No. 18 BYU Set For 75th Meeting Against Utah State
After a thrilling come-from-behind MWC victory at UNLV on Saturday, the 18th-ranked Cougars will return to Provo, playing host to in-state foe Utah State (0-4) on Friday, Oct. 5. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. (MDT). The game will mark the Cougars' first game in Provo since Sept. 1, ranking as the longest stretch between regular-season home games in BYU football history (32 days). The Aggies enter this week's in-state contest after hanging tough with No. 6 Oregon on Saturday. The Aggies trailed 24-21 in the third quarter before Oregon put things away in the fourth, winning 38-21. Friday's game will mark the Aggies' third game this season against a ranked opponent. USU is 0-3 in those games. The game will mark the first non-Saturday game for the Cougars this season, as opposed to last year when BYU played four non-Saturday games, including one Friday night and three Thursday night games.
Friday's game will be broadcast live on KSL, Ch.5 in Salt Lake City by SportsWest Productions. Tom Kirkland will call the action, while former BYU quarterback Blaine Fowler will provide commentary. The game will also be broadcast, tape-delayed, on KBYU and BYU-TV. BYU-TV is available to Dish Network and DirectTV customers. Check out www.byutv.org for more information on BYU-TV. Satellite coordinates are: C-Band, Galaxy 4, Transponder 22.
The BYU-USU Series
Friday's game will mark the 75th meeting between the two schools, ranking as the second longest rivalry in BYU football history. Utah and BYU have the longest standing rivalry with 76 games played. The Cougars hold a 38-33-3 advantage in the series that dates back 78 years, 363 days (Oct. 7, 1922). The Cougars have a 23-15-1 mark in Provo against the Aggies, including a stretch of 12 straight wins. The Cougars have not lost to Utah State in Provo since Oct. 7, 1978. BYU has won five straight in the series, including 15 of the past 16 meetings.When the Cougars are ranked nationally, BYU has posted a 13-1 record against the Aggies. This will mark the first meeting between Coach Crowton and Utah State, while USU coach Mick Dennehy is 0-1 against the Cougars. Dating back to 1997, the Aggies are 0-9 against teams from the Mountain West. The Aggies last victory over a MWC opponent was the season-opener against Utah in 1997.
Security At LaVell Edwards Stadium
In light of recent events, BYU will maintain and enforce all existing stadium safety guidelines, particularly the rules regarding bringing large containers or coolers to the game. Coolers and large containers will not be permitted, while other items, such as large bags, are subject to search. The FAA will also enforce a three-mile, 3,000-foot no-fly-zone. Aircraft violating the three-mile zone, or flying lower than 3,000 feet above the stadium is subject to strict penalties.
BYU, United Way, Red Cross Combine Efforts
In a combined effort between Brigham Young University, the United Way and the Red Cross, volunteers from BYUSA and Red Cross volunteers will be located throughout Edwards Stadium to collect donations from fans for the Disaster Relief Fund. Fans will have an opportunity to contribute before, during and following the game, with all proceeds going directly to the relief efforts of the recent tragedies in New York City and Washington D.C. Fans will be encouraged to contribute to only those with the proper, approved credentials.
Scouting the Aggies
Despite an 0-4 record - the Aggies worst start since 1995 - the Cougars will have to contend with a potent three-pronged offensive attack, featuring All-American running back Emmett White, walk-on receiver Kevin Curtis and junior quarterback Jose Fuentes. The trio, along with key personnel, have combined for an average 413.3 yards of total offense per game. White leads the Aggies with 546 yards on 94 carries, averaging 136.5 yards per game. White also leads the team in scoring (7.5 pp/g.) and ranks second in receiving, producing 42.0 yards per game. He ranks second in the nation with an average 209.8 all-purpose yards per game. Fuentes has produced nearly 1,100 yards passing on the season, averaging 373.8 yards per game. He has connected on 109-of-186 attempts with nine interceptions and eight TDs. Curtis leads the USU receiving corps with 556 yards on 42 receptions, averaging nearly 140 yards per game. Curtis also leads the nation for the fourth straight week, producing an average 10.5 receptions per game. The Utah State defense has allowed just 65 points in the first, third and fourth quarters combined, but has given up 70 in the second quarter combined.
Cougars Survive MWC Opener At UNLV
Down 31-28 with just over two minutes remaining, "The Domanator" Brandon Doman led the Cougars 91 yards for a touchdown with 1:12 remaining in the game. Facing fourth down and four on the BYU 38-yard line, Doman completed a pass across the middle to Mike Rigell, who advanced the ball all the way to the UNLV 22- yard line - a crucial 42-yard gain. On the next play Doman rolled left then darted back to the right and took it all the way into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. UNLV then advanced the ball all the way to BYU's 30-yard line on the ensuing possession before Jason Thomas threw an errant pass on fourth down sealing the Cougar victory and causing UNLV head coach John Robinson to suffer his first-ever 0-4 start. Doman finished the game 23-of-37 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 48 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars didn't take long to show some rust from a 20-day layoff. Luke Staley fumbled the opening kickoff and UNLV's Derek Olsen returned the fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. BYU answered on its next possession, driving down the field and scoring on a 15-yard Staley reception. But UNLV owned the first quarter, taking a 21-10 lead into the first break. The Cougars took all the momentum into the half, outscoring the Rebels 18-0 in the second quarter and taking a 28-21 lead into the locker room. But the UNLV defense held BYU scoreless in the second half until Doman's late-game heroics. The Cougars failed to produce a single point in the third quarter, marking only the third time this season BYU has not scored during a single quarter of play. Turnovers plagued the Cougars throughout the game. Doman threw his first interception of the season and first in 112 attempts in the first half. Soren Halladay and Reno Mahe also fumbled for the Cougars, giving BYU four turnovers in the game. The Cougar defense allowed 10 points in the second half, but made the plays when it had to, including a crucial stop late in the fourth quarter. BYU defense held UNLV standout Jason Thomas to just 132 yards passing and minus-five yards rushing.
Second Quarter Dominance
Throughout the season, BYU has averaged 50.3 points per game, with nearly half of those points (23.8) coming in the second quarter. The Cougars have scored a combined 95 points in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents by 88 points in the second period of play. BYU has a commanding 95-7 edge in second-quarter scoring.
A Look Back . . . BYU 38, USU 14 (Oct. 6, 2000)
After converting just one field goal in the first quarter, the Cougars racked up 21 points in the second quarter to take a 24-7 lead at the half. Luke Staley rushed for two of those first-half TDs, while Charlie Peterson connected with Mike Rigell on a 21-yard strike for the Cougars' third touchdown before the half. BYU opened the second half with a touchdown on another Staley run, giving the Cougars a 31-7 lead. Chris Stallworth ended the USU scoring drought with a 27-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Brian McDonald then capped off the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, capping a 38-14 BYU victory in Provo. Staley finished the game with three rushing TDs, while racking up 84 yards on 16 carries.
BYU launched a national award campaign for quarterback Brandon Doman. (designed by Dave Broberg / photos by Mark Philbrick)
In only his sixth career start (vs. UNLV), senior quarterback Brandon Doman became the first BYU signal caller since Robbie Bosco in 1984 to win his first six games as a starter. Doman led BYU to back-to-back wins to close out the 2000 season and has guided the Cougars to four straight wins to open the 2001 season - the Cougars best start since the 1993 season. Dating back to last season, Doman has tallied 141 passing attempts with just one interception. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior has paced the Cougars to a national-leading 50.3 points per game this season, posting over 271 yards of total offense per game, which ranks fourth in the country.
Cougars Continue to Climb National Polls
Following the Cougars' 35-31 victory at UNLV on Saturday, BYU climbed to No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, climbing from No. 20 last week. BYU remained No. 20 in the Associated Press top-25 poll. Despite having not played since Sept. 8, the Cougars climbed to No. 20 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll on Sept. 23. After routing Cal on Sept. 8, BYU cracked both top-25 polls. The Sept. 9 polls mark the first time BYU has 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.
Cougars Aim For Single-Season Scoring Record
Through the first four games of the season, BYU has produced 201 points, averaging a nation's best 50.3 points per game. However, during the 1980 season, BYU posted a record 239 points over a four-game stretch, tallying a combined 239 points against Wyoming (52), Utah State (70), Hawai'i (34) and UTEP (83). With nine games remaining, BYU is on pace to break the current single-season scoring record set in 1980. BYU chalked up 606 points that year, averaging 46.6 points per contest.
Off To A Great Start
BYU's Gary Crowton became the first head coach in BYU football history to win the first four games of his career. With the Cougars' victory over UNLV, the former Louisiana Tech head coach has posted a 25-13 career coaching record. With BYU's 52-7 win over Nevada, Crowton became the first BYU coach to win the first two games of his career at BYU since G. Ott Romney won his first two games in 1928. Romney went on to post a 3-3-1 record in his first season. After winning the first game of his career, defeating Kansas, 32-9, former head coach LaVell Edwards lost to Utah State in his second game, 42-19. With a 35-point victory over Tulane to kickoff the Gary Crowton era, the Cougars are 6-7 in the opening game of a coach's tenure at BYU. BYU's current 4-0 record marks the best start since the 1993 season. The Cougars have not won five straight to start a season since the 1984 season.
Cougars Re-Schedule MSU, Switch Hawai'i
In cooperation with the University of Hawai'i and Mississippi State University, BYU announced last week it has re-scheduled its contest against Mississippi State for Saturday, Dec. 1. The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, was postponed after the terrorist attacks on the United States. In order to play the Bulldogs on Dec. 1, Hawai'i generously agreed to switch its game with BYU from Dec. 1 to Saturday, Dec. 8. The SEC announced it would re-schedule the SEC Championship game from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, allowing for games scheduled to be played on Sept. 15, to be played on Dec. 1. With this move, BYU and Mississippi State were able to re-schedule, only after Hawai'i had agreed to play BYU on Dec. 8, as opposed to Dec. 1.
Fast Times at BYU
The Cougars scored a total of 10 touchdowns 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. BYU closed out the second quarter with four straight scoring drives of :55, :47, :46 and :33. A week later, the Cougars posted seven touchdowns, with five being scored on drives of 1:58 or less. With a touchdown at the 11:59 mark of the first quarter against Nevada, BYU scored 13 seconds faster than the Tulane game. Against Cal, the Cougars posted five scoring drives of 1:50 or less, including two scoring drives under 1:00. BYU's last-second touchdown in the second quarter marked the quickest scoring drive of the season, lasting just :14. BYU has produced seven scoring drives on the season under 1:00. On the Cougars' six scoring drives against Cal, two totaled three plays or less. On the season, BYU has seven scoring drives of three or less plays. The Cougars scored two of their touchdowns in the final :52 of the second quarter against the Golden Bears. On the season, BYU has 19-of-24 scoring drives under 2:00, including four scoring drives at UNLV.
Red Zone Review
The Cougars have scored on 20-of-21 trips to the Red Zone (.952), including three-of-four attempts at UNLV. Prior to a BYU fumble on the eight-yard line, the Cougars were a perfect 20-for-20 inside the Red Zone.
A Look At The Rivalries
Since 1922, BYU has maintained several long-standing rivalries. Friday's game against Utah State will mark the 75th meeting between the two schools, ranking as the second longest rivalry in school history. BYU will face each of its oldest rivals during the 2001 season. The Cougars own a winning record against four of the five rivals. Following is a look at the Cougars' top-five oldest rivalries:
School No. Games Series Record First Game Last Game
Utah 76 Utah leads, 45-27-4 Oct. 14, 1922 Nov. 24, 2000
Utah State 74 BYU leads, 38-33-3 Oct. 7, 1922 Oct. 6, 2000
Wyoming 67 BYU leads, 35-29-3 Nov. 14, 1922 Oct. 26, 2000
Colorado St. 59 BYU leads, 31-25-3 Nov. 25, 1922 Nov. 2, 2000
New Mexico 50 BYU leads, 37-12-1 Nov. 17, 1951 Nov. 18, 2000
"Turnover" A New Leaf
With no turnovers against Nevada and Cal, BYU had played back-to-back games without a turnover for the first time since 1994. Entering the UNLV game, BYU had only one turnover on the season. Against UNLV, the Cougars had a season-high three fumbles and one interception. On the other side of the ball the BYU defense has forced eight turnovers, including five interceptions and three fumbles. The Cougars forced three turnovers against Cal, converting all three turnovers into 21 points. Against UNLV, BYU converted three turnovers into six points, while the Rebels racked up 24 points on turnovers. Last season the Cougars had a -9 turnover margin, allowing 29 turnovers, while forcing just 20. BYU is 23-1 in games since 1981 in which it did not allow a turnover. (The only loss was to Washington in 1996.) BYU has never gone three straight games without a turnover.
THE STREAK IS STILL ALIVE ... 328 Games And Counting
With Luke Staley's 14-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter at UNLV, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 328 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.
Natural Born Winners ... 27 Seasons And Counting
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 third longest non-losing streak in the nation. (Nebraska leads with an impressive 39 straight seasons without a losing record.) With four wins already on the season and nine more to play, BYU needs just three more wins to assure itself of a 28th straight non-losing season.
Compare The Stats
STATS BYU USU
Scoring 201 96
Points Per Game 50.3 24
First Downs 108 93
Rushing yardage 1,041 532
Average Per Game 260.3 133.0
Rushing TDs 17 4
Passing Yardage 1,262 1,121
Att-Comp-Int 139-94-1 189-111-9
Average Per Game 315.5 280.3
Passing TDs 10 8
Total Offense 2,268 1,653
Total Plays 297 294
Average Per Game 567.0 413.3
Kick Returns: #-yards 13-283 20-346
Punt Returns: #-yards 18-236 6-99
INT Returns: #-yards 5-24 0-0
Kick Return Average 21.8 17.3
Punt Return Average 13.1 16.5
INT Return Average 4.8 0.0
Fumbles-lost 12-4 6-4
Penalties-yards 28-240 26-254
Punts-yards 12-523 20-950
Time of possession/game 28:44 28:59
3rd-down Conversions 22/51 26/58
4th-down Conversions 5/6 7/8
Sacks by-yards 13-86 4-22
Touchdowns 27 13
Field Goals-Attempts 4-8 3-3
PAT-Attempts 25-26 9-11
Attendance 170,938 146,891
Average Attendance 42,735 36,723
Pick A Receiver; Any Receiver
Throughout the 2001 season, the Cougars have used 17 different receivers, including a season-high 12 different receivers against Nevada. The BYU receiving corps has accounted for 1,262 of the Cougars' 2,268 (55.6 percent) total yards on the season, including a season high 389 yards against Nevada. Reno Mahe ranks fifth nationally and leads all BYU receivers with 31 receptions for 328 yards and two touchdowns. The Cougars rank fourth in the nation in passing offense, averaging 315.5 yards per game.
Another Streak of Note
Dating back to last season, BYU has won a total of six straight games, marking the eighth longest winning streak in the country. Oklahoma leads the nation with 17 straight wins, followed by Miami with 13. Washington and Toledo are tied for third with 11 straight wins.
Remember The Cougars?
On Friday, the Cougars will host Utah State, marking the first game at Edwards Stadium since Sept. 1 (vs. Nevada). The game will conclude the longest stretch between regular-season home games in BYU football history (32 days). The Cougars' game at UNLV on Sept. 29 marked the end of a 20-day layoff, concluding the longest regular-season layoff since the 1965 season. In 1965, the Cougars defeated San Jose State on Friday, Oct. 8 and did not play again until Oct. 23 in Laramie, Wyo. - a 34-6 loss against the Cowboys. Since 1965, there have been several 13-day layoffs.
What a Payne
In his first collegiate start, BYU kicker Matt Payne 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. Against Nevada, Payne had seven PATS to improve his streak to 17 straight PATs. After connecting on 21-straight PATs to start the season, Payne missed his 22nd attempt, a 35-yard PAT (after BYU had been flagged for un-sportsmanlike conduct penalty.) Payne is 25-of-26 on the season and ranks fourth in the MWC in scoring, averaging 9.2 points per game. Payne's 50-yard field goal with 8:57 in the first quarter at UNLV marked the longest of his career and his first from longer than 30 yards this season. The field goal also marked the first 50-yard field goal against UNLV by any team since Oct. 14, 1995. Payne also connected on a 42-yarder with 12:12 remaining in the second quarter to mark his second longest career field goal.
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 Utah State defensive line (three seniors and one sophomore) that tips the scales at an average 253.6 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 USU offensive line (four seniors and one junior) average 292.5 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 three sacks on the season, while the Aggies have given up four sacks. The BYU defense has produced 13 sacks, while the Utah State defense has tallied four sacks over three games.
After Friday's game against Utah State, the Cougars will travel to Albuquerque, N.M. to take on Mountain West Conference foe New Mexico. The game will mark the first game for New Mexico at home in over six weeks. The Lobos are 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in league play. UNM will play at Wyoming on Saturday. Game time for the BYU-UNM contest has been slated for 1 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast on ESPN+Plus (KJZZ, Ch. 14). The game will mark the 60th meeting between the two schools, with BYU holding a 37-12-1 lead in the series that dates back to 1951.
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 4-0 with the Cougars ... In 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.
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 92-22 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 134-22 (.859) record in Provo. The Cougars have won four straight in Provo, dating back to 2000.
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.
Cool Hand Luke
Junior running back Luke Staley recorded his third career 100-yard game against Nevada on Sept. 1, posting 124 yards on 10 carries, averaging 12.4 yards per carry. In the Cougars' season-opener against Tulane, Staley racked up 142 yards on just 10 carries to set a BYU single-game record with an average 14.2 yards per carry. The horticulture management major 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 two yards. Staley also showed his receiving abilities as well, 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. On the season, Staley is tied with senior running back Brian McDonald-Ashford with six rushing touchdowns and picked up second touchdown reception of the season against UNLV. With his first-quarter touchdown at UNLV, Staley has produced at least one touchdown in 16 of the 23 games he has played over his career, including multiple-scoring games in eight different outings. After posting 47 yards against a stingy Cal defense and another 77 yards against the Rebels , Staley is now averaging 97.5 yards per game and averages a hefty 8.9 yards per carry. Staley's 14-yard touchdown reception at UNLV marked his 27th career touchdown. The Tualatin, Ore., native needs just one touchdown to tie Matt Bellini for seventh place on the BYU all-time TD scoring list.
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 27 career touchdowns, including 22 rushing TDs.
Needs just 13 TDs to tie BYU's career touchdown record (Jamal Willis; 40).
Earned Freshman All-American honors in 1999, scoring 13 TDs on the season.
Accounted for 806 all-purpose yards as a sophomore.
Set BYU single-game record for most yards per carry, averaging 14.2 (vs. Tulane).
Tallied 124 yards on 10 carries and two TDs against Nevada.
Staley's 27 career TDs ranks eighth all-time, behind Matt Bellini's 28.
Staley's 22 rushing TDs ranks seventh all-time, behind Brian McKenzie's 23.
Staley's 1,301 rushing yards ranks 13th all-time on the BYU rushing list.
Paper Or Plastic
After four games, BYU has allowed just three 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 only allowed sacks in two of the four games it has played this season. In the first four games last season, BYU had already given up 18 sacks, including five against Air Force and three more against Mississippi State. During the 2000 season, BYU allowed 36 sacks, averaging 3.0 per game. Last season 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 14 times, including a season-high five sacks against Cal. In the 2000 season, the Cougars had just 10 sacks after four games. Senior defensive end Ryan Denney leads the MWC with five sacks on the season, averaging 1.12 sacks per game. Denney has twice produced two sacks in a game this season, including the Tulane and Cal games.
Reno Mahe - The Biggest Little Receiver in the MWC
BYU's Reno Mahe wasted little time making an impression in his return to Division-I football. 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 against Tulane. 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. Against Nevada, Mahe cracked the 100-yard barrier, registering 103 yards on six completions, including a 12-yard touchdown reception from Brandon Doman for his first touchdown as a Cougar since the 1998 season. Against Cal, Mahe led BYU for the third straight week, recording 64 yards on six receptions and one touchdown reception. The Doman-Mahe trend continued against UNLV when the combo teamed up for a team-leading seven receptions for 65 yards. Mahe ranks fifth in the nation with an average 10.6 receptions per game. He has tallied 31 receptions for a MWC leading 328 yards 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-Acollege football.
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. Following is a look at each of the Cougars' four overtime games:
Date Overtime Results
Dec. 7, 1996 def. Wyoming, 28-25
Sept. 27, 1997 def. SMU, 19-16
Oct. 1, 1999 def. Utah State, 34-31
Sept. 2, 2000 def. Virginia, 38-35
BYU's victory at UNLV on Saturday is the Cougars'fourth straight win of the season, marking the first 4-0 start since the 1993 season. The win improved BYU's all-time record over UNLV to 8-1, including six straight wins over the Rebels.
UNLV's first-quarter touchdown, after a fumble on the opening kickoff, marked the quickest score against BYU to start a game since Utah's Andre Dyson returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown with only :52 off the clock. The Rebels scored just :13 into the game.
Luke Staley's fumble on the opening kickoff at UNLV marked only the Cougars second turnover of the season.
UNLV's sack with 9:35 left in the first quarter marked only the second sack BYU has allowed on the season.
UNLV's Sam Brandon's interception in the first quarter marked BYU quarterback Brandon Doman's first interception of the season and his first in 112 attempts.
Luke Staley's six-yard run on fourth-and-one, with 14:04 left in the second quarter was the Cougars'first of two fourth-down conversions. BYU also converted a crucial fourth-and-four late in the fourth quarter to set up an eventual game-winning touchdown. The Cougars are 5-for-6 on fourth-down conversions this season.
Justin Ena's interception with 13:02 left in the second quarter at UNLV marked his first interception of the season. Jernaro Gilford also recorded his first interception of the season after picking Jason Thomas with :29 remaining in the first half. The Cougars held Thomas to just four completions on nine attempts with two interceptions in the first half.
Brandon Doman's 54-yard touchdown reception to Rodney Wilkerson with :54 remaining in the first half gave BYU a 28-21 lead heading in to the half. The Cougars have never trailed at the half this season. The play also marked Doman's longest pass completion of the season. The 54-yard touchdown marked the third scoring play of over 50 yards.
Brandon Doman's two-point conversion with :54 remaining in the first half marked the Cougars'first two-point conversion of the season.
BYU committed two turnovers in the first half against UNLV marking more turnovers in one half than the Cougars have committed all season. On the night, BYU committed a total four turnovers, marking the first time since giving up six turnovers against Colorado State last season.
UNLV held BYU scoreless in the third quarter, marking only the third scoreless quarter for the Cougars this season.
BYU's four-point victory over UNLV marks the closet winning margin since Sept. 23, 2000 when the Cougars tallied only a three-point win against UNLV in Provo.