Game Notes: Cougars Return Home to Host UNLV
Coming off its first loss in over a year, No. 17 BYU (6-1, 2-1) looks to rebound against UNLV on Saturday as it returns to the comforts of LaVell Edwards Stadium, where it has won 16 straight games. Along with those wins, and with the help of BYU’s fans, Edwards Stadium has had 10 consecutive sellouts dating back to the Cougars’ 20-7 win over Arizona on Sept. 1, 2007. Despite their 32-7 loss at TCU last week, the Cougars have won 10 consecutive Mountain West Conference home games.
UNLV enters Saturday’s game coming off a close 29-28 loss to Air Force last weekend. The Falcons’ Ryan Harrison made a 19-yard field goal with 2:36 remaining in the game, dropping the Rebels to 3-4 on the season and 0-3 in MWC play.
Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast nationally on The Mtn.
THE BYU-UNLV SERIES
The Cougars hold an all-time record of 12-3 against the Rebels, including a 6-3 record over UNLV in Provo. BYU is 3-0 against the Rebels during the Bronco Mendenhall era. The two teams first played each other in 1978 in Yokohama, Japan, with the Cougars taking a 28-24 win in the Land of the Rising Sun. BYU won six in a row from 1981-2001. In the last meeting between these two teams in 2007, Harvey Unga recorded a career night, carrying the ball 25 times for 177 yards--both career-highs. In the second half alone, Unga rushed 18 times for 118 yards. BYU won that meeting on Oct. 13, 2007, 24-14.
ON THE TUBE
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on The Mtn. James Bates will call the action and Todd Christensen will lend analysis, along with Sammy Linebaugh as the sideline reporter. Bates was an All-Southeastern Conference linebacker at the University of Florida and captain of the Gators’ 1996 national championship football team. Christensen was a standout at BYU before launching an NFL career, playing as a tight end with the Cowboys and the Raiders. Linebaugh is an Emmy-winning TV reporter who currently freelances for several media outlets including the Mtn. Sports Network, NBC NewsChannel and ESPN radio.
A LOOK BACK: TCU 32-BYU 7
The nation’s longest football winning streak came to an end last Thursday as No. 8 BYU fell to No. 24 TCU, 32-7, at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The Cougars had won 16-straight games dating back to Sept. 22, 2007. Among the limited highlights on the night for BYU was wide receiver Austin Collie who totaled more than 100 receiving yards for the fifth straight game to tie a Mountain West Conference record. Collie caught 6 passes for 116 yards. Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen also tied the MWC career sack record at 20.5 with a sack on TCU’s Jeremy Kerley in the second quarter. Hall finished the night 22-42 for 274 yards, but was sacked six times. Tight end Dennis Pitta, a John Mackey Award candidate, caught eight passes for 84 yards. Running back Harvey Unga carried the ball 14 times for 54 yards and caught four passes for 40 more. BYU is now 6-1 (2-1 in MWC) on the season and has won 27 of its last 30 games. The loss to TCU snaps a MWC record 18-straight league victories. BYU had also won its last 11 MWC road games.
COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM
After Thursday’s loss to TCU, the Cougars are 144-42 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. The defeat snapped a 13-game winning streak for BYU as a nationally ranked team, dating back to 2006.
NATIONALLY RANKED OPPONENTS
BYU is now 1-13 in games against ranked opponents, dating back to the 1999 season. The Cougars’ only win during that span was a 31-17 win over then-ranked No. 15 TCU in 2006.
COLLIE HITS CENTURY MARK
Junior Austin Collie broke the 100-yard receiving mark for the fifth straight game with a game-high 116 yards on 6 catches against the Horned Frogs last Thursday. Collie accomplished this feat after recording no receptions in the first quarter. His first reception of the night was a 23-yarder in the second quarter. Collie’s five-consecutive games ties a MWC record held by SDSU’s J.R. Tolver (2002).
CLIMBING UP THE BYU RECORD CHARTS
With his 116 yards receiving against TCU, Austin Collie now has 2,506 career-receiving yards, surpassing both Mark Bellini and Gordon Hudson to move up to No. 5 on BYU’s all-time career receiving list The junior needs only 42 more yards to pass Phil Odle (2,548 yards) and claim the No. 4 spot.
Collie now has 11 career 100-yard receiving games, which is third all-time at BYU. He is also tied for third on the MWC record list, behind the 12 and 13 games of SDSU’s Jeff Webb and J.R. Tolver, respectively.
Counting his touchdown against New Mexico, Collie now has 23 career touchdowns, needing only three more to make it into BYU’s top 10. Pete Van Valkenberg and Eric Lane currently hold the No. 10 spot with 26 career touchdowns. Collie’s 23 touchdowns put him only six behind the MWC leader, Jovon Bouknight of Wyoming (29).
LARGEST LOSS SINCE 2005
For a team that averaged 37.8 points coming into the TCU game, the Cougars suffered their worst loss since a 49-23 loss at Notre Dame in 2005. TCU’s 32 points marked a season-high for BYU opponents, who before Thursday, averaged only 10.2 points per game.
NATION’S LONGEST WINNING STREAK ENDS
With their 32-7 loss to TCU on Thursday, the Cougars’ 16-game winning streak ended. Before today, BYU’s last loss came on Sept. 15, 2007 at Tulsa. The Cougars lost that matchup 55-47.
GOING FOR IT
BYU attempted three fourth-down conversion attempts on Thursday, successful on 1-of-3. The Cougars’ successful conversion came late in the third quarter when quarterback Max Hall ran for a two-yard touchdown, giving the team its lone score of the game. BYU is now 3-2 on fourth-down conversion attempts.
PLAYING UNDER THE LIGHTS
After its loss to TCU, BYU now holds a 1-1 record when playing night games. The Cougars’ game against Utah State (W, 34-14) marked BYU’s first night game of the 2008 season.
The Cougars held the Horned Frogs scoreless in the fourth quarter on Thursday. All totaled, the BYU defense has recorded 17 shutout quarters thru the first seven games of the season, including two shutouts wins over UCLA and Wyoming. The Cougars has outscored or tied their opponents in every quarter except five.
BYU’s 23-0 deficit heading in to the halftime break against the Horned Frogs marked the first time the Cougars have been shutout in the first half since their 20-3 loss to Boston College on Sept 3, 2005. Boston College held BYU scoreless while scoring 10 points in the first half. Thursday also marked the first time this season the Cougars have been trailing at halftime. BYU is now 0-1 when down at the half.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen’s sack against TCU’s Jeremy Kerley in the second quarter gives him 20.5 career sacks, tieing the MWC record of 20.5 held by New Mexico’s Michael Tuohy, TCU’s Chase Ortiz and former Cougar Brady Poppinga. Jorgensen recorded four sacks his freshman season in 2006, 13.5 his sophomore season and three to date in 2008.
TURNOVERS TRANSLATING TO POINTS
In the first seven games this season BYU has forced 19 turnovers, converting 12 of those into points. Of those 12 turnovers, 10 have resulted in touchdowns (70 points) for the Cougars.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BYU’s starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 326.4 pounds and average 6-feet-6. The front five will be going up against a UNLV defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-2, 294 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the UNLV offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-4, 298 pounds per man.
The TCU game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds’ 45th straight career start. During that streak, Reynolds has started at every position on the offensive line, including tackle, guard and center. Reynolds’ younger brother Matt started at left tackle in the 2008 season opener. His father, Lance, is the associate head coach for the Cougars. Reynolds is currently tied at first for the most consecutive starts by an active Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) player. Reynolds has started in every game of his BYU career, beginning with the Cougars’ 20-3 loss to Boston College on Sep. 3, 2005.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
TCU’s 25-yard touchdown with 12:10 remaining in the first quarter marked the second consecutive game this season BYU has failed to score first. The week prior the Cougars gave up a 27-yard field goal to New Mexico in the second quarter. BYU is 1-1 when failing to score first.
For the only second time this season, BYU lost the opening coin toss, with TCU electing to defer to the second half. BYU is now 1-1 when losing the opening coin toss.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
BYU has been unable to return a kickoff for a touchdown for 125 consecutive games. Mike Rigell was the last Cougar to accomplish the feat, turning in a 96-yard touchdown in a 31-9 victory at Hawaii on October 17, 1998.
LONGEST MARCH DOWNFIELD
BYU’s first touchdown drive against New Mexico of 95 yards marked the longest of the 2008 season in terms of yardage. The drive which lasted 5:04 minutes, ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Max Hall to tight end Andrew George. The Cougars’ longest drive in terms of time off the clock was in the second-quarter of the UCLA game. The 13-play drive of 48 yards took 6:43 minutes off the game clock.
DON’T LOOK BACK
In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 32-4 when leading at halftime and 31-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
FIRST HALF DOMINANCE
The Cougars held a 7-3 lead at halftime against New Mexico, marking the 16th time in the past 18 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half 12 times in 17 games. BYU is undefeated in those 12 games.
BEST OF THE BUNCH
Following the 2004 season, Bronco Mendenhall was one of 13 men who received their first head football coaching job at the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) level. Of those 13 coaches, Bronco Mendenhall has compiled the best overall record to date.
EDWARDS’ STADIUM STREAK NOW SPANS THREE SEASONS
With BYU’s 21-3 win over New Mexico, the Cougars have not lost in Edwards Stadium since November 19, 2005. BYU has won 16 straight home games, dating back to September 9, 2006. The last time the Cougars won 16 consecutive home games was 16 seasons ago when the team won 17 in a row from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991. Over that span, the Cougars have beaten their opponents by an average of 28.8 points per game and have allowed just 9.7 points per game. The Cougars have allowed seven points or less in nine of the last 16 home games.
The 64,105 fans in attendance for the Cougars’ 21-3 win over New Mexico marked the tenth consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1991-92 seasons. Over 256,000 (256,425) fans have attended the first four home games at Edwards Stadium this season, averaging 64,106 fans per game. The last time the stadium was not sold out was against New Mexico on Nov. 18, 2006 when 63,814 fans were in attendance—231 short of a sellout.
BEST IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Since the Mountain West Conference was formed in 1999, BYU has posted a record of 48-21 against league opponents, marking the most wins of any other conference opponent. The Cougars have also won a league-best four MWC titles (1999, 2001, 2006 and 2007).