Names and Numbers, News and Notes...



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The loss of starting safety Quinn Gooch to a season-ending knee injury is going to hurt the Cougars, but not as much as the loss of Devin Moore would hurt the Wyoming Cowboys. Moore is likely out for this Saturday's game with a sore left knee. He leads the Pokes in rushing (874 yards), and is averaging 121 all-purpose yards per game. Bronco Mendenhall is encouraged about the prospects for DE Ian Dulan--he looked good at practice Wednesday, after suffering a knee sprain last Saturday. Bronco will make a final call on Dulan today.

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BYU has scored an opening-drive touchdown in 6 of its last 7 games, and in each of the last 3 games. Since fumbling on the opening possession against Arizona and punting on the opening drive at UCLA, BYU has found the end zone on its first possession in every game except for the October 13th contest at UNLV.

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Perhaps even more impressive than BYU's fast starts, is this: BYU has gone 22 consecutive games without allowing the opposition to score a TD on its opening drive.

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Since being shut out in the 1st quarter at UNLV, BYU has scored in 15 consecutive quarters.

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BYU had a season-high 14 penalties in a loss at Tulsa. In the last 3 games combined, BYU has 15 total penalties, including a season-low 4 in each of the last two games.

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BYU's defense has one penalty in the last 3 games (face mask by Bryan Kehl in the Colorado State game).

Say what you will about the importance of penalties, but for Bronco's defensive unit to pick up exactly one penalty in 218 defensive snaps over three games is pretty impressive.

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More on the defense: since going without a pick in the season opener, BYU has intercepted the opposing QB at least once in 8 consecutive games.

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With the exception of the final possessions in the CSU and TCU games (when BYU was running out the clock), the Cougars have scored on 17 consecutive trips inside the Blue Zone (14td, 3fg).

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Cougar Hoops:

So far, so good! Two games and two dominant wins (+40, +21). Both Long Beach State and Idaho State are 0-2, but the Bengals should be respectable in the Big Sky Conference, while the 49ers rebounded to take a 12-point road lead at Montana State before losing the other night. ISU plays at LBSU this Saturday.

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If BYU comes out of non-conference play worse than 12-3, I'll be mildly suprpised. Yes, BYU is that good. Four of the five starters can go for 20+ on any given night, every starter but Trent Plaisted is proficient from three-point range, and while the bench is mostly populated by young, inexperienced players, there is a great blend of talent off the pine.

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BYU's bench brigade is highlighted by freshmen Jimmer Fredette (9.5ppg, 56% 3pfg) and Chris Collinsworth (4.5ppg, 3.4rpg), but don't overlook the contribution of senior Vuk Ivanovic (7.5ppg, 6/7 fg).

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Getting to the point: three cheers for Ben Murdock! The senior quarterback has 10 assists with only one turnover in two games, while shooting 63% from the field and 50% from the arc. Dave Rose will continue to play the backup point spot by feel, alternating Nick Martineau and Michael Loyd.

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Friday night's home game with Jackson State is the opening game of BYU's 4-game commitment in the Las Vegas Invitational. Longtime BYU broadcaster Jay Monsen will join Mark Durrant courtside on KSL as I set up on the front range for Saturday's football game at Wyoming. Thanks, Jay!

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