Brigham Young University
Oct 16 | 06:00 PM
38 - 24
University of Cincinnati
khaner | Posted: 16 Oct 2015 | Updated: 4 Aug 2023

BYU defeats Cincinnati 38-24 after defense sparks fourth-quarter comeback


PROVO, Utah – Facing another deficit, Tanner Mangum led the offense to three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and BYU's defense put the clamps down to come back and defeat Cincinnati 38-24 on Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.


After a rough first half of offense, BYU (5-2) finished the game with 449 total yards to Cincinnati’s (3-3, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) 341 yards. Led by Bronson Kaufusi’s three sacks, the Cougar defense had eight sacks in the game for the first time since 1997 as it stymied the Bearcat offense over the final three quarters. The defense also had 12 tackles for loss.

“It was really a gratifying win today," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "You might question it after one come-from-behind win, or two or three, but it just seems like our team comes alive in the fourth quarter and plays hard and wants to win. I’ve just been amazed and impressed by how they’ve played in the fourth quarter.”

Sione Takitaki led the Cougars with a career high of nine tackles to go along with two tackles for loss while Fred Warner and Sae Tautu each had two stops behind the line as well.

Mangum ended the game throwing 19 of 32 for two touchdowns and one interception. Nick Kurtz led the BYU receivers with 119 yards and two touchdowns on six catches. The running backs split up the load with Algernon Brown running for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Freshman Francis Bernard scored one touchdown and rushed for 60 yards on just four carries.

BYU was unable to connect on offense in the first quarter, allowing Cincinnati to jump out to an early 10-0 lead. Kaufusi came up big with a blocked field goal attempt at the start of the second quarter to set up the offense, but despite a 38-yard reception from Mitch Mathews, the Cougars settled for a 29-yard field goal by Trevor Samson to make it 10-3 with 13:29 until the half.

An interception on the BYU 20-yard line put Cincinnati in a position to score. The defense almost held on with the stop on third down, but a holding penalty gave the Bearcats the first down. Mike Boone rushed five yards to score with 6:50 until the break to push their lead to 17-3.

Two pass interference penalties aided BYU in answering with a scoring drive. The first penalty came early in the drive, setting up big plays from Brown and Kurtz to get the Cougars into scoring position. When faced with a potential fourth down, another pass interference call put the team at first and goal. Brown rushed five yards to score BYU’s first touchdown of the game, making it 17-10 with 4:30 left in the half.

Out of the locker room, BYU’s offense marched down the field to start the third quarter. On fourth and five, Mangum found Colby Pearson for a 16-yard gain to continue the drive. With 9:31 left in the quarter, Kurtz caught his first touchdown of his BYU career on a 19-yard pass from Mangum to tie up the game at 17 apiece.

Penalties plagued the Cougars in the second half as well. A big first-down catch by Kurtz was negated after two separate penalties. The offense was forced to punt a few plays later. After a huge reception by Mathews, a chop block penalty was called, taking away that gain as well. BYU was once again forced to punt.

Cincinnati regained the lead, 24-17, toward the end of the third quarter, but the run game knotted the score again between the Cougars and Bearcats. Bernard ran for 40 yards with a defender on his hip to switch the field position. Then with 10:24 left in the game, Brown scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard carry to tie the score at 24-24.

After stout defense led by another sack from Kaufusi, BYU forced Cincinnati to punt again. Starting on the BYU 47-yard line, Mangum found a wide-open Kurtz for 53 yards and his second touchdown of the night. The Cougars took the lead 31-24 for the first time in the game with 8:14 remaining in the contest.

Bernard rushed 11 yards for his second-career touchdown with 4:35 left to extend the Cougars’ lead to 38-24. This was the third touchdown of the fourth quarter.

BYU looks to continue its winning streak against Wagner at home on Saturday Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and Sirius XM 143.

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admin | Posted: 12 Oct 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU takes on Cincinnati on Friday


PROVO, Utah - BYU football will host Cincinnati in its second Friday game of the year this week. The Cougars will take on the Bearcats at 6 p.m. MT, Friday, Oct. 16 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and online via Watch ESPN.

BYU (4-2) beat East Carolina (3-3, 1-1) last week 45-38. BYU's offense put up 508 total yards and running back Algernon Brown scored four total touchdowns to go along with 134 rushing yards. Cincinnati (3-2, 0-2) is coming off a bye week after defeating Miami 34-23 on Oct. 1.

Fans can tune in for live coverage on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which can be found on 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, Sirius XM 143, and the BYU Cougars app. IMG's radio coverage will begin at 4:00 p.m. MT. 

BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 5:00 p.m. MT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game. 

BYU (4-2) vs Cincinnati (3-2, 0-2 AAC)
Friday, Oct. 16
Kickoff: 6 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
Provo, Utah

BYU Game Notes
Cincinnati Game Notes


The Cougars are taking on Cincinnati for the first time in program history. Cincinnati is the third and final FBS team BYU has on the schedule this season that it has played for the first time. 

BYU is playing its second Friday game of the regular season. The Cougars beat UConn earlier this year 30-13 on a Friday. BYU is 11-4 in Friday games under Mendenhall. 

BYU’s schedule currently ranks No. 4 according to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s latest rankings. Cincinnati checks in at No. 82 in the latest rank. 

Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville has never faced the Cougars as a head coach but will remember a trip to Provo in 1990 as a defensive assistant coach with the Miami Hurricanes. BYU defeated the No. 1 Miami Hurricanes 28-21 behind the arm of quarterback Ty Detmer.  With Tuberville on the staff however, Miami won three national championships, posted an 87-9 record and played in eight consecutive New Year’s Day bowls during his stint from 1986-1993.

BYU is 21-5 against the American Athletic Conference as currently constituted. The Cougars have played Tulsa the most, holding a 7-1 record against the Golden Hurricane. 

Quarterback Tanner Mangum was named to the 2015 College Football Performance Awards Player of the Year midseason watch list. He has also been named one of eight quarterbacks for the Manning Award Star of the Week honoree. Mangum completed 24 of 33 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns to beat East Carolina last week. Fans can vote for Mangum via Facebook.


Bronco Mendenhall (VIDEO)

It was a great win Saturday night. It was a fun homecoming game in front of a great crowd. What an electric college atmosphere and a really good game. I was really impressed with Tanner, our protection for him, and our receivers offensively. The turnovers were great defensively and a key field goal by Trevor Samson were some of the positive takeaways from the game.

On Tanner Mangum:
Tanner’s status is probable at this point. Beau [Hoge] will be working out with the offense the entire week, however, just in case something goes wrong. He’s a different style of quarterback but he’s effective. We like him a lot.

On Mangum’s injury:
We’ll have to plan on him being less mobile out of the pocket and build a plan around that. If he is more mobile, that will be a bonus. But, I think it’s better that we plan on him being less mobile than more.

On returning players:
We’ll have those two players who were suspended back for Cincinnati, and we finally think we’ll get Harvey Langi back as well. Travis Tuiloma saw around 20 plays and was dominant. We kept him out because of the amount of nickel we were playing, but he’ll be getting more playing time this game. Micah Hannemann went out of the game with an injury, but he should be back. Ului Lapuaho should be probable as well. I would put Tanner and him in the same category.

On Cincinnati:
They’re really skilled. They’re similar to ECU, but I would say that they’re a little bit more explosive. I would compare them to Memphis, who we played in the bowl game last year. Similar styles, similar athletes and similar types of programs, so it should be another great college football game and test for us.

On the team’s identity:
Their chemistry is so strong. They think they can win any game and any time. There was one exception that caught us all off guard with Michigan, but that game looks a little better now based off of the way they’re playing. The team likes to play football, they like each other and they’re willing to work harder to get better. It’s a fun team to coach. They whole group is getting better together.”

Mitch Mathews, WR, Sr.

On Resilience:
I feel like in all of our wins there’s been at least some turmoil that we’ve had to pick ourselves up from and move forward. Some have happened the last drive–I think three happened in the last drive. Some of the coaches have expressed to us that this is the most resilient team they’ve seen in a while here at BYU, so that says a lot; that we have a resilient team. BYU always has a resilient team, but there’s something special about this team.

On Cincinnati:
They’re athletic, man, they’re – at least speaking of the defensive backs and the corners – one of them is a lot quicker than the other one, the other is a lot bigger and a lot longer, so they both have different strengths. Some of the coaches who have played them this year have told our coaches that you’ll look at them in warmups, in pregame and across the ball, and they’ll look like an NFL team. They’ll look big, they’ll look really athletic, they wear black, they’ll look sharp and they’ll look good. The team we played this last week was really athletic and really good too, so it’s nothing we haven’t seen. But they’ll be big, they’ll be long and they’ll be tall and they’re a good team.

Ryker Mathews, OL, Sr.

On improving:
The biggest thing we are striving for and always working for is improving our run game so we can have successful runs every play and not one bad, one great and one bad one.

Feeling in the huddle when Tanner came out on the last drive:
It’s a different feeling from having your starting quarterback to your backup quarterback. You know what he’s going to do. When you have a true freshmen who doesn’t know exactly every part of the play, you don’t know what to expect from him. When you have Tanner back there, you know he’s going to make the right decisions. It makes our job easier because we know if we do our job right, we won’t have to worry about Tanner.

On Tanner playing when he was hurt:
He’s a trooper. You could definitely tell he was in a lot of pain. He did it for the team. It says a lot about him, his character and the type of player he is. 

Travis Tuiloma, DL, Jr.

On being referred to as one of the best defensive players on the team:
It’s an honor, but I also know there’s still more that I can improve on. I guess I just need to stay humble, stay grounded and make sure I do my best to help my team win.

Some improvements you want to see in yourself:
I’d say using my hands more in the pass rush instead of just bullrushing. Having more moves and things to work with.

On your plan for Cincinnati:
Just try to crash the pocket as fast as I can since they’re a passing team.

Your preference playing a predominantly passing team vs. rushing team:
I prefer a run stop team, that’s more my forte, what I like to do, what I take pride in–stopping that run.

Graham Rowley, DL, Sr.

On Travis Tuiloma being back:
He’s got one of the most important jobs in the run game because he gets the front side and forces the running back where he should go. From the film that we watched, he was just dominating this game. It’s scary what he can do. We really need him. I’m glad to have him back.

On defense against ECU:
In the first half, I thought we did well. That last drive before the half, they upped their tempo and scored quick. We ran our nickel front with two defensive linemen the rest of the game. I think we could’ve gotten more pressure on the quarterback. We would’ve been able to do more if we would have put that pressure on. But, I thought we did well with all the turnovers. That was honestly the key to our win.

On assignments:
The person that's been stepping up the most lately is Tomasi Laulile. He’s been doing amazing. It may not show up on film or to a fan’s perspective, but he’s our trigger guy. He’s chasing the quarterback down and spying on him. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier for him. It’s great to see him succeed in a big role.​