Unga named MWC freshman of the year

Unga named MWC freshman of the year



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PROVO, Utah (December 4, 2007) -- Freshman running back Harvey Unga has been selected as the 2007 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. In addition, eight other players have earned All-MWC honors, including quarterback Max Hall, tight end Dennis Pitta, offensive lineman Ray Feinga, offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds, defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen and linebacker Bryan Kehl, who were each named to the 2007 All-Mountain West Conference first team. Receiver Austin Collie and linebacker Kelly Poppinga each earned All-MWC second-team honors.

Unga, a native of Provo, Utah, is the first BYU player to earn freshman-of-the-year honors since Austin Collie was named the league's top freshman in 2004. While Unga has racked up a BYU freshman record 1,211 yards—the highest single-season rushing total since Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley produced 1,582 yards in 2001—he will enter the Las Vegas Bowl needing just six yards to break the MWC freshman rushing record. A three-time Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Unga produced seven 100-yard games, and averaged 100.9 yards rushing per game. Unga's 1,211 yards ranks third among all freshman running backs in the nation. He also set the MWC record with 1,840 all-purpose yards, shattering DonTrell Morre's record of 1,328 set back in 2002.

"Harvey has had an exceptional season," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, his ability to run the ball with power played a critical role in our conference championship season. I have been impressed with his humility, his unselfish play and his commitment to this team. I believe he has a bright future."

THE HARVEY UNGA FILE Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year All-Mountain West Conference Second Team (Running Back) • BYU's all-time leading freshman running back with 1,211 yards on the season. • Holds the BYU record for most 100-yard rushing games as a freshman with seven. • Has produced five 100-yard rushing games against MWC opponents, including Air Force (111), UNLV (177), Wyoming (111), Utah (141) and San Diego State (161). • Recorded a career-high 177 yards rushing against UNLV. • Ranks third overall and is the league's top-ranked freshman running back, averaging 100.9 rushing yards per game. • Ranks eighth overall and is the league's top-ranked freshman receiver, averaging 52.4 yards per game. • Ranks second in the MWC with an average 153.3 all-purpose yards per game. • Named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week (vs. Arizona) after racking up 194 all-purpose yards, including 127 yards receiving. • Has 13 rushing touchdowns and four touchdown completions on the season. • Second in the MWC, averaging 8.5 points per game. • Has scored at least one rushing touchdown in seven straight games, including two straight games with two rushing touchdowns before the win over Utah. \ • First BYU freshman running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark on the season. • Needs just 5 yards to become the MWC all-time leading freshman running back.

THE MAX HALL FILE All-Mountain West Conference First Team (Quarterback) "One of the critical components to our success this season has been due to the play of Max Hall," Mendenhall said. "He is a great competitor, and excellent leader. I appreciate the way he has embraced his role on this team."

• The Mountain West Conferecne's all-time leading sophomore quarterback with a league-best 3,617 yards passing. • Leads the conference with an average 301.4 yards passing per game. • The nation's top-ranked sophomore quarterback, passing for a nation's best 3,617 yards over 12 games. • Ranks fourth in BYU football history behind Ty Detmer, Steve Sarkisian and Robbie Bosco through their first 12 career starts. • Named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 26-of-37 attempts for 331 yards and three touchdowns to help BYU clinch a share of the MWC title with a 35-10 win over Wymoing. • Has compiled a league-best five 300-yard games on the season, including games against UCLA (391), Tulsa (537), Colorado State (355), TCU (305) and Wyoming (331). • Threw for over 300 yards in three straight games, and for over 200 yards in 11 of the Cougars' 12 games. • Averaging 280.6 yards passing per game against league opponents. • Leads the MWC with an average 303.2 yards of total offense per game. • Has a league-high 24 touchdown completions on the season. • Has thrown at least one touchdown in 11 of 12 games this season, and has totaled eight games with two or more TD completions. • Started all 12 games this season, leading BYU to its second straight Conference title with a 10-2 record, 8-0 against league opponents. • Credited with a career-high 537 yards passing and four touchdowns against Tulsa. • Reached the 3,000-yard mark in his 10th game of the season, matching the league record for the fastest ascent to 3,000 yards in a single season.

THE RAY FEINGA FILE All-Mountain West Conference First Team (Offensive Line) • Started 11 of 12 games at guard for the Cougars. • Has 65 knock-down blocks on the season. • Has not allowed a single sack all season. • Has graded out at 82% or above in each of the nine games he has played this season • Twice earned a grade of 9-% or better during the season. • Credited with a team-leading, season-high grade of 92% in the Cougars' 27-22 win over TCU. • Anchors an offensive line that has provided pass protection for the nation's 15th ranked offense. • Provides pass protection for the nation's 13th ranked passing offense, averaging 304 yards per game.

THE DALLAS REYNOLDS FILE All-Mountain West Conference First Team (Offensive Line) • Started at left tackle in each of the Cougars' 12 games this season. • Has started 37 straight games, including 12 starts as a freshman and 13 starts last season as a sophomore. • Has recorded 49 knock-down blocks on the season, including nine against Wyoming. • Has not allowed a single sack against MWC opponents. • Recorded a season-high 94% grade against Air Force and a 91% gade in the Cougars' 35-10 win over Wyoming. • Has played in over 740 plays this season. • Has graded out with an 80% or better in each of the Cougars' 10 games on the season. • Anchors an offensive line that has provided pass protection for the nation's 15th ranked offense. • Provides pass protection for the nation's 13th ranked passing offense, averaging 304 yards per game.

"I think we have the best offensive line in the conference," Mendenhall said. "Ray and Dallas were dominate in playing side by side on the line."

THE DENNIS PITTA FILE All-Mountain West Conference First Team (Tight End) • The nation's seventh ranked tight end (second ranked sophomore tight end), averaging 64.6 yards per game. • Leads all tight ends in the MWC (and ranks fifth overall) with 54 recpetions on the season, averaging 4.5 per game. • Leads all MWC tight ends with five touchdown receptions on the season. • Has two 100-yard receiving games on the season, including a season-high 114 yards against Air Force. • Has four or more receptions in 10 of the Cougars' 12 games this season. • Has been credited with 50 or more receiving yards in seven of the Cougars' 12 games this season.

THE BRYAN KEHL FILE All-Mountain West Conference First Team (Linebacker) "Bryan's play-making ability, his athleticism, his leadership and the effort he showed each week are extremely valuable to this program," Mendenall said. "He is one of the reasons this team was able to go undefeated in the Mountain West Conference in back-to-back seasons."

• Ranks second on the BYU roster with 84 tackles on the season, inclduing a team-high 48 solo takedowns. • Averaging 7 tackles per game. • Has been credited with double-digit tackles in three games this season, including a season-high 11 tackles against UCLA. • Ranks second on the BYU roster with 11 tackles for a combined loss of 48 yards on the season. • Has four sacks on the season • Credited with a career-high three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. • Earned MWC Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors after picking up 10 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a sack in the Cougars' 31-24 win at Wyoming. • Against New Mexico, credited with his first-career interception, returning it 36 yards for a touchdown. • Had an interception in three straight games (New Mexico, UNLV, Eastern Washington.) • Part of a defensive unit that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. (BYU's rushing defense ranks ninth nationally, allowing 92.1 yards per game.) • Captains a BYU defense that ranks 10th nationally, allowing a MWC leading 307.2 yards per game.

THE JAN JORGENSEN FILE All-Mountain West Conference First Team (Defensive Lineman) "After leading the Mountain West Conference in sacks and tackles for loss, Jan had a tremendous season," Mendenhall said. "His heart, his work ethic, his leadership are all perfect examples of a BYU defensive lineman."

• Leads the MWC and ranks 9th nationally with 11.5 sacks • Has produced at least one sack in six of the Cougars' seven games against MWC opponents. • Recorded a career-high three sacks in the Cougars' 35-16 win against Colorado State. • Has been credited with 73 tackles on the season, averaging six takedowns per game. • Has had at least one sack in six straight games. • Part of a defensive unit that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. (BYU's rushing defense ranks ninth nationally, allowing 92.1 yards per game.) • Anchors a BYU defense that ranks 10th nationally, allowing a MWC leading 307.2 yards per game.

THE AUSTIN COLLIE FILE All-Mountain West Conference Second Team (Receiver) All-Mountain West Conference Honorable Mention (Kick Returner) • Ranks eighth in the MWC with an average 4.2 receptions per game. • Ranks fourth in the MWC with an average 69.9 yards per game. • Ranks first in the MWC with six touchdown receptions. • Has five 100-yard receiving games this season. • Produced four straight 100-yard receiving games, including 111 yards against CSU, 109 yards against TCU, 103 yards against Wyoming and 126 yards against Utah. • Credited with a 98-yard performance against New Mexico. • Has produced 98 or more yards receiving in seven of the eight games he has played this season against MWC opponents. • Named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week. • Credited with 366 all-purpose yards against Tulsa to break Pete Van Valkenburg's 35-year-old school record. • Set the MWC single-game record for all-purpose yards (366 vs. Tulsa). • Set the MWC single-game sophomore record for all-purpose yards (366 vs. Tulsa). • Ranks second in the MWC, averaging 25.4 yards per kick return.

THE KELLY POPPINGA FILE All-Mountain West Conference Second Team (Linebacker) • Leads the BYU roster and ranks sixth in the Mountain West Conference with 100 tackles, averaging 8.3 tackles per game. • Has recorded double-digit tackles in four games this season. • Named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high 17 tackles in the Cougars' 27-22 win over TCU. • Totaled 15 tackles in BYU's 35-16 win over Colorado State, including a career-high 13 solo tackles. • Had an interception and 22-yard return against TCU. • Has seven tackles for a combined loss of 16 yards on the season, including a season-high three TFL's at UCLA. • Has been credited with three QB hurries and three pass break-up's on the season. • Averaging 9.5 tackles against MWC opponents. • Part of a defensive unit that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. (BYU's rushing defense ranks ninth nationally, allowing 92.1 yards per game.) • Captains a BYU defense that ranks 10th nationally, allowing a MWC leading 307.2 yards per game.

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