Cougs' Prep for Hawaii

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Fresh off a decisive 42-21 victory over Big East power Syracuse, BYU will play host to Hawaii on Friday, Sept. 6. Game time is slated for 5 p.m. (MDT) and will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN. The game will mark the first meeting between the two teams in Provo since the 1997 season. Hawaii ended the Cougars' 12-game win streak last season, knocking off BYU in Honolulu, 72-45. Since the two teams first met in Provo back in 1951, the Cougars have posted a 7-0 home record against the Warriors. Overall, BYU owns an 18-8 record over Hawaii, dating back to 1930. Despite last season's set-back, the Cougars have won six of the last seven meetings between the two schools.


Hawai'i will enter Friday's game against BYU following a season-opening victory in Honolulu over Division-IAA opponent Eastern Illinois, 61-36. UH quarterback Timmy Chang completed 19-of-30 (.633) attempts for 374 yards, while Chad Owens recorded a team-high five receptions for 56 yards. Mike Bass posted a team-leading 35 yards rushing on just four carries. All totaled, the Warriors' run-and-shoot offense produced 578 yards of total offense. Defensively, the Warriors struggled to contain the EIU offense, giving up 475 yards of total offense, including 156 yards rushing and 319 yards passing. The UH defense forced three Eastern Illinois turnovers, including two interceptions and one fumble. Interestingly, the Panthers produced 28 first downs to the Warriors' 23, out-rushed UH, 156 to 125, recorded 94 offensive plays to Hawai'i's 63 and controlled time of possession, 37:40 to 22:20. Hawai'i finished the 2001 season with a 9-3 record, including home victories over nationally ranked Fresno State and BYU. Offensively, the Warriors return five starters from last season's team, while the defense returns eight starters.


(Hawai'i 72, BYU 45; Dec. 8, 2001) Late-game heroics had become a staple for the BYU football team, but late in the season, and having just been snubbed by the BCS, the Cougars ran out of tricks against the Warriors. Led by special teams play and an aerial assault, Hawaii knocked off previously unbeaten BYU 72-45 in the Dec. 8, 2001 matchup in Honolulu. Hawaii jumped out to an early lead behind two kick returns for touchdowns by Chad Owens, all in the first quarter. Owens took the opening kick all the way to the BYU 32-yard-line, returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and for and encore, returned a kickoff the length of the field for a touchdown. BYU lost six fumbles and threw one interception, and it seemed the turnovers would come just when things were looking good for the Cougars. Almost all hopes were dashed for the Cougars by the end of the third quarter, when Hawaii receiver Ashley Lelie caught an 80-yard touchdown pass to take a commanding 58-31 lead. Both teams scored two touchdowns in the final quarter, but despite scoring 45 points, the Cougars were unable to put a dent in the Warriors' lead. The two teams combined for an amazing 1,258 yards of total offense. Despite the loss, Reno Mahe provided an amazing performance, lining up in the backfield and as a receiver. Fighting a hip pointer and an injured knee, Mahe had 14 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Mahe rushed for 69 yards on eight carries.


Friday's game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN, beginning at 5 p.m. (MDT). Jeff Hullinger will call the action, with former BYU standout Todd Christensen lending color analysis. Alex Flanagan will report on the action from the sidelines. Fans can also tune to KSL 1160-AM for all the action. Greg Wrubell, who is in his second season as the play-by-play voice of the Cougars, will be joined by his broadcast partner Marc Lyons. Bill Riley will provide sideline coverage.


Since 1980, BYU has had 61 different opportunities to repay an opponent for a previous loss. When the Cougars face an opponent, having lost in the previous meeting, they have recorded a 40-21 (.656) record. Since Nov. 7, 1998, BYU has not lost to an opponent in a payback situation, posting a perfect 14-0 record. BYU knocked off Syracuse on Aug. 29 for the first of two possible payback opportunities this season.


BYU head coach Gary Crowton, now in his second season at BYU -- his fifth as a college head coach -- will be coaching in his 50th career game on Friday (vs. Hawai'i). Crowton has produced a 34-15 (.694) record in five seasons as a head coach. In his first year at BYU, Crowton led the Cougars to a 12-2 season, marking a five game improvement over the Cougars' 6-6 record in 2000. With a five-game improvement, Crowton's success ranked fifth overall in the nation, and tops among first-year coaches.


BYU and Hawai'i will face two common opponents during the 2002 season, including Nevada and San Diego State. The Cougars will travel to Nevada on Sept. 14, while the Warriors will face the Wolfpack at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 12. BYU will also take on San Diego State on Nov. 2, while the Warriors will take on SDSU in the regular-season finale in Honlulu on Dec. 7. Last season, BYU and Hawaii also had two common opponents. The Cougars were 2-0 against those teams (win against Nevada; win against Air Force), while the Warriors were 1-1 (loss at Nevada; win against Air Force).


Known over the past 20+ years for its All-American quarterbacks, BYU is quickly becoming known for its outstanding tight ends. Senior tight end Spencer Nead is making a solid case to join the ranks of BYU's long line of outstanding tight ends, including Gordon Hudson, Chad Lewis, Itula Mili and Doug Jolley. Nead started the 2002 campaign with a career-high 80-yard performance. Nead was one of three different receivers with five receptions on the night. All totaled three different BYU tight ends, including Gabe Reid and Aisaac Aiono accounted for 133 yards on 11 receptions.


With Andrew Ord's 6-yard touchdown reception vs. Syracuse in the Cougars' 2002 season-opener, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 339 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars don't have a single person on their 2002 roster that was alive the last time BYU was shut out.

written by BYU Athletic Media Relations

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