Brigham Young University
Sep 26 | 04:00 PM
42 - 23
Colorado State University
LaVell Edwards Stadium

1700 North Canyon Road Provo UT 84604

jchristiansen | Posted: 26 Sep 2009 | Updated: 28 Jul 2023

Cougars Open MWC Play with Win Over Rams


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PROVO -- A quick start in the first quarter propelled No. 19 BYU (3-1) over Colorado State (3-1), 42-23, to open Mountain West Conference play with a win Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 64,091.

The Cougar offense scored all three first quarter touchdowns on drives of less than forty seconds, with each possession taking just two plays thanks to the defensive and special teams units. All three scores came on the ground for the Cougars, the first time BYU has rushed for three touchdowns in a quarter since a 62-41 win against Air Force in 2005.

On Colorado State’s first possession, the Cougar defense stepped up when junior defensive back Brian Logan found himself right in front of a tipped ball by a Ram receiver, intercepting the pass and taking it 20 yards to the CSU 15-yard line. Senior Manase Tonga ran the ball down to the 4-yard line, setting up a touchdown run by junior Harvey Unga.

Junior Andrew Rich picked off Ram quarterback Grant Stucker for the second time in the quarter, snagging another tipped ball to set the Cougars up at midfield. On the first play of drive, quarterback Max Hall hit O'Neill Chambers streaking down the left sideline for a 37-yard pitch-and-catch to the Ram 2-yard line. Hall finished off the drive himself, walking into the end zone for an easy touchdown with three minutes remaining in the quarter.

“We were certainly opportunistic in the first half and made crucial plays through execution in the second half,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “You have to make the right plays at the right time and our players did that. It was a good victory for us.”

The Davey O’Brien candidate Hall added two touchdown passes to his own run, completing 18-of-29 passes for 241 yards and two interceptions.

BYU special teams helped the Cougars score one more time before the end of the quarter with a blocked punt that went out of bounds at the Ram 17. Five Cougars blitzed CSU punter Pete Kontodiakos with sophomore wide receiver Matt Marshall getting a piece of the kick.

Unga rumbled in from five yards for his second touchdown of the game two plays later. The running back shook off the cobwebs of a hamstring injury that plagued him early in the season, adding another run from two yards away for six points in the fourth quarter to finish with three touchdowns and a game-high 113 yards on 22 carries.

“I think it was one step closer to what we’re going to get from Harvey,” Mendenhall said. “He runs hard, runs physical and is a good football player.”

Play slowed in the second quarter, as a three-yard pass from Stucker to Dion Morton gave Colorado State its first points and finished the half down 21-7. Stucker’s arm kept busy throughout the game, throwing 50 passes, completing 30 for 372 yards and two touchdowns. Tyson Liggett was the main beneficiary, collecting 11 receptions for 156 yards to lead all receivers.

BYU finished with 373 yards of total offense (241 passing, 132 rushing) compared with 438 (372 passing, 66 rushing) for Colorado State. The Cougar defense held the Rams to just 7-of-17 on third down conversions. Scott Johnson led BYU with 12 tackles and Andrew Rich complemented his early interception with 10 tackles.

Coleby Clawson, Vic So’oto and Romney Fuga each picked up sacks for the Cougars. The takedowns by So'oto and Fuga were the first of their careers.

Two Cougars scored their first touchdowns of the season in the second half. Senior tight end Dennis Pitta snagged a catch on third-and-goal from the 18-yard line in the third quarter. The touchdown was the first for Pitta since last year’s contest against Colorado State in November. During the drive, Pitta made four of his five catches on the night and passed Hall of Famer Gordon Hudson to become the Cougars' all-time receptions leader among tight ends with 180.

Sophomore wide receiver Spencer Hafoka scored the first touchdown of his career late in the fourth quarter, catching a short pass from Hall, then cutting and juking for a 24-yard score.

Coach Mendenhall and the Cougars wanted to finish the game strong. “It’s easy if you have a lead to get complacent. I don’t want our team to get comfortable. In the MWC we all know each other and it’s easy to see a lead shrink.”

Box Score (Final)


Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Colorado State...... 0 7 7 9 - 23 Record: (3-1,0-1)

BYU................. 21 0 7 14 - 42 Record: (3-1,1-0)

Scoring Summary:

1st 12:44 BY - UNGA, Harvey 4 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-15 0:39, CS 0 - BY 7

03:04 BY - HALL, Max 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-39 0:37, CS 0 - BY 14

00:25 BY - UNGA, Harvey 5 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-18 0:35, CS 0 - BY 21

2nd 09:56 CS - MORTON, Dion 3 yd pass from STUCKER, Grant (DELINE, Ben kick), 10-63 5:20, CS 7 - BY 21

3rd 06:56 BY - PITTA, Dennis 18 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 10-82 4:33, CS 7 - BY 28

02:51 CS - MASON, Leonard 5 yd run (DELINE, Ben kick), 8-64 3:55, CS 14 - BY 28

4th 14:02 CS - DELINE, Ben 38 yd field goal, 7-40 2:09, CS 17 - BY 28

07:04 BY - UNGA, Harvey 2 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 15-68 6:51, CS 17 - BY 35

05:02 CS - LIGGETT, Tyson 13 yd pass from STUCKER, Grant (STUCKER, Grant rush failed), 9-83 1:57, CS 23 - BY 35

04:05 BY - HAFOKA, Spencer 24 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 3-28 0:57, CS 23 - BY 42


FIRST DOWNS................... 26 20

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 28-66 34-132

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 372 241

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 50-30-2 29-18-2

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 78-438 63-373

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-2 2-22

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 6-140 3-69

Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-0 2-20

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 5-34.4 4-51.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-0 1-0

Penalties-Yards............... 6-52 10-117

Possession Time............... 33:19 26:41

Third-Down Conversions........ 7 of 17 11 of 16

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 2 0 of 0

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-5 5-5

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-8 3-35

RUSHING: Colorado State-MASON, Leonard 12-51; MOSURE, John 11-41; PAUGA,

Zac 2-10; STUCKER, Grant 3-minus 36. BYU-UNGA, Harvey 22-113; TONGA, Manase

1-11; HALL, Max 8-4; DI LUIGI, JJ 1-4; KARIYA, Bryan 1-3; TEAM 1-minus 3.

PASSING: Colorado State-STUCKER, Grant 30-50-2-372. BYU-HALL, Max


RECEIVING: Colorado State-LIGGETT, Tyson 11-156; MORTON, Dion 5-43;

PEITZ, Eric 4-48; PAUGA, Zac 4-26; MOSURE, John 3-51; YEMM, Matt 2-29; GREER,

Rashaun 1-19. BYU-PITTA, Dennis 5-59; CHAMBERS, O'Nei 3-70; ASHWORTH, Luke 2-24;

JACOBSON, McKay 2-21; KARIYA, Bryan 2-9; HAFOKA, Spencer 1-24; DI LUIGI, JJ

1-14; TONGA, Manase 1-13; GEORGE, Andrew 1-7.

INTERCEPTIONS: Colorado State-KAWULOK, Michae 1-0; OPPENNEER, Nick 1-0.

BYU-LOGAN, Brian 1-20; RICH, Andrew 1-0.

FUMBLES: Colorado State-STUCKER, Grant 1-0. BYU-HALL, Max 1-0.

SACKS (UA-A): Colorado State-GIPSON, Chris 2-0. BYU-SO'OTO, Vic 1-0;

CLAWSON, Coleby 1-0; FUGA, Romney 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Colorado State-KUBIAK, Klint 5-7; SMITH, Elijah-B 5-4;

THOMAS, Gerard 3-3; GIPSON, Chris 2-4; SKELTON, James 3-2; SISSON, Mychal 2-2;

WILKINSON, DeAn 2-2; OPPENNEER, Nick 1-3; MILLER, Guy 1-2; KAWULOK, Michae 1-2;

MACON, Cory 1-1; ZICK, Scott 1-0; FORD, Travis 1-0; TEAM 1-0; LATU, Nuku 0-1;

JAMES, C.J. 0-1; MARTINEZ, Adria 0-1; OWENS, Brandon 0-1; WHITTIER, Ty 0-1;

MORTON, Dion 0-1. BYU-JOHNSON, Scott 10-2; RICH, Andrew 6-4; CLAWSON, Coleby

4-5; FUGA, Romney 3-6; LOGAN, Brian 3-5; DOMAN, Shawn 2-6; BRADLEY, Brando 3-2;

HOOKS, Terrance 2-2; OGLETREE, Brand 2-1; BAUMAN, Matt 1-2; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-1;

PENDLETON, Jord 0-2; DENNEY, Brett 0-2; MENDENHALL, Zek 1-0; THOMAS, Steven 1-0;

SO'OTO, Vic 1-0; MEES, Carter 1-0; NELSON, Grant 1-0; HUNTER, Shane 0-1; HOLA,

Tevita 0-1; TE'O, Shiloah 0-1; PACE, John 0-1; MARSHALL, Matt 0-1; GASKINS,

Brende 0-1.


File Attachments

Anonymous | Posted: 21 Sep 2009 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Game Notes: Rams Visit as BYU Opens MWC Play


After posting a 2-1 nonconference record to start the season, the Cougars will open Mountain West Conference play against Colorado State on Saturday. BYU has a 12-game home win streak in league contests, eclipsing the old mark of six held by Utah and Colorado State. The Cougars last suffered a MWC loss on Nov. 19, 2005 in a 41-34 overtime thriller to Utah.

The Cougars are coming off a 54-28 loss to Florida State in their home opener last week, while the Rams come to Provo after defeating Nevada, 35-20. Saturday also marks CSU’s conference opener.


Saturday’s game will be broadcast live to a national television audience on The Mtn. James Bates will provide play-by-play coverage, with Todd Christensen lending analysis. Sammy Linebaugh will report from the sidelines. Bates was an All-Southeastern Conference linebacker at the University of Florida and captain of the Gators’ 1996 national championship football team. Christensen was a standout at BYU before launching an NFL career, playing as a tight end with the Cowboys and the Raiders. Linebaugh is a former news reporter for KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and has worked as a freelance reporter before joining The Mtn. as a reporter. The game will mark the first of seven BYU games available on The Mtn. during the 2009 season.


- With a win at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday the Cougars would extend their MWC home win streak to 13 games--extending its conference record.

- A win would give BYU a 6-1 record in its past seven MWC openers.

- A win would improve the Cougars’ season record to 3-1. Before its 6-0 record to open the 2008 season, the last time BYU had a 3-1 start or better was in 2001, when the program posted four consecutive wins over Tulane, Nevada, California and UNLV.


The Cougars hold an all-time record of 37-27-3 against the Rams, including their most recent 45-42 victory in Fort Collins in 2008. These two teams first met in 1922 when CSU posted a 33-0 shutout victory over BYU. The Rams went on to win the first six meetings, until BYU finally pulled out a 20-12 home win in 1938. The Cougars have won the past five matchups, as well as 18 of the past 23 meetings in Provo, dating back to 1957. In those 18 games, BYU has averaged 34.2 points.

LAST TIME: BYU 45, CSU 42 (NOV. 1, 2008)

The frequent cannon blasts from the south end zone after each score rocked Hughes Stadium all night, but the real fireworks were on the field where No. 17 BYU defeated Colorado State 45-42. With the win the Cougars improve to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the Mountain West Conference while the Rams fall to 4-5 and 2-3.

Just as he had the week before against UNLV, Hall led BYU on a come-from-behind drive for the winning score. The drive covered 76 yards in six plays and took just 1:14 on the clock. It was capped by a 17-yard strike to Pitta with just 22 seconds on the clock.

BYU rolled up 551 yards of total offense to CSU’s 401. Davey O’Brien Award candidate Hall completed 28-of-37 passes for 389 yards and five touchdowns. Collie, who was leading the nation in receiving coming into the game, had nine receptions for 156 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Pitta a Mackey Award candidate, had a career-high 12 catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns, while Unga had 24 carries for 143 yards rushing.


FORT COLLINS -- The CSU Rams collected five Nevada turnovers, including Elijah-Blu Smith’s third interception in three games, and Grant Stucker threw two touchdown passes as the Rams defeated Nevada 35-20 at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.

Smith picked off a Colin Kaepernick pass with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left in the third quarter to put an end to a Wolf Pack drive that could’ve made it a one-score game. Instead, the Rams regained possession and maintained a 21-6 lead.

Stucker finished the game 10-of-20 for 165 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a 35-yard touchdown run with 6:43 left in the game, making the score 35-6. Morton caught his first touchdown of the year, to go with his touchdown pass, on a 49-yarder from Stucker in the third quarter. Mosure ended the day with 18 carries for 99 yards in his first action since being injured in the first half against CU.


- There are five Colorado natives on the BYU roster--defensive lineman Brett Denney (Thornton), tight end Andrew George (Englewood), defensive back Blake Morgan (Greeley) and offensive linemen Nick and Terrance Alletto (Parker).

- The Rams have two Utahns on their roster--quarterback Jon Eastman (Sandy) and offensive lineman Paul Madsen (Provo).

- Brothers, Nick and Terrance Alletto, both attended Ponderosa HS, the same high school as CSU’s quarterback Grant Stucker.

- BYU tight end Andrew George and CSU wide receiver Alex Johnson both graduated from Cherry Creek HS.

- JC transfer Jordan Atkinson came to BYU from Diablo Valley Junior College, the same school as CSU wide receiver Ryan Gardner.


PROVO -- In a barrage of points and offense, Florida State defeated No. 7 BYU, 54-28, to snap the Cougars’ 18-game home win streak in front of 64,209 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Cougar wideout McKay Jacobson had a career day in front of the 13th-straight Edwards Stadium sellout crowd, using a career-long 80-yard touchdown catch to finish with 111 yards, the young sophomore’s single-game best. His score came on the first play of a new BYU possession late in the third quarter, resulting in a scoring drive of 12 seconds.

Senior quarterback Max Hall finished the night 20-for-31 for 306 yards and two touchdowns, but was hindered by three interceptions.

In his first substantial action back from a hamstring injury, junior Harvey Unga led the Cougar ground attack, rushing for 97 yards on 10 carries for 9.7 yards per carry, including his first touchdown of the season minutes into the second quarter.


With the 54-28 loss to Florida State the Cougars are 150-45 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. A ranked BYU team has won 19 of its last 23 games dating back to 2006.

The Cougars’ No. 7 national ranking in the AP Top 25 Rankings after back-to-back wins over Oklahoma and Tulane was their highest since finishing the 1996 season at No. 5. BYU entered the top 10 in the coaches’ poll following Week 2 after earning a ranking as high as No. 7 last season.


BYU won the coin toss before the start of the Florida State game and elected to defer—for the third consecutive week. BYU is now 2-1 when winning the toss.


After a close 14-13 victory over the Sooners in their season opener, the Cougars have won nine consecutive games decided by seven points or fewer. Last season BYU pulled out nail-biters against Washington, UNLV and Colorado State.


In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 34-4 when leading at halftime and 32-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.


Since the Mountain West Conference was formed in 1999, BYU has posted a record of 52-22 against league opponents, marking the most wins of any other conference opponent. The Cougars have also won a league-best four MWC titles (1999, 2001, 2006 and 2007).


The 64,209 fans in attendance for the Cougars’ 54-28 loss to FSU marked the 13th consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1990-92 seasons. Over 380,000 (384,613) fans attended the Cougars’ six home games at Edwards Stadium in 2008, averaging 64,102 fans per game. The last time the stadium was not sold out was against New Mexico on Nov. 18, 2006 when 63,814 fans were in attendance—231 short of a sellout.


Junior running back Harvey Unga needs only 32 more receiving yards to become one of only nine Cougars to record over 1,000 career yards through the air and on the ground. Unga currently has 969 yards receiving and 2,385 yards rushing.

Other Cougars who accomplished this feat are Curtis Brown, Jamal Willis, Lakei Heimuli, Luke Staley, Hema Heimuli, Todd Christensen, Scott Phillips and Fred Whittingham.


BYU’s starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 317 pounds and average 6-feet-4. The front five will be going up against a Colorado State defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-5, 279 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 262 pounds, while the CSU offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-5, 298 pounds per man.


All-American tight end Dennis Pitta caught his first pass of the Florida State game with just over seven minutes remaining in the second quarter for an 11-yard gain. The senior has caught a pass in 33 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 23, 2004 (at Air Force), prior to his mission.


The Florida State game marked senior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen’s 42nd straight career start. During that streak, Jorgensen has started every game of his collegiate career and set a new MWC all-time career sack record at 22.5. His first career start came against Arizona on Sept. 2, 2006.