2009 Post-Game Bowl Notes
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LAS VEGAS - 2009 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Game Notes
The 18th edition of the game was the first to feature two ranked teams playing each other as 15/14 BYU took on 16/20 Oregon State. The Cougars broke their own record set just last year as the highest-ranked team to ever compete in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. The Cougars were ranked 16/17 coming into last year's game.
The game marked the first meeting between the teams since 1986 and despite BYU's 44-20 win on Tuesday night, OSU still leads the all-time series between the two, 5-4.
BYU, the home team, wore a throw-back jersey with lighter-colored blue jerseys to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Cougars' 1984 national championship team.
BYU was making its fifth consecutive appearance at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (more than any team) and raised its record to 3-2, which means they now have more wins than any team in the game's history. Interestingly, the Cougars have played a different Pac-10 opponent in all five games.
After a beautiful weather week for bowl events featuring above-average temperatures, the game itself was played in severe winds (speeds at 44 MPH, gusts to 55 MPH), which led to the cancellation of the pregame pyrotechnic show as part of team introductions.
All tickets were sold to the game, which marked a fifth consecutive sellout for the bowl with a crowd of 40,018. That number ranked fifth in bowl history.
The MWC's record in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas improved to 7-4, which is the most for any league. Also, teams now making up the Mountain West are a combined 8-6 in history, which includes appearances by UNLV (1994), Air Force (1997) and San Diego State (1998) while they were members of other leagues.
The Pac-10 Conference's record in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas dropped to 5-5 all-time.
OSU's record in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas fell to 1-1. The Beavers cruised past New Mexico 55-14 in their previous appearance in 2002.
Linebacker Matt Bauman returned a fumbled backward pass by OSU for a 34-yard touchdown to give BYU a 14-7 lead in the first quarter. It marked the third fumble recovery for a touchdown in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas history (Keith Washington of UNLV had a 15-yarder vs. Central Michigan in 1994 and Bryce Fisher of Air Force went a record-long 45 yards on his return vs. Oregon in 1997).
With the wind at his back in the second quarter, BYU punter Riley Stephenson's hit a 60-yard punt in the second quarter that was the longest of his career and the second-longest in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas history (66 by Brian Schmitz of North Carolina vs. San Diego State in 1998).
Meanwhile, kicking into a stiff wind, OSU punter Johnny Hekker had two second-quarter punts that each netted just six yards.
BYU senior QB Max Hall earned the 2009 Rossi T. Ralenkotter MVP Trophy after completing 19-30 passes for 192 and three touchdowns through the air.
BYU defensive back Scott Johnson's 56-yard interception return broke the bowl's record by one yard (Desmar Black of New Mexico went 55 yards vs. UCLA in 2002).
BYU GAME NOTES
BOWL RECORDS FALL
The following BYU bowl records were broken in BYU's 44-20 win over Oregon State tonight:
- Linebacker Matt Bauman's 34-yard fumble recovery touchdown return marked BYU's first fumble recovery score in bowl history
- Riley Stephenson's career-long 60-yard punt in the second quarter tied a BYU bowl record also held by former Cougar Jesse Soward (1999 Motor City Bowl)
- Kicker Mitch Payne's six point-after attempts tonight breaks the previous record of five held by both Kurt Gunther (1981 Holiday Bowl) and Jared McLaughlin (2006 Las Vegas Bowl)
- Payne also ties the PATs made record (5) shared by Gunther and McLaughlin in those same games and helps him set a new bowl career record with 10
- Running back Harvey Unga's 24 carries tonight surpasses the previous record of 19 held by Jeff Blanc (1974 Fiesta Bowl)
- After his performance tonight, Unga has 58 bowl career carries (2007-09), passing Jim McMahon's 34 (1978, 1980-81)
- After running for 76 yards tonight, Unga has 163 bowl career rushing yards (2007-09), passing Curtis Brown's 148 (2005-06)
BYU'S BOWLING RECORD
The 2009 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl marked the Cougars' 28th overall bowl appearance. With the win over Oregon State, BYU now has a post-season bowl record of 10-17-1.
FEELS LIKE HOME
Including the today, the Cougars have played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas a total of 16 times, including eight times in the past five years. The Cougars are 12-3 when playing at Sam Boyd Stadium, including a record of 8-0 against UNLV, 3-2 in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and 1-1 in the WAC Championship.
Senior linebacker Matt Bauman recovered an Oregon State fumble, his first this season, with 1:41 to play in the first quarter, returning it for a 34-yard touchdown, increasing the BYU lead to 14-7. Linebacker Jordan Pendleton's hit on OSU ball carrier Jacquizz Rodgers marked the Beaver's first career fumble. The score was only BYU's second touchdown off a fumble recovery this season, the first being a 12-yard return by Pendleton during the Tulane game.
Senior linebacker Shawn Doman recovered his fourth fumble of the season with 12:59 remaining in the game. The offense needed only one play to reach the endzone as quarterback Hall found senior Manase Tonga for a 15-yard touchdown reception to increase the lead 37-7.
The Cougars have now recovered 10 fumbles in 13 games.
As a further tribute to recognize the 25-year anniversary of BYU's 1984 National Championship season, BYU wore royal blue uniforms today. The team wore the school's old royal-colored uniforms in its final home game against Utah to honor the 1984 team. They will later be available for purchase via auction on BYUCougars.com to help fund athletic scholarships.
UNGA PUTS UP POINTS
Junior Harvey Unga scored BYU's first touchdown of tonight's game off a 1-yard run with 2:47 to play in the first quarter, tying the score 7-7 after the made PAT. Unga has accounted for the Cougars' first six points in seven games this season.
BYU won the coin toss today and elected to receive, marking the eighth time this season the Cougars have won the toss. BYU is now 6-2 when losing the toss.
COMPETING AS A RANKED TEAM
With today's win the Cougars improve to 159-46 when nationally ranked in the Top 25. A ranked BYU team has won 28 of its last 33 games dating back to 2006.
11-2 THROUGH 13 GAMES
Bronco Mendenhall has led BYU to 11-2 records in three of four seasons, while earning 10 wins in 2008. With the win over Oregon State, the Cougars match the 11-2 record they earned in 2006 and 2007, marking the 11th time in program history. Never before has a BYU coach led his team to four consecutive seasons of 10-plus wins.
BYU has a tradition of selecting a player before each game to run the team flag onto the field, as well as a former Cougar to carry out the alumni flag. As part of the 25-year anniversary celebration of BYU's national championship, each alumni chosen to carry out the flag this year will be a member of the 1984 team.
Carrying the team flag today was senior linebacker Dan Van Sweden with former BYU offensive lineman Dave Wright carrying the alumni flag. Wright was an All-WAC selection who played for the Cougars form 1981-85.
Consensus All-American tight end Dennis Pitta caught his first pass of the game, a 10-yard completion, with 5:48 to play in the first quarter. The senior has caught a pass in 43 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 23, 2004 (at Air Force), prior to his mission. Those 43 games extend a BYU program record previously held by wide receiver Glen Kozlowski (1981-85) with 38.
HE WHO SCORES FIRST...
Oregon State was the first to score today on a 1-yard touchdown rush with 8:45 remaining in the first quarter. The Cougars' opponents have been the first to score in seven games this season, the others being Oklahoma, Florida State, Utah State, TCU, New Mexico and Utah. The Cougars are 5-2 in those seven games.
Today marked senior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen's 52nd 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 in 2008 with 22.5. Jorgensen's first career start came against Arizona on Sept. 2, 2006.
SCORING HALL PASSES
Quarterback Max Hall recorded three touchdown passes against Oregon State today, giving him 33 on the year. Those 33 touchdown passes have been to 10 different members of the BYU receiving corp. Hall threw a touchdown pass in 36-of-39 career games, including all 13 games this season.
DON'T LOOK BACK
In the Bronco Mendenhall era, BYU is 43-4 when leading at halftime and 41-1 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
Mendenhall's teams have won 28 straight games when leading by at least 14 points at the halftime break, 75 overall as a team. The last time BYU lost a game after leading by at least 14 points at the half was on Oct. 10, 1987 when it lost, 29-27, in its homecoming game against Wyoming.
Defensive back Scott Johnson recorded his fourth interceptions of the season with 4:47 to play in the game, returning it for 56 yards. The turnover resulted in Manase Tonga's second touchdown of the day, an 18-yard run.
The Cougar defense has snagged 14 interceptions through 13 games.
MENDENHALL TEAMS VERSUS RANKED FOES
Under Bronco Mendenhall, BYU is 4-7 vs. ranked foes, with its other wins being a 31-17 victory over No. 15 TCU on Sept. 28, 2006, a 14-13 win over No. 3 Oklahoma on Sept. 5, 2009 and a 26-23 overtime win over No. 21 Utah on Nov. 28. 2009.
MWC COMPLETIONS RECORD HOLDER
Coming into tonight's game, quarterback Max Hall needed only two pass completions to move ahead of BYU's John Beck (885) to become the Mountain West Conference career record holder. The senior surpassed that mark with 5:48 to play in the first quarter on a 10-yard completion to senior All-American Dennis Pitta.
OSU GAME NOTES
Captains for OSU at the start of the game were Sean Canfield, Stephen Paea, Gregg Peat, Keaton Kristick and Suaesi Tuimaunei.
BYU won the coin toss and elected to receive. OSU will defend the north end zone.
Weather was extremely windy at kickoff ? wind from the north at 30 mph with gusts to 42.
The game was televised by ESPN ? broadcasters were Rece Davis (pxp), Mark May and Lou Holtz (analysts) and Quint Kessenich (sideline).
Oregon State Individual Notes
The fumble by Jacquizz Rodgers in the first quarter was the first of his career ? after 621 career touches (517 rushes, 103 receptions, 1 pass).
The blocked PAT by James Dockery in the second quarter was the first for Oregon State since Ben Siegert blocked two in the 2006 Civil War.
James Rodgers' three receptions gives him 90 for the season ? which ties the Oregon State single season record (Mike Hass, 2005).
Jacquizz Rodgers' fourth quarter touchdown was his 22nd of the season ? extending his single season record ? it also ties the OSU single season scoring record with 132 points (Steven Jackson, 2003).
Damola Adeniji tied his career-high with 6 receptions.
Justin Kahut's fourth quarter PAT attempt off of the left upright was his first miss since 9/12/09 at UNLV ? here at Sam Boyd Stadium.