Cougs' Hope to Turn Things Around Against Rebels

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PROVO, Utah -- After suffering its fifth loss of the season on Saturday (Oct. 18 at Wyoming), BYU will look to turn the season around on Saturday, Oct. 25, in Las Vegas. The Cougars (3-5, 2-3) will take on UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium, beginning at 4 p.m. (PT). The game will be broadcast to a regional audience on ABC. The game will be carried locally on KTVX, Ch. 4. UNLV (4-3, 0-2) will enter Saturday's contest following a 28-10 loss against Utah -- its second straight Mountain West loss. The Rebels will be looking for their first league victory, while the Cougars will be competing in their sixth of seven league games.

THE HISTORY: BYU vs. UNLV -- The 11th Meeting
Saturday's game will mark the 11th meeting between the two schools. BYU owns an 8-2 record over the Rebels, having won six of the last seven meetings. The Cougars have never lost to the Rebels in Las Vegas. The Rebels picked up their second-ever victory over BYU last season, marking the first UNLV win since the 1981 season. The two teams first met in the Nikkan Yokohama Bowl during the 1978 season. The Cougars won the first-ever meeting 28-24. As members of the Mountain West Conference, BYU has posted a 3-1 mark over the Rebels. BYU won the first MWC meeting, 29-0. The Cougars won the next two meetings by an average 3.5 points, including a three-point win in 2000 and a four-point victory in 2001.

Television - Saturday's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by ABC. The game will be broadcast locally on KTVX, beginning at 5 p.m. (MT). Eric Collins will call the action with Ray Bentley lending game analysis. In addition, the game will be broadcast live on the ESPN Game Plan.

Radio - Fans can tune to KSL Radio--the 50,000-watt home of the Cougars--and follow the action with the broadcast team of Greg Wrubell, Marc Lyons and Bill Riley.

Internet - A live webcast of the game, which includes play-by-play and up-to-the-minute statistics, can be viewed by logging on to:

In addition, a live audio stream is available at

-Saturday's game will mark the sixth league game for the Cougars, while UNLV has played only two league games. BYU is currently 2-3 in league play, including wins over New Mexico (10-7) and San Diego State (44-36), while UNLV is 0-2 against MWC opponents.

-The Cougars have never lost to UNLV in Las Vegas. Dating back to the 1980 season, BYU is 4-0 against the Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium.

-Both the Cougars and Rebels will enter Saturday's game coming off back-to-back losses.

-BYU head coach Gary Crowton is 1-1 all-time against the Rebels, while UNLV head coach John Robinson is 1-3 against the Cougars.

-Saturday's game will mark quarterback Matt Berry's second game since breaking a bone in his hand on Sept. 13. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound quarterback missed the Cougars' last four games before picking up the start at Wyoming. Berry had surgery to insert screws to repair the fracture on Sept. 14 -- the day after the Cougars' 10-7 win over New Mexico. Berry marked his return throwing for a game-high 225 yards on 21-of-34 attempts.

-UNLV ranks sixth in scoring offense, averaging 20.1 points per game. The BYU defense ranks seventh in the leaugue play, allowing 25.5 points per contest. The Cougars rank eighth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 17.9 points per game, while the Rebel defense ranks fifth, giving up 22.1 points per contest.

-UNLV ranks last in the MWC, averaging 327.3 yards per game, while the BYU defense ranks second, giving up just 306.5 yards per game.

-Defensively, the Cougars lead the Mountain West with 22 sacks for a combined loss of 125 yards. The Rebels rank fifth in the league with 16 sacks for 133 yards on the season.

-With a 3-5 record on the season, the Cougars have been outscored by an average of 7.6 points per contest. The Rebels (4-3) have been outscored by only 2.0 points per contest.

-Saturday's game will mark only the fourth home game of the season for the Rebels, while it will be the Cougars fifth road game.

The BYU offensive line, which includes three seniors and two freshmen, weighs in at a beefy 1,600 pounds, averaging 320 pounds per man. The O-line will be squaring off against a UNLV defensive line (two juniors, a sophomore and a senior) that tips the scales at an average 291.7 per man. On defense, the Cougars' line (three seniors) weighs in at 280.3 pounds per man, while the Rebels' offensive line (three juniors and two seniors) average 299 pounds per man.

The Cougar defense, which ranks 20th nationally and yields 306.5 yards per game, will face a UNLV offense that is eighth in the conference in total offense with an average of 327.3 yards. Rebel quarterback Kurt Nantkes is second in the conference in completions per game with 16.8 and has thrown for 1,308 yards six touchdowns and six interceptions. BYU's defense ranks second in the conference and is tied for 19th nationally with ten interceptions. Jernaro Gilford and John Denney lead the Cougars in interceptions with two a piece. Eight Cougars have at least one interception. Last week against the conference's' top passer, Casey Bramlet, the Cougar defense grabbed two interceptions. In the first six games of the season Bramlet had only yielded two interceptions. The Cougar defense ranks third in the conference in rush defense (126.8 yards) and third in pass defense (179.6 yards).The BYU defense has scored one touchdown on the season. Interestingly, that touchdown came against San Diego State, marking the third straight game at Qualcomm Stadium the Cougars have scored a defensive touchdown ('99, Hans Olson; '01, Isaac Kelley; '03, Colby Bockwoldt.)

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