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Off to a 2-0 start to the 2002 season, including last week's 35-32 victory over Hawaii, the Cougars will take to the road for the first of four straight road games. BYU will travel to Reno, Nevada for the first time since 1939, taking on the Wolfpack at Mackay Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14. Game time is slated for 1:05 p.m. (PDT). The game will mark the seventh meeting between the two schools, dating back to the 1929 season. The Cougars own a 4-0-2 record in the series, including a 52-7 win in Provo last season. BYU is 3-0 against the Wolfpack in Reno, including wins in 1929, 1931 and 1939. While the Cougars have outscored Nevada by an average 9.8 points per game since the series first began, BYU has only outscored the Wolfpack by an average 4.7 points per game in Reno. When last the two teams met in Reno (1939), BYU defeated Nevada 7-0.
SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK
Nevada opened the 2002 season in Seattle, falling to nationally-ranked Washington State, 31-7. The Wolfpack passed for 174 yards, including eight receptions for 58 yards to junior receiver Tim Fleming, who was just one catch shy of his career-high. Senior quarterback Zac Threadgill completed 17-of-30 attempts for 155 yards, also recording three interceptions.Last year's national rushing leader, Chance Kretschmer, carried the ball 26 times for 67 yards, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry. The Wolfpack played four true freshman in their season-opener, including J.J. Milan and Chris Handy on defense, and Anthony Pudewell and Jeff Rowe on offense. Keenan Curtis, a transfer from El Camino College, earned his first start at defensive end, leading the Wolfpack with five tackles, including a tackle-for-loss and a forced fumble. Nevada is under the direction of head coach Chris Tormey, who is 5-19 in three seasons at Nevada. Last year, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 3-8 record, including wins over Hawaii, SMU and UTEP.
The Cougars will depart Provo at 8:30 a.m.(MDT) on Saturday, Sept. 14, arriving in Reno at 8:30 a.m. (PDT). The team will have its pregame meetings and meal at the Ruby River Steakhouse in Reno. BYU will return to Provo via SportsJet immediately following the game.
WHEN LAST THEY MET (BYU 52, Nevada 7; Sept. 1, 2001)
Luke Staley ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns and Brandon Doman threw for 222 yards and one TD, all in the first half, as BYU beat Nevada 52-7 in Provo. One week after a 70-35 win over Tulane, BYU showed its offensive outburst against the Green Wave was no accident. The Cougars led 38-0 and had 432 yards against Nevada by halftime. The BYU defense held the Wolfpack to just 119 total yards in the first half. The Cougars pulled away early in the second quarter. Leading 10-0, the Cougars faced fourth-and-three on the Nevada 44. Doman started left, then pitched to Staley, who sprinted to the endzone for a 44-yard TD. On the Wolfpack's next possession, Levi Madarieta intercepted a deflected pass. Five plays later, running back Brian McDonald-Ashford scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night. Red-shirt freshman Chance Kretschmer rushed for 94 yards on 14 carries, while receiver Nate Burleson caught six passes for 56 yards.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live to a locall television audience on SportsWest, beginning at 1:05 p.m. (PDT). Dave McCann will call the action, with Blaine Fowler lending color analysis. 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
COUGS PERFECT IN PAYBACK OPPORTUNITIES SINCE 1998
Since 1980, BYU has had 62 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 41-21 (.661) record. Since Nov. 7, 1998, BYU has not lost to an opponent in a payback situation, posting a perfect 15-0 record. BYU knocked off Syracuse on Aug. 29, the held off Hawaii on Sept. 6 for two straight payback opportunities this season.
CROWTON HITS MINI-MILESTONE
BYU head coach Gary Crowton, now in his second season at BYU -- his fifth as a college head coach -- coached his 50th career game on Friday (vs. Hawai'i). Crowton has produced a 35-15 (.700) 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. Since arriving in Provo, Crowton has led the Cougars to a 14-2 (.875) record.
ENGEMANN HELPS COUGARS TO 2-0 START
Nearly two years after being sidelined with a shoulder injury, junior quarterback Bret Engemann made his return to the field in the Cougars' season-opener against Syracuse. In his first start since Sept. 30, 2000, Engemann led BYU to a season-opening victory, recording three touchdown completions and running for another in the Cougars' 42-21 victory over Syracuse. Engemann completed a career-high 35-of-54 (.648) attempts for 386 yards, marking the second 300-yard game of his career. In his come-back performance against the Orangemen, Engemann was responsible for four touchdowns on the evening, including a career-high three TD completions and a three-yard run. The 6-foot-5 Provo, Utah, native started things off with an 11-for-15 (.733) performance in the first quarter, racking up 111 yards and a six-yard touchdown strike to Andrew Ord. In the second quarter, Engemann racked up another 105 yards, 10 more completions, and a two-yard pass to Toby Christensen to put the Cougars up 14-7. During the second quarter, he also engineered a school-record 99-yard scoring drive to give BYU a 21-7 lead with 4:53 remaining in the first half. After the half, Engemann kept up his blistering assault on the Syracuse defense, posting 12 more completions on 15 attempts (.800) for 80 more yards. After the Orangemen had tied the score at 21-21, Engemann led the Cougars on a 10-play, 92-yard drive and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard run. On the night, Engemann produced scoring drives of 99, 92, 80, 73 and 71 yards. Against Hawaii, Engemann racked up 26 yards on 21-of-46 attempts, including a touchdown pass to Toby Christensen. Trailing by 10 in the final minutes of the second quarter, Engemann got the Cougars on the board with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard strike to Toby Christensen in the endzone.On the season, Engemann has had just one interception in 100 attempts.
COUGARS RECORD 10th STRAIGHT HOME VICTORY
With a 35-32 victory over Hawaii on Sept. 6, the Cougars extended their home win streak to 10 straight games. The current home win streak dates back to Oct. 26, 2000 (vs. Wyoming). Since Cougar Stadium was renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium on Nov. 18, 2001, the Cougars have never lost a game in Provo, posting a 9-0 record. The current streak marks the longest home win streak for the Cougars since winning 17 straight from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991.á
ATTENDANCE FIGURE RANKS NATIONALLY
The Cougars' season-opener against Syracuse drew a capacity crowd of 65,612 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium, marking the 56th sellout at the stadium (since it was expanded in 1982.) That crowd also marked the 15th largest gathering in the nation on opening weekend. Michigan hosted a national leading 111,491 fans in the Wolverine's season-opener victory against Washington. Interestingly, BYU ranked 12th nationally in accumulated capacity. Edwards Stadium was filled to 100.94 percent of its capacity. In two games this season, the Cougars are averaging a league-leading 64,349 fans per game.
MACKEY WATCH LIST
In addition to being named among those being considered for the Lombardi Award, senior tight end Spencer Nead has been listed as a candidate for the John Mackey Award, which honors the top tight end in the country. Nead is the Cougars' top returning tight end after recording 22 receptions for 266 yards as a junior last season. Nead averaged 12.1 yards per reception and scored five touchdowns.
GILFORD AMONG NATIONAL INTERCEPTION LEADERS
Cornerback Jernaro Gilford currently ranks 12th among active players with seven career interceptions. Louisville's Anthony Floyd leads with 17. Gilford recorded a career-high six interceptions last season, marking the most interceptions in a single season since Jason Walker picked off six in 1998. Gilford has been slowed by a knee injury and has not played in the Cougars' first two games of the season. His status vs. Reno has been listed as probable.
UP OR DOWN
During Saturday's game, the following personnel will be coaching from the sidelines: Gary Crowton (head coach), Robbie Bosco (quarterbacks), Lance Reynolds (offensive line), Ken Schmidt (linebackers), Steve Kaufusi (defensive line) and Brian Mitchell (cornerbacks) and Paul Tidwell (running backs). Mike Borich (wide receivers), Mike Empey (tight ends) and Barry Lamb (safeties) will be in the pressbox.
LOMBARDI WATCH LIST
Three BYU players were originally named to the preseason Rotary Lombardi Award watchlist, which annually honors college football's top lineman. Senior offensive lineman Ben Archibald was on the list, but due to a season-ending injury has been removed. His capable bookend, left tackle Dustin Rykert (6-foot-7, 315) is also a candidate for the Lombardi Award. Senior tight end Spencer Nead has also been listed as a candidate for the prestigious award.
IN THE TRENCHES
The BYU offensive line, which includes three seniors and two juniors, weighs in at a beefy 1,525 pounds, averaging 305 pounds per man. This season's offensive line weighs an average 9.3 pounds heavier per man. The O-line will be squaring off against a Nevada defensive line (three juniors and one sophomore) that tips the scales at an average 254 pounds per man. On defense, the Cougars' line (one senior, two juniors and one sophomore) weighs in at 278.8 pounds per man, while the Wolfpack offensive line (two seniors, two juniors and one sophomore) average 295.6 pounds per man.
BYU's opponents for the 2002 season had a combined 70-70 record in 2001. Four of those teams, including Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Colorado State and Utah, recorded bowl game victories last season. The Cougars open the season against two team that posted a combined 19-6 record. In fact, three of BYU's first four opponents had eight or more wins during the 2001 campaign. Following the first two weeks of competition, BYU opponents have posted a combined record of 11-14 on the season.
written by BYU Athletic Media Relations