Gameday Notes...



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Just a couple of random notes from Las Vegas during game prep for tonight...

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How good has Harvey Unga been since his hamstring started feeling better? He leads the MWC and is in the top 40 nationally in rush yards per game--in only about three and a half games of work. In fact, Utah's Matt Asiata is second in the league behind Unga, and he, too only played three and a half games before being knocked out for the season. In Asiata's absence, Unga is far and away the best back in the conference, and there is no close second.

Unga is averaging 6.2 yards per carry (86.2 yards per game in four official games played), and his five rushing touchdowns are second in the league to...well, UNLV's Channing Trotter, with six.

With 38 touchdowns for his career, Unga is two touchdowns away from Jamal Willis and second place on BYU's alltime TD tally--Luke Staley has the overall lead with 48 scores.

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BYU and TCU are the only two MWC teams to have outscored their opponents in all four quarters of play.

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The Sporting News College Basketball preview magazine is out, and it is the only one of the "Big Three" newsstand periodicals (Athlon, Lindy's) to pick someone other than BYU to win the Mountin West Conference championship. SN (via writer Steve carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal) likes San Diego State to take the title, with the Cougars coming in second; it also names Jonathan Tavernari as "best shooter," Jimmer Fredette as "best under pressure," and Dave Rose as "best coach."

Carp does say BYU will be boosted by the addition of Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws, who "are returning from church missions," according to Carp. This would come as substantial news to Davies, Haws and their families.

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Back to Unga: he needs 32 receiving yards to become the 9th BYU player with at least 1,000 career rushing and receiving yards. The most recent Cougar to accomplish the feat was Curtis Brown.

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You will remember that I noted Mike Sanford's October record at UNLV is 1-15. Bronco Mendehall's teams have lost one October game since the start of October, 2006: last year's game at TCU.

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Three UNLV defensive starters remain questionable for tonight's game; lineman Prestom Brooks (shoulder), and linebackers Starr Fuimaono (ankle) and Jason Beauchamp (knee). Fuimaono leads the team in tackles, while Beauchamp is 17th among active FBS players in career tackles. The two have combined for 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks this season.

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If BYU wins tonight, Max Hall will be 26-6 as a starter, tying Jim McMahon (26-4) for second most wins at BYU. Ty Detmer leads with 30 wins as a starter (30-9-2).

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