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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brigham Young Cougars Quarterback Jake Heaps Has “It”

If you ask Jake Heaps if he thinks that five or ten years from now November 27, 2010, will be remembered as one of the pivotal moments in his career, he will probably answer, “No.” Like the rest of the Brigham Young Cougars, he is likely feeling sick to his stomach, and can’t wait to get the bad taste out of his mouth. Erasing the game from his memory would be a welcomed alternative. As Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall stressed following the game, even though BYU came up short on the scoreboard, the team “improved and took a step forward.” No player better fits that assessment of the game than Jake Heaps.

This game was akin to the 1973 loss to Iowa State. Despite losing to the Cyclones, everyone who saw the game knew that something big was about to happen at BYU. This was the day that Gary Sheide had his coming out party. The Utah game on November 27, 2010, will be remembered as the day that Jake Heaps established that he has the proverbial “it.” While Heaps had shown dramatic improvement over the previous three games, uncertainty still existed as to how much of his improvement should be attributed to playing vastly inferior competition.

Last Saturday, the true freshman entered hostile, enemy territory and did everything necessary for the team to win. Heaps was helpless to do anything about the shanked punt, the Brandon Bradley fumble, and the blocked field goal. He finished the day 22 of 37 (59.5%) for 228 yards and a touchdown pass. Not gaudy stats, but a little perspective helps you appreciate what Heaps did. Max Hall never completed more than 51.2% of his passes against Utah. As a senior, Hall threw for only about half as many yards (134), and he only threw for 205 yards in 2008. It took Max three years to throw a touchdown against the Utes. This comparison is not intended to bash Max, but purely for contextual purposes.

While the improved stats were nice, there is more to “it” than statistics. There was more to Heaps than his stats on Saturday. In 2009, BYU went up 20-6 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. The Cougars had five more possessions in regulation, but only gained one first down the rest of the game (on the third possession). One more first down, and Utah would not have had time to kick a game tying field goal with 29 seconds left. With Heaps at the helm on Saturday, BYU had different results.

Utah had just cut the BYU lead to three, 13-10, early in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing possession, Heaps threw to Cody Hoffman for five yards to convert a 3rd and 3. He threw for another first down on a 10 yard completion to Devin Mahina. On 3rd and 8, Heaps hit J.J. Di Luigi for 12 yards. On 3rd and 6, Heaps found McKay Jacobson for 28 yards to the Utah 13-yard line. These four first down throws got BYU into field goal range and allowed BYU to bump the lead to 16-10.

The next time Heaps stepped on the field, BYU trailed 17-16, with 4:21 to play. BYU confronted a 3rd and 9 on the third play of the drive. Heaps was cool, calm, and collected. He took the snap and found Mahina again for 22 yards. Three of the next four plays were pass plays. Heaps completed all three of them. The final pass to Jacobson for 12 yards put BYU exactly where they needed to be—field goal range. Not only did Heaps get BYU into field goal range, he had managed the clock perfectly.

With four seconds left, Heaps left the field. He played his best football when it mattered most. He had overcome the strange turn of events and set up his team to win—there is no denying it. And there is no denying that Jake Heaps has “it.”

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Poll Results: Which BYU-Utah Game In The 2000s Had The Best Finish?
Was Saturday The "End" of The BYU-Utah Rivalry? No Way!
Game Recap: Utah 17, BYU 16
Game Preview: BYU vs. Utah
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 34, Utah 27 (2000)
Thursday Trivia: Last Win Against Utah By More Than Seven Points
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 45, Utah 22 (1990)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 38, Utah 28 (1985)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)

Poll Results: Which BYU-Utah Game In The 2000s Had The Best Finish?

This one was a run away. The 2006 game (Harline is still open) won in a land slide with 86% of the vote. The 2000 and 2001 game tied for second with 5% each. The 2007 and 2009 games each received a token 2%.

My vote would go to the 2006 game as well. Besides ending with one of the most dramatic plays in BYU football history, the fact that this was the first win over Utah in five year, that 2006 was the renaissance of BYU football, and that BYU had to score 19 points in the fourth quarter to win (as opposed to leading most the game and blowing it in the fourth quarter in 2000, 2007, and 2009) all make the 2006 finish the best in my mind.

Thanks to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in the new poll, "If you could change one play from the Utah game, which play would it be?" I am purposely leaving off the final Mitch Payne field goal attempt to hopefully avoid a landslide outcome.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Was Saturday The "End" of The Brigham Young Cougars-Utah Utes Rivalry? No Way!

The Brigham Young Cougars and Utah Utes finished another hard fought game that went down to the wire and had an unexpected ending. With BYU embarking on independence next year, and Utah joining the Pac-12, many have surmised that the “Holy War” is dead, over, done. This year was the end of the rivalry. Those taking this position argue that not playing in the same conference, that Utah gaining a recruiting advantage, and that the game no longer being played in November are the causes of death. To that, there is only one answer: NO WAY! The BYU-Utah rivalry will live on. It is greater than the two schools sharing the same conference affiliation, the games being competitive, and the placement of the game on the schedule.

DIFFERENT CONFERENCES
The rivalry, supposedly, will lack appeal for not having a conference championship on the line when BYU and Utah meet. If that is the case, then the rivalry didn’t start until 1981, and it died two years ago in 2008. Those were the first and last years that the winner would win the conference outright, or a share of the conference championship.

Rivalries across the country stretch beyond the limits of conference affiliation. Texas and Oklahoma was one of the sports greatest rivalries long before they were in both in the Big 12. Florida State-Miami weren’t conference mates until Miami came to the ACC a few years ago. USC-Notre Dame is another. If that isn't enough, don't forget about Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and TCU-SMU.

Believe it or not, there are bigger things out there in college football than a conference championship. They are called a national championship and a BCS bowl. Now, national championship hopes are on the line. More so for Utah than BYU, but the fact remains that Utah as a member of a BCS AQ conference can realistically expect a spot in the BCS national championship game if they are undefeated. Look at Oregon. However, to be undefeated, Utah will have to beat BYU.  Maybe Utah doesn't win the Pac-12, they can still fight for an at large selection. A loss to BYU might be the deciding factor that keeps them out. BYU may have a special team assembled and the perfect schedule to make a run for a top two ranking in the BCS. In this day and age, BYU and Utah will know about either sides’ national championship hopes, aspirations, and possibility well before the season starts.

Maybe the national championship isn’t much of an issue in a particular year, there are still the national rankings. BYU could beat Utah, but both teams finish the year with identical 10-2 records. Will BYU be ranked ahead of Utah? Or will the poll voters favor Utah’s “tougher” conference schedule and put Utah ahead?

The point is, there are still hot button issues beyond the field of play that will keep players and fans’ interest piqued even if the Utes and the Cougars don't share the same goal to win the same conference championship. 

LACK OF COMPETITION
The BYU-Utah rivalry has been very, very competitive since the 1993 season. Just as we saw on Saturday, the games typically go down to the wire and require someone to step up and be the hero or the goat. Those players have ranged from the star skill players to little known kickers and return men. Somehow, many people think that these fantastic finishes will stop once Utah reaps the recruiting benefits of the Pac-12 label. Whether this hypothesis proves to be real or imaginary, it won’t mean the end to the rivalry.

Up until 1993, this rivalry never was competitive. It was either dominated by Utah or BYU. Each side has enjoyed a nine game win streak Even though the rivalry wasn’t competitive, there are plenty of examples that illustrate that the game meant a lot to the players and fans involved.

1953—BYU and Utah faced off for the 29th time. BYU had won exactly once. The two teams had tied on just four other occasions. The game ended with a score of 33-32. The jubilation on the BYU side was so great that the players carried head coach Chick Atkinson off the field. The catch: BYU was not the victor. Utah had won.

1992—BYU cruised out to a 31-0 lead. Yawn. Nothing new. BYU was about to win its fourth in a row (none closer than 23 points), and 19th of the last 21. Rather than pack up and go home, the Utah crowd tried to make the game bearable by throwing snowballs from the stands at BYU players.

Do we really think that this series has to be competitive for it to be meaningful to those involved?

PLAYING EARLIER IN THE YEAR
We have gotten used to seeing BYU-Utah at the end of the schedule. This has not always been the case. It is true that the majority of the games have been played in November (53), including 46 of the last 47 meetings. However, almost half of these 46 November match ups were not the last game that BYU played (22 times, 24 if you count the years that BYU played in the WAC Championship game). On ten occasions, BYU played two or more games after playing Utah.

BYU and Utah had become rivals long before 1964 when the game has been played almost exclusively in November. November would be my preference for this game, but it is not the lynch pin holding this rivalry together. Going back to the other cross conference rivalries noted, Texas and Oklahoma always play in October. Florida State and Miami play in the first half of the year. USC and Notre Dame is played in October one year and in November the next.

Playing the game early also adds to the possibility for controversy in the national rankings later in the year. That keeps the rivalry relevant between the two fan bases into October and November, even if the game has already been played.

WHAT GIVES THIS RIVALRY LIFE?
If sharing the same conference, retaining a competitive balance, and playing the game in November aren't the life blood in this rivalry, what is?

The "Holy War" will remain the biggest game of the year for both BYU and Utah for the near and distant future for the following reasons:

  • It will still divide families. One family member will attend the U and a few years later another will attend the Y, thus splitting the allegiance of families for the rest of their mortal lives.
  • It will still have the “Church vs. State” slant. There is no way to remove it. As long as BYU is the flagship University of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and BYU makes football decisions based on increasing exposure for the Church.
  • It will still be a game between two schools located close to each other. The geographic proximity cannot be changed. Nor can it be ignored. BYU and Utah alumni come into contact with each other daily. Each time they come across each other, the outcome of the last game matters. Life is much more pleasant when you have those bragging rights.
  • It will still feature a Utah team coached by a disproportionate amount of former BYU players. Head Coach Kyle Whittingham, Co-offensive Coordinator Aaron Roderick, and Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake all played for BYU. That is the core of any team’s coaching staff. It hurts to lose to your enemy, but to have your former players leading the charge makes it worse.
Some of the details surrounding the game will change, but the underlying factors that make the rivalry bigger than any other game will remain in tact. September 17, 2011, is already circled on my calendar.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Recap: Utah 17, BYU 16
Game Preview: BYU vs. Utah
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 34, Utah 27 (2000)
Thursday Trivia: Last Win Against Utah By More Than Seven Points
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 45, Utah 22 (1990)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 38, Utah 28 (1985)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20 (1975)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Game Recap: Utah Utes 17, Brigham Young Cougars 16

The Brigham Young Cougars saw victory slip through their grasp, several times, in a game that they controlled most of the way. BYU built a 13-0 lead after three quarters behind a strong defensive effort. The Cougar D disrupted Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn to the point that Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham benched Wynn to start the second half. When the defense intercepted two Terrence Cain passes, Wynn was reinserted to the game.

That is when things started falling apart for BYU. Wynn led Utah to a field goal his first drive back into the game. Three plays later, Jake Heaps and Joshua Quezada, both freshman, had a problem on the hand off exchange, which resulted in a fumble that Utah recovered. Utah cut the Cougars' lead to 3 on the very next play with a touchdown.

Led by Heaps, BYU maintained its composure and drove 56 yards in 15 plays, and kicked a field goal to push the lead back to six. While the field goal was nice, it looked like BYU was going to get more than that. On 3rd and 6 from the Utah 41, Heaps found McKay Jacobson alone behind the coverage for a 28-yard gain down to the Utah 13. A 12-yard sack the next play limited BYU to the three points.

The BYU defense forced Utah to punt on their next drive. However, the Utah punter shanked the kick, and BYU's misfortunes continued. Normally, shanked kicks land harmlessly on the turf. This one, however, hit a BYU player defending one of the Utah cover men. Utah recovered. Two plays later Brandon Bradley made his first career interception. As he was falling to the turf, a Utah player stripped him of the ball. Video replay showed that Bradley was down before fumbling the ball, but the replay officials in the booth still upheld the ruling on the field. Three plays later, Utah scored to take its first and only lead of the game.

The BYU offense came on to the field unfazed by the bizarre turn of events on the defensive and special teams sides of the ball. Highlighted by a 22-yard Heaps to Devin Mahina pass and a 12-yard Heaps to Jacobson connection, the Cougars moved into field goal range with under a minute to play. BYU ran the clock down to four seconds. Senior Mitch Payne came on to attempt his fourth field goal of the game, and first game winning attempt of his career.

Victory was there for the taking. Utah took it instead, blocking Payne's kick to go home the winners, 17-16 .

PLAY OF THE GAME: Shane Hunter interception with 10:30 to go in the third, returned 46 yards to the Utah 19. Set up Heaps to Jacobson TD to push lead to 13.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jake Heaps, 22 of 37, 228 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.

Things to watch for:
  1. The run game. The BYU run game regressed about 20 years. BYU's 37 rushes netted just 65 yards. Joshua Quezada's fumble started the flood of misfortune. The immediate consequence was a Utah touchdown, and the long-term effect was BYU losing the game.
  2. The passing game. The passing game passed this test. Heaps had better numbers than Max Hall ever did against Utah. Receivers were open and tight ends were making plays. In contrast to most of the season, the passing game was the Cougars' strength.
  3. Winning record/Bowl Position. Hopefully this devastating ending will inspire the team to come out and dominate in the bowl and go into the offseason on a huge high that will prove to be a catalyst that results in BYU making a huge splash as an independent next year. The loss may result in BYU being relegated to one of the bottom MWC bowl games, which makes a blowout bowl win more likely.
  4. Heaps' Freshman Legacy. Even in the loss, Jake Heaps' freshman legacy grew by leaps and bounds. He did everything necessary to win. When BYU was ahead in the fourth quarter he converted third downs by making big time throws. When BYU fell behind, he made the plays necessary to get BYU in field goal range. Heaps played with a poise that is rarely seen in a quarterback, regardless of his class status.

Other observations:

  • Mckay Jacobson. After having a severely disappointing junior season, Jacobson was the team's leading receiver making 7 catches for 92 yards and the teams only touchdown.
  • Second guessing. Up 6-0, early in the third quarter, and facing a fourth and one at the Utah 14 yard line. A field goal would have been automatic. The game would have become a two score game. Theoretically, BYU would have still been up two 19-17 and could run out the clock, rather than depend on a last second field goal to win.
  • Deja-vu. This was another game that had too many unfinished drives. BYU kicked three field goals. If just one of them finished as a touchdown instead, BYU wins this game. In 2000, BYU had to make a miracle comeback because the Cougars settled on field goals four times. The same thing happened in 2007. BYU led all game, but Utah was able to take a 10-9 lead near the end because BYU only scored on three field goals.
  • Deja-vu II. BYU won the Las Vegas Bowl in 2007, 17-16. It took a blocked field goal in the final seconds to secure that win. Back in 2004, BYU was on the road against a ranked opponent. Down one with less than a minute to play, BYU lined up kick a game winning field goal. Matt Payne, Mitch's older brother, missed the field goal and BYU lost to Boise State 28-27.
  • Killer Instinct. With all the questions that could be asked after this game, my biggest question is: Where is the killer instinct? It has been missing for several years, and it tends to be a problem most often against Utah.
2000: BYU led Utah 26-10 after three quarters. Rather than put the game away with one more score, BYU allows Utah to score 17 fourth quarter points to take the lead late.
2006: BYU jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but needed a 19 point fourth quarter to come away victorious.
2007: BYU controlled the game, and could have put Utah away several times. Yet, with 1:30 left in the game, the Cougars found themselves down by one. It took a miracle 4th and 18 play to win.
2009: BYU led 20-6 with 10 minutes to play in the third quarter. The game ends up going into overtime tied 20-20 before BYU could finally win.

NEXT: Bowl Game.
DATE: To Be Determined.

Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars at Utah Utes

The Brigham Young Cougars can Salvage, with a capital S, the season with a win against arch rival Utah. Winning the last four games to gain bowl eligibility has salvaged, with a small s, what was quickly turning into one of the worst rebuilding campaigns ever. Getting bowl eligible is not an achievement that should be laughed at. After all, Texas was in the BCS national championship game last year, but they will finish the year with a losing record, and most likely out of a bowl. However, no BYU fan, player, or coach should feel satisfied.

Utah surprised most everyone by starting 8-0, but the last three games have exposed Utah's weaknesses. The last four games for BYU has revealed the team's potential. In a matter of weeks, this game went from looking like another version of 1988, 2004, or 2008 to another heart stopper like the ones in 2000, 2006, or 2009.

With a win today, the Cougars 2010 season will be remembered with fond nostalgia similar to the 2000 season. In 2000, BYU had a down year in what was the final year of LaVell Edwards' illustrious career. BYU has had a down year this year in the final year of its affiliation with the Mountain West Conference. The pitfalls of 2000 are often overlooked. Many will overlook the 2-5 start to this season and remember the strong finish to the year and look with optimism to next year if BYU comes out on top of this one.

Things to watch for:
  1. The run game. The BYU run game has not faced much resistance from the Utah defense for several years now. It appears that Utah has put most, if not all, their eggs in the pass basket and banked on success by stopping the passing game. This year is different. It is no secret that BYU depends on the rush to be successful. Will this cause Utah to emphasize it in their preparations and shut down the rushing attack?
  2. The passing game. In three years, Max Hall never had a good day against Utah. Freshman Jake Heaps has a stronger arm and can stretch the field better than Max did, but will the BYU receivers be able to get open? Will Utah use a new blitz package to get to Heaps faster and disrupt his timing? TCU's Andy Dalton and San Diego State's Ryan Lindley had field days against Utah. However, those two Qbs are upperclassmen with a lot of experience. Heaps' play will probably be the biggest factor into whether BYU wins or loses.
  3. Winning record/Bowl Position. Besides the bragging rights that will come with a win, BYU can assure itself of a winning season by winning today. A win will also improve BYU's bowl stock. (That may or may not be a good thing depending on how you view the bowl situation.)
  4. Heaps' Freshman Legacy. After questioning during the bye week if Jake Heaps was the worst freshman quarterback ever at BYU, he is now making a push to be the best freshman quarterback ever. A win and a solid performance could wrap up that top spot for Heaps. He is currently 5-3 as a starter. A win over Utah and he will be guaranteed a winning record as a starter, and also will have the possibility of ending 7-3. His TD to Int. ratio is now better than 1:1, and he can surpass the 2,000 yard passing mark in this game.
All-time Series: Utah leads 31-50-4
Last: BYU won 26-23 OT (2009)
Streak: BYU won 1

KICKOFF: 1:30 PM (MDT)
TV: The Mtn. / CBS College Sports
RADIO: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, http://www.ksl.com/

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 34, Utah 27 (2000)
Thursday Trivia: Last Win Against Utah By More Than Seven Points
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 45, Utah 22 (1990)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 38, Utah 28 (1985)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20 (1975)
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7

Friday, November 26, 2010

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 34, Utah Utes 27 (2000)

November 24, 2000—The Brigham Young Cougars entered this game 5-6 and the Utah Utes were 4-6. Not the records you would expect for two teams about to play one of the greatest games in the history of this rivalry. The fact that this was legendary head coach LaVell Edwards’ final game on the sidelines helped offset the losing records.

Playing in his home town of Salt Lake City, Brandon Doman was starting his second career game at quarterback for BYU, and he got off on the wrong foot. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the first series of the game. Doman and BYU were able to settle down and turned the 7-0 deficit into a 26-10 lead in the third quarter after a 36-yard Doman to Mike Rigell touchdown. That lead evaporated in the fourth quarter as Utah made a quarterback substitution and sent in Darnell Arceneaux to take Lance Rice’s place.

Owen Pochman kicked four field goals (one shy of tying his own school record for most field goals in a game)

With less than two minutes to play, BYU found itself down 27-26 and facing 4th and 13 on its own 17 yard line. Doman dropped back to pass and heaved a prayer that was caught by Jonathan Pittman near midfield. The very next play, Doman threw another bomb to Pittman down the sideline. All of a sudden, BYU was in scoring position. Two plays later, Doman plunged across the goal line for a four-yard touchdown run that won the game, and sent Edwards out on a high note.

Doman finished the day a modest 16 of 29 for 284 yards with one TD and one int. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 39 yards on 18 carries, and the all-important game winning touchdown. Pittman’s two huge grabs helped him eclipse the 100 yard receiving mark (4 receptions for 117 yards).

As the sun set on Edwards’ legendary coaching career, the sun rose on Doman’s legendary, albeit brief, stint as BYU’s quarterback.

Have memories of this game? Share them below in the comments section.

Visit the Special Features page for links to other installments of Remembering the Rivalry.

You can watch the full game here.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Thursday Trivia: Last Win Against Utah By More Than Seven Points
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 45, Utah 22 (1990)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 38, Utah 28 (1985)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20 (1975)
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Trivia: Last Win Against Utah By More Than Seven Points

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I am thankful to everyone who visits the blog, votes in the poll questions, and participates by leaving comments. More importantly, I am thankful for my wonderful wife and four beautiful daughters who allow me the time to maintain the blog. I wish every has a great Thanksgiving.

The correct answer to last week’s trivia question "When was the last time that BYU shut out New Mexico?" is 1992. BYU won 35-0. 

On to the new question. As evident by this week's poll question, the last five BYU wins in the BYU-Utah rivalry have come down to big plays in the final minutes of the game. While a win is a win, I would love to see BYU beat Utah by two scores and leave no doubt about the final outcome well before the game ends. Therefore, this week's trivia question is:
When was the last time BYU beat Utah by more than 7 points?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 45, Utah 22 (1990)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 38, Utah 28 (1985)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20 (1975)
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 45, Utah Utes 22 (1990)

November 17, 1990—This year, the Utah Utes proved to be nothing more than a mile marker on the Heisman trail for the Brigham Young Cougars and Ty Detmer. The eventual Heisman Trophy winner had a “typical day at the office.” He went 28 of 50 for 451 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Over half of Detmer’s 451 yards passing went to two Cougar receivers. Tight End Chris Smith had 125 yards on 8 receptions, and Brent Nyberg had 116 yards on four catches.

Utah managed to stay close for the first 15 minutes, 14-10, but a 21-point Cougar outburst in the second quarter sent BYU to the locker room up 35-10. Game over.

BYU had some ball security problems fumbling five times. Fortunately, BYU also had the ball bounce their way losing just one of those fumbles.

Although the Cougar defense yielded a lot of yards (437), they redeemed themselves by forcing five turnovers (3 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries).

The day wasn’t without tragedy. Running back Matt Bellini, BYU’s all-time leading receiver in receptions and yards, tore ligaments in his right ankle, and saw very limited action the rest of the year.

Have memories of this game? Share them below in the comments section.

Visit the Special Features page for links to other installments of Remembering the Rivalry.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 38, Utah 28 (1985)
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20 (1975)
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 38, Utah Utes 28 (1985)

November 23, 1985—The Brigham Young Cougars opened up a 10 point lead in the third quarter after a first half that saw the Cougars and the Utes trade touchdowns three times. The third quarter proved to be the difference as each team traded touchdowns again in the fourth.

BYU relied more on the run than its vaunted pass attack on a day that saw snow fall in the second half. Led by Lakei Heimuli’s 164 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries. The Cougars racked up 307 yards rushing on just 50 attempts. Quarterback Robbie Bosco had only 276 yards passing on 22-37, but it was enough to win the game, and a little bit more. During the game, Bosco set the NCAA record for most completions in a season. He also became the first BYU quarterback to complete more than 300 passes in a season. Mark Bellini was Bosco’s favorite target this day making six grabs for 101 yards.

Penalties and turnovers are what did Utah in. The Utes were penalized 12 times for 98 yards. Two of the penalties negated touchdowns. Utah turned the ball over twice, which isn’t an insurmountable amount, except BYU capitalized on each turnover and turned both of them into seven points. The more costly turnover ended up being the interception in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Kurt Gouveia made the pick, which stopped a Utah scoring threat at the BYU 16-yard line. After this interception, Heimuli scampered 83 yards for the touchdown that sealed the victory.

This win moved BYU to 10-2 on the year, marking the third straight season with 10 or more wins. It was also the 42nd win in the last four seasons (1982-1985), one short of the 43 wins from 1978-1981.

Have memories of this game? Share them below in the comments section.

Visit the Special Features page for links to other installments of Remembering the Rivalry.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 56, Utah 6 (1980)
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20 (1975)
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos
Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 56, Utah Utes 6 (1980)

November 22, 1980--Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jim McMahon played with a vengeance. Two years before, the Utah Utes gave McMahon his first loss as a starter, and that was after BYU had built a 16-0 halftime lead. This time, McMahon was sure to build an insurmountable lead. Jimmy Mac was 21-34 on the day for 399 yards with 3 touchdown passes and one interception. The three TDs gave him 42 for the year, which was a new NCAA record. It was also McMahon's 10th straight 300 yard passing game, another new NCAA record, breaking the previous record set my Marc Wilson just a year before. McMahon also scored on a touchdown run.

As great as McMahon was, he didn't do it all alone. Running back Eric Lane had a hat trick of his own scoring three times. Scott Pettis, another running back, broke off a 50-yard run--the longest of the year by a BYU back.

Utah did it's best to keep the game respectable only going into the half down 21-0. Any hopes of another comeback were extinguished as BYU exploded for five second half TDs.

The defense did its part by keeping Utah off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.

The 50 point win is still the largest margin of victory for either team in this rivalry. It also gave BYU its fifth consecutive WAC championship and tenth consecutive victory (one shy of the school record, at that time).

Have memories of this game? Share them below in the comments section.

Visit the Special Features page for links to other installments of Remembering the Rivalry.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Poll Results: If BYU Wins The Last Two Games, Should Bronco be the MWC Coach of the Year?
Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 51, Utah 20
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos
Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico
Flashback: Cougar Stadium is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium

Poll Results: If BYU wins the last 2 games, should Bronco be the MWC coach of the year?

This poll is closed and Bronco Mendenhall received a majority of the vote (52%) for MWC coach of the year if his Cougars can finish the year on a five game win streak. San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke was second with 28% of the votes, TCU head coach Gary Patterson was third with 14%. The option for "Another MWC Coach" received the remaining 6%.

Thank you to all who voted. Don't forget to vote in the new poll, "Which BYU-Utah game in the 2000s had the best finish?"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remembering the Rivalry: Brigham Young Cougars 51, Utah Utes 20 (1975)

It's rivalry week for the Brigham Young Cougars and the Utah Utes. This week's game will be the 86 game between the two schools. Each day this week, BYU FOOTBALL TALK will look back on one of the Cougars' great victories over the Utes. I have done my best to research each game and provide a summary. If you were there or remember these games, please fill in with any details that you feel were significant that I have left out.

November 15, 1975--BYU came into this game 4-4, needing a win to keep hopes alive for a second consecutive winning season, and third in four years. After struggling early in the year to find a new quarterback, Gifford Nielsen was the unquestioned starter by this time. He played a solid game connecting on 10 of 15 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Nielsen also added a score on the ground. Charley Ah You made a splash rushing for 77 yards and scored once.

This win marked the first time in the history of the rivalry that BYU had scored over 50 points, won by more than 28 points, and won four games in a row. Not only was this the first time BYU won four straight, BYU beat Utah State, 24-7, the week before to make this only the third time that BYU won the "State Championship" (1958 and 1966 were the other two times).

Stan Varner was an animal on defense recovering two fumbles and intercepting a pass. Varner wasn't the only one making big plays. The entire defense was exceptional limiting Utah to just 14 yards rushing.

After a horrendous 0-3 start, BYU had now won five out of six games.

Have memories of this game? Share them below in the comments section.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos
Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico
Flashback: Cougar Stadium is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium
Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?
Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7

The Brigham Young Cougars defense had two takeaways on the New Mexico Lobos first two drives. The BYU offense turned the first (an interception) into a touchdown. The second (a fumble recovery) led to a field goal. BYU scored a touchdown on its next drive to push the first quarter lead to 17-0. The momentum from this early surge carried the Cougars to a 40-7 win.

Jake Heaps had been on fire the last two games, but he came out cold in this one. He was just 8-19 for 112 yards in the first half. A few passes were near interceptions. He did, however, run for his first career touchdown. In the end, Heaps had his third straight 200 yard passing game, and third consecutive game with 2 or more touchdown passes.

The BYU offense used a balanced attack (236 passing yards, 258 rushing yards). Freshman running back Joshua Quezada led all rushers with 107 yards on just 15 carries.

The defense ended the game with four total takeaways, for the second straight week. They also kept New Mexico below its season averages in passing yards, rushing yards, and points. Kyle Van Noy made the only sack, but the defense was in the back field pressuring the Lobo QB a lot.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Eathyn Manumaleuna interception that he returned 30 yards. First, he was the nose tackle. Second, it set the tone early and gave BYU a lot of momentum.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Senior Strong Safety Andrew Rich, 7 tackles (second on the team), 2 interceptions.

Things that I watched for:
  1. Will BYU become bowl eligible? Yes. This was win number six. Unlike 2000 when the MWC didn't have enough bowl tie ins for six win BYU to get a bowl berth, there are plenty of bowls for MWC teams this year. BYU will play a 13th game sometime in December.
  2. What will Jake Heaps do for an encore? How about a score on the ground? Heaps rushed for the first score of the game. His first career rushing touchdown. That was the best news for the first half. The second half was a work of art. Heaps was 10-13, 119 yards, 2 TD passes. He ended the day 18-32, 231 yards, 2 touchdown passes.
  3. Shutout? Those dreams ended earlier this week. New Mexico got on the board with 4:14 to play in the third.
  4. Cody Hoff-return-man. Cody Hoffman looked mortal today. He had one return for 14 yards. The defense isn't letting teams score enough, so he appears to be getting rusty.
  5. Sensational Seniors. Shane Hunter led the team with 11 tackles. The next three leading tacklers were seniors as well (Brian Logan, Vic So'oto, and Andrew Rich). Rich also had two interceptions in the fourth quarter. Brandon Bradley recovered a fumble in the first quarter that helped build momentum and extend an early lead. Mitch Payne scored 10 points, which gave him 314 career points—the most in MWC history.
Other observations:

  • Going the distance. BYU had 4 scoring drives of 80 yards or more. The first was a 7 play 80 yard drive that ended in a touchdown. The second was 16 plays for 84 yards and a field goal. The third was 12 plays, 82 yards, and a touchdown. The fourth was 10 plays and 80 yards and another touchdown.
  • The future is now. A freshman was the leading passer (Heaps, 231 yards), rusher (Quezada, 107 yards) and receiver (Hoffman, 71 yards). That is the first time it has happened this year, and probably the first time ever for BYU.
  • Tight ends were involved. Three tight ends caught passes (Devin Mahina 2-24, Mike Muehlmann 1-22, Austin Holt 1-17). Their totals (4 receptions, 63 yards) accounted for 22% of the receptions and over 25% of the receiving yards. While the tight end position has been a larger part of the offense in recent years, the production today was a nice sign of progress.
  • Penalties a Plenty. BYU has not been penalized a lot this year. Today, however, the Cougars were flagged 14 times for 141 yards. While it is disappointing to see the team commit that many infractions, the fact that the game ended 40-7 even with all these penalties is another testament to how far the team has come. Earlier in the year, these penalties would kill drives on offense or lead to easy scores for opposing offenses.
NEXT: at Utah
DATE: November 27
TIME: 1:30 PM

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos
Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico
Flashback: Cougar Stadium is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium
Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?
Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos

The Brigham Young Cougars face the New Mexico Lobos in the 10th Anniversary game of LaVell Edwards Stadium. When these two teams played a year ago, the Lobos were winless, while the Cougars were 7-2. Although the win-loss records were lopsided, the game wasn’t. It took three missed field goals by New Mexico and a late fourth quarter defensive stand by BYU to secure the 24-19 win.

This year, BYU is just 5-5, while New Mexico has made a one game improvement (1-9). The record differential is smaller this year, but the final score probably won’t be so close. BYU is playing at home. A bowl game is at stake for the Cougars as well. The Lobos already have a win. They still want to beat BYU in the worst way, but they don’t have the fear or finishing the season winless.

The only thing that I see stopping BYU from winning this game is if the offense does a major choke job. The BYU defense should control that side of the game from start to finish. The New Mexico offense has been abysmal. It has averaged just 170 yards passing per game, 110 yards rushing per game, and 16.6 points per game. In all three categories the Lobos rank 98th or worse nationally. The defense is allowing over 42 points per game, including 45 to UNLV and 38 to Colorado State. New Mexico has used four quarterbacks this year. None has thrown for more than 600 yards. No Lobo running back has rushed for over 300 yards.

Things to watch for:
  1. Will BYU become bowl eligible? All BYU needs is a win and what seemed impossible a little over a month ago will become a reality. As eluded to above, this should be a motivating factor that gets BYU to come out and play on edge like the last two weeks.
  2. What will Jake Heaps do for an encore? The freshman has left everyone awestruck the last few weeks. How will he follow up the eighth most efficient game by a BYU quarterback, ever? Will he continue to solidify himself as the best quarterback option for 2011?
  3. Shutout? The defense was seconds away from a shutout against UNLV. The were less than 8 minutes away from a shutout last week. Will the Cougars get it this week?
  4. Cody Hoff-return-man. Cody Hoffman has been electrifying since he started returning kickoffs. His only return against UNLV was a 50 yarder. He was the MWC special teams player of the week after his first game. He had an 80+ yard return called back on a penalty. What will be his longest return this week? Can he end the drought of a kick off return touchdown? Will he give BYU another huge field position advantage?
  5. Sensational Seniors. With it being senior day, you can be assured that each senior will be trying a little bit harder. We all know that guys like Andrew Rich and Brian Logan will play well, but what about the less heralded seniors? Will one of them play out of his mind and be a difference maker?
All-time Series: BYU leads 44-14-1
Last: BYU won 24-19 (2009)
Streak: BYU won 5

KICKOFF: 4:00 PM (MDT)
TV: The Mtn.
RADIO: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, http://www.ksl.com/

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico
Flashback: Cougar Stadium is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium
Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?
Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 49, Colorado State Rams 10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico

The correct answer to last week’s trivia question "Who is the only coach in BYU history, besides LaVell Edwards, to begin and end his career with a win?" is Eddie Kimball. Kimball had two coaching stints at BYU, 1937-41 and 1946-48. He won his very first game in 1937 against the Colorado State Teachers 7-0. He also won his first game in 1946 against Western State 13-2. His final game in 1948 was a 27-25 win over Arizona State. Both times he began with a win, but only the second end was a win.

On to the new question. The BYU defense has come close to registering a shutout the last two weeks. UNLV scored with just seconds left in the game, and Colorado State didn't score until well into the fourth quarter. I would love to see it happen this week against New Mexico. Which makes this week's question:
When was the last time that BYU shut out New Mexico?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Flashback: Cougar Stadium is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium
Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?
Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 49, Colorado State Rams 10
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Colorado State Rams
The Brigham Young Cougars Have Been Down This Road Before

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flashback: Cougar Stadium Is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium

Exactly 10 years ago, tomorrow, November 18, 2000, the Brigham Young Cougars were preparing for their final home game of the year. The opponent was the New Mexico Lobos. As the final home game, it was senior day. That included senior citizen LaVell Edwards. After 29 years, the legendary head coach was retiring.

The team was in the locker room making final preparations for kickoff. Unbeknown to them, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Brigham Young University, walked in. Among other things, he told the players, “Don’t muff it,” referring to their “last chance to get a victory for LaVell on his home field.”

It is customary that when more visible employees retire after dedicating many years of service employers make a special tribute to recognize all that the employee has done for the company. Therefore, it was no surprise that President Hinckley delayed kickoff for a few minutes to honor Coach Edwards in front of the over 62,000 fans in attendance. What that honor was, however, surprised not only the thousands in attendance, but the old coach himself. President Hinckley announced:
“The Board of Trustees and the administration of the University, in recognition of a remarkable and wonderful man, have determined to name this the LaVell Edwards Stadium.”
The honor was very fitting. Thirty years earlier, the stadium was half the size it was now, and BYU was lucky of the stadium was half full. Towels adapting a popular moniker were made pronouncing the stadium as “the House that LaVell Built.”


In 29 years, LaVell had taken BYU from an unknown school tucked away in the Rocky Mountains to a team nationally known, respected, and followed. He also transformed the game of football in the process.



More flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?
Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 49, Colorado State Rams 10
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Colorado State Rams
The Brigham Young Cougars Have Been Down This Road Before
Thursday Trivia: Beginning and Ending With A Win
Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout Game

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?

The poll from last week has closed, and the TD pass from the UNLV game that was voted more important was the long bomb to Cody Hoffman with 82% of the votes.

If I had voted, my vote would have been for this TD pass. While the Luke Ashworth TD with the yards after catch is the type of play that should be a staple in any effective passing game, I feel the BYU passing game, at that time, needed the bomb more. BYU had made a handful of intermediate range throws with some yards after catch, but until Jake Heaps connected with Cody Hoffman on that touchdown, BYU had not completed a pass that traveled 30+ yards down field.

Thank you to all who participated. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll, "If BYU wins the next 2 games, should Bronco Mendenhall be the MWC coach of the year?"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?

Five games ago, the Brigham Young Cougars were 1-4. They are now 5-5, with the one additional loss coming on the road to number 4 TCU. The very, very clear turning point in the season came after Bronco Mendenhall fired defensive coordinator Jaime Hill.

Mendenhall took over as defensive coordinator for a unit that was allowing 259.2 yards rushing and 28.8 points per game. In the last five games, the BYU defense has allowed 329 total rushing yards (65.8 yards per game) and 17.8 points per game (10 or less the last two games). These impressive stats have come while key players have been injured: Romney Fuga, starting nose tackle; Jordan Pendleton, the playmaking outside linebacker; and Steve Thomas, starting free safety.

The offense took a little longer to come around, but the high flying pass game is hitting on all cylinders now. The Cougars scored a total of 103 points in the first seven games of the year. They have scored 104 the last two games. True freshman quarterback Jake Heaps’ stat line the last two weeks is: 34-51 (66.7%), 536 yards, 6 TD, 0 Int., Pass efficiency rating: 193.8.

If BYU wins their next two games, the Cougars will end the year 6-2 in the MWC, second place in the conference, and head-to-head victories over any team tied with them. Such a strong finish that clearly started when Mendenhall took over the defense begs the question: Should Bronco Mendenhall be the MWC coach of the year?

Seriously, who else are you going to vote for?

Gary Patterson, TCU—Strong candidate for directing TCU to a second consecutive perfect regular season, but his biggest selling point is also his biggest negative. We have already seen him do this. Bronco didn’t get 2007 MWC coach of the year honors even though he led BYU to its second consecutive perfect conference record. The honors went to Troy Calhoun, coach of the second place Air Force Falcons. TCU has a weaker resume this year than last, as well. There is no ACC Division champion, and two MWC teams are not ranked. Oregon State and Baylor are coming apart at the seams, and Utah is on the verge of falling out of the polls.

Brady Hoke, San Diego State—The Aztecs are certainly the surprise of the conference this year. From 4-8 last year, they can finish 9-3, if they beat Utah. That would give Hoke a very strong case for Coach of the Year honors, as well. If they lose to Utah, San Diego State is sitting at 8-4, one game better than BYU’s 7-5. However, Hoke was out coached by Bronco back in October. The turning point for BYU came at the hands of San Diego State.

Kyle Whittingham, Utah—The Utes would finish 9-3, at best, if BYU wins its last two games. Utah would have completed one of the most epic falls in modern sports history. They were number five in the BCS standings with four games to go. There is no way you can reward a coach who’s team had such a monumental collapse.

No coach after that deserves mention.

The only reason that you might not vote for Bronco Mendenhall is if you feel that he is directly responsible for BYU's slow start. You might say that he made poor decisions to start the year, and that he took a step back and exerted less influence when having such a young team required a step forward. This is a fair argument to make. He did let key position battles go on longer than was healthy for the team, particularly quarterback, middle linebacker, and tight end. Mendenhall was delegating more to assistant and position coaches leading the players to feel less of his presence and to understand less what his expectations are. If that is the way you feel, then the question becomes, how much restitution did Bronco make for his earlier poor judgment with these final seven games? Is this 6-1 finish enough? Does the fact that those ugly early season losses were mostly non-conference game matter when voting for the conference coach of the year?

In the end, most voters might not have such a critical eye. You have to be pretty close to the program to realize that Bronco Mendenhall's coaching may be to blame for the slow start. Voters could look at the Riley Nelson injury early in the third game of the season, and say indecision on the QB race was actually helpful (if Nelson was getting all the reps in fall practice and the first two games, then Heaps would have been even less prepared). In any case, there are still two games to go, and BYU could lose. If BYU wins them both, however, Bronco Mendenhall should be near the top when the votes are counted, regardless of each voters unique view of the situation.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 49, Colorado State Rams 10

The Brigham Young Cougars have put together back-to-back masterpieces. For the second straight week, BYU has built a 30+ point lead in the first half and cruised to an easy victory. As bad as the offense was the first two months of the season, it has been that good the last two weeks. BYU had 526 total yards against the Colorado State Rams, giving them 1,042 the last two weeks. The 49 points gives 104 points in two weeks. BYU had only 103 points in the first seven games combined.

The Cougars were literally unstoppable. BYU converted 12-13 third downs. The one third down that wasn't converted, BYU converted the next play on fourth down. The only times BYU did not finish a drive with a score was the two times they fumbled and at the end of the game when they stopped trying and downed the ball.

The BYU defense wasn't so dominant. Rather than forcing three and outs, they allowed Colorado State to convert third downs and move the ball. The defense was, however, very opportunistic. They made more stops off of turnovers (4) than forcing punts (3). Although Colorado State managed 375 yards of total offense, the defense kept the Rams off the board until midway through the fourth quarter. It was the second game in a row that BYU did not allow a score until the fourth quarter.

Luke Ashworth had a huge day catching the ball. Ashworth started to emerge as Jake Heaps' go to receiver in the Wyoming game. This emergence culminated in Ashworth having a career game. He tied the BYU and MWC record for most touchdown receptions in a game (4). Every time he caught the ball, he scored, and he became the first Cougar receiver to register a 100 yard receiving game this year.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Kyle Van Noy recovered a fumble forced by Corby Eason and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Luke Ashworth, 4 receptions, 113 yards, 4 TD

Things to watch for:

  1. Pressuring the QB. The BYU defense didn't pressure Pete Thomas too much. They did sack him once in the first quarter and three times on the day, but it wasn't necessary. He isn't that good and even though he was able to throw for nearly 300 yards, he didn't present any problems.
  2. BYU Passing Game. Jake Heaps ended the day with a very, very nice stat line: 15-20, 242, 4 TD, Pass Efficiency: 242.6 (eighth highest in BYU history). Heaps now has more TD passes than interceptions. The passing game had a good mix of deep, intermediate, and short throws. Tight ends even made two grabs, which isn't that bad when only 15 passes were caught. The best stat about the passing game, perhaps, is how the pass out paced the run for most of the game. When Heaps left the game after three quarters, BYU had 242 passing yards to about 160 rushing yards. That looks more like BYU football.
  3. Stopping the run. Even though the defense allowed 375 yards, the rushing yards were still low (83). It helped that Colorado State had a commitment to the pass and only tried running the ball 24 times.

Other observations:

  • Forcing Turnovers. The defense forced four turnovers this week. Two fumbles and two interceptions. That makes six turnovers the last two games, which equals the total turnovers forced in the first eight games of the season.
  • Ryan Folsom's 74 yard run that nearly ended in a touchdown was reminicent of Mike Hague's 87 -yard TD run against UNLV in 2006.
  • Night and Day Difference. I have never seen such a night and day difference by a BYU football team. I know the level of competition has something to do with this, but it doesn't explain everything. The defense was horrendous, and the offense was non-existent. Now it appears that BYU may have its best defense in decades, and the offense is everything we have come to expect.
  • Freshman All-American. I keep talking about Kyle Van Noy as a freshman All-American because he keeps doing things to make that honor more likely. In fact, I think his 44-yard fumble return TD may have sealed the deal. That is one of those plays that has a big WOW factor and when voters see it, it will magnify the rest of Van Noy's numbers.

NEXT: New Mexico
DATE: November 20
TIME: 4:00 PM (MST)

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Preview: BYU at Colorado State

The Brigham Young Cougars Have Been Down This Road Before
Thursday Trivia: Beginning and Ending With A Win
Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout GameFlashback: BYU 35, San Diego State 28 (1994)
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB

Friday, November 12, 2010

Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Colorado State Rams

The Brigham Young Cougars achieved several firsts in last week’s game. They will be trying to achieve another first this week—win on the road.

It has been exactly one year since BYU last won on the road (November 14, 2009, game 10, at New Mexico 24-19). In fact, the winless road record directly contrasts the perfect 5-0 record BYU posted last year on the road. Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said, "To make a phantom out of playing on the road, that it's bigger than it is, I'm not going to do that." That is the right decision.

BYU played very well at Air Force for the first 20 minutes. In Tallahassee, the Cougars had all the momentum and trailed the Seminoles only 13-10 at half. The defense played possibly its best game at TCU. Turnovers (Air Force), poor tackling and offensive line play (Florida State), and playing a better opponent (TCU) explain why BYU lost these games much better than saying it was the road environment. The only time BYU has really looked bad on the road was up in Logan.

This game will come down to the battle between BYU’s offense and Colorado State’s defense. Both have been mediocre this season. BYU exploded for 55 points last week, but prior to that had not scored more than 24 offensive points all season. Colorado State has allowed, on average, over 32 points per game. However, they “held” TCU to 27 points. A good game plan and players full of emotion could give the BYU offense trouble.

The Colorado State offense has been anemic at times this year. Anytime they have played a formidable defense they have been held to single digit points. The “new” BYU defense should keep the Rams below 10 points this week.

Things to watch for:

  1. Pressuring the QB. Last year, Utah QB Jordan Wynn started 7 for 7 against BYU. BYU was making him look like a seasoned vet. Then the BYU D hit him a few times, and Wynn started playing the way most true freshmen play—really bad. The BYU defense needs to set the tone early and knock CSU QB Peter Thomas around. This will get in his mind and mess up his rhythm.
  2. BYU Passing Game. I have been guardedly optimistic about what we saw Jake Heaps and his receivers do last Saturday. Are we going to see the same thing regularly now, or was it a by product of playing UNLV? The Rams kept San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley in check last week. BYU will need the pass game to be relevant for a win this week.
  3. Stopping the run. BYU has allowed an average of 61.5 rushing yards per game the last four games. This trend will probably continue. Colorado State is 96th in the country in rushing offense with 121 yards per game.
All-time Series: BYU leads 38-27-3
Last: BYU won 42-23 (2009)
Streak: BYU won 6

KICKOFF: 12:00 PM (MDT)
TV: The Mtn.
RADIO: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, www.ksl.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Brigham Young Cougars Have Been Down This Road Before

The Brigham Young Cougars are 4-5. BYU needs to win at least two of its last three games to avoid a losing record and to qualify for a bowl. The final three games on the schedule, in order, are at Colorado State, at home versus New Mexico, and at Utah. One opponent is done for the year (New Mexico), one opponent is trying to salvage the season (Colorado State). The other opponent is near the top of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) standings. Deja-vu? You bet. BYU has been down this road before.

Ten years ago, BYU had an identical 4-5 record after nine games. The final three games in 2000 were at Colorado State, against New Mexico at home, and at Utah. That year, the Rams were the ones at the top of the MWC, and the Lobos were trying to salvage their season. The Utes, you could stick a fork in them.

BYU was just as disappointed with the 2000 season as they are the 2010 campaign for many of the same reasons. The BYU offense struggled as they tried to replace a three year starter at quarterback. Injuries on defense hurt that unit's ability to stop teams.

The 2000 squad won two of those final three games (New Mexico and Utah) to end the LaVell Edwards Era on a positive note. During the offseason, the returning players built on the momentum that they gained from those two wins to propel them to a 12-0 start as they embarked on a new era in BYU football the following year.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Thursday Trivia: Beginning and Ending With A Win
Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout Game
Flashback: BYU 35, San Diego State 28 (1994)
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 55, UNLV Rebels 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels

Thursday Trivia: Beginning and Ending With A Win

The correct answer to last week’s trivia question "How many times has BYU had a 3-1 record, or better, in November?" is 25 times if we impose a four game minimum or 35 if you count 3-0. To break it down, BYU was 3-0 ten times, 3-0-1 one time, 3-0-2 one time, 3-1 eleven times, 4-0 eleven times, and 5-0 one time. Here are the years and the records:
2009: 4-0
2008: 3-1
2007: 4-0
2006: 4-0
2001: 3-0
1998: 3-0
1996: 4-0
1995: 4-0
1992: 3-0
1990: 4-0
1989: 4-0
1987: 3-0
1985: 4-0
1984: 4-0
1983: 3-0
1982: 3-0
1981: 3-0
1980: 5-0
1979: 4-0
1978: 3-1
1977: 3-1
1976: 3-0
1974: 4-0
1973: 3-1
1972: 3-1
1969: 3-1
1966: 3-1
1965: 3-1
1958: 3-1
1957: 3-1
1951: 3-1
1946: 3-0-1
1937: 3-0
1932: 3-0
1930: 3-0-2
If BYU can finish 3-1 or better this year, it will be the fifth consecutive year that BYU has done it. The longest streak is 10 years (1976-1985).

Legendary head coach LaVell Edwards started his career with a win (Kansas State, 32-9, in 1972) and ended his career with a win, (Utah 34-27, in 2000). Only one other BYU coach has started his career and ended his career with a win. This week's question is:
Who is the only coach in BYU history, besides LaVell Edwards, to begin and end his career with a win?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout Game
Flashback: BYU 35, San Diego State 28 (1994)
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 55, UNLV Rebels 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breaking Down Jake Heaps' Breakout Game

The Brigham Young Cougars’ true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps had his much anticipated breakout game against UNLV last Saturday. Heaps finished the day with 19 completions on 31 attempts (61.3%) for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns. His pass efficiency rating was 162.25. In reality, this stat line represents what should be a “typical day at the office” for a BYU quarterback, but for this true freshman, it was a breakout game for several reasons.

  • Heaps had his first game with multiple touchdown passes.
  • He had a career high in passing yards.
  • He averaged 9.5 yards per attempt; his previous best was 5.73.
  • He had not had a pass efficiency rating higher than 107.2.
  • He completed over 60 percent of his passes for only the second time.
  • He had three pass completions for more than 35 yards (his previous long was 32).
  • He had led such a productive offense, he didn't play the fourth quarter.
While virtually no one will argue that this wasn’t a breakout game for Heaps, the above list does not do justice to just how well Heaps played on Saturday. The BYU passing attack had lacked any kind of downfield element. Even throwing for a first down in short yardage situations was nearly impossible. Heaps and Co. overcame both these hurdles against UNLV.

Further breakdown of Heaps' play shows that this freshman did not play like one on Saturday.

3rd Down
6-9, 128 yards, 1 TD, Pass Eff. 222.8
All 6 completions resulted in a first down or a touchdown.

Momentum Builders
12 completions resulted in a first down.
2 completions were touchdowns.
73.7% (14 of 19) of Heaps’ completions helped BYU build momentum.

2nd Quarter
8-10, 146 yards, 1 TD, Pass Eff. 235.6
--Six completions resulted in first downs or a touchdown.
--At one point Heaps completed six consecutive passes.
--Of the two that were not “momentum builders,” one was a 9 yard completion on 1st and 10, the other was a 7-yarder on 2nd and 10 that helped set up the last second field goal.
--Heaps' second quarter play helped produce 24 points in the quarter that put the game away.

Going Down Field
Nine completions went for 14 yards or more, five were for 20 or more yards, and 3 were over 35 yards.

Ineffective Short Throws
As noted, all but five completions helped BYU build momentum. Of those five, only one could be considered ineffective. It was Heaps’ first throw of the game for three yards on second and 8. BYU did not convert the ensuing third down and had to punt.

The other four non-momentum builders were still effective (see list below for throw numbers).
1. Throw 6 was a six yard completion on first down. Second and four is a very manageable down and distance. (J.J. Di Luigi picked up the first down on the next play.)
2. Throw 10 was only for four yards on second and 10, but on the very next play Heaps connected with Di Luigi for a first down.
3. Throw 17 was a nine-yard completion on first down. Second and one is a great down and distance.
4. Throw 20 was the 7-yarder on 2nd and 10 that helped set up the last second field goal to end the first half.

When it really mattered, Heaps was at his best. Getting inside the numbers shows that Heaps didn’t just break out, he excelled. He played with a maturity beyond his years. Hopefully, this was just a stepping stone for Heaps, and he will exceed this impressive performance on a regular basis.

********************
List of all 31 pass attempts.
1. 2nd and 8, pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 3 yards
2. 3rd and 10 pass incomplete
3. 3rd and 4 pass complete to McKay Jacobson for 11 yards
4. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
5. 1st and 10 pass complete to Jacobson for 19 yards
6. 1st and 10 pass complete to Ashworth for 6 yards
7. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
8. 2nd and 5 pass complete to Devin Mahina for 6 yards
9. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
10. 2nd and 10 pass complete to Jacobson for 4 yards
11. 3rd and 6 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 7 yards
12. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
13. 1st and 10 pass complete to Cody Hoffman for 20 yards
14. 1st and 10 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 21 yards
15. 1st and 10 pass complete to Cody Hoffman for 37 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
16. 2nd and 4 pass complete to Marcus Mathews for 9 yards
17. 1st and 10 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 9 yards
18. 3rd and 12 pass complete to McKay Jacobson for 36 yards
19. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
20. 2nd and 10 pass complete to JJ Di Luigi for 7 yards
21. 2nd and 10 pass complete to Spencer Hafoka for 11 yards
22. 2nd and 11 pass incomplete
23. 3rd and 11 pass incomplete
24. 1st and 10 pass incomplete
25. 3rd and 5 pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 42 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
26. 2nd and 5 pass incomplete
27. 3rd and 5 pass incomplete
28. 3rd and 10 pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 18 yards
29. 2nd and 7 pass complete to Bryan Kariya for 14 yards
30. 2nd and 8 pass incomplete
31. 3rd and 8 pass complete to Luke Ashworth for 14 yards
(Source: http://espn.go.com/ncf/playbyplay?gameId=303100252&period=0)

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Flashback: BYU 35, San Diego State 28 (1994)
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 55, UNLV Rebels 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels
Thursday Trivia: Win-Loss Record in November
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 35, San Diego State Aztecs 28 (1994)

Exactly 16 years ago, November 10, 1994, the Brigham Young Cougars played the San Diego State Aztecs in another one of their classic WAC barn burners.

Although the final score was close enough to keep the outcome in doubt until the end, the BYU defense dominated the stat sheet. San Diego State had a measly 19 yards rushing on 32 carries. The Cougar D sacked Aztec quarterback Billy Blanton five times. For the game, San Diego State converted only 2 of 14 third downs.

While the defense was dominating, BYU built a 35-14 fourth quarter lead. Despite being limited to 25 yards rushing for the game, Jamal Willis went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season. The Aztecs were able to contain Willis, but they had no answer for Hema Heimuli. He carried the ball 17 times for 115 yards, and ran for BYU’s first and last touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass. John Walsh added 392 yards through the air and two TD passes, as the offense piled up 505 yards of total offense.

San Diego State managed to score two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull within one score with four minutes to play, but BYU held on for the win. This was the fourth consecutive BYU-SDSU game decided by a touchdown or less.

More flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB
Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 55, UNLV Rebels 7
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels
Thursday Trivia: Win-Loss Record in November
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poll Results: Should BYU Play Another QB?

This poll question has closed and the overwhelming majority (83%) said, "No, let Jake Heaps finish the year." I don't think we have ever had a poll question garner a greater percentage of the votes. The othe votes were split 15% for letting James Lark have a chance and 2% giving Jason Munns the reins.

Thank you to all who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: "Which TD pass was more important" for the struggling BYU passing game?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 55, UNLV Rebels 7

There has been noticeable progress in Provo by the Brigham Young Cougars. The BYU offense needed a breakout game. Well, 328 yards total offense isn't exactly a breakout game, unless all of those yards come in the first half. Those 328 yards resulted in 38 points. The offense scored in just about every way possible: a long sustained drive (11 plays, 86 yards), a quick strike (2 plays, 58 yards), a lot of short drives (5 scoring drives were less than 50 yards), on the ground, and through the air. The offense even moved into field goal range in just 30 seconds to tack on three more as the half expired. BYU ended the day with 516 total yards, 300 yards passing, and 216 rushing.

BYU had struggled to score this year. The offense had not scored more than 24 points in an entire game. With Mitch Payne's field goal at the end of the second quarter, BYU scored 24 points in just that quarter alone.

The BYU defense was just as fabulous. Brian Logan set the tone by intercepting UNLV quarterback Omar Clayton on the first play of the game. UNLV only crossed midfield once in the first half, and when they did, Jameson Frazier immediately ended that threat by making another interception. The D only gave up 144 yards for the game.

UNLV showed they really are Rebels as they refused to cooperate. They ended BYU's bid for a shutout with 41 seconds left.

PLAY OF THE GAME: 37-yard Jake Heaps to Cody Hoffman touchdown pass. With this play the rout was officially on. It capped a 2 play 58 yard scoring drive, and made it 28-0.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jake Heaps, 19-31, 294 yards, 2 TD, 0 Int., Pass Eff. 162.25

Things to watch for:

  1. Home Field Disadvantage? The home field was not a disadvantage this year. This was the biggest win by BYU ever in the series. The 48 point win is 3 points better than the 52-7 win in 2006.
  2. Will another receiver step up? Luke Ashworth had another solid game with 5 receptions for 83 yards and a TD. Cody Hoffman and McKay Jacobson joined Ashworth in the offensive onslaught. Hoffman didn't have big numbers, but he made the big catch for the first TD pass. Jacobson had 7 catches for 70 yards.
  3. How many rushing yards? A big fat 22. For a defense that gave up so many rushing yards to teams like Florida State, Air Force, Utah State, and Nevada, this has to make them feel good.
  4. Cody Hoffman on kick returns. Hoffman only had one opportunity, and he returned it 50 yards. His potential on returns is one positive that isn't getting much attention, which plays to his favor.

Other observations:

  • We are known. The offensive strategy to be “run first” is no longer a secret. Teams are preparing for it and gearing to stop the run. Heaps and the receivers have to be able to continue to produce the way they did today, otherwise BYU won't keep winning and won't go bowling.
  • A win streak! It took nine games, but BYU finally has a win streak. For the first time this year BYU has won back-to-back games.
  • How is this for offensive balance. Four different players scored the first four touchdowns. Joshua Quezada, J.J. Di Luigi, and Bryan Kariya took turns scoring on the ground before Cody Hoffman caught the next touchdown. On the day, five Cougars scored.
  • Three Touchdowns. Joshua Quezada ran for three touchdowns. He is the first true freshman to do that since Curtis Brown did it against Utah State in 2002.
  • Freshman Firsts. Jake Heaps now holds the BYU freshman record for most yards passing (1,351) and wins (3). Matt Berry had 1,309 yards and two wins in 2002.
  • The 55-0 curse. The last time BYU had a 55-0 lead was against Wyoming in 2006. Wyoming ended up scoring on a fluke 71-yard run in the fourth quarter. Should have kicked the field goal to make it 58-0 instead of going for the first down on 4th and 8.

NEXT: at Colorado State
DATE: November 13
TIME: 12:00 PM (MST)

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels
Thursday Trivia: Win-Loss Record in November
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars
Poll Results: Which game will be the hardest to win
Flashback: Steve Sarkisian Has Only 70 Yards Passing (1996)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. UNLV Rebels

The Brigham Young Cougars resume play this week against the UNLV Rebels. A BCS bowl has been out of the picture for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that style points don’t matter in this game. BYU needs to do more than just win on Saturday.

The Cougar offense has had its share of problems this year. They have never scored more than 24 points in a game. Against UNLV, bad teams are posting better numbers than that. The Idaho Vandals (4-4) scored 30 points, and the Colorado State Rams (3-6) scored 43. Colorado State’s freshman quarterback was 10 of 14 for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. The BYU offense needs to eclipse 30 points and 400 total yards, preferably balanced 200 passing and 200 rushing.

The BYU defense has looked impressive in recent weeks holding TCU to three points for most of the first half. They forced Wyoming backwards for the entire first half (-18 yards total offense). UNLV hasn’t had much offensive firepower. They are 98th in the nation in passing yards per game, 103rd in rushing yards per game, and 111th in points scored per game. The BYU defense should dominate and flirt with a shutout.

The real signs of progress, especially coming off a bye, will be found not in winning this game, but in the style that it is won.

Things to watch for:

  1. Home Field Disadvantage? BYU has played UNLV much better in Vegas that in Provo over the last decade. The Rebels were 2-3 in Provo during the 2000s (as opposed to 0-5 in Vegas) and two of the three loses were by three points and seven points. Should we be satisfied with a 10 point win?
  2. Will another receiver step up? Although I wouldn’t exactly say Luke Ashworth stepped up last week (just 6 receptions for less than 50 yards), his touchdown catch was a breakthrough of sorts. Will Cody Hoffman or McKay Jacobson provide Jake Heaps a reliable, open target on a regular basis?
  3. How many rushing yards? BYU held TCU to 108 rushing yards, San Diego State to 53 rushing yards, and Wyoming to 63 rushing yards. BYU held UNLV to 45 yards last year. UNLV averages 106.5 yards. Will they even get half that on Saturday?
  4. Cody Hoffman on kick returns. Hoffman looked good in his first action as a kick returner. What will he do to follow up his MWC special team player of the week performance? Will he deliver on O’Neill Chambers’ promise and take one all the way back?
All-Time Series: BYU leads 14-3
Streak: BYU won last 5
Last: BYU won 59-21 in 2009

KICKOFF: 12:00 PM (MDT)
TV: The Mtn.
RADIO: 102.7 FM, 1160 AM, http://www.ksl.com/

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Thursday Trivia: Win-Loss Record in November
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars
Poll Results: Which game will be the hardest to win
Flashback: Steve Sarkisian Has Only 70 Yards Passing (1996)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Trivia: Win-Loss Record in November

The correct answer to last week’s trivia question "What is BYU's record in games played on Halloween (October 31)?" is 7-5. Nice try, Neal. Here are the game-by-game results, with the year that they were played.
1992: W 30-17, Penn State
1991: W 40-17, Colorado State
1987: W 24-13, Air Force
1981: W 31-7, New Mexico
1970: W 23-3, Wyoming
1964: W 28-14, Utah State
1959: W 18-0, Utah State
1953: L 27-0, Wyoming
1942: L 9-6, Utah State
1936: L 18-0, Utah
1931: L 6-0, Colorado Teachers
1925: L 27-0, Utah
The fun thing to do for Halloween is to go door to door saying “trick-or-treat.” Clearly, Halloween games were tricks from 1925 to 1953, but from 1959 to present, they have been treats.

Moving on to this week, BYU needs to post a 3-1 record in November to become bowl eligible this year. Therefore, this week’s question is:
How many times has BYU had a 3-1 record, or better, in November?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars
Poll Results: Which game will be the hardest to win
Flashback: Steve Sarkisian Has Only 70 Yards Passing (1996)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flashback: Steve Sarkisian Has Only 70 Yards Passing (1996)

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Heaps has passed for less than 100 yards in each of the last two games, and the natives are getting restless. A sub 100 yard passing day is cause for alarm at BYU. However, Steve Sarkisian had one such game that is still celebrated 14 years later.

On November 23, 1996, Steve Sarkisian rarely dropped back to pass. In fact, he only attempted 12 passes the entire game. He completed seven of them for a modest 70 yards. BYU ran the ball 63 times—525% more runs than passes—and Cougar fans everywhere rejoiced. There was no concern that BYU did not have a touchdown pass. No one was worried that a tight end dropped a pass on third down, or that a penalty negated a would be fumble by another tight end. Sarkisian missed open receivers on deep balls, and he repeatedly checked down and threw to backs out of the back field. There were no gripes that Sarkisian opted to run multiple times on designed pass plays. The fact that BYU’s passing output was the least in over 20 years was largely ignored.

BYU had just steamrolled arch rival Utah 37-17 in Salt Lake City. All that mattered was that BYU had ended its three game losing streak to the Utes.

More flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Fabulous? Freshman Contributions for the Brigham Young Cougars
Poll Results: Which game will be the hardest to win