Kenny Cox | Posted: 19 Oct 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars host Wagner Saturday afternoon

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PROVO, Utah - Finishing up a four-game homestand, the BYU football team hosts the Wagner Seahawks on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on BYUtv from LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Cougars (5-2) are looking to get bowl eligible for the 11th consecutive year under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Wagner, an FCS foe, (0-6, 0-3 NEC) is facing its second FBS Division I opponent of the season. The Seahawks fell to Rice 56-16 in the season opener.

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 11 a.m. MT. 

BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 12:00 p.m. MT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game. 

BYU (5-2) vs Wagner
Saturday, Oct. 24
Kickoff: 1 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
Provo, Utah

BYU Game Notes

Wagner Notes


BYU is playing an FCS team for the 8th time under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. BYU is 7-0, outscoring FCS opponents by an average of 50.3-9.0.

Located in Staten Island, New York, the school was founded in 1883 and first started playing football in 1927. Wagner plays in the Northeast Conference (NEC) at the FCS Division I level. The Seahawks have an all-time record of 398-346-19 with undefeated seasons in 1960, ‘64 and ‘67. Wagner won the Division III national championship in 1987 and moved to the FCS level in 1992. Travel distance for the Seahawks is just shy of 2,000 miles. There are just seven players on Wagner’s roster from west of the Mississippi. 

At 5-2, BYU is seeking its sixth win for bowl eligibility for the 11th consecutive year; every year under Mendenhall. Entering the 2015 season, BYU was one of only 12 programs to earn a bowl invitation each of the past 10 seasons. Of those teams, only Florida State with seven wins has won more than BYU’s six postseason victories over that timespan. The Cougars are tied with Georgia, Oregon, Alabama and LSU with a 6-4 bowl record. BYU is expected to go to either the Las Vegas Bowl or Hawaii Bowl if not selected to a New Year’s Six game.

BYU has outscored its opponents 84-34 in the fourth quarter this year. BYU scored 20 or more points three times in the fourth quarter this year (Boise State, UConn and Cincinnati). The Cougars had never had 20-plus points in the fourth quarter in two games in any season under Mendenhall, let alone three. BYU has hit the 20-point mark in the fourth quarter in seven total games under Mendenhall. It marks the first time BYU has scored 20 or more fourth-quarter points in three games since the 1988 season, Ty Detmer’s redshirt freshman year.

In 2014, the Cougars were 4-0 when notching at least three sacks in a game. In 2015, they are 5-0. Since 2005, BYU is 46-2 when notching three or more sacks in a single game.


Bronco Mendenhall  (VIDEO LINK: Monday Presser)

This was a really good win for our team. I was proud of the way they came back and how resilient special teams played. It was probably their best game of the year–I think consistently and through all phases. Again the punt return by Garrett Juergens was a real catalyst for our team and just a lot of really positive things. We have gained significant momentum looking forward to our next opponent and we'll go from there.

What's the biggest challenge when you face a team that's struggled like Wagner?

I think the biggest challenge will be probably managing the external environment. Inside, our message will continue to be working on improving, which we think there’s plenty of room to improve. I don’t think the players will see, feel or acknowledge anything that’s different from us this week, but I know from the outside it won’t be presented as such. I think our players, like anyone, are impressionable, so it’ll be a different kind of challenge in having to show as much or more maturity as if maybe there was a ranked opponent coming in. It's just a different kind of challenge. And I’m sure the team from Wagner will do the very best they can and the kids will play hard and it’ll be a great opportunity for them to see if they can upset a team like us, but our focus is really just on how much we can improve and what else we can do to continue to gain momentum through our season.

How do you gauge improvement this week?

Usually by what I see daily: execution-wise in practice, what I see mindset-wise, what I see in terms of work ethic and consistency, and usually that manifests on Saturday, not always, but usually. But really I notice it more not just as a one day thing, but just as a weekly progression. That’s where I find the most solace. Our staff meetings are the same, our mindset is the same, waking up, everything’s the same: it’s just the next opponent.

Thought of having Tanner sitting out this week:

Not from me. I think that we’ll all do the best we can to play the best game possible and the same would be for our quarterback. We’ll make our decisions as the goes based on how it goes, but I don’t intend to give him a play off, a day off, a week off. I intend to help him get better if possible. And we’ll just manage the game as we see it.

Is it a good move playing this game?

We’ll find out. I’m looking to play the best teams possible on the biggest stages, so I think it is a good move. To have an SEC opponent late in the year is big. I think it matters. A lot of unique movement has to happen to get an SEC team in, but I think it was worthwhile. Talk to me in a couple weeks; I may have changed my mind. Right now, it seems like a good idea.

Tejan Koroma, C, So.  (VIDEO LINK: Monday Presser)

On being down two starters and not giving up any sacks:

That’s always the goal of any game, but we knew going into this game that Tanner was hurting a little bit, so we wanted to make his job as easy as possible. We tried to give him as much time as possible to make it easier.

On the defense's eight sacks:

I’m not surprised. Our defense is great. There are athletes on that side of the ball. I’m proud of those guys.

On maintaining focus this week:

Every team is going to play as hard as possible. We have to look at this game as another game to get better and another opportunity to get ready for future opponents.

On seven consecutive games:

It is a little tough on your body, but you have to utilize the ice tub a bit. I live in there right now. The bye will be nice to get our legs underneath us, but I always want to be playing football.

On results from the Cincinnati game:

I think as a whole offensive line, I think we did really well. It was the first time that we gave up no sacks, so we’re really proud of that. There’s always stuff you can improve on, so we’ll look to get better week by week.​

Tanner Mangum, QB, Fr.

On his injury:
I'm getting a lot better. Day by day it gets better and I get stronger and stronger. During the game, we got the job done. The first half I was thinking about it too much. I was a little worried and playing a little tentatively. The second half I realized I didn't need to worry about it as much and I could just play and that helped me play better. It will be the same throughout the week. I'll keep rehabbing it and continue to strengthen it and then we'll be good to go. Mentally, I'm not worried about it.

Changing the slow start:
It comes down to execution and we've proven we can do it. Now it's just a matter of doing it more consistently. Throughout the week we'll work on starting off strong-- the beginning of practice, beginning of drills, beginning of reps-- we'll be doing the best we can to execute cleanly. That will spread throughout the game. We don't want to be a second-half team or a fourth-quarter team. We want to be a four-quarter team. That just comes down to us and our level of execution and being able to make those plays when we need to, especially on those third downs. That's the key to starting fast, being able to convert those third downs and keep those early drives going.

Biggest adjustment as QB:
There's a lot of things to work and improve on. The biggest adjustment would be being more confident in my decision making. Driving back in the pocket and not worrying about the rush or the coverage in getting hurried, but staying calm in the pocket and being calm on my reads and going through my decisions, knowing I'm seeing the defense and reading the coverage and completing the throw. In the beginning I got a little bit anxious, but now I'm feeling more and more confident.

Bronson Kaufusi, DL, Sr. 

The message was we have to improve with the game this week. We’re going to go out and play a game. We need to go out and execute and continue to improve day by day.

On his three sacks:

No sack is an easy one, but Coach put us in great positions to do that. We had some new blitzes and also we were able to pick up on their little cues so that we could know when they were going to pass on earlier downs.

On seven consecutive weeks of football:

It’s been fun. It’s just one game after the other, but you just keep going. I think that’s something that all of us are used to. We’ve been doing that our whole lives growing up playing sports, just playing one after the other. It’s making the season fly by.

On his season and progression so far:

I’m happy so far, but I’m also hungry. I want to improve. I want to get better and get after the quarterback more. I want to make more plays and cause more turnovers.

Being a captain and motivating the team:

It has definitely contributed a lot. During games if we get down, I know my teammates are looking at me. They’re looking at my body language, and what I’m saying and what I’m doing. I’ve been in some tough games before and it’s my responsibility to show guys that haven’t been there before how to keep going and not take their foot off the gas.

On the spirit of punter Jonny Linehan:

I knew Jonny before he game to BYU. I was there in New Zealand in his home ward as a missionary. We would take him out to teach with us, and he’s the same as he is now. He’s a fireball. He’s always been like that. Having him boot the ball well is great. It’s fun to see him out there. I think the guys have more fun with him around.

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