Cougars Claim Consecutive Shutouts
PROVO -- No. 11 BYU continued its quest for perfection with another shutout victory Saturday, defeating Wyoming 44-0 at LaVell Edwards Stadium to begin Mountain West Conference play.
With the win the Cougars extend the nation’s longest active winning streak to 14 games, and remain perfect on the season at 4-0. Saturday’s 44-0 victory and last week’s 59-0 win over UCLA are BYU’s first back-to-back shutouts since 1985 and mark only the second time since 1938 that the Cougars have held opponents scoreless in consecutive contests.
“I think the shutout is significant in terms of being back-to-back,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “The main emphasis of our program is how many points we can score and how many we can limit.”
As a large factor in the team’s performance, the BYU defensive unit rolled over Wyoming. BYU forced six turnovers and only allowed the Cowboys to convert on 4-of-13 third-down attempts. The Cougars allowed the Cowboys into the red-zone only once during the game.
“I was really impressed by the defensive performance and their ability to not only have great enthusiasm, but to have it result in turnovers,” Mendenhall said. “Not only did we not risk giving up big plays, but now they are starting to take the ball away. That was probably the biggest improvement I saw.”
On the offensive end junior quarterback Max Hall passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns, going 16-for-27. Among Hall’s highlights was a 62-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Austin Collie in the second quarter. Collie finished the game with 122 yards over eight receptions.
The Cougars jumped on the scoreboard first for the fourth-straight game when junior defensive back Scott Johnson made an alert play on an ill-executed Wyoming swing pass. When Wyoming’s Greg Bolling wasn’t able to handle the ball thrown back to him, Johnson picked up the live ball and raced 64-yard for the touchdown.
After a slow first quarter the BYU offense began to gain momentum heading into the latter-half of the second quarter. With a combined effort between the running and passing game, the Cougars culminated an 86-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Harvey Unga. Despite sophomore kicker Mitch Payne’s efforts, the Wyoming defense managed to block the PAT, holding BYU to a 13-0 lead.
Following the kickoff Wyoming grabbed a first down off a 29-yard pass, but the Cougar defense only allowed a 3-yard gain before forcing a punt on the fourth down.
BYU made quick work of the opportunity. The drive began with Unga rushing for a Cougar first down on a 17-yard run, his longest of the day. On the second play of the drive Hall connected with junior receiver Austin Collie for a 62-yard touchdown.
The BYU defense continued its domination, forcing another punt and giving the Cougars another series.
After a 9-yard reception to Collie, Unga rushed for a total of 28 yards over six plays before Hall connected with Collie for a 7-yard touchdown. Wyoming positioned themselves on the 35 following the kick return before junior linebacker David Nixon recovered a Wyoming fumble to give BYU the ball with 20 second remaining in the half. An incomplete pass followed when Hall tried to reach Mackey Award candidate Dennis Pitta, forcing BYU to settle for a 27-0 lead after the first half.
With the Cougars returning the kickoff to begin the third quarter, Hall piloted BYU going 5-for-5 on the drive. An 11-yard pass to Unga for a Cougar touchdown highlighted his performance.
In a turn of events, both Wyoming and BYU went three-and-out on the following series before Brandon Bradley tipped the pass of Wyoming quarterback Karsten Sween, giving Nixon a chance to intercept the pass and return it for the second defensive touchdown of the game.
The two teams continued to battle for the remainder of the third quarter without gaining much ground on one another. BYU quarterback Brenden Gaskins entered the game with four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Wyoming made its first major scoring threat of the game at the start of the fourth quarter. With the Cowboys having the ball at the 13-yard line, Wynel Seldon rushed for four yards before freshman Daniel Sorensen picked off Crum’s pass to keep BYU’s back-to-back shutouts intact.
Sophomore quarterback Kurt McEuen made his first appearance for BYU in the fourth quarter. McEuen went 1-for-3 while helping the Cougars downfield for freshman kicker Justin Sorensen’s 31-yard field goal. The attempt marked Sorensen’s first collegiate field goal.
The Cougars kept Wyoming off the scoreboard the remainder of the game to keep their shutout. Now 4-0 overall and 1-0 in MWC play, BYU takes a break before returning to face in-state foe Utah State on Oct. 3 in Logan, Utah.
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Box Score (Final)
WY vs BYU (Sep 20, 2008 at Provo, UT)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
WY.................. 0 0 0 0 - 0 Record: (2-2,0-2)
BYU................. 7 20 14 3 - 44 Record: (4-0,1-0)
1st 11:10 BY - JOHNSON, Scott 64 yd fumble recovery (PAYNE, Mitch kick), , WY 0 - BY 7
2nd 06:08 BY - UNGA, Harvey 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick blockd), 14-86 6:09, WY 0 - BY 13
04:03 BY - COLLIE, Austin 62 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-79 0:33, WY 0 - BY 20
00:31 BY - COLLIE, Austin 7 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-59 2:31, WY 0 - BY 27
3rd 11:45 BY - UNGA, Harvey 11 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-72 3:00, WY 0 - BY 34
08:25 BY - NIXON, David 19 yd interception return (PAYNE, Mitch kick), , WY 0 - BY 41
4th 06:51 BY - SORENSEN, Justi 31 yd field goal, 4-3 0:49, WY 0 - BY 44
FIRST DOWNS................... 19 23
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 36-137 34-163
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 136 201
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 36-17-3 37-20-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 72-273 71-364
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 1-64
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-28 4-22
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-114 1-28
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 3-20
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 9-42.7 7-46.7
Fumbles-Lost.................. 4-3 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 9-100 9-79
Possession Time............... 31:09 28:51
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 13 6 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 0-1 4-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 0-0 1-9
RUSHING: WY-MOORE, Devin 14-97; SELDON, Wynel 11-25; STUTZRIEM, C. 2-11;
TERRY, Darius 2-10; JOHNSON, Chris 1-6; BOLLING, Greg 3-5; CRUM, Dax 3-minus 17.
BYU-UNGA, Harvey 19-95; VAKAPUNA, Fui 5-28; KARIYA, Bryan 3-13; MAHUIKA, Bryce
1-11; DILUIGI, JJ 3-10; LATU, Wayne 2-7; TEAM 1-minus 1.
PASSING: WY-CRUM, Dax 15-28-1-119; STUTZRIEM, C. 2-4-1-17; SWEEN, Karsten
0-3-1-0; SELDON, Wynel 0-1-0-0. BYU-HALL, Max 16-27-0-189; GASKINS, Brende
3-7-0-7; MCEUEN, Kurt 1-3-0-5.
RECEIVING: WY-BOLLING, Greg 4-69; LEONARD, David 3-10; MOORE, Devin 3-8;
BURKHALTER, T. 2-12; SALYARDS, J. 2-7; JACOBO, Kyle 1-12; MORGAN, Donate 1-10;
BIEZUNS, Josh 1-8. BYU-COLLIE, Austin 8-122; PITTA, Dennis
4-35; UNGA, Harvey 2-16; GEORGE, Andrew 1-13; DILUIGI, JJ 1-5; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-4; KOZLOWSKI, Tyle
1-3; CHAMBERS, O'Nei 1-3; WHITE, Reed 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: WY-None. BYU-NIXON, David 1-19; SORENSEN, Danie 1-2;
PENDLETON, Jord 1-minus 1.
FUMBLES: WY-BOLLING, Greg 1-1; STUTZRIEM, C. 1-0; MOORE, Devin 1-1; CRUM,
Dax 1-1. BYU-KOZLOWSKI, Tyle 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): WY-None. BYU-BELL, Jeff 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): WY-KNAPTON, Gabe 1-7; PROSINSKI, C. 5-2; ROGERS, Quincy
3-4; GIPSON, Tashaun 4-2; GIVENS, Fred 1-5; JOHNSON, Weston 2-3; FLETCHER, John
2-3; DOBBS, Ward 3-1; UNREIN, Mitch 0-4; WHIPP, Zeb 2-1; EDMUNDS, Jake 2-1;
JUERGENS, Mike 0-3; DUTMER, Danny 1-1; BARELLA, Matt 1-1; GIPSON, Marcell 1-1;
FELKER, Marcus 0-2; MCDONALD, Darin 1-0; LEWIS, Keith 1-0; TEAM 1-0; BOLLING,
Greg 1-0; DEANDREA, Jimmy 0-1; MITCHELL, Eric 0-1; NEUHAUS, Mike 0-1; STUTZRIEM,
C. 0-1; HAYS, Alex 0-1; LANDESS, Nick 0-1; SALYARDS, J. 0-1. BYU-BRADLEY, Brando
5-1; AH YOU, Matt 2-4; NIXON, David 1-5; JOHNSON, Scott 4-1; BAUMAN, Matt 4-1;
HADLEY, Spencer 3-2; TAFUNA, David 3-1; RICH, Andrew 2-2; FOWLER, Kellen 3-0;
TE'O, Shiloah 2-1; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-2; HOWARD, Brandon 1-2; PUTNAM, Matt 0-3;
PENDLETON, Jord 1-1; CLAWSON, Coleby 1-1; ALISA, Michael 1-1; WOLFLEY, Rick 1-1;
PRITCHARD, Iona 0-2; TIALAVEA, Russe 0-2; DENNEY, Brett 0-2; DOMAN, Shawn 0-2;
BELL, Jeff 1-0; WAGNER, Jadon 0-1; MORGAN, Blake 0-1; TAYLOR, ISAAC 0-1; REDEN,
Garrett 0-1; DULAN, Ian 0-1; MARSHALL, Matt 0-1; KOZLOWSKI, Tyle 0-1.