No. 18 BYU (5-1, 2-0 MWC) plays at San Diego State (2-3, 0-1 MWC) on Saturday at 3:00 PM, in pursuit of the program's 500th win.
The 2008 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2008 college football season.
Prior to the 2008 season, BYU had won consecutive Mountain West Conference (MWC) championship titles without losing a conference game. It had also finished with an 11-2 overall record for consecutive seasons. The Cougars have won four MWC championships since the league began in 1999 (Co-Champions with CSU and Utah in 1999, and sole Champions in 2001, 2006 and 2007), and 23 conference titles overall. BYU ended last season ranked 14th in the nation in the major polls, one of its best finishes in the last two decades.
BYU was selected to win the MWC according to the conference's annual media poll.
The Cougars made their fourth consecutive post-season appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, losing to the Arizona Wildcats Football 31-21. BYU beat the Oregon Ducks in 2006 and the UCLA Bruins in 2007. BYU lost to the California Golden Bears in the 2005 game.
BYU played its home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium, named after its former coach, LaVell Edwards.
Spring Practice started March 17 and ended April 12 with the annual Blue/White game.
Fall camp began on August 1 with actual practices starting on August 4. Camp ended August 20 with a final scrimmage. Preparation for the first game began on August 22.
BYU begins the season ranked #17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #16 in the AP Poll.
David Nixon and Jan Jorgensen for the defense and Max Hall and Travis Bright for the offense were chosen by their teammates as captains for the 2008 season.
In the pre-season, the Cougars were ranked #19 and then later #14 by ESPN's Mark Schlabach, #12 by Rivals.com David Fox and Steve Megargee, #22 by College Football News, #17 by Stewart Mandel of CNN's SI.com (Sports Illustrated), #12 by Lindy's, #14 by CBS Sportsline, #13 by Tony Barnhart (a.k.a. "Mr. College Football") of the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, #14 by Athlon Sports, #17 by Phil Steele, #16 by CBS College Sport's Adam Caparell, and #10 by New York Times' Paul Myerberg. They started the season ranked 17th in the Coaches Poll (with 547 votes), and ranked 16th in the AP Poll (with 590 votes).
Early in 2008, DirecTV agreed to distribute the MountainWest Sports Network (The mtn.) nationally on its satellite system beginning August 27, 2008 on channel 616. National satellite distribution was the MWC's primary media goal for the previous two years. The mtn. was the first regional sports network dedicated solely to a college conference's sports. In 2004, CSTV (now called CBS Sports Network) was originally designated as the channel for carrying MWC sports, but it was later announced that The mtn., would carry primarily coverage of the MWC. Over time The mtn. was rolled out in various cable markets. On February 21, 2008, San Diego State University Athletic Director, Jeff Schemmel, stated in a media conference that a deal had been struck to broadcast the mtn on DirecTV beginning in August. Spokesmen for the MWC, the mtn. and DirecTV confirmed this the following day. The mtn. will be available on DirecTV as a regular channel in each market in the MWC footprint. In other areas, it will be available on DirecTV's Sports Pack package. Although the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex is within the Mountain West Conference footprint with TCU's presence in Fort-Worth, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable companies are the only cable companies in the Mountain West Conference footprint who have failed to pick up The mtn on their channel line-up.
This was BYU's first-ever game against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers from the Division I FCS. In recent years the Panthers have proven to be a perennial top program in FCS football. Last year Northern Iowa (UNI) was ranked No. 1 in the FCS until a loss to Delaware in the FCS playoffs. UNI was ranked #3 in the 2008 FCS preseason poll. The Panthers agreed to play BYU at the last minute after Nevada backed out of its agreement to play BYU in 2008. Northern Iowa ended the 2007 season with a considerably stronger Sagarin rating than Nevada and finished #4 in the FCS.
In a very physical game from both teams, the Cougars jumped out to a wide early lead of 27-3 at the half. The Panthers could not stop the Cougar offense from driving the field. Despite an ugly, scoreless, third quarter for BYU, which included four fumbles, the Cougars pulled away again in the fourth quarter to defeat the Panthers 41-17 in front of a sold-out crowd in Provo. BYU's Dennis Pitta caught eleven passes for 213 yards and Max Hall threw with an 83% completion for 486 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Pitta lead the nation in receiving yards and Max was second in the nation for passing yards with a 198.6 rating. On the defensive end, junior college transfer Coleby Clawson made his hard hitting debut, knocking out UNI's quarterback Pat Grace three times. Justin Sorensen put all seven kickoffs into the end zone.
With the exception of three big plays, UNI's offense struggled against BYU's defense, but UNI capitalized on the turnovers in the third quarter to earn both of its touchdowns. UNI quarterback, Pat Grace, broke through for a 69-yard gain that resulted in a field goal. The play after recovering a BYU fumble, UNI ran a reverse with wide receiver, Victor Williams, making a 76-yard touchdown pass. UNI's final score came on a blind-side, forced fumble against Max Hall in the end zone.
David Tafuna carried the team flag onto the field, and LaVell Edwards carried the alumni flag on to the field.
BYU and Washington met for the seventh time. This was BYU's first win in a non-conference road game since 2002. The last meeting with the Huskies was in 1999, when BYU won in Provo 35-28. Washington marred what would have been a perfect season for BYU in 1996. BYU went on to finish #5 in the country with a 14-1 record, winning 13 regular season games, a NCAA record that still stands.
The Cougars had to contain the Huskies' athletic quarterback, Jake Locker, who ran for nearly 1,000 yards last season. BYU held Locker below his rushing average to 62 yards on 18 attempts. Locker completed only 17 of his 32 passes for 204 yards. Washington had 337 yards of total offense to BYU's 475.
BYU only punted twice in the game. After driving the length of the field again, BYU looked to take the lead early in the fourth quarter when Harvey Unga, who rushed for 136 yards in the game, fumbled the ball at the goal line which was recovered by Washington.
The Cougars won the game by blocking a Washington PAT attempt in the fourth quarter. With 2 seconds left in regulation, the 35-yard extra-point kick by Huskies' Ryan Perkins was blocked by Jan Jorgensen. The PAT was moved back 15 yards on an unsportsmanlike penalty on Locker when he tossed the ball in the air after running the ball in for a touchdown. Two of the last three games BYU has played, they won the game by blocking a last second kick.
Max Hall was named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Hall hit 31 of 40 pass attempts for 338 yards passing and three touchdowns, including a 15-yarder to tight end Dennis Pitta with 3:31 left.
Jan Jorgensen's game winning block was the ESPN Pontiac Game Changing Performance for the week.
Washington Leads series 4-3
UCLA offensive coordinator, Norm Chow (former OC at BYU), and UCLA quarterback, Ben Olson (former BYU player) came back to Provo for the 10th meeting between the Bruins and BYU. The teams faced off twice during the 2007 season. The Cougars defeated UCLA in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl after the Bruins won a close regular-season meeting. Ben Olson did not play due to injuries.
Kellen Fowler carried the team flag onto the field, and Vai Sikahema carried the alumni flag on to the field.
BYU scored first on a Max Hall pass to Dennis Pitta for 10 yards for a touchdown; Hall then passed to Austin Collie for another score (2 yards). The Cougars recovered a fumble and scored on the next play to take a 21-0 lead. After another Bruins fumble, Hall passed to Michael Reed for another touchdown. Another Bruins fumble gave Hall his 5th pass touchdown in the first half. Hall's 6th touchdown pass was thrown to Pitta.
In the second half, Max Hall passed to Harvey Unga for a 6-yard touchdown, Mitch Payne kicked a 24-yard field goal and Wayne Latu rushed for a 13-yard touchdown to give BYU the 59-0 win. UCLA's worst loss in nearly 80 years.
Given the injuries to BYU's linebackers since fall camp through the first two games, BYU added a nickel package to its defense that proved to be effective.
So far BYU is 16-18 for scoring in the "Blue Zone" including 15 for touchdowns and its first field goal attempt for the season in the UCLA game. BYU's 2 failures were both fumbles, one at the goal line against Washington that rolled in for a touchback.
BYU has no 100-yard rushers against it, and leads the nation in third down conversions to this point.
For the second week in a row, Max Hall was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week and the Walter Camp Football Foundation's Offensive Player of the Week. Hall broke the BYU record of passing touchdowns during a half with 6 and tied the BYU record for passing touchdowns at 7.
This was the worst loss the Bruins endured since a 76-0 defeat in the very first UCLA-USC rivalry football game in 1929.
UCLA Leads series 7-3
This was the 73rd game between Wyoming and BYU. The Cougars have won their last five games against Wyoming by an average of almost 24 points.
BYU allowed Wyoming's offense to move early, but on the Cowboys' first drive the Cougar defense picked up a dropped lateral pass, returning it for six points. BYU's offense started slow, but ended up scoring frequently in the second quarter. The Cougar defense stepped up and held Wyoming to zero points in all four quarters, leading to the second straight shutout, the first consecutive shutout in twenty three years.
David Oswald carried the team flag onto the field, and Ty Detmer carried the alumni flag on to the field. David Nixon, who returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown, was honored as the MWC Defensive Player of the Week. C.J. Santiago was named as the MWC Special Teams Player of the Week. Santiago had seven punts for an average of 46.7 yards per kick, including a season high punt for 61 yards. His first three punts were all downed inside the Wyoming 20-yard line: the first at the 11, the second at the 5 and the third at the 4-yard line.
BYU Leads series 40-30-3
This was the 78th game between the Utah State Aggies and BYU. The annual winner of this interstate contest is awarded The Old Wagon Wheel. The Aggies have not beaten BYU since 1993. BYU defeated Utah State 38-0 in their last meeting in 2006.
The Cougars started fast in the first quarter with a 76-yard touchdown pass, followed by a 35 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, a field goal, and then an interception resulting in another touchdown. Hall completed 23 of 47 passes for 303 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Unga rushed 21 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. Collie added 8 receptions for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns.
BYU was plagued with penalties particularly in the last quarter. They had 12 penalties for 123 yards with several personal fouls including an unnecessary roughness penalty by Max Hall.
The Aggie's mobile quarterback, Diondre Borel, and speedy running back, Robert Turbin, gave the Cougars some trouble rushing for a combined 117 yards including a 40 yard break-away run for a touchdown by Turbin early in the fourth quarter.
BYU Leads series 42-33-3
This was the 58th game between New Mexico and BYU. The Cougars have won four games in a row against the Lobos.
BYU Leads series 43-14-1
This was the 8th game between TCU and BYU, played on a Thursday night for the third straight year.
This was the first loss for the BYU Football program since the 2007 setback against Tulsa. TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson had said this was a game his program was pointing towards since January of that year. BYU trails the series 5-6
This was the 16th game between UNLV and BYU.
BYU Leads series 13-3
This was the 67th game between Colorado State and BYU.
BYU Leads series 36-27-3
This was the 33rd game between San Diego State and BYU. It was "Senior Day" for BYU, and in honor of the occasion, the field had a different look then usual. The endzones were painted in blue, along with the 50-yard line logo. That too, was filled in with blue.
BYU Leads Series 25-7-1
This was the 29th game between Air Force and BYU. BYU has won the last 5 games against the Falcons.
BYU Leads series 23-6
This is an annual rivalry game unofficially dubbed "The Holy War." Along with Utah State, these teams also compete annually for the "Beehive Boot." This game is typically the most anticipated of the season for the teams and their fans. In November 2005, The Wall Street Journal ranked the BYU-Utah Football Rivalry as the fourth best college football rivalry game in the country. This will be the 84th game between the teams dating back to 1922. Utah dominated the series 34-2-4 through 1964. Since that time BYU has led the series 28-16. The Cougars were throttled in a 48-24 defeat against the Utes. It was the largest margin of victory since 2004 when the Cougars lost to the Utes 52-21. The rivalry is known for close, exciting finishes. Since 1993, the margin of victory has been seven points or less in all but three games. At stake is the MWC championship, Utah's winning streak (longest in the nation), and a BCS Bowl berth.
Utah leads Series 53-33-4
BYU became bowl eligible by finishing the season with a strong 10-2 record. On December 7, the Cougars were officially invited to the Las Vegas Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. On December 20, 2008, BYU played the Arizona Wildcats who finished fifth in the Pac-10 conference with a 7-5 record. The cougars lost the game, 31-21, to finish the season with a 10-3 record.
Jaime Hill was promoted to defensive coordinator on January 10. Prior to this, Bronco Mendenhall was acting as both head coach and defensive coordinator. Mendenhall has retained responsibility for play-calling during games.
Vic So'oto moved from tight end to outside linebacker as a starter. Daniel Sorensen, a safety, also moved to outside linebacker.
The 14 returning starters from last season are Max Hall (quarterback), Harvey Unga (tail back), Austin Collie and Michael Reed (wide receivers), Dennis Pitta (tight end), Travis Bright and Ray Feinga (offensive guards), Dallas Reynolds and David Oswald (offensive tackles), Jan Jorgensen and Ian Dulan (defensive ends), Russell Tialavea (nose tackle), David Nixon (linebacker), and Kellen Fowler (free safety). Bryce Mahuika also returns as a slot back and kick holder. Experienced lettermen starting this year include: Fui Vakapuna (fullback), Matt Bauman, Shawn Doman, and Coleby Clawson (linebackers), Brandon Howard (field corner), and David Tafuna (strong safety).
 As of November 15, 2008
Russell Tialavea (nose tackle) and David Tafuna (strong safety) are recovered from their injuries suffered during the 2007 preseason. Both Travis Bright (right guard) and Garret Reden (reserve left guard) have recovered from their broken leg injuries. Bright holds the title of the team's strongest man aka Strong Man On Campus (SMOC): he holds the football team's school record for bench press (540 pounds) from his workout this summer, and the team record for the hang clean lift (434 pounds).
Terrance Hooks, a reserve inside linebacker, tore his patella tendon during Spring practice and underwent surgery the following day. He has missed most of the 2008 season.
In late spring, senior fullback Manase Tonga was ruled to be academically ineligible for the 2008 season, and was suspended from school. Tonga may re-apply for admission in October for the 2009 Winter Semester.
Just prior to Fall Camp Grant Nelson, a backup for outside linebacker behind Vic So'oto, had two surgeries related to kidney problems and will miss the 2008 season. Austin Collie, starting wide receiver, had limited participation in Fall Camp while recovering from a stress facture in his lower leg. Matt Bauman, starting inside linebacker, missed the beginning of camp while he recovered from a foot injury suffered in a scooter accident.
Projected starting center, Tom Sorensen, had limited participation in camp with a shoulder problem. After attempting a moderate treatment, he opted for surgery and will miss 4 to 6 weeks to recover.
Dan Van Sweden, reserve inside linebacker, broke his leg during camp and will be out 8 to 10 weeks.
In the third week of camp, Kelly Bills, reserve fullback, quit as a player after suffering his fourth concussion, but was enthused to stay on as a graduate assistant for the team.
Starting fullback, Fui Vakapuna, missed the first game against Northern Iowa due to an academic issue which he resolved that week.
Vic So'oto, starting outside linebacker, broke his foot in the first half in the game against Washington and is expected to be out for about 5 to 8 weeks.
Michael Reed, starting wide receiver, injured his knee in the Wyoming game and was out for 3 weeks before returning for the New Mexico game.
G. Pittman became academically ineligible under team rules about mid-season and chose to transfer to Washington State.
Scott Johnson suffered an unlikely double groin tear in the Colorado State game and was out for the rest of the season.
Because BYU is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), many of the team members are Latter-day Saints (LDS) commonly referred to as Mormons. Because of this religious and cultural affiliation, many of the team members have served a two-year proselyting mission (often in a foreign country, speaking the native language), are married, and sometimes have children. Because of missions the average age of the team is often slightly higher than other college football teams. The effect of a mission is believed to be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage in that the players can be either more physically developed, or more intellectually or emotionally mature. It is a disadvantage in that the player often returns from the mission grossly under-conditioned and out of practice. A player often redshirts his first year back from his mission.
Because of the long-standing ties of the LDS Church in Polynesia, many football players are also Polynesian. Bryce Mahuika, for example, is Māori, and he introduced the tradition of the team performing the Haka in 2005.
Of the players participating in 2008 fall Camp, 60 served a two-year mission and 42 speak a second language. Sixteen players speak Spanish, twelve speak Tongan, eight speak Portuguese, two speak German, and one each speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, and Tagalog. There are 27 married players. The most recent newlywed, Dennis Pitta, married quarterback Max Hall's sister-in-law.
(†)† (Returning) starter at position
Recruits joining the team this year include O'Neill Chambers and Justin Sorensen. Justin Sorensen was widely regarded as the best high school football kicker in the country last year with a record high 62-yard field goal and kickoffs that regularly go into the endzone and often through the goal posts.
Senior offensive linemen, Ray Feinga and Dallas Reynolds, were named to the 2008 Outland Trophy watch list. BYU boasts two previous Outland Trophy winners, defensive lineman Jason Buck (1986) and offensive lineman Mohammed Elewonibi (1989).
Jan Jorgensen was selected as a preseason candidate for the Lott Trophy's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. He is one of 42 preseason candidates being considered for the award.
Jan Jorgensen was named to the preseason watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which is awarded to the best defensive player in college football.
Jan Jorgensen is also a candidate for the Ted Hendricks Award presented to the premier defensive end in college football.
Jan Jorgensen is a candidate for the Chuck Bednarik Award.
Junior quarterback, Max Hall, was named on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, given to the year's best college football player. Ty Detmer won the award at BYU in 1990.
Max Hall is one of thirty-one quarterbacks named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award watch list. The award honors the nation's best quarterback. Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Ty Detmer (twice) have all won the award. Honored four times, BYU has earned more Davey O' Brien Awards than any other team.
Max Hall was one of 35 candidates named on the watch list for the Walter Camp Award for the Player-of-the-Year. In his first year as a starter in 2007, Hall was the nation's top sophomore quarterback in terms of passing yards. On the season, he completed 298-of-496 passes for 3,848 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Dennis Pitta is one of thirty tight ends named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list.
Junior Austin Collie is on the watch list for the Fred Biletnikoff Award.
Senior outside linebacker, David Nixon, is on the watch list for the Dick Butkus Award.
Sophomore Harvey Unga is one of 42 of the nation’s top college running backs named as a candidate for the Doak Walker Award. Luke Staley won the award at BYU in 2001.
Candidates for the All-America team are Ray Feinga, Dallas Reynolds, Jan Jorgensen, Max Hall, Harvey Unga, Dennis Pitta and Austin Collie. Fifty-three BYU players have earned 59 All-America citations including 11 consensus All-Americans and 21 Academic All-America citations. Harvey Unga earned Freshman All-America accolades last year.
First Team Offense: Max Hall, Harvey Unga, Austin Collie, Dennis Pitta, Ray Feinga, and Dallas Reynolds
First Team Defense: Jan Jorgensen
Second Team Offense:
Second Team Defense:
Offensive Player of the Year: Max Hall
The 2010 San Diego State Aztecs football team represented San Diego State University in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by second year head coach Brady Hoke and played their home games in Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. They are members of the Mountain West Conference. They finished the season with a record of 9–4 (5–3 MWC) and a 35–14 victory over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl.
The Beehive Boot, which signifies instate football supremacy among Division I universities from the state of Utah, was conceived in 1971. The authentic pioneer boot, which is estimated to be well over 100 years old, is awarded annually to the Utah school with the best record against its instate NCAA Division I foes. The schools who compete for the boot are Brigham Young, Utah, and Utah State. Weber State was originally eligible to win the trophy, and games against them counted towards their opponents record when determining the winner of the trophy. It is unclear when this stopped being the case, but it was at least by 2012, when Utah State won the trophy over BYU (BYU's win over Weber State was not counted towards their interstate record).
In case of tie, the winner is chosen by vote of the in-state media. Such an event has only happened four times previously: in 1973, 1997, 2010, and in 2012. Utah State was awarded the trophy in each year. Utah was awarded the trophy in 2011, winning their only intrastate game against Brigham Young.
In the addition to the Beehive Boot, BYU and Utah State also play for The Old Wagon Wheel. The same three universities also play for a state-wide trophy in basketball, called the Old Oquirrh Bucket. However, that trophy is eligible to be won by Weber State University, Southern Utah University, and Utah Valley University, as well. It was retired after the 2010 season due to conference realignments.
Brigham Young has the most wins in the series with 22, followed by Utah with 12, and Utah State with 8. After residing in Logan on USU's campus for the first four years of its existence, the trophy spent most of the next two decades in the hands of BYU. The Cougars won the intrastate series 19 of the next 27 years, including five in a row from 1983 to 1987. Since the mid-1990s, the boot has been back and forth between Salt Lake and Provo many times. Utah had a brief period of success during the early part of this century, winning four straight Beehive Boots from 2002 to 2005. It has also made a couple of trips to Logan during the past couple of decades.
Historically, the trophy goes to the winner of the BYU/Utah game. Only 8 times has that not happened: the years when Utah State has won it.
Only four times in history has the winner of the Beehive Boot lost an intrastate game (Utah State in 1973, 1982, 1997, 2012).
The "Holy War" is one of America's oldest and most heated college football rivalries. In fact, the schools even differ on when the first game was played. Utah claims that the first game was played in 1896 (when Brigham Young University was known as Brigham Young Academy). BYU on the other hand claims that the rivalry dates back to 1922, the first year BYU began playing football. For historical purposes, 1922 is the date most used when referring to the start of the Holy War. The Utes lead the all time series 55–34–4. The Cougars are 26–15 since the Beehive Boot was created in 1971.
BYU and Utah State have met for the Old Wagon Wheel 81 times, dating back to 1922, with BYU holding a 45–34–3 lead. BYU had beaten Utah State ten straight times before Utah State defeated BYU by the score of 31–16 on October 1, 2010. With the victory, Utah State reclaimed the Old Wagon Wheel for the first time since 1993. The Old Wagon Wheel returned to BYU on September 30, 2011, when the Cougars defeated Utah State 27–24.
The Utah/USU rivalry, often called the Battle of the Brothers, is the most played rivalry between any of the schools that participate in the Beehive Boot series, with 111 total all-time meetings. Utah leads the series 77–29–4, and Utah has won 20 victories in the last 23 meetings. The first game was played in 1892, a 12-0 Aggie victory, and the Utes and Aggies had met every year from 1944 to 2009 before taking a break. The Utes have won 29 of 40 meetings since the Boot was first awarded, with 5 of USU's 11 victories coming in the first 6 years after the trophy's creation.
Rankings next to a champions name indicate that team's ranking in the final AP Poll for that season. Teams are unranked unless otherwise indicated. Wins against Weber State are included up until 1982, the last year that these games were certain to have counted towards each teams' interstate record.
The 2008 UNLV Rebels football team represented the University of Nevada, Las Vegas during the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season. UNLV competed as a member of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and played their home games at Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada. The Rebels were led by fourth-year head coach Mike Sanford. UNLV finished the season with a 5–7 record (MWC: 2–6), narrowly missing bowl eligibility.
UNLV won three of their four out-of-conference games, including overtime upsets of both of their opponents from Bowl Championship Series conferences: 15th-ranked Arizona State of the Pac-10, 23–20, and Iowa State of the Big 12, 34–31. The Rebels led Colorado State in the fourth quarter, 28–27, but the Rams scored with 0:09 left to play and then on the ensuing kickoff recovered a fumble and scored again. UNLV led Air Force in the fourth quarter, 28–20, but lost by one point after the Falcons scored a touchdown and made a field goal. The Rebels were tied at half and the end of the third quarter against 18th-ranked BYU. In the final period, UNLV took a 35–34 lead, but lost after yielding a touchdown with 1:46 remaining to play. Despite losing starting quarterback Omar Clayton to an injury, the Rebels still managed victories over New Mexico and Wyoming. UNLV entered the regular season finale with five wins and needed one more victory to attain bowl eligibility and, with it, very likely a bowl game invitation. The Rebels, however, surrendered 21 points in the fourth quarter against a "woeful" San Diego State team.
The Mountain West Conference
(formally abbreviated MW
since July 2011; informally MWC
), popularly known as the Mountain West
, is the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS (formerly I-A). The MW officially began operations in July 1999. Geographically, the MW covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The conference introduced a new logo for the 2011 season to reflect changes to the growing conference. Craig Thompson has served as Commissioner of the MW since its founding in 1999.
Charter members included Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, and Wyoming. Before forming the Mountain West Conference, seven of the eight charter members had been longtime members of the Western Athletic Conference; half were WAC charter members at its formation in 1962 - UNLV had only joined the WAC in 1996. Overall, all schools that are in the MW now, were MW members in the past, or will be MW members in the future spent at least three years in the WAC before joining the MW (in the case of Texas Christian University, they did not move from the WAC straight to the MW, spending four years in Conference USA prior to its MW tenure).
The 2013-14 academic year will mark the 15th anniversary season of the MW.
The WAC expanded from 10 to 16 universities in 1996, absorbing three teams from the defunct Southwest Conference (SWC) (Rice, SMU, and TCU), adding two from the Big West (San Jose State and UNLV), and also bringing in Tulsa, a football Independent and otherwise a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. However, the expanded WAC was soon wracked by tension between the established and new members. The final straw came in spring 1998, when BYU and Utah proposed a permanent split into two eight-team divisions, which would have forced some schools into an unnatural alignment because of the geographic distribution of the conference. Air Force was the most strident opponent of this proposal, threatening to go independent. Soon after the BYU–Utah proposal, the presidents of Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Utah, and Wyoming met at Denver International Airport to discuss their future, and agreed to break away from the WAC to form a new conference. They invited old-line WAC members New Mexico and San Diego State, plus 1996 newcomer UNLV, to join them in what became the Mountain West Conference. The next move for the MW came in 2005, when the conference added TCU, who had spent the previous four seasons in Conference USA.
On June 11, 2010, Boise State University agreed to join the conference as its tenth member. On June 17, 2010, Utah announced it would be leaving the Mountain West to join what would become the Pacific-12 Conference. On August 18, 2010, amidst rumors that Brigham Young was considering leaving the Mountain West to go independent in football and rejoin the Western Athletic Conference in all other sports, the Mountain West Conference officially extended invitations to California State University, Fresno and the University of Nevada, Reno. Fresno State and Nevada accepted and would become the tenth and eleventh members of the league. BYU announced on August 31, 2010 that it would leave the Mountain West Conference and go Independent in football and become a member of the West Coast Conference (WCC) in other sports starting in 2011. On November 29, 2010, Texas Christian University announced all athletic teams would move to the Big East Conference effective in 2012. (Less than a year later, on October 10, 2011, TCU announced it would not join the Big East but would join the Big 12, home to fellow former SWC members Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech and formerly Texas A&M, in 2012 instead.) On December 10, 2010, the i at MānoaUniversity of Hawai accepted a bid to become the 10th member of the conference for football only. These changes would leave the Mountain West Conference with 10 teams for the 2012 football season.
The MW champion has qualified for a BCS bowl four times since the BCS formula was tweaked to allow non-BCS conferences to play in BCS bowls if ranked in the top 12; however, two of the three schools that qualified are no longer with the conference.
On October 14, 2011, the Mountain West and Conference USA announced a plan for a football only alliance. Both conferences currently have media deals with CBS Sports Network.
On February 13, 2012, the Mountain West & Conference USA (C-USA) announced that both conferences would be dissolving after the 2012-2013 season to reform into one conference with at least 15 members for all sports, and a 16th team, i at MānoaUniversity of Hawai as a football-only member. However, when the two conferences discussed their plans with the NCAA, they were told that due to NCAA rules, they would forfeit substantial revenues. Specifically, the new conference would receive only one automatic bid to NCAA championships; at least one of the former conferences would lose future revenue distributions from the NCAA men's basketball tournament; and at least one former conference would not be able to collect exit fees from any members that departed to join the new conference. As a result, the Mountain West and C-USA apparently backed away from a full merger. In late March of that year, the commissioners of both conferences stated that all 16 schools had entered into binding agreements to form a new "association", although the Mountain West and C-USA will now apparently remain separate legal entities.
On May 2, 2012, San Jose State and Utah State agreed to join the conference for the 2013-14 academic year. On December 31 of that year, Boise State announced that it had backed out of its previously announced move to the Big East for football and the Big West for other sports, and would remain in the MW.
On January 2, 2013, it was reported that in the deal between Boise State and the Mountain West, SDSU would be the first team the MW could invite to expand the conference. On January 16, 2013 it was reported that SDSU had accepted the offer to remain/return to the Mountain West Conference in all sports. Keeping SDSU in the conference gives the Mountain West 12 football members, allowing for a Championship Game to be held. The MW expects to hold the first Championship Game in December 2013.
Beginning in 2013, the conference will split into two divisions of six teams for football. The Mountain West will also add a conference championship game pitting the winners of the Mountain and West divisions. This first championship game will take place December 7, 2013 at the home stadium of the divisional winner with the highest BCS ranking. Each team will play five divisional games and three cross-divisional contests annually.
The Mountain West Conference sponsors championship competition in eight men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Hawai'i is an Associate member for football.
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Mountain West Conference which are played by current and future full MW members:
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Mountain West Conference which are played by current and future full MW members:
Since the 2009-10 season, the Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences have held an annual challenge series. Before the 2013–14 season, when the MW had fewer members than the MVC, it involved all members of the MW and an equal number of the 10 MVC teams in basketball. With the MW now having 11 members to the MVC's 10, future series are expected to involve all MVC teams, with one MW team sitting out each season. The first game was on November 13, 2009, featuring the Bradley Braves and the BYU Cougars in Provo and it concluded on December 23 with the Wyoming Cowboys visiting the Northern Iowa Panthers in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The challenge is similar to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which pits men's basketball teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference.
The Mountain West Conference will have agreements with the following bowls for 2012–13:
If Hawai‘i is bowl eligible and not MW champions or selected for a BCS bowl, they will receive a berth in the Hawai‘i Bowl.
ESPN created the Bowl Challenge Cup in 2002 for the conference that had the best college football bowl record among Division I Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The conference has won it four times, more than any other. They finished 4-1 in bowl games in 2011, the best record out of all conferences.
(1) – Tied for 2005–06 championship
(2) – Tied for 2011–12 championship
The Mountain West's slogan is "Above the rest," and over half of the member institutions are at more than 4,000 feet (1,200 metres) above sea level. This impacts endurance in sports like football, soccer, and the distance races in track & field and swimming meets, and aerodynamics in baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and the discus and javelin throws. The Mountain West's institutions have the highest average elevations in NCAA Division I sports.
Elevation data obtained from the USGS Geographic Names Information System
The 2010 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars, led by head coach Bronco Mendenhall, played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium and were members of the Mountain West Conference. They finished the season 7–6, 5–3 in Mountain West play and were invited to the New Mexico Bowl where they defeated UTEP 52–24.
2010 was BYU's final season as a member of the Mountain West as started competing as an Independent in football beginning in 2011 with all other sports joining the West Coast Conference.
In the preseason, the Cougars had many talented prospects come in. No.1 rated QB by rivals.com, Jake Heaps, joined the team, along with three players from The Oakridge School, Ross Apo, Tayo Fabuluje, and Teu Kautai
At the Mountain West media days on July 27, BYU was picked by 31 voters to finish 3rd in the conference behind TCU and Utah. Offensive linemen Matt Reynolds and free safety Andrew Rich were both named to the pre-season all-conference team.
The Cougars weren't directly affected by conference expansion in June, but will lose conference rival (effective Fall 2011) Utah to the newly-formed Pac-12. Before Utah was invited to the older Pac-10 conference, Boise State agreed to leave the WAC and join the MWC in 2011. Rumors began circulating afterward about whether the BYU-Utah rivalry would survive the transition. On August 31, the BYU Athletic Department issued a press release that BYU would leave the Mountain West Conference next year, go independent in football beginning with the 2011 season and join the West Coast Conference for all other sports.
Defensive Coordinator, Jaime Hill was fired the day after BYU lost to Utah State, BYU's fourth loss of the season after only playing five games. BYU had not started the season with a 1-4 record since 1973. After the firing of Hill, linebacker coach Nick Howell was moved to coach the secondary and Kelly Poppinga was promoted from graduate assistant to coach the linebackers.
BYU opened the season with Y Quarterback Weekend. During Y Quarterback Weekend all 8 All-American quarterbacks, including Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, returned and were recognized for their outstanding achievements while at BYU.
It was a back and forth battle mostly through the air between the Cougars and the Huskies. Jake Locker threw for 266 yards. Nelson and Jake Heaps combined to throw for 262 yards, 131 each. In his first start in four years though, Riley Nelson threw for 2 touchdowns while the Cougars defense swarmed Washington State forcing a safety. No turnovers occurred in the game, but BYU managed to come from behind to defeat the Huskies. The win over the Huskies evened up the series between the Cougars and the Huskies at 4-4.
BYU entered into their second game of the season with a 5-game winning streak against the Air Force Falcons.
The first quarter played out like most people expected the game would, all offense and very little defense. BYU had 44 yards passing to Air Force's 46. BYU had two touchdowns to Air Force's one. However the Air Force defense would turn it on in the second quarter. Nelson and Heaps would combine to throw for only 44 more yards through the final three quarters while Air Force racked up 409 rushing yards. With the turnovers that BYU had, the game would turn into a blowout in favor of the Falcons. The Falcons had only won 6 of the 30 meetings between the teams going into 2010, but they got the last laugh before BYU left for Independence and cut the series to 24-7.
It the contest of 2010 was a road trip to Florida State, a team BYU was 0-3 against in their school's history. Previous contests took place in 1991, 2000, and 2009.
In a battle where both offenses struggled, the Seminoles defense came up with the last laugh. Florida State had eight sacks, forced six punts, and made BYU turnover the ball twice, both leading to points that helped the Seminoles pull away for the win. The loss wasn't the only bad news for BYU. The following Monday QB Riley Nelson had an MRI. It was revealed that he suffered a shoulder injury during the FSU game, and it would require five to six months of surgery and rehab before he would be able to play again. The NCAA would grant Nelson a medical redshirt, allowing him to be a senior in 2012 instead of 2011.
The Cougars returned home with a new full-time starting QB in Jake Heaps knowing they would face a high powered Nevada team. BYU and Nevada had met 3 times previously, with BYU owning a 2-1 advantage.
Nevada held BYU to 320-yards of total offense in Jake Heaps first start. JJ Di Luigi rushed for 68 yards and scored BYU's lone touchdown. Only 1 turnover was forced the entire game, an Interception that allowed BYU to tie the game up, but Colin Kaepernick threw for 196 yards and effectively allowed the Wolf Pack runners to scramble throughout the game. Despite outpassing the Wolf Pack (229 to 196), BYU would fall to 1-3.
The Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel headed to Logan in 2010 with BYU having won 10 straight, with Bronco Mendenhall having never lost to the Aggies, and with BYU having not scored less than 30-points against the Aggies since 1982. With the start freshman Jake Heaps became the third freshman to have started more than one game as starting QB at BYU. All good things must come to an end though.
A 31-16 thumping at the hands of Utah State completed the Cougars non-conference season. With Utah and TCU still to go on the schedule, people began to wonder if the Cougars had any heart or if they could get bowl eligible. The defense was ranked 102nd in the nation, and the offense wasn't moving the ball past midfield. Jake Heaps was averaging more than 200-yards a game passing, but it wasn't resulting in points. Independence for 2011 seemed to be all forgotten.
BYU came into the series with the Aztecs holding a 26-7-1 record and knowing that San Diego State had never won two in a row against the Cougars. They also knew that if they lost, all chances of a bowl game would be crushed.
A hard fought homecoming game was covered in the shadow of conspiracy due to one replay incident. A clear fumble that would have given San Diego State the ball and prevented a BYU touchdown was ruled instead to be BYU's ball. Replay officials agreed despite the ball coming loss. BYU would go on to drive for a TD which gave them the 24-21 win. Three MWC officials were suspended for the incident, and a new rule was put into place by the MWC- alumni can never officiate their teams own games even if they are only in the replay booth.
BYU headed to Fort Worth for the tenth meeting with the Horned Frogs holding a 5−4 advantage in the overall series.
The Cougars went into Ft. Worth having one main goal- show improvement over their other losses. They knew many people wouldn't pick them to win, and they knew Heaps wasn't producing as well on the road. BYU's defense showed remarkable improvement over early in the year, giving up only 3 points in the first 29 minutes. However offensive turnovers late in the first half put the BYU defense in a bad spot. The offense's ineptitude at moving the ball (only 147 yards for the game) led to BYU's downfall.
Needing to win 4 of the last 5 games to become bowl eligible, BYU began its quest against a Cowboys team that hadn't scored against BYU for the past 9 regulation quarters. Since 2006, BYU had owned the series against Wyoming by a score of 46.5-4.3 per game, and BYU led the overall series 43-30-3.
The Cougars defense dominated the game and held Wyoming to less than 200 yards. Turnovers on the offensive end kept the game close. It would take a last possession stand by the Cougar D to secure their third win of the year.
After a bye week the Cougars returned to action to play UNLV for the final time as conference opponents. The series had largely been dominated by BYU (14-3), and 2010 would be the same.
In what can only be classified as a slaughter, BYU would thoroughly crush UNLV. They outgained the Rebels offensively 516 to 144. 70 of the Rebels yards came against BYU's second and third team players.
With their first 2-game win streak in tow, BYU headed to Ft. Collins to face the Rams for the last time as MWC foes. It was the 69th meeting between the two schools, and BYU owned a 38-27-3 advantage in the series history.
The Cougars suffered 2 turnovers, including one on their opening series, but they were nearly flawless. On third down they went 12-for-13. They racked up 526 yards total offense, including 396 with the starters. Corby Eason forced a fumble that Kyle Van Noy returned for a score. The Cougars dominated the Rams in virtually every fashion as they became one wni away from being bowl eligible with two games to play.
With their first 3-game win streak in tow, BYU returned home for Senior Day and a chance to become bowl eligible. Luke Ashworth came in as the FBS Player of the Week after his 4-TD performance against Colorado State. It was the 60th meeting between the two schools, and BYU owned a 44-14-1 advantage in the series history.
The Cougars managed to have 0 turnovers, but the crowd wasn't pleased. The crowd booed many of the officials calls as the Cougs and Lobos played in the wind with a chance of rain. The Cougars managed to outgain the Lobos 494 to 259. The defense showed they had come a long way since the Utah State game as they entered the game as one of the Top 15 defenses in the nation since late October. Heaps would say the Cougars were peaking at the right time, and the Cougs walked away with another easy win to become bowl eligible.
Going into the final week of the season, the Cougars found themselves with a chance to win second place in the conference. The opponent standing in their way was their hated rival of the Deseret First Duel, the Utah Utes. Both BYU and Utah entered into the game having lost conference games to TCU, but a BYU win would give them the tiebreaker over Utah for second place.
The Cougars dominated the first three quarters, but they were unable to find the endzone consistently. With a 13-0 lead, Las Vegas Bowl representatives were ready to extend an invitation once again to BYU. BYU would cost themselves dearly in the fourth. Two turnovers led to 2 Ute touchdowns to give them a 17-16 lead. The Utes would block a Payne field goal attempt on the final play of the game to conserve the win. Just as BYU had a beneficial call in the San Diego State game, Utah had a turnover in the 4th quarter that would have given BYU the ball deep in Utes territory and essentially given them the win that was called in favor of Utah. It would go down as one of the many great BYU-Utah games solely because of the fourth quarter.
Old WAC rivals were put together in the New Mexico Bowl as the 6-6 Cougars took on the 6-6 Miners. It was the 37th meeting overall with BYU holding a 28-7-1 advantage in the series.
BYU went into the New Mexico Bowl with the sole purpose of building momentum for the 2011 season. UTEP went in hoping they could score and keep up with BYU after their season had changed due to the loss of their star player. The game would turn into a high scoring affair would Freshmen would rule the day. Jake Heaps would throw for four touchdown passes and freshman Cody Hoffman would have 137 yards receiving with 3 touchdown receptions. Heaps would win the Offensive Most Outstanding Player award and would cement his role as the starter for BYU in the 2011 season. It would end up being the highlight of Heaps career at BYU. Defensively BYU senior safety Andrew Rich would earn MOP honors.
The 2007 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University (BYU) in the 2007 college football season.
In this year BYU clinched its second consecutive Mountain West Conference (MWC) championship title outright after defeating Utah on 24 November. It was BYU's second consecutive, undefeated season in the MWC, its fourth MWC championship since the league began in 1999, and its 23rd conference title. At the beginning of the season the Cougars had won an MWC record 16 straight league games dating back to 2005 and were on a ten game overall winning streak, the longest winning streak in the country at the time. The Cougars began the season with the second longest winning streak in the country at 11 wins until their loss to UCLA in the second regular season game. The Cougars ended this season ranked 14th in the nation, highest of all schools from non-AQ conferences. This finish was the highest back-to-back rankings in the AP Poll since the Cougars won the national championship in 1984.
The Cougars improved their bowl record for the second year in a row. They defeated UCLA 17-16 in 2007 and blew out the Oregon Ducks 38-8 in 2006 in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Cougars played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium, named after its legendary coach, LaVell Edwards.
Spring Practice started March 19 and ended April 14 at the annual Blue/White Spring game. The key question was who will fill the empty quarterback position left behind by John Beck: Max Hall, a redshirt sophomore, or Cade Cooper, a junior college transfer from Snow College. On the third snap during the April 14 scrimmage, Cooper suffered a season-ending injury (Lisfranc fracture). Hall was named the starting quarterback the following Monday, and Brendan Gaskins as the back-up. Jacob Bower transferred out in late January. Cooper then decided to transfer in July.
Among the 7 returning starters on offense and the 5 returning starters on defense are: Sete Aulai (center), Travis Bright and Ray Feinga (offensive guards), Dallas Reynolds (Offensive Tackle), Manase Tonga (fullback), Matt Allen and Michael Reed (wide receivers), Jan Jorgensen (defensive end), Bryan Kehl and David Nixon (linebackers), Ben Criddle (cornerback), and Quinn Gooch (free safety). Dustin Gabriel had a foot injury during Fall camp to end his 2007 season, and make him unable to start as KAT. Russell Tialavea, nose tackle, went out in Fall camp with a torn ACL and MCL.
Fall camp started August 4. In the preseason, several players suffered foot and leg injuries (Gabriel, Tafuna, Cooper), like Lisfranc fractures, that may be related to the Nike shoes the players were wearing.
Fans, coaches, players, and officials of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) eagerly hoped for progress on national distribution of the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.), particularly on satellite. DirecTV continued to negotiate with Comcast for distribution in the MWC "footprint", but Dish Network discontinued negotiations until the FCC resolved a legal question regarding the Big Ten Network (BTN) that could potentially affect the mtn. While satellite distribution seems closer, national distribution appears unlikely for the 2007 season. Currently Dallas-Fort Worth is the only remaining MWC market that has no provider for the mtn.
The Cougars were ranked #25 in Sporting News pre-season ranking. They started the season unranked in the Coaches Poll (with 47 votes) and unranked in the AP Poll (with 14 votes).
Garret Reden suffered a season-ending injury. Starting free safety, Quinn Gooch ended his season when he tore his ACL in the second half of the TCU game.
Freshman Harvey Unga was named to the Rivals Freshman All-America Second Team. Unga, has 1,211 rushing yards and 629 receiving yards for the season, is the Cougars' all-time leading freshman running back and the first BYU freshman to pass the 1,000-yard mark in a single season. He has rushed for over 100 yards in seven games this season, the most for a freshman at BYU. He is five yards short of the MWC all-time leading freshman running back.
Senior wide receiver Matt Allen was named one of 11 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy.
Harvey Unga was named as the MWC Freshman of the Year, BYU's third recipient of that award following Luke Staley in 1999 and Austin Collie in 2004.
First Team Offense: Max Hall, Dennis Pitta, Ray Feinga, Dallas Reynolds, Harvey Unga* and Austin Collie*.
First Team Defense: Jan Jorgensen and Bryan Kehl.
Second Team Offense: Austin Collie and Harvey Unga.
Second Team Defense: Kelly Poppinga.
Honorable Mention: Austin Collie (KR) and Quinn Gooch
This was the 21st game between Arizona and BYU. BYU was favored to win in this defensive contest. BYU quarterback Max Hall took his first snap in Division I football after a 4-year hiatus of not playing a real game since high school, and the Wildcats began their first year using a version of BYU's spread offense. BYU's experienced defense held the Wildcats scoreless until the last minute of the game. Bronco took blame for calling a blitz that allowed an Arizona touchdown. The offensive line was solid allowing Hall to show his competence with 66% completion, 288 passing yards and some decent scrambles. Unga impressed with 196 all-purpose yards. But special teams revealed room for improvement. Starting BYU fullback Manase Tonga was suspended only for this game due to an arrest related to a traffic stop. BYU Backup inside linebacker Terrance Hooks was also suspended for this game. At half time, BYU retired the number 14 at halftime in honor of Gifford Nielsen and Ty Detmer. Hodgkiss will continue to use the number until the end of the season. Redshirt Freshman, Harvey Unga was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week with 67 yards rushing, 127 yards receiving, and two touchdowns.
Arizona Leads Series 11-9-1
This was the 8th game between UCLA and BYU with UCLA favored to win by 8 points or so. This game was widely considered to be the Cougars' toughest regular season game. Emotions were high as Ben Olson, who originally committed to BYU, transferred to UCLA after his mission and was the starting quarterback for the Bruins. The Bruins jumped out to a commanding lead at the end of the first half scoring their first touchdown on a 56-yard interception. The Cougars drew within 3 points in the third quarter, and were poised to pull ahead reaching the "blue zone" with less than 6 minutes in the game. However a forced fumble, as Hall intended to pass, stopped the Cougars final, successful drive. Max Hall outplayed Olson; he impressed completing 30 of 52 passes for 391 yards compared to Olson's 126 yards. Despite the score, the Cougars outplayed the Bruins, even in the first half; the Cougars got 431 total yards to the Bruins' 236, but 11 penalties and 3 turnovers cost the Cougars the game. This game ended the Cougars 11-game winning streak and their best chance at a run for a BCS bowl game this year.
UCLA Leads Series 7-1
This was the 7th game between Tulsa and BYU. The Cougars defeated the Golden Hurricane 49-24 in Provo last season, but were handed a loss in this game. Coach Mendenhall took responsibility for the loss; he stated that he did not prepare the team for the superior offensive prowess Tulsa possessed. Tulsa's offense was led by its senior quarterback, Paul Smith, who drew BYU's secondary out of their zones and then threw over the top for large gains several times. BYU's defense adjusted well in the second half, nevertheless, the team was also plagued with 14 penalties for 138 yards, 4 turnovers including a pick six for 49 yards early in the third quarter, and some poor kicking (including 2 missed PATs and a 29-yard field goal attempt). Statistically BYU gained more yards than Tulsa in this shootout at 694 yards versus 595 yards of total offense. Collie impressed with 8 kick returns for 237 yards, and Hall passed for 537 yards, but not enough for the offense to seize the win.
BYU Leads Series 6-1
This was the 28th game between Air Force and BYU for BYU's Homecoming game. Air Force hired new head coach Troy Calhoun this year after Fisher DeBerry retired.
BYU Leads Series 22-6
This win was the 57th game between New Mexico and BYU. BYU beat the Lobos 42-17 on Senior Day last year. This game featured the MWC's leading passer, UNM's Porterie, and was expected to test BYU's secondary particularly after the Cougar's shootout with Tulsa. The game was tied at the end of the third quarter with a 71-yard touchdown reception by the Lobo's running back, Ferguson, and a 2-point conversion after BYU jumped out to lead with a pick six by Kehl in the first 2 minutes of the game and took advantage of five turnovers and a blocked PAT by Criddle. Overall the Cougars showed balance and performed well in all aspects of the game on both sides of the ball. Bryan Kehl was named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week with 10 tackles including a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception for a 36-yard touchdown.
BYU Leads Series 42-14-1
This was the 14th game between UNLV and BYU. BYU won the last meeting, 52-7, in 2006 and was favored to win this game by 10 points. The game was at Sam Boyd Stadium, and will be Family Weekend for UNLV. It was estimated that 15,000 BYU fans attended the game.
BYU Leads Series 11-3
This was the first matchup between Eastern Washington and BYU. Corby Hodgkiss took a 39-yard touchdown interception on Eastern Washington's first drive. Bryan Kehl and Quinn Gooch also came away with an interception each. Due to weather and an early defensive touchdown, BYU went away from the pass fairly early. The final quarter was one of the shortest in recent memory as the refs were very liberal with the clock. This was mostly due to the fact the score was 42-7 and there was a blizzard. The last 10 minutes in the game it was hard to see the field yet the cougar faithful cheered loudly until the end.
BYU Leads Series 1-0
This was the 65th game between Colorado State and BYU. BYU beat the Rams 24-3 on the road in 2006. BYU extended its conference record to 4-0 (including a conference win-streak of 12-0), its home-win-streak to 10-0, and became bowl eligible. The Rams reached the redzone 3 times in the first half, but only came away with one field goal. Hall completed 22 of 30 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns, and his first game with no interceptions. Unga rushed 11 times for 51 yards making him BYU's all-time leading freshman running back with a season total of 735 yards. Unga also grabbed three receptions for 110 yards including a 53-yard catch and scramble. Collie caught 8 balls for 111 yards including a 45-yard touchdown reception. Pitta added a 45-yard reception in the final quarter. Gooch took his second interception of the season, and Jorgensen added 2.5 sacks to lead the team with 6.5 sacks. Gaskins came in for Hall in the last minutes of the game to throw his first pass in a Division I FBS game which resulted in an interception and a 31 yard return for a CSU touchdown.
BYU Leads Series 35-27-3
This was the 9th game between TCU and BYU. BYU went on the road to win 31-17 in this meeting last year, sparking their 8-0 run through the MWC. Kelly Poppinga was named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week with a career-high 17 tackles including a tackle for a loss and an interception in this game.
BYU Leads Series 7-2
This was the 72nd game between Wyoming and BYU. BYU dominated the Cowboys from the opening kickoff last season, 55-7. This year BYU controlled the game from the beginning taking a 21-3 lead at half time. Sophomore Max Hall was named MWC Offensive Player of the Week with 331 passing yards, over 70% completion and three touchdowns. Hall broke the MWC's all-time sophomore passing leader by reaching 3,121 passing yards. In BYU quarterback-factory history, Hall ranks third behind Ty Detmer and Robbie Bosco for passing yards in their first 10 games as a starter. Hall went out in the third quarter after suffering a shoulder separation.
BYU Leads Series 39-30-3
This rivalry game, unofficially dubbed "The Holy War," is typically the most anticipated conference game for each of these two teams. In 2006, the rivalry was ranked in the Wall Street Journal as the 4th best college football rivalry game in the country. (See also Utah-BYU rivalry.) This was the 83rd game between Utah and BYU with the series going 49-30-4 for Utah since 1922. Utah dominated the series 34-2-4 through 1964. Since that time BYU has led the series 28-15. Utah's 4-game-winning-streak against BYU ended last year with a game-winning, last-second play. In 2007, BYU achieved its first back-to-back wins over Utah since 2000-2001.
The game was largely a defensive struggle until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. The Utes took the lead 10-9 when Darrell Mack scored the first touchdown of the game with just 1:34 left. On the ensuing possession, however, BYU converted on fourth and eighteen from their own 12 with a 49-yard pass from Max Hall to Austin Collie. Harvey Unga made the game-winning touchdown run with 38 seconds remaining, and Austin Collie caught a pass in the back of the end zone for a two-point conversion, putting the Cougars up 17-10. Unga became BYU's first freshman running back to gain 1,000 rushing yards in a season. This was also Collie's 6th game for over 97 yards receiving. BYU racked up 424 offensive yards to Utah's 244. Unga was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week, and freshman kicker, Mitch Payne, was named MWC Special Teams Player of the Week making 3 of 4 field goals.
Utah Leads Series 49-30-4
This game was originally scheduled to be played on October 27, but was rescheduled due to wildfires in southern California. This was the 32nd game between San Diego State and BYU. The Aztecs fell 47-17 in Provo last October. This game marked the Cougars' MWC record 16th straight conference victory. Freshman running-back Harvey Unga scored a career-high four touchdowns with 161 rushing yards and 29 receiving yards. Sophomore quarterback Max Hall completed 19 of 26 throws for 227 yards and three touchdowns. BYU was slow to put the game away, but had a 14-point lead by the end of the third quarter. Harvey Unga and Jan Jorgensen were named MWC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.
BYU leads the series 24-7-1
Eathyn Manumaleuna blocked a last second field goal by UCLA and BYU hung on to beat the Bruins 17-16. BYU quarterback Max Hall went 21-35 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Manase Tonga led the rushing with 3 carries for 21 yards. The MVP of the game, Austin Collie had 6 catches for 107 yards and 1 touchdown. For UCLA, quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson went 11-27 for 154 yards and 1 touchdown and interception. The rushing game was led by Chris Markey who ran 27 times for 117 yards. This was the first time the Cougars gave up 100 yards rushing to a single player. Bethel-Thompson's favorite target was Brandon Breazell who caught 4 passes for 44 yards and 1 touchdown. The Bruins struck first with a 22 yard Kai Forbath field goal. A 29-yard field goal by BYU kicker Mitch Payne made it 3-3 after the 1st quarter. In the 2nd, Hall hooked up with Austin Collie for 14 yards and a touchdown to make it 10-3. Forbath then hit a 52-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-6. With 1:03 left in the 1st half, Hall found Michael Reed for 13 yards and a touchdown. As time expired, Bethel-Thompson hit Breazell to make it 17-13 in favor of BYU at the end of the 2nd quarter. There was no scoring in the 3rd. In the 4th, Forbath made it 17-16 with a 50-yard field goal. BYU punted to UCLA with around 2 minutes left to set up a final drive for the Bruins. Bethel-Thompson, a fourth-string walk-on quarterback, along with Chris Markey drove to the BYU 49. On 3rd and 8 Bethel-Thompson hit Logan Paulsen to get to the BYU 13. That set up a chip-shot 28-yard field goal for Forbath, who already hit 2 50+ yarders. The kick was too low and Manumaleuna blocked it and sealed the game for the Cougars.
(†)† (Returning) starter at position
The Mountain West Conference, is the newest of the collegiate athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA Division I FBS (formerly I-A). The MW officially began operations in July 1999. Geographically, the MW covers a broad expanse of the Western United States, with member schools located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Craig Thompson has served as Commissioner of the MW since its founding in 1999.
The charter members of the MWC included the U.S. Air Force Academy, Brigham Young University, Colorado State University, San Diego State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the University of Utah, and theUniversity of Wyoming. Before forming the Mountain West Conference, seven of its eight charter members had been longtime members of the Western Athletic Conference. Half of these had been charter members of that conference from 1962. Overall, all of the schools that are in the MWC now or had been MWC members in the past, or will be MWC members in the future, spent at least three years in the Western Athletic Conference before joining the Mountatin West. The 2013-14 academic year will be the 15th anniversary season of the MWC.
Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Four of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey, whereas soccer was developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
BYU Blue and White
The BYU Cougars football team is the college football program representing Brigham Young University, a private research university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and located in Provo, Utah, United States. The Cougars began collegiate football competition in 1922, and have won 23 conference titles and 1 national title. The team has competed in several different athletic conferences during its history, but since July 1, 2011, it has competed as an Independent. The team plays home games at the 63,470-person-capacity LaVell Edwards Stadium on the university's campus.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (pronounced "N-C-Double-A") is a nonprofit association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In August 1973, the current three-division setup of Division I, Division II, and Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. Subsequently the term "Division I-AAA" was briefly added to delineate Division I schools which do not field a football program at all, but that term is no longer officially used by the NCAA. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
The Mountain West Conference men's basketball tournament is held annually to determine the men's basketball champion from the Mountain West Conference. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, although they did not in the 1999–2000 season.
College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.