GAME NOTES: Another Revenge Opportunity
ANOTHER REVENGE OPPORTUNITY
After a successful Mountain West Conference opener that saw BYU end the nation's longest active winning streak by beating TCU, 31-17, the Cougars have another MWC revenge opportunity when they welcome San Diego State to LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU--1-1 in revenge games this season--lost to the Aztecs 31-10 last year.
LAST WEEK RECAP
It was a day of streak-breaking for BYU as the Cougars (3-2, 1-0 MWC) broke TCU's nation's longest winning streak (13) while breaking their own losing streak against ranked opponents (13). BYU upset No. 15 TCU (3-1, 0-1), 31-17 on Thursday.
John Beck, who played injured, came up huge for BYU completing 23-of-37 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns. The Cougars did not turn the ball over on the day.
Also among the TCU streaks that BYU broke was consecutive MWC games won. The Horned Frogs were handed their first defeat since joining the MWC last year.
BYU has fared well against San Diego State in the overall series. The Cougars have won 22 of the 30 games the two teams have played. There was also one tie in the series. BYU has also dominated the series in Provo, posting a 13-2 record against San Diego State. The last time the Aztecs beat the Cougars at home was in 2000 on a last-second field goal. One of the most memorable games the two teams played was the only tie in the series. In 1991, the two teams set a record for combined score in a tie playing to a 52-52 draw.
2006 SCHEDULE SET
Due in part to the Mountain West Conference's new contract with CSTV and the development of The mtn. network, the Cougars already have game times and television programming plans completed for each of their 12 games. Two of BYU's first three games were televised nationally, including a season-opening trip Sept. 2 to Arizona (TBS) and a split national broadcast at Boston College (ESPN2). In addition to BYU's debut on VERSUS, the Cougars will also play two games on CSTV and one on VERSUS, including another Thursday night game and the remainder of their schedule (four games) will be played on The mtn.
BYU outscored TCU in three of four quarters on Thursday. (The two teams each scored seven points in the third quarter.) On the season, BYU has outscored its opponents (during regulation) in 15 of 20 quarters.
COUGARS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
Two of BYU's first three games were broadcast nationally. All totaled, the Cougars have a total of five nationally televised games. The season opener at Arizona marked the second time BYU has played on TBS. The Cougars rematch against Boston College was seen on a split national basis on ESPN 2. After playing TCU on VERSUS, BYU will play three additional MWC opponents on CSTV and VERSUS in front of a national audience: Air Force (Oct. 28, VERSUS) Wyoming (Nov. 9, CSTV) and rival Utah (Nov. 25, CSTV).
THE RANKED TEAMS
BYU's 31-17 victory over TCU was the first against a ranked opponent since beating No. 23 Colorado State, 34-13, on Sept. 16, 1999. Previous to the victory over TCU, the Cougars were 0-12 against ranked opponents, including a record of 0-3 at Edwards Stadium. Interestingly, BYU's victory over TCU was the first on the road against a ranked opponent since beating Arizona State, 13-10, on Sept. 20, 1997.
BYU is coming off its 24th bowl appearance. In seasons following a trip to a bowl game, the Cougars have recorded a combined record of 202-82-2 (.709). Of the 23 seasons following a bowl game, the Cougars have averaged nearly nine (8.8) wins per season. BYU has had only one losing season following a trip to a bowl game. (In 2002, BYU went 5-7 after playing in the Liberty Bowl in 2001.)
Nearly 350,000 fans attended six different home games at Edwards Stadium during the 2005 season, averaging 58,204 fans per game. BYU finished ranked seventh overall in the west behind USC (90,812), Washington (64,326), UCLA (64,218), Arizona State (61,157), California (60,377) and Oregon (58,434). Since the inception of the BCS, BYU has annually been the top school in average attendance for teams from conferences that do not receive automatic BCS bowl bids. BYU, which boasts the largest on-campus home stadium in the Mountain West Conference, has led the MWC in home attendance in all seven years of the league's existence. In fact, Edwards Stadium has been the site of the league's all-time top-seven crowds.
EVERY FIVE YEARS...
BYU is on a five-year cycle of fielding top-10 teams. Five years ago, the Cougars started the 2001 campaign 12-0 in Gary Crowton's first season. The BYU squad averaged 44.1 points per game and was ranked as high as eight going into the Hawai`i game. Five years prior, the 1996 Cougars team, led by quarterback Steve Sarkisian went 14-1. BYU set NCAA records for wins (14) and games played (15) in a season. The Cougars 14-1 record ended in a WAC Championship and a Cotton Bowl victory over Kansas State. After BYU's Cotton Bowl victory, the Cougars finished the season ranked No. 5.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The following is a list of BYU's future non-conference schedules:
2007: Arizona, at UCLA, at Tulsa
2008: Nevada, at Washington, UCLA, at Arizona
2009: at Arizona State, Florida State
2010: Washington, at Florida State
2011: at Washington, Arizona State
IT'S BEEN A WHILE
BYU has gone 97 games without scoring a touchdown on a kick return, which ranks the Cougars 10th in the nation in time between touchdown returns. The Cougars have also gone 109 games without returning a punt for a touchdown.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU's offensive line checks in at an average 6-foot-4, 316.8 pounds. The Cougars' front line will be going up against a SDSU defensive front that averages just over 6-foot-3, 283.75 pounds. (Advantage: BYU +33.05 pounds per man.) BYU's defensive line weighs in at 6-foot-2, 271.3 pounds SDSU's offensive line averages 6-foot-6, 305 pounds. (Advantage: SDSU +33.7 pounds per man.)
In the first five games of the 2006 season, BYU has allowed just 87 points. With an average of 17.4 points per game, the Cougars currently ranked tied for 40th in the country in scoring defense. Interestingly, the defense is off to its best start through BYU's first three games since the 1988 season. BYU's current average is the lowest scoring defense mark over the first five games of a season since allowing just 17 points per game back in 1988.
TOUCHDOWNS: TAKE YOUR PICK
In the first five games of the 2006 season, BYU has scored 19 touchdowns (one against Arizona, seven against Tulsa, two against Boston College, five against Utah State and four against TCU). All totaled, 11 different Cougars have found their way to the end zone for the eight touchdowns with only Fui Vakapuna (6), Jonny Harline (2), Matt Allen (2) Manase Tonga (2) scoring multiple touchdowns. In addition to these four, each of the following players have scored one touchdown in the early season: Daniel Coats, Curtis Brown, Zac Collie, John Beck, Harvey Unga, Justin Robinson and Michael Reed.
John Beck - MWC Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 16 vs. Boston College)
Beck completed 38-of-59 passes for a season-high 436 yards in BYU's double-overtime 30-23 loss at Boston College. He also threw one touchdown pass and added a rushing touchdown in the game. Beck's passing yardage is his highest output since posting a Mountain West record 517 yards against TCU last season.
John Beck - MWC Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 28 vs. Boston College)
For the second time in three weeks--and the fifth time in his career--BYU quarterback John Beck has been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. The Davey O'Brien Award candidate helped lead the Cougars (3-2, 1-0) to a convincing 31-17 victory over 15th-ranked TCU on Thursday in Fort Worth, ending the Horned Frogs' nation's leading 13-game win streak. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound senior completed 23-of-37 attempts for 312 yards and three touchdowns, avenging last season's 51-50 overtime loss to TCU in Provo. The victory also gave the Cougars' their first road victory over a ranked opponent since 1997--the same year Beck quarterbacked the Mountain View High School (Mesa, Ariz.) junior varsity squad as a sophomore.
Curtis Brown has been all over the field for BYU in their four games. In addition to leading the team in rushing yards, receptions and receiving yards, he has returned kickoffs for the Cougars. Brown currently leads all running backs nationally in receptions with six per game.
BYU's consecutive victories over Utah State and TCU mark the first time the Cougars have won at least two in a row since last season. BYU beat UNLV Nov. 5 and Wyoming Nov. 12, 2005 on the road to become bowl eligible for the first time in three years.
BYU's longest winning streak last year was three games and they won five games during a six game stretch.
CALIFORNIANS ON THE TEAM
When the Cougars and Aztecs face off, it will mark the only game on BYU's schedule against a team from California. Aside from Utah, California is home to the largest number of BYU players on the Cougars' roster (24).
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN BLOCKING
Russell Tialavea has blocked a field goal in two games. Tialavea extended the game in overtime against Boston College when he busted through the line and blocked the Eagles game-winning field goal attempt. Against Utah State, Tialavea was a critical factor in BYU's first shutout since 1999 as he again broke through the line to block an Aggies field goal.
SNOWBIRD PASSES GO ON SALE
Two-for-one ski passes to one of Utah's top ski resorts will go on sale on Friday at the Marriott Center ticket office, and will also be sold on game day at the west ticket booth at Edwards Stadium. Fans may purchase the Snowbird ski passes while supplies last.