Cougar Connections

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You all know that BYU head coach Bronco Mendenall played (1986-1987) and coached (1989-90, 1995-96) for bowl foe Oregon State, but there are some other scattered connections between the two programs.

BYU RB Harvey Unga has two cousins on the OSU squad; twins Devin "Uani" Unga, and Kevin "Feti" Unga. The OSU Ungas also list former Cougars Reno Mahe and Fahu Tahi as cousins.

The Unga twins are both linebackers; Uani played 12 games with 11 tackles, while Feti played 11 games and recorded 18 tackles, including a half tackle for loss.

The OSU Ungas are two of six players from Hawaii's Kahuku High School, which also produced a handful of current Cougars, including WR Spencer Hafoka.

There are two Beavers who played their high school football in Utah; junior starting DT Stephen Paea, a Californian who played a single season at Timpview before moving on to Snow College, and senior backup DT Sioeli Nau, a Spanish Fork native who played for the Dons and later at Snow--Nau served an LDS mission to Panama.

BYU starting Buck linebacker Shawn Doman is from Woodburn, Oregon and played at Canby High School, where he played with current Beaver offensive lineman Burke Ellis. OSU coach Mike Riley was one of the first coaches to offer Doman a scholarship.

BYU WRs Mitch and Marcus Mathews hail from Beaverton, Oregon. Mitch is on the BYU scout team and plans to serve an LDS mission after the season; Marcus is back off his mission and joins the Cougars next season. Both brothers were recruited by OSU.


Offensively, BYU and OSU are fairly evenly matched; both teams are ranked in the top 30 in passing (BYU-12th; OSU-21st), total (BYU-18th; OSU-28th) and scoring offense (BYU-12th; OSU-22nd). Both rushing attacks are ranked in the 60s.

Defensively, BYU is a little stingier, by the numbers; the Cougars 35th in total defense and 34th in scoring defense--the Beavers are 50th and 51st, respectively.

Individually, QBs Max Hall (3rd) and Sean Canfield (15th) are both in the top 15 in pass efficiency. Hall is 14th in total offense; Canfield is 38th.

BYU's leading running back is Harvey Unga at 92.4 yards per game (37th nationally); the Beavers are paced by TB Jaquizz Rodgers, at 114.8 ypg (17th).

Rodgers' brother James (starting flanker) is the Beavers' leading receiver in both catches (7.3/gm; 12th nationally) and yards (83.4 ypg; 24th). TE Dennis Pitta leads BYU in catches and yards.

The Beavers play a 4-3 defense; on offense, OSU operates a single-back spread; the TEs have accounted for only six receptions, while the speedy Rodgers brothers have a combined 161 receptions on the season.


Other stat stuff--

: BYU leads the nation in 3rd down conversion percentage (55.5%); Oregon State isn't bad, ranked 15th at 47.3%. Defensively, BYU allows 39% of third down attempts to be converted (60th); OSU allows 35.5% (30th).

: Oregon State leads the nation in red zone efficiency (52/54; 39 TDs, 13 FG); BYU is 20th in the red zone (50/57; 44 TDs, 6 FG).

: Oregon State also leads the nation in fewest giveaways, with eight on the year. OSU's two fumbles are also the fewest nationally. The Beavers rank 113th in takeaways, with only 14, but thanks to their ball security, they have a turnover margin ranking of 27th. BYU is 66th in the margin (22 giveaways, 21 takeaways).


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