POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: BYU vs. New Mexico
Game notes and quotes from BYU's 40-7 win against New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 20, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.
And They’re Off!
BYU has scored at least 14 points in the first quarter in each of the last four games, the first time the Cougars have done so in four-straight games in program history. BYU has scored 14 in the first quarter six times this season overall, the most since 1983. BYU also scored 14 in the first quarter six times in 1981 and 1980 and did so a record seven times in 1977. BYU has outscored its opponents 101-44 in the first quarter on the year.
No Points For You
After holding New Mexico to seven points, BYU has held its last three opponents to 10 points or less the last three games, the longest such streak since 1984. The Cougars held Colorado State to 10 points and UNLV to seven points the previous two games, matching the streak 17 years ago when BYU held New Mexico, UTEP and San Diego State to zero, nine and three points, respectively.
Add Another Game to the Schedule
Winning their sixth game of the year, BYU became bowl eligible for the sixth-straight season, the second-longest bowl streak in program history behind BYU’s 17-year run from 1978-94. The Cougars have been bowl eligible every year under head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
Deny the Run
New Mexico rushed for 30 yards in the first quarter, the most allowed by BYU in the last six games. In the previous five games before today, the BYU defense held its opponents to totals of minus-10 (SDSU), 20 (TCU), minus-31(Wyoming), zero (UNLV) and eight (Colorado St.) yards rushing, respectively.
Odds Are Good
BYU is 48-4 when leading at halftime and 48-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars have also won 31-straight games when leading by at least 14 points at the half dating back to 1987.
First INT Goes for First TD
After sophomore defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna’s first career interception early in the first quarter, freshman quarterback Jake Heaps scored the first touchdown of his career on a one-yard run with 10:01 left in the period.
Keep the Drive Alive
In the last three games, BYU has forced 10 turnovers, an improvement from the six turnovers forced in the first seven games of the season.
Ending It Early
BYU has held its last three opponents scoreless in the first half after taking New Mexico 20-0 going into halftime. After leading UNLV 38-0 at halftime, the Cougars took a 28-0 lead into the half at Colorado State. It is the first time BYU has held three-straight opponents scoreless in the first half since 2008 when BYU stiffed UCLA, Wyoming and Utah State in consecutive games.
Turnovers Into Touchdowns
With 258 yards rushing, BYU has had four-straight games with over 200 yards rushing and six such games this season. Five of BYU’s six wins this year have been 200-yard rushing games.
Another Payne Record
Following Joshua Quezada’s touchdown run, BYU senior Mitch Payne kicked his ninth point and third PAT of the game, passing his brother, Matt, for first all-time on the MWC career kicking points list. With two field goals and four PATs on the day, Payne has 314 points in his career and needs just 20 points to claim the BYU career scoring record.
Today, former BYU defensive back Ben Criddle (2005-07) carried out the alumni flag. A transfer from Glendale, Ariz., Criddle had over 100 tackles, 17 pass breakups and three interceptions in his two-year BYU career. Carrying the team flag was junior defensive back Travis Uale. Uale has 34 tackles and one fumble recovery this season, starting six games at free safety.
BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall
“I think our team took a great step forward here today by handling another unique situation and holding down another team that was struggling with their season. I think they had a great chance to mature and the guys were extremely consistent today. They weren’t too deterred by outside stories that occurred this week so I was really proud of them and they played a great football game tonight.”
“There was a time this season that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with this squad and it seemed daunting to try and recover this team. It’s taken a lot of thought, prayer, and leadership from our coaches. I think the team this year has learned more lessons this season than any other squad I’ve coached in my six years.”
“I think there are always plenty of flags flying all over the place all the time and maybe there was a lot more emotion and excitement because of our last game, but I don’t have any notions about that.”
“I think I’m kind of a worrier by nature so the players can probably sense that there is no easy game or win. Sometimes I might be guilty of over-emphasizing a team’s strengths, but I do that to keep our team from being surprised. I think our young men here, however, are so confident and consistent so that played into our results here tonight.”
“It was great for our seniors to get this win tonight. I cared more about playing at a higher level for those guys because of all the time they’ve put into this program. Those 13 that have made it have a special place here. The thought of a Mountain West game didn’t come into it. From the time the league began, no one has won more games, or can, than us. And I think that definitely reflects positively on our program.”
“Our own particular season has been remarkably consuming and to say I don’t know who wins or loses is false. But in terms of following, I don’t. I’m not even sure what Utah’s record is, but the expectations for both programs are different now so that definitely plays a factor for our next game. That last game for both of us will make our season.”
New Mexico Head Coach Mike Locksley
“You have got to give BYU credit. They came out and played well. Our offense gave them some early turnovers and they got pressure on our young quarterback. We never got into a rhythm offensively. When you spot a team as hot as BYU 10 or 17 points with turnovers early, then you put yourself in a tough situation.
“Our freshman QB struggled. He ran around and made some plays but never recovered from his mistakes. I thought our defense did some good things. We were only down 20-0 at half despite giving them good field position, but didn’t tackle well in the second half.”
“They run the ball well and take pressure off their young QB. We just couldn’t find a way to stop the running game and never got into a rhythm on offense in the first or second half.”
“We had an inconsistent offense. We need to give BYU credit. They did some things well and we tried to adjust on offense, but our QB never really was able to make up for his early mistakes.”
“Part of coaching is getting your position to make plays. We had guys in position that just didn’t make plays. We need our players to go out and make the play when they are in position, and we didn’t do that on offense or defense today.”
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