nov. 17 (vs. Utah), BYU hosted 66,149 fans at Edwards Stadium, marking second sellout crowd of the season and the 55th sellout in Edwards Stadium history. The attendance figure also marked the third largest crowd ever to watch a football game in Edwards Stadium. With a seating capacity of 65,000, the Nov. 17th game marked the ninth Edwards Stadium crowd of over 66,000 fans since 1982. The Cougars have an all-time record of 43-12 (.782) in Edwards Stadium when playing in In the 20-year, since the stadium was expanded, 7,543,213 fans have filed into the friendly confines of Edwards Stadium.front of a sellout crowd.
Cougars Lead MWC in Home Attendance
BYU, which boasts the largest on-campus home stadium in the Mountain West Conference, has led the MWC in home attendance in all three years of the league's existence, averaging 62,085 fans per game since the 1999 season. In fact, Edwards Stadium has been the site of the league's all-time top-seven crowds.
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. NOTEABLE: Crowton is the first coach in BYU history to start his career 7-0 with the Cougars ... In only his fourth year as a Division-IA coach, Crowton recorded his 25th career victory - a 35-31 victory over future Hall of Fame coach John Robinson and the UNLV Rebels.
BYU began the season using a new hi-tech video-editing system to help coaches break down film and prepare for upcoming opponents. Since switching over to the Knowledge Inc., Interactive Play Book, the Cougars are a perfect 11-0. In fact, of the two other schools in the country that use the system, the teams have compiled a combined record of 29-3 on the season.
Following the announcement that Gary Crowton would replace LaVell Edwards as the head coach at BYU, Crowton went to work on filling some holes in the coaching staff. Paul Tidwell was hired from Louisiana Tech as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, along with Mike Borich, from the Chicago Bears, as the offensive coordinator. Borich, 33, ranks as one of the 10 youngest coordinators in I-A college football.
Paper Or Plastic
After 11 games, BYU has allowed just 12 sacks on the season. Nevada got to Brandon Doman in the first quarter for the first sack allowed on the season. UNLV picked up two more sacks against the Cougars. BYU has allowed at least one sack in nine of the 11 games it has played this season. In the first 11 games last season, BYU gave up 32 sacks, including five against Air Force and four more against Syracuse and three against San Diego State. During the 2000 season, BYU allowed 36 sacks, averaging 3.0 per game. However, the BYU offensive line did not allow a sack in back-to-back games, including the Colorado State and New Mexico games and allowed just one sack against Wyoming as the line began to gel. On the defensive side of the ball, BYU has already sacked its opponent 23 times, including a season-high five sacks against Cal. In the 2000 season, the Cougars had 27 sacks after 11 games. Senior defensive end Ryan Denney ranks second in the MWC with six sacks on the season, averaging .55 sacks per game. Denney has twice produced two sacks in a game this season, including the Tulane and Cal games. Senior Brett Keisel recorded two of his three sacks this season against Utah State.
Fourth-And-Go For It!
After a successful fake punt at Wyoming, that totaled 42 yards on a fourth-and-six situation, the Cougars improved to 13-of-18 (.720) on fourth down conversions this season. (BYU did not have a fourth-down attempt vs. Utah.) Three of the fourth-down conversions have gone for touchdowns, including Luke Staley's 37-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-three in the third quarter against Utah State. Against New Mexico, Brandon Doman converted a crucial fourth-and-11 situation that led to an eventual go-ahead, game-winning touchdown.
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