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3 more Cougars named to preseason award watch lists

Posted Jul 10th - 10:05am by Jason Shepherd

PROVO — BYU linebacker Alani Fua and safety Craig Bills were both named to the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Preseason Watch List on Thursday. The Bronko Nagurski Award is given to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.

Fua, who is also on the watch list for the CFPA Linebacker Trophy, enters his senior season with 5.0 career-sacks, 82 tackles (63 in 2013) and three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. The 6-foot 5-inch, 228-pound Fua has been a durable player for BYU, playing in 34 out of a possible 39 games while in Provo.

The 6-foot 1-inch Bills is coming off an impressive junior season which included 78 tackles and two interceptions. In 2014, the senior from Provo is expected to be one of the anchors of a very deep and talented secondary.

Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' #12

Posted Jul 9th - 11:36am by Greg Wrubell

A month from now, the BYU football team will be into its second week of preseason camp. In the leadup to workouts, the weekly 'Cougar Quiz' is here to help pass the time and sharpen the wits of BYU football fans.

Any score over 50% can be considered respectable. Anything in the 70-90% range is commendable, while a perfect score is something you can put on your résumé.

Good luck on this week's quiz, and as always, be sure to share the quiz on social media, and tweet out your results--if you did particularly well.

BYU's Mahina, Fusi named to preseason award watch lists; more honors for Hill

Posted Jul 8th - 9:16am by Greg Wrubell

The roll-out of college football's preseason awards watch lists continued on Tuesday, with BYU players Devin Mahina and Edward Fusi both honored by inclusion on nominee lists for their respective field positions.


Mahina was one of 38 players named to the nominee list for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's outstanding tight end, while Fusi is one of 66 nominees for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the nation's premier center.

Bronco's boys v. the big boys: a case study

Posted Jul 7th - 1:45pm by Greg Wrubell

As noted in my article ranking the games on BYU's 2014 football schedule, BYU is slated to face only three teams from the "power" conferences during the upcoming season. Yet, as an independent, BYU is playing more power teams on an annual basis than ever before.


During the 29 seasons of the LaVell Edwards era, during which BYU played as a member of the WAC or MWC, the Cougars played a total of 80 games v. power teams, or an average of 2.8 such games per year.

BYU's Hill, Williams named to Maxwell Award watch list

Posted Jul 7th - 8:29am by Greg Wrubell

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill and running back Jamaal Williams on Monday received the first of what are sure to be many preseason honors, as both were among 76 players named to the watch list for the 78th annual Maxwell Award, presented to the College Player of the Year.


Hill enters his junior season as BYU's all-time leader in QB rushing yards, with 1,680. His 14 career rushing touchdowns are second to Steve Young's 18.

Ranking the games on BYU's 2014 football schedule

Posted Jul 6th - 1:56pm by Greg Wrubell

The 2014 BYU football season is replete with promise. The collection of offensive talent returning and the confidence emanating from coordinator Robert Anae lead Cougar fans to believe that BYU's attack could be among the program's most prolific.

While Bronco Mendenhall relinquishes play-calling responsibilities to coordinator Nick Howell, the head coach's defensive system is a proven commodity, and despite some key losses on that side of the ball, expectations are that the BYU defense will do considerably more than simply keep the Cougars in every game.


Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' #11

Posted Jul 2nd - 7:44am by Greg Wrubell

BYU training camp is now less than a month away, meaning the weekly 'Cougar Quiz' will soon be replaced by actual news from the gridiron.

Until that time, stay sharp with this weekly jaunt through the pages of BYU football's history books. Master Cougar trivia tidbits old and new, then be sure to share the quiz with your friends and loved ones.

Any score better than 50% can usually be considered better than average, but the post-quiz score calculation should let you know where you actually stack up against your fellow fans. If you do well, shout it from the rooftops--or on Twitter, at least.

Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' #10

Posted Jun 25th - 12:40pm by Greg Wrubell

After a week away (thanks to Jason Shepherd for handling last week's 'Cougar Quiz'), I'm back with our tenth weekly BYU football quiz of the offseason.

As always, any score over 50% is respectable; anything over 70% calls for some serious chest-thumping.

So, put your books under the desk, keep the search windows closed, and give it a go. If you do well (and even if you don't), be sure to share the quiz with your BYU-fan friends.

BYU AD Holmoe: 'I feel like we're in the best position we can be in'

Posted Jun 23rd - 11:36am by Greg Wrubell

In contrast to 2013, when BYU Football Media Day was used to announce a number of key news items, the 2014 version came and went on Monday without any major pronouncements from head coach Bronco Mendenhall or athletic director Tom Holmoe.

Both noted general satisfaction with the football program's current path as an FBS independent, notwithstanding Mendenhall's recent comments about his desire that BYU eventually find a home in a league like the Big 12.

The pair also addressed the school's internal review into potential football-related NCAA violations, with Holmoe acknowledging that BYU has reported findings to the NCAA, adding that any violations would be in "a lower category...not a major issue."

'Cougar Quiz' No. 9

Posted Jun 18th - 8:00am by Jason Shepherd

It's that time again, Cougar fans. With Greg Wrubell away, he has entrusted me with this week's 'Cougar Quiz.'

These ten questions will test your knowledge on Cougar players, both past and present, BYU records and little-known facts. Some of the answers may surprise you.

Everyone likes to have bragging rights, so once you've completed the quiz, make sure you share it with your friends.

Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' #8

Posted Jun 11th - 1:09pm by Greg Wrubell

BYU football training camp opens seven weeks from Friday, with the season-opener at UConn following four weeks later.

Every week leading up to camp, I'm putting out a 'Cougar Quiz' that will challenge even the hardest of hard-core BYU football fans.

Any score of 50% or better should be considered respectable; if you ace the quiz, you might have a chance to replace my stats guy Ralph Sokolowsky when he retires.

BYU adds UCLA to 2015, 2016 schedules

Posted Jun 5th - 2:06pm by Greg Wrubell

UCLA is the latest Pac-12 team to do a scheduling deal with BYU, bringing to eight the number of league teams with future games scheduled against the Cougars.

On Thursday, BYU announced a two-game series with the Bruins, with games scheduled at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Sept. 19, 2015, and at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Sept. 17, 2016.

"I'm excited for this series with UCLA," said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. "It's a great matchup versus an opponent rich in football tradition, and a team that will be fighting for a Pac-12 championship. It's also a great opportunity for our large fan base in Southern California to see the Cougars play in the Rose Bowl—one of the most storied football venues in the country."

Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' No. 7

Posted Jun 4th - 1:48pm by Greg Wrubell

Your weekly knowledge-drop returns with ten more questions designed to separate the hard-core BYU fan from the casual Cougar observer.

The previous six quizzes have seen the average score top the 50% plateau only twice; we'll see how Cougar Nation does this time around.

So, take the quiz, compare your score and then be sure to share the quiz with friends.

BYU's Holmoe replaces Zaninovich on NCAA Basketball Committee

Posted Jun 4th - 1:04pm by Jason Shepherd

PROVO — BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe was appointed to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee on Wednesday.

Holmoe will replace former West Coast Conference Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich, who is leaving the committee and his position as commissioner to become the deputy commissioner and COO of the Pac- 12 Conference.

“Jamie has been an incredible asset to the men’s basketball committee and to the championship as a whole, and we wish him continued success as he prepares to leave for the Pac-12,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s vice president for men’s basketball. “Tom has a tremendous amount of respect from his colleagues in collegiate athletics and is an ideal choice to replace Jamie. We look forward to his contributions to the group.”

Nixon to play for BYU in 2014-15

Posted Jun 2nd - 6:19pm by Greg Wrubell

BYU's 2014-15 basketball roster received another addition on Monday, with the news that Orem High School star Dalton Nixon, who committed to Dave Rose two summers ago and signed a letter of intent last November, will be available to play for the Cougars in 2014-15.

Nixon, who had received a call to begin serving in the LDS Church's Massachusetts Boston Mission later this summer, told me he will defer his mission service until after the upcoming basketball season, with plans to enter the Missionary Training Center next spring. He said his mission destination may or may not remain the same, with details to be determined in coming months.

Nixon will attend BYU as a non-scholarship player in 2014-15, but will be on scholarship upon the return from his mission. He anticipates joining the team with the start of the Fall Semester classes.

Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' #6

Posted May 28th - 3:08pm by Greg Wrubell

BYU's season-opener is three months and a day away, and the countdown continues with weekly quizzes designed to keep Cougar fans mentally sharp and in a pigskin state of mind.

The tests are designed to be neither too hard nor too easy, but any score over 50% should be considered respectable.

So here we go; avoid the temptation to use the search window for help, and share a good score (and the quiz) with your friends!

Greg's 'Cougar Quiz' #5

Posted May 20th - 10:37pm by Greg Wrubell

Wednesday marks the 100-day countdown to BYU's season-opener at Connecticut, but it also means another edition of the weekly 'Cougar Quiz.'

The last few quizzes have proven to be stern gauges of BYU fandom, but with every test taken is knowledge acquired, and the more you know...well, the more you know.

So have a go at this week's ten-question sampler, then share it with your friends, and if you do well, then by all means brag a little bit on social media.

Davis transferring from Utah State to BYU

Posted May 15th - 10:43pm by Greg Wrubell

Utah State's loss is BYU's gain, as former Aggie forward Kyle Davis will transfer to BYU and play for the Cougar hoopsters after sitting out the 2014-15 season.

Davis, who has already been admitted to BYU, verbally committed to Cougar head coach Dave Rose on Thursday; he said he left a phone message for a vacationing Rose, who then responded via text message.

Davis said after visiting the Provo campus on Monday and Tuesday of this week, "it just became clear that's where I wanted to play."

Football improves, men's basketball dips in new NCAA APR report

Posted May 14th - 3:28pm by Greg Wrubell

The latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) report shows continued improvement across the Division I membership, while BYU's institutional APR score held relatively steady and the football program saw a slight but important jump that keeps the team clear of the NCAA's "danger zone," relative to low-performance infractions.

The NCAA Division I four-year APR average (measuring 2009-10 through 2012-13 academic years) is currently 976, up from 974 last year. Averaging the team scores for BYU's 21 sports produces an institutional APR score of 973, down a single point from last year.

BYU's 10 men's sports averaged a 2013 multi-year APR score of 967--up six points from last year, while the school's 11 women's sports averaged a score of 978--down slightly from 981 in 2013.

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