jchristiansen | Posted: 10 Oct 2011 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU vs. Oregon State Game Notes - Game 7

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BYU will play at Oregon State on Saturday, Oct. 15, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live from Reser Stadium in Corvallis on Fox College Sports Pacific and KBYU and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com. The game will also be rebroadcast on BYUtv at 7 p.m. PT and ROOT Sports Northwest at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be available online at byutv.org.

BYU (4-2) vs. Oregon State (1-4, 1-2 Pac-12)
Oct. 15, 2011
1 p.m. PT
Reser Stadium
Corvallis, Oregon

For the complete BYU vs. Oregon State game notes, download the attached PDF file below.

- BYU will go on the road for the first time since Sept. 10 after hosting four-straight home games. The Cougars have not traveled to the state of Oregon since 1990 when BYU lost at Oregon, 32-16. The last time BYU has traveled to Oregon State was in 1978, claiming a 10-6 victory.
- Oregon State marks the Cougars’ second opponent against a Pac-12 school after facing Utah earlier this year. BYU has played four schools from three BCS automatic qualifying conferences (Pac-12, Big 12, SEC) and schools from five conferences total (also C-USA and WAC).
- BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall was a two-year starter with the Beavers from 1986-87 at safety and linebacker and was team captain his senior year. Mendenhall also began his coaching career at OSU as a grad assistant in 1989 before joining the Beavers’ staff full-time in 1995 as first the defensive line coach and later defensive coordinator.
- After playing its latest game since 1999 last week in an 8:17 pm MT kickoff time, the Cougars will kickoff at 2 pm MT against Oregon State, their earliest kickoff of the season.
- BYU’s Justin Sorensen was named Independent Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts against San Jose State. A sophomore from South Jordan, Utah, Sorensen had a perfect day from the placement spot as BYU extended its victory streak to three games with a 29-16 home win over San Jose State. Sorensen was 2-for-2 on field goal attempts (hitting from 42 and 45 yards) and made all three of his PATs. On the season, Sorensen is now 9-for-11 on FGs and 13-for-13 on PATs.

BYU and Oregon State have played nine times in program history with the Beavers holding a 5-4 edge in the series. The last time the two teams faced each other was in the 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, when both teams were ranked in the top 20 for the first time in the bowl’s history. The Cougars handled Oregon State 44-20 on a December 23rd evening that featured cold and rainy conditions, as well as 55-mph gusts on occasion. A senior-laden BYU team dominated from start to finish, led by quarterback Max Hall tossing three touchdowns. Senior tight ends Dennis Pitta and Andrew George led BYU in receiving with 45 and 46 yards, respectively. Pitta caught a touchdown pass and senior running back Manase Tonga caught one touchdown and rushed for another. Senior linebacker Matt Bauman also recovered a fumble and returned it 34 yards for the first-ever fumble return for a touchdown in BYU bowl history. Senior safety Scott Johnson intercepted a pass and returned it 56 yards to set up the Cougars’ final score of the game.

Both BYU and Oregon State are familiar with the Unga family. While Cougar fans will always remember the all-time leading rusher, running back Harvey Unga, now they will get to know his cousin, Uani Unga who transfered last year from Oregon State to the Cougars. Uani, redshirting this year, has a twin brother, Feti who is a starting linebacker and team-leader in tackles this year for the Beavers. The Ungas are also cousins with former BYU stars such as Fahu Tahi and Reno Mahe.

The Cougars have four players from the state of Oregon and some saw significant recruting effors from the Beavers. Tight end Marcus Mathews is from Beaverton, along with freshman offensive lineman Devon Smith. Beaverton is 68 miles away from Oregon State’s home of Corvallis, while linebacker Seth Probert is from Lebenon just 18 miles away. Running back Ryan Folsom comes from Medford, about 156 miles away. Though not from the the state of Oregon, Cody Hoffman is from Crescent City, Calif., a small city in the northern part of the state, just about 20 miles from the Oregon border and around 200 miles from Corvallis.

BYU hasn’t had many quarterbacks with Riley Nelson’s skill set of running and passing. It’s a short list but Nelson has a chance to make some noise on the career quarterback-rushing leaders for the Cougars. In fact, he is sneaking up on former BYU quarterback and current offensive coordinator Brandon Doman’s mark on the list.

BYU Career Quarterback Rushing Yards
1. Carter, Virgil (1964-66) 1,225 yards
2. Young, Steve (1981-83) 1,084 yards
3. Doman, Brandon (1998-01) 632 yards
4. Nelson, Riley (2009-) 405 yards

Quarterback Riley Nelson played his first career full game for BYU against San Jose State. The completed 14 of 24 passes for 219 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Nelson set new career-highs last week against Utah State but after a four quarters of continuous play, Nelson broke those personal bests again, setting new career marks in passing completions, attempts, yards and touchdown passes. Nelson also added 65 rushing
yards on nine attempts.

Running back Michael Alisa had only seen limited time before San Jose State but after weeks of solid practice the coaches decided to give him more opportunities. Alisa responded with 91 yards on 16 carries to emerge as the primary ball carrier vs. San Jose State. The sophomore consistently ran down hill for power and broke tackles to pick up yards. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry and had a long run of 14 yards. Alisa set career highs in rushing yards and attempts. Before his two-year mission, Alisa played mostly linebacker along with some running back for the Cougars.

Running back Bryan Kariya got his first receiving touchdown in LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night on a 1-yard grab. Tight end Richard Wilson
caught his first-career touchdown on an 21-yard reception for a score against the Spartans. The week prior, tight end Marcus Mathews and BYU had a
number of firsts in the game against Utah State. It was the first time Mathews caught a touchdown pass as a Cougar, coming in dramatic fashion with
11 seconds left and off a deflected ball. It was also the first tight end touchdown reception this year. It was also the first time BYU had two passing touchdowns this year and the first time wide receiver Cody Hoffman caught a touchdown pass this year.

Team defense has been the key to BYU’s success so far this season as only two players have recorded double digit tackles in any game. Spencer Hadley did against Texas with a team-high 12 tackles and Brandon Ogletree finished with 10 against San Jose State. Eight Cougars currently have 20 or more tackles on the season, with Ogletree leading the way with 37 total tackles despite missing one game due to a concussion. Three BYU defenders (Kyle Van Noy, Daniel Sorenson, Uona Kaveinga) are tied for second on the team with 28 tackles.

In one of its best performances of the season, the BYU defense held the San Jose State running attack to just eight yards on seven carries in the first quarter and 13 yards on 12 carries in the first half. The 1.1 yards-per carry average for SJSU is the lowest per-carry average for a BYU opponent in a first half this season. The 13 yards rushing gained is also the lowest total for an opponent in a first half this season against the Cougars. The performance helped the BYU rushing defense move up 15 places in the NCAA rankings, from 78th to 63rd.

After the fifth game of the season againt Utah State, the BYU special teams unit improved in nearly every statistical category. The BYU kickoff teams have led the Cougars so far this season, as the return defense ranks 16th in the NCAA and the return team ranks 24th in the nation. Punter Riley Stephenson currently ranks 31st in the NCAA in punt average (42.42) and Cody Hoffman ranks 28th in yards per kickoff return (25.47).

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