Kenny Cox | Posted: 20 Sep 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU at UCLA Postgame Notes and Quotes

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The alumni flag was carried by former BYU tight end Byron Rex (1986, 89-92). The team flag was carried by senior running back Adam Hine and the special teams flag was carried by freshman linebacker Rhett Sandlin. The attendance was 67,612.

Game captains against UCLA were senior defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, wide receiver Mitch Mathews and wide receiver Mitchell Juergens.

BYU held UCLA without a third-down conversion in the first half. The Bruins were 0 for 5 on third down in the first half. UCLA finished 1 for 9 on third-down conversions for the night. BYU converted on 8 of 19.

The last time BYU had consecutive games intercepting at least three passes was in 2010. BYU picked off at least three in three straight against New Mexico, Utah and UTEP.

BYU posted 26 first downs in the game, the most in the 2015 season.

BYU allowed a 200-yard rusher for the first time since 2001 with UCLA’s Paul Perkins running for 219 yards. Henri Childs of Colorado State ran for 237 against the Cougars but BYU won 56-34.

The Cougars held the ball for 40:37 to UCLA’s 19:23. The last time BYU had at least 40 minutes of possession time was in a 24-21 win over San Diego State in 2010 with 45:01.

Adam Hiné had career night with personal bests in rushing attempts (23) and rushing yards (149). He also accounted for one touchdown.

Linebacker Harvey Langi played both ways for BYU tonight and had a big night. He led the team in tackles with eight, a career high, and recorded his first and second career interceptions. He also rushed the ball twice on third down, converting both and totaling eight yards, his first carries at BYU.

Tanner Mangum set career highs with 30 completions and 47 attempts. He threw one touchdown pass and one interception. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game this year. He passed for 244 yards. Mangum also had a pass deflected back to him which he caught and ran for four yards, earning him his first career reception.

Kai Nacua recorded his fourth interception of the year after three last week. It was hs sixth of his career.

Trevor Samson connected on all three of his field goal attempts. He hit from 40, 45 and 32. His 45-yarder tied a career long. He has made nine consecutive field goals.

Mitch Mathews caught a pass for the 27th consecutive game. He led the team with nine receptions and 84 yards and one touchdown. 

BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall

Opening Statement:

“Congratulations to Coach Mora and the Bruins.  It was hard-fought all the way to the very end.  I’m really impressed with our quarterback, Tanner [Mangum].  He showed a lot of heart and determination.  I thought we did a nice job for the most part in terms of ball control and moving sticks.  I think third down defensively, we played very well.  The difference in the game was [Paul] Perkins, their running back.  He had a really great game and he was very difficult to tackle.  I thought he was a catalyst for their team.  Harvey Langi on our side, between interceptions and running the football and short yardage, I thought he was fantastic.  Special teams—one of their touchdowns was set up by a long return.  I think they had a slight edge in some of the return game.  It was a great football game—hard fought.  Unfortunately we came up one point short.”

On 4th and 7:
“They had a great pass rush and we were outside the pocket.  Tanner tried to stay alive as long as possible and the receiver was working to get open.  Their defender made a great play.  We’ve been on the other side, and this time they made one more play than we did.”

On using the timeouts early:
“The way the game played out, I can’t say there was a situation where I would’ve loved to have more timeouts.  I would credit UCLA’s tempo and how fast they were going.  I can’t say that down the stretch having those timeouts would’ve changed our format that much.”

On being on this side of a heart-breaking loss:
“It’s the job of the coach and the leader of the team to stay as consistent as possible and teach the lessons that are appropriate, and then get back to work.”

On UCLA’s offense:
“UCLA’s offense was the fastest we’ve seen so far.”

On Josh Rosen:
“I think he’s talented and I think he’s skilled.  He has a bright career ahead of him.  I was really impressed with him.”

On Adam Hine:
“He’s doing a really nice job.  I think he’s just continuing to build momentum and confidence.  He was a little bit injured over the summer, so he didn’t have as diligent of a summer.  It’s just taken him a little bit of time from fall camp till now for him to come into his own.  He’s doing a really nice job though.  I’m impressed.”

On Tanner Mangum:
“He’s exceeding my expectations.  He is amazing.  The game is not too big for him.  Road games, different stadiums, different teams—he’s showing a lot of command for a true freshman.  I’m very impressed.  He’s doing a nice job.”

On the onside kick:
“I wanted to manage the game aggressively.  UCLA was playing at home and ranked 10th in the country.  We think we have a really good football team and we wanted to steal a possession.  And if we could steal a possession, we thought we’d have a great chance.  And we did—it worked just right.”

On BYU’s offensive line:
“I thought they played well.  Adam ran the ball well and they gave good protection.  UCLA came after our quarterback hard. It’s a talented group.”

UCLA head coach Jim Mora

Opening remarks
“We had to overcome a lot to win that game tonight. There was a lot of adversity. It starts with a very good BYU team. They were physical and tough and gave us all that we could handle. We had to overcome one of our players getting ejected from the game, three interceptions and one allowed onside kick. We just stuck to what we feel like we do well, which is run the football and get after the passer. I’m proud of our young men for never blinking, for showing resilience and trusting each other, for playing hard until the end and coming up with a really hard-fought, significant win for this program. We have had some times when we’ve gotten into games like that with teams similar in structure to a BYU and have not come out with a win. Tonight, while we were down seven at half, we never had any doubt that we would grind it out and get a win. It’s a big win for us. I’m excited about it. I’m happy for our players.

On his reaction when Myles Jack intercepted the final pass
“I just wanted him to get down. The game was over. I was excited. We had gone four quarters without a takeaway. When you are negative three in the turnover ratio, it’s tough to win a football game. Even if he had batted it down, we would have won, too. I just wanted him to get down.”

On Paul Perkins
“Paul has had some pretty darn good games. I was impressed with his toughness that he ran with. HE moved the pile forward. He carried the ball a lot. He played a lot. We stuck more with Paul and Nate. I’m not surprised by him playing that way. That’s a really good football player. He’s tough, hard-nosed, determined, all of those things.”

On Kenny Young’s ejection
“They did not explain it to me. I will not ask for an explanation. We will just move on.”

On Josh Rosen making mistakes and what to tell him when he struggles
“Try to keep him calm. You can’t rile him up. Josh performs best when he is calm and under control. You just try and take him back to the basics – footwork, mechanics, progressions, trust. You know, we’ll look back and this will be a great game for him to learn from. Throwing three interceptions in the first half and then the slant and going to Jordan [Payton] to put it right on the money. He didn’t play well, numbers-wise. But when it mattered, he showed exactly who he is. And that is exciting. It’s exciting to know that we have that type of young man at the helm.”

On UCLA’s final offensive drive and what he told Josh Rosen prior
“I talked to him at halftime. I just cracked some jokes with him. I mean, nothing specific to Josh. I think that you can overdo the talking sometimes. He knows what he has to do. That is a smart young man. It was an ugly game for him, but he is going to look back. And that’ll be a turning point for him. You learn through adversity what you are and how to handle it. It’s easy when it’s easy. These clichés, I can just throw them out. When it’s easy, it’s easy. When it’s going south, you have to dig down. You have to find a way to dig yourself out of that. We talked at halftime as a team. There were 119 guys that had his back. Through adversity you grow. He had a lot of adversity tonight in a very high-profile situation.”

On Isaako Savaiinaea playing linebacker
“He did a nice job, and he did a good job on special teams. We had depth here. Isaako going in for Kenny [Young], unexpectedly, that is what we except them to do. We lost Fabian Moreau and put Denzel [Fisher] out there, they were going after him, and we tried to give him a break and put Randall Goforth out there and he did well. It is an all hands on deck type of mentality, and they just have a lot of confidence in each other and in themselves and in Coach (Tom) Bradley. It’s fun to see them secure the win with that interception. We needed to come up with a play.”

On why UCLA kept going to Nate Starks on the final offensive drive
“Paul was tired. That was really it. We were getting ready to put Paul in for that final play, and we were going fast and we had them a little bit. You want to keep the tempo up. Rather than make a substitution where the officials would hold our ability to make another play and let them sub, it was just because Perkins was gassed.”

On Josh Rosen struggling
“I don’t know how it looked like to you guys. He was trying to throw over things, and he couldn’t see as well. They are a big football team on defense. They play with a lot of poise and discipline and they were covering us tight. I think it’s just being a freshman. It’s fighting through some difficult times and adjusting to the speed of the game and the size of the players. He thinks that he can get away with some things that you cannot get away with at this level. While I don’t like that, I also think it’s an amazing sign of his confidence.”

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