GAME WEEK: No. 8/9 BYU at no. 24 TCU

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(AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

(KSL Sports)


Riding the nation's longest active win streak at 16 games, No. 8 BYU (6-0, 2-0 MWC) continues conference play on Thursday, Oct. 16, as it travels to Fort Worth, Texas to face the No. 24 TCU Horned Frogs (6-1, 3-0) at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast live nationally on VERSUS.

With last Saturday's win over New Mexico, BYU remains undefeated in conference action with a 2-0 record. The Cougars have won a MWC record 18 straight league games, dating back to a 31-17 road victory over No. 15 TCU in 2006. BYU has also won its past 11 MWC road games.

Head coach ronco Mendenhall became the first coach in BYU history to qualify for four straight bowl games in his first four years with the victory against New Mexico. TCU is coming off a 13-7 win over conference foe TCU.


BYU and TCU have met seven times over the past 21 years with the Cougars holding a 5-2 record over the Horned Frogs. As MWC opponents, the teams are 2-1 against each other. TCU won the first ever game against BYU, 33-12, in 1987. Back then, the Horned Frogs played in the Southwest Conference while the Cougars competed in the WAC. The following year, BYU exacted revenge with a 31-18 victory at Cougar Stadium. Interestingly, the Cougars' 2006 season 31-17 win against then-No. 15 ranked TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, began BYU's current 18-game winning streak against the MWC and was the Cougars' first road win over a nationally-ranked opponent since September 20, 1997 (at Arizona State). BYU defeated the Horned Frogs again in the last meeting between these two team on Nov. 8, 2007. Freshman running back Harvey Unga scored two rushing touchdowns helping the Cougars to a 27-22 victory.


Thursday's game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on VERSUS. Joe Beninati will call the action, Glenn Parker will lend analysis and Tim Neverett will report from the sidelines. Beninati has worked for over a decade as the play-by-play announcer for the Washington Capitals. The Capital Region Emmy Award winning broadcaster has also called action for the NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball and college football. Parker is a former NFL offensive lineman who, in his 12-year career, played for the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills. Parker has been an analyst for the NFL Network show PLAYBOOK and the main college football analyst for CSTV. Neverett, covers the Colorado Rockies, Colorado Crush and University of Denver hockey and lacrosse for FSN Rocky Mountain, various sporting events for CSTV and Versus, and anchors Press Box on KLZ-560 AM. Tim has covered three Olympic Games, and reported on hockey, skiing, baseball, soccer and softball for ESPN2 and ESPN International.


The No. 8 BYU football team improved to 6-0 on the season and became bowl eligible for the fourth-cons=ecutive year following a 21-3 victory over New Mexico (3-4, 1-2 MWC)at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday night. With the win the Cougars extended the nation's longest victory streak to 16 games, while remaining undefeated in Mountain West Conference play at 2-0. The BYU defense limited New Mexico to 285 total yards and kept the Lobos out of the end zone, while the Cougar offense produced 382 yards. Junior quarterback Max Hall was 22-for-34 with three touchdown passes for a total of 258 yards. Junior wide receiver Austin Collie was the beneficiary of nine of Hall's passes leading the team with a career-high 155 yards.


With its 21-3 win over New Mexico, BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 16 consecutive games. The Cougars have put together their longest win streak since winning 25 straight games over the 1983-85 seasons. BYU's 6-0 record this season marks its best start since the 2001 season.


After Saturday's win against New Mexico, the Cougars are 144-41 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. Dating back to 2006, BYU has won 13 consecutive games while being nationally ranked.


The last time BYU faced a ranked opponent was Sept. 8, 2007 when it traveled to Pasadena, Calif. to take on No. 13 UCLA. The Cougars lost that game 17-27. BYU's last win over a ranked foe was a year prior in 2006 against No. 16 TCU. Prior to the Cougars' victory over TCU, BYU was 0-12 in games against ranked opponents, dating back to the 1999 season.


Quarterback Max Hall's touchdown pass to junior tight end Andrew George with 6:34 in the second quarter against New Mexico marked the eigth consecutive game Hall has recorded a touchdown pass, dating back to Dec. 1, 2007 at San Diego State. In fact, Hall has thrown a touchdown pass in 18-of-19 career games.


On Saturday against New Mexico, junior Austin Collie broke the 100-yard receiving mark for the fourth straight game with a career-high 155 yards on 9 catches against the Lobos. The last time Collie accomplished this feat was over a four games in 2007 (Nov. 3-Nov. 24). He has caught a touchdown in BYU's last five games.


With his 155 yards receiving against the Lobos, Collie now has 2,390 career receiving yards, surpassing Chris Smith as No. 7 on BYU's all-time record list. The junior needs only 40 more yards to pass Mark Bellini (2,429 yards) and claim the No. 6 spot.

Counting his touchdown against New Mexico, Collie now has 23 career touchdowns, needing only three more to make it into BYU's top 10. Pete Van Valkenberg and Eric Lane currently hold the No. 10 spot with 26 career touchdowns. Collie's 23 touchdowns put him only six behind the MWC leader, Jovon Bouknight of Wyoming (29).

Collie now has 10 career 100-yard receiving games, which is tied for third all-time at BYU with Phil Odle and Margin Hooks.


BYU attempted its second fourth-down conversion attempt of the season on fourth-and-one on New Mexico's 20-yard line during the second quarter. The Cougars were successful, with Harvey Unga running for a three-yard gain. Coincidentally, Unga converted on the first fourth-down attempt by BYU with a four-yard rush against Utah State. In the national statistics, BYU is tied for first with 100-percent fourth-down efficiency.


BYU is currenty holds a 1-0 record when playing night games. The Cougars' game against Utah State (W, 34-14) marked BYU's first night game of the 2008 season.


The Cougars held the Lobos scoreless through three quarters on Saturday. All totaled, BYU has recorded 16 shutout quarters thru the first six games of the season, including two shutouts wins over UCLA and Wyoming. BYU has outscored or tied its opponent in every quarter except two.

Saturday's shutout first quarter marked the first time this season BYU has been held scoreless in the first 15 minutes, dating back to the 2007 Utah game.


Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen picked up his first fumble recovery this season in the second quarter against the Lobos. The recovery marked Jorgensen's first since 2006 when as a freshman he recorded two. BYU has recovered 12 fumbles throughout the first half of the season, tripling in that category since last year. The Cougars recovered only four fumbles the entire 2007 season.


With less than one minute remaining in the game against New Mexico, junior linebacker Colebly Clawson recorded back-to-back sacks on Lobo quarterback Tate Smith. The sacks marked the third and fourth of Clawson's career and combined for a loss of 22 yards. Junior defensive lineman Ian Dulan also recorded a sack against Smith earlier in the fourth quarter. Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen is currently half a sack behind the MWC career record of 20.5, shared by New Mexico's Michael Tuohy, TCU's Chase Ortiz and former Cougar Brady Poppinga.


Defensive back David Tafuna's interception against New Mexico marked the fourth-straight game the Cougars have recorded a pick. BYU has totaled six interceptions in the first six games of the season.


In the first quarter against Utah State, sophomore defensive back Brandon Bradley recovered the first fumble of his career, returning it for a 38-yard touchdown. The touchdown marked the second straight game the Cougars scored off a fumble recovery, as fellow defensive back Scott Johnson returned a loose ball for a touchdown in BYU's 44-0 victory over Wyoming on Sept. 20.


In the first six games this season BYU has forced 18 turnovers, converting 12 of those into points. Of those 12 turnovers, 10 have resulted in touchdowns (70 points) for the Cougars.


Despite its relative youth, the Cougar defense has successfully kept its opponents from scoring a single touchdown in three of the first six games of the season. Both UCLA and Wyoming were held scoreless through four quarters apiece, while New Mexico forced to settle for a single field goal.


Forced and recovered turnovers have resulted in fast scoring drives for the Cougars, who have put together eight scoring drives of a minute or less so far this season, including two against Utah State. In only six games, this number beats the total of seven recorded in 2007. BYU's second quarter scoring drive of six seconds agaisnt UCLA, marked the shortest Cougar scoring drive since a three-yard touchdown run by Harvey Unga against TCU on Nov. 8, 2007 knocked four seconds off the clock.


After averaging only 16.2 yards per game, and one touchdown with seven receptions on the season, tight end Andrew George came out strong against the Lobos. The junior caught BYU's first touchdown reception of the day with 6:34 remaining in the second quarter, giving the Cougars the 7-3 lead. George caught his second touchdown reception of the day later in the third quarter on an 11-yard pass from Max Hall. By the end of the game, George racked up 22 yards on three catches.


The UCLA game marked senior offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds' 44th straight career start. During that streak, Reynolds has started at every position on the offensive line, including tackle, guard and center. Reynolds' younger brother Matt started at left tackle in the 2008 season opener. His father, Lance, is the associate head coach for the Cougars. Reynolds is currently tied at seond for the most consecutive starts by an active Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) player. Reynolds has started in every game of his BYU career, beginning with the Cougars' 20-3 loss to Boston College on Sep. 3, 2005.


Saturday marked senior wide receiver Michael Reed's first game back after missing the past two games due to injury. Reed caught the first pass on BYU's first possession—a 16-yard reception from quarterback Max Hall. Reed ended the day with 23 yards on three receptions.


BYU's starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 326.4 pounds and average 6-feet-6. The front five will be going up against a TCU defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-2, 276 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars' front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while theTCU offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-4, 311 pounds per man.


UNM's 27-yard field goal with 11:40 remaining in the second quarter marked the first time this season BYU has not been the first to score. The last time a BYU opponent was the first to score was at the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl when UCLA lead 3-0 after a 22-yard field goal. The Cougars went on to win the game 17-16.


With UNM up 3-0 following its field goal in the second quarter, the Cougars trailed for the first time since finding themselves down 14-21 in the third quarter against the Washington Huskies on Sept. 6.


Saturday's game against the Lobos set new season lows in a couple categories: total elapsed time and scoring. The 4 p.m. MT game lasted only 2 hours and 26 minutes, the shortest time so far this season. BYU's 21 points also marked a new season low for a team until Saturday averaged 41 points per game.


BYU won the opening coin toss for the fifth time this season as the game against New Mexico got underway. The Cougars elected to defer. BYU is now 5-0 when winning the opening coin toss.


BYU has been unable to return a kickoff for a touchdown for 124 consecutive games. Mike Rigell was the last Cougar to accomplish the feat, turning in a 96-yard touchdown in a 31-9 victory at Hawaii on October 17, 1998.


BYU's first touchdown drive against New Mexico o 95 yards marked the longest of the 2008 season in terms of yardage. The drive which lasted 5:04 minutes, ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Max Hall to tight end Andrew George. The Cougars' longest drive in terms of time off the clock was in the second-quarter of the UCLA game. The 13-play drive of 48 yards took 6:43 minutes off the game clock.


In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 32-4 when leading at halftime and 31-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.


The Cougars held a 7-3 lead at halftime against New Mexico, marking the 16th time in the past 17 games BYU has held the lead at intermission. The Cougars have held their opponent to seven or fewer points in the opening half 12 times in 17 games. During those 17 games BYU is 16-1.

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