Making a Statement



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some random thoughts on the day after...

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Take away BYU's turnovers (or at least cut them in half), and the Cougars could very well be undefeated right now. Even with two more giveaways Saturday, BYU's offense was so more than the Air Force Falcons could handle. Through four games, the offense is averaging 19 more plays and 164 more yards per game than the opposition. Only miscues have prevented more of those plays and yards from turning into points.

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Tight end Dennis Pitta racked up his second consecutive 100-yard receiving day. He is second nationally in tight end receiving yards per game, at 81.5 ypg. The only tight end ahead of him is senior Martin Rucker of Missouri at 82.5 ypg.

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Ths particular stat has debatable merit, but it is interesting to note that BYU leads the nation in time of possession, at 34:25/game. New Mexico (BYU's next opponent), is 8th (33:02).

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Before I forget: earlier this week, ESPN ran a recap of the previous college football weekend, and when breaking down Utah's win over UCLA, the caption read: "Are the Utes for Real?". Umm, no.

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Saturday's game with Air Force took 2 hours and 52 minutes to complete. BYU's game at Tulsa lasted 3 hours and 57 minutes--and I'm sure it only seemed that about half of the additional time was spent on Tulsa's "injury timeouts."

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The New Mexico game is shaping up as a huge one in the conference title chase. The Lobos mystified me with their 6-point outing in a season-opening loss at UTEP, but they're rolling now, averaging 43 ppg in their ensuing three contests (wins over New Mexico State, Arizona and Sacramento State). UNM has the MWC's leading rusher, top two receivers (rpg), leading scorer and kicker--and as a team, the Lobos lead the league in scoring offense, are second to BYU in total offense and are first in turnover margin (12th nationally). Tune in for a "Clash of the Conference Titans," Saturday night at 6:30pm (4:30pm pregame) on KSL Newsradio and ksl.com.

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Perhaps knowing Bingham's Justin Sorensen was in attendance inspired them, because, kicking in front of the guy who will likely assume their roles next season, BYU's placekickers performed extremely well vs. the Falcons--making all 4 PATs and the one field goal attempted. By the way, it was just another night for Sorensen Friday night, making a 55-yarder along with two chip shots in a win over West Jordan. Sorensen was also 5 for 5 on PATs, and had touchbacks on every kickoff. BYU recorded its first kickoff touchback of the season yesterday.

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BYU has rushed for 100+ yards in 10 of its last 12 games. BYU is 9-1 in those 10 games--the only loss came last week at Tulsa.

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The Cougars have won 8 straight home games for the first time since 1998-99.

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BYU has held Air Force to below its season rushing average in 23 of the last 26 meetings.

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Make it 19 straight games with 200+ yards passing. The last time BYU was held under 200 yards through the air was at Wyoming in 2005. Interestingly, BYU won that game (35-21), as the Cougars ran for 267 yards that day. The Cougars have run for more yards in a game only once since that game--racking up 306 rushing yards last year in a home win over UNLV.

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Can you believe a Sonny Lubick team has lost 10 games in a row? Yesterday in Houston, the Colorado State Rams allowed 35 second-half points in falling 38-27 to the Cougars. At 0-2, the Rams had battled hard in losing to Colorado and California. But collapsing after leading 24-10 late in the third quarter sends the now 0-3 Rams to TCU desperate for a fresh start. We'll learn a lot about both teams' potential to contend for a conference crown this Saturday in Fort Worth.

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The Cougars have led at halftime in 16 of their last 17 games (UCLA).

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BYU is allowing only 23% of opponent 3rd down attempts to be converted--that ranks BYU 5th nationally. Wyoming is 3rd, by the way.

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BYU is ranked 109th in turnover margin (-7). Only one team ranked 100th or worse has a winning record: Houston, at -5, is 2-1.

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