2008 BYU Cougars Season

Posted Feb 8, 2009

2008 BYU Cougars Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 BYU Cougars

Dec. 20
2008 Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona 31 ... BYU 21

Arizona broke open the tight game with a 37-yard Delashaun Dean touchdown catch midway through the third quarter and a 24-yard scoring grab from Chris Gronkowski to take the lead for good bringing the program its first bowl win since 1998. Willie Tuitama, who threw two touchdown passes, closed out the 21-point run by weaving his way six yards for a score to put the game away. Tuitama connected with Terrell Turner for a 71-yard pass play to set up the first score of the game, a one-yard Nicolas Grigsby run, and picked apart the Cougar secondary in the second half. BYU managed to outgain the Wildcats, and had a 14-10 lead in the third quarter on a one-yard Andrew George catch, but penalties and turnovers proved costly.
Player of the game: Utah QB Brian Johnson completed 30-of-36 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran 13 times for 28 yards
Stat Leaders: BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 30-46, 328 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 17-71, 1 TD. Receiving: Austin Collie, 11-119
Arizona - Passing: Willie Tuitama, 24-35, 325 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Nic Grigsby, 20-87, 1 TD. Receiving: Terrell Turner, 7-111
Inside The Box Score ...
5 Thoughts on the Las Vegas Bowl ... Arizona WR Mike Thomas became the Pac 10's all-time leading receiver making his 259th career catch on the final play of the game. ... BYU WR Austin Collie tied the NCAA record with his 11th straight 100-yard game. He caught 11 passes for 119 yards. ... Penalties: BYU 10 for 76 yards - Arizona 7 for 54. ... Each team had three turnovers.


- 2008 BYU Preview
- 2007 BYU Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record: 10-

Aug. 30 Northern Iowa W 41-17
Sept. 6 at Washington W 28-27
Sept. 13 UCLA W 59-0
Sept. 20 Wyoming W 44-0
Sept. 27
Oct. 3 at Utah State W 34-14
Oct. 11 New Mexico W 21-3
Oct. 16 at TCU L 32-7
Oct. 25 UNLV W 42-35
Nov. 1 at Colorado St W 45-42
Nov. 8 San Diego State W 41-12
Nov. 15 at Air Force W 38-24
Nov. 22 at Utah L 48-24
Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 20 Arizona L 31-21

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 11-2

Sept. 1 Arizona W 20-7
Sept. 8 at UCLA L 27-17
Sept. 15
at Tulsa L 55-47
Sept. 22 Air Force W 31-6
Sept. 29 at N Mexico W 31-24
Oct. 13 at UNLV W 24-14
Oct. 20 E. Wash W 42-7
Nov. 3 Colorado St W 35-16
Nov. 8 TCU W 27-22
Nov. 17 at Wyoming W 35-10
Nov. 24 Utah W 17-10
Dec. 1 at SDSU W 48-27
Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 22 UCLA W 17-16

Nov. 22
Utah 48 … BYU 24
Utah won the Mountain West title as Brian Johnson threw four touchdown passes including two to Brent Casteel, and RB Mat Asiata connected with Chris Joppru for a fourth quarter score in what turned into a rough. Two Harvey Unga touchdown runs in the second quarter tied the game at 17, but Utah closed out on a 31-7 run helped by six takeaways from the defense. BYU QB Max Hall ran for an 11-yard score in the third quarter to pull the Cougars within three, but he imploded with five interceptions and a lost fumble to make the game a blowout.
Player of the game: Utah QB Brian Johnson completed 30-of-36 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran 13 times for 28 yards
Stat Leaders: BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 21-41, 205 yds, 5 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 15-116, 2 TD. Receiving: Austin Collie, 10-104
Utah - Passing: Brian Johnson, 30-36, 303 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Darrell Mack, 9-40. Receiving: Freddie Brown, 8-97
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... For all the great things Max Hall has done since coming to BYU, including last year's win over Utah, everything unraveled against the Utes in the second half starting with a personal foul call. He needs to be the steady leader who is calm, cool and collected, and while it's not right to blame him for the loss, he certainly didn't make things better. The defense didn't come up with the stops that the Cougars were able to, but the offense, outside of the turnovers, was great. No one runs on Utah, but BYU pounded away for 214 yards.

Nov. 15
BYU 38 … Air Force 24
BYU was sluggish in the first half as Air Force took a 14-10 lead on short scoring runs from Asher Clark and Todd Newell, and then the offense came out roaring in the third quarter with 21 straight points on two short Harvey Unga touchdown runs and a six-yard Austin Collie catch. Collie added a 45-yard touchdown grab late in the fourth to help BYU pull away. Air Force ran for 323 yards, but the defense couldn't slow down the Cougar passing attack that helped roll for 32 first downs and 354 yards through the air.
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 28-of-37 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: Air Force - Passing: Tim Jefferson, 12-20, 98 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Todd Newell, 21-116, 1 TD. Receiving: Kyle Halderman, 3-17
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 28-37, 354 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 19-88, 2 TD. Receiving: Dennis Pitta, 9-113
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Alright BYU, now you're there. After having problems on in the first half with the offense struggling to get on track, Max Hall got hot and the Austin Collie and Dennis Pitta were unstoppable. The deep pass was working and the stars were getting the ball on the move, while there was decent production from Harvey Unga and the ground game. Now the team can fully focus on the task at hand against Utah in what might be the biggest, most important battle ever between the two programs. The team needs to be focused and consistent from the start. That won't be a problem in a game this big.

Nov. 8
BYU 41 … San Diego State 12
BYU rolled without a problem as Mitch Payne hit two field goals and Andrew George caught a six-yard touchdown pass on the way to a 27-0 lead. San Diego State got two Lane Yoshida field goals to get on the board, but Austin Collie put the game well out of reach with touchdown catches from 61 and nine yards out for a 41-6 Cougar lead. David Nixon made 14 tackles for the Cougars.
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 25-of-30 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: San Diego State - Passing: Ryan Lindley, 21-36, 160 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Tyler Campbell, 4-41. Receiving: Vincent Brown, 7-52
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 25-30, 317 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 11-37. Receiving: Austin Collie, 9-127, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BYU went through the motions to beat San Diego State without much of a problem, but there has to be a little bit of a concern that the running game didn't get going. Harvey Unga was held to 37 yards and the team averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. It didn't matter since Max Hall was able to throw at will, but it's going to be an issue on the road against Air Force and Utah. The Cougars can certainly keep up the pace in shootouts, but the Falcons and Utes are good enough to tee off on Hall if Unga isn't rolling.  

Nov. 1
BYU 45 … Colorado State 42
In a fantastic shootout, BYU rallied back with a 17-yard Dennis Pitta touchdown catch with 22 seconds to play just 1:22 after a 55-yard Dion Morton touchdown catch that gave Colorado State a late lead. The two teams traded big shots all game long with Pitta scoring from 23 yards out in the fourth quarter and Austin Collie catching touchdown passes from 58, 15 and 10 yards away. Colorado State kept up the pace highlighted by a 32-yard Morton touchdown catch in the second and a Gartrell Johnson seven-yard run in the fourth, but Max Hall and the BYU offense proved to be too much. The Cougars put up 551 yards of total offense to Colorado State's 401.
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 28-of-35 passes for 389 yards and five touchdowns with an interception
Stat Leaders: Colorado State - Passing: Billy Farris, 18-35, 251 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Gartrell Johnson, 18-102, 1 TD. Receiving: Dion Morton, 6-129, 2 TD
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 28-35, 389 yds, 5 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 24-133, 1 TD. Receiving: Dennis Pitta, 12-175, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeah, BYU proved the offense is great and that it could rally against a team like Colorado State, but the defense was too porous and there shouldn't have been the need for such last minute heroics. The skill players were unstoppable. Max Hall was on, the offensive line paved the way for Harvey Unga, and Dennis Pitta and Austin Collie were uncoverable, but the defense forced the need for a comeback by failing to get enough pressure into the backfield late. The offense should be able to put up 700 yards on San Diego State next week if it wants to, but it'll be all about the defense against Air Force and Utah to finish things up.

Oct. 25
BYU 42 … UNLV 35
BYU rallied with a six-yard Dennis Pitta touchdown catch with just under two minutes to play to take the lead, and Andrew Ridge sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone on the final play to thwart UNLV's final drive. The two teams traded shots all game long in a dead-even shootout. Rebel WR Ryan Wolfe caught ten passes for 136 yards with a 15-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth to give the Rebels a one-point lead. BYU got four touchdown passes from Max Hall to go along with short touchdown runs from Fui Vakapuna and Harvey Unga. UNLV's Omar Clayton bombed away all game long, finishing with 321 yards, while Frank Summers ran for two short touchdown runs and Mike Clausen added a two-yarder to tie it at 28 late in the third.
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 24-of-31 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran three times for 29 yards
Stat Leaders: UNLV - Passing: Omar Clayton, 26-40, 321 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Michael Johnson, 5-41. Receiving: Ryan Wolfe, 10-136, 1 TD
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 24-31, 245 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 19-84, 1 TD. Receiving: Austin Collie, 7-113
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BYU was shaky coming off the TCU debacle, but it came back to pull off the win over UNLV and can now breathe a bit of a sigh of relief. However, the defense has to be far better to keep Mountain West title hopes alive, but on the plus side, Colorado State and San Diego State are up next before the road showdowns with Air Force and Utah. The offense is fine, but it was inconsistent against the Rebels. It came through when it had to, especially considering the defense had such a hard time getting off the field.

Oct. 16
TCU 32 ... BYU 7
TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes came up with four sacks and two forced fumbles with the first coming on BYU's opening drive. The offense immediately capitalized with a 25-yard touchdown catch from Jimmy Young, and the rout was on. The Horned Frogs scored the first 26 points of the game with Andy Dalton throwing two touchdown passes and Jeremy Kirley running for a 16-yard touchdown when lined up under center. BYU finally got on the board late in the third quarter on a two-yard Max Hall run, but the Cougars couldn't generate more of an attack thanks to Hughes and a pass rush that generated six sacks. The two teams combined to convert 21 of 34 third down chances.
Player of the game: TCU DE Jerry Hughes made five tackles, four sacks and forced two fumbles
Stat Leaders: TCU - Passing: Andy Dalton, 12-19, 170 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Jeremy Kerley, 9-77, 1 TD Receiving: Jimmy Young, 4-78, 1 TD
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 22-42, 274 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 14-53. Receiving: Dennis Pitta, 8-84
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BYU couldn't handle the TCU pass rush. Jerry Hughes was just part of the problem as TCU's defensive front was hitting Max Hall early and often. The game got out of hand so early on that Harvey Unga couldn't get into the game and become a major factor, but the bigger problem was Hall's inability to get the ball to his receivers in places where they could do something with it. The BCS dream might be gone, but the season and the Mountain West title are far from over. However, after a few lackluster performances, the team needs to find the effort and execution it showed at the beginning of the year.

Oct. 11
BYU 21 … New Mexico 3
BYU let an opponent score first for the first time all season long as James Aho hit a 27-yard field goal, but that was it for the New Mexico scoring. The Lobos had an apparent touchdown called back, but that was the only real drama as the Cougars got three Max Hall touchdown passes including an eight-yarder to Austin Collie with just over three minutes to play to put the game away. New Mexico only managed 285 yards of total offense, but the defense kept BYU to its fewest points scored all year.
Player of the game: BYU WR Austin Collie caught nine passes for 155 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: New Mexico - Passing: Brad Gruner, 8-12, 86 yds
Rushing: Rodney Ferguson, 24-86. Receiving: Jermaine McQueen, 4-59
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 22-34, 258 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 22-95. Receiving: Austin Collie, 9-155, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... BYU keeps on winning, it's on a 16-game streak, but it's not quite humming on all cylinders. It's not a bad thing to beat a good team like New Mexico 21-3 when everything isn't working, and maybe it was a lookahead to the showdown against TCU on Thursday, but the team needs to be more impressive. With teams crashing left and right, the opening for (yes) the BCS Championship could be there, but style points count. Putting big numbers on the board will be a must from here on.

Oct. 3
BYU 34 ... Utah State 14
BYU rolled out 24 points in the first quarter and was up 34-0 after three quarters before Utah State finally scored. The Cougars had gone almost three full games without allowing a point until Robert Turbin tore off a 40-yard scoring dash early in the fourth. Austin Collie got the scoring started with a 76-yard touchdown catch early in the first quarter, and he caught a 12-yard touchdown pass late in the third. Harvey Unga scored on an 11-yard run and the defense got a 38-yard Brandon Bradley fumble return for a score. The game got sloppy with the two teams combining for 20 penalties and six turnovers.
Player of the game:
.BYU WR Austin Collie caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: BYU
- Passing: Max Hall, 23-37, 303 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 22-89, 1 TD. Receiving: Austin Collie, 8-122, 2 TD
Utah State
- Passing: Diondre Borel, 10-15, 114 tds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Robert Turbin, 8-74, 1 TD. Receiving: Otis Nelson, 6-72
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
BYU might not have been perfect against Utah State, 12 penalties for 123 yards and two turnovers weren't a plus, but the team shut it down after dominating the first quarter. That's what you're supposed to do. While Utah State tried to get under BYU's skin with plenty of pushing, and there were plenty of chippy penalties, but that's to be expected in a nothing game like this. It was another great game for Max Hall and the passing game, and it was another blowout win. Now come the Mountain West dates with the bull's-eye squarely on the team's back.

Sept. 20
BYU 44 … Wyoming 0
BYU came up with its second straight shut out with the defense holding Wyoming to 273 yards and forcing six turnovers. Scott Johnson got the ball rolling with a 64-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the first quarter, and David Nixon capped off the BYU touchdowns with a 19-yard interception return for a score in the third. Max Hall only played three quarters, but he made the most of his time with three touchdown passes including strikes from 62 and 7 yards out to Austin Collie and 11 yards away to Harvey Unga. Unga also added a one-yard touchdown run.
Player of the game:
.BYU WR Austin Collie caught eight passes fro 122 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: BYU
- Passing: Max Hall, 16-27, 189 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 19-95, 1 TD. Receiving: Austin Collie, 8-122, 2 TD
- Passing: Dax Crum, 15-28, 119 yds
Rushing: Devin Moore, 14-97. Receiving: Greg Bolling, 4-69
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Everything is working right now for BYU with the offense showing a near-perfect balance while being able to capitalize on every Wyoming mistake. The defense is swarming, causing error after error and not letting UCLA or Wyoming's offenses to get anything consistently going. Max Hall is flawless running the attack, but soon, Harvey Unga might need a little more help running the ball. Next week against Utah State should be more of the same dominance.

Sept. 13
BYU 59 ... UCLA 0
It was total and complete domination as Max Hall threw seven touchdown passes, including five in the second quarter. Dennis Pitta (10 and two yards), Austin Collie (two and 37 yards), and Harvey Unga (15 and 6 yards) each caught two touchdown passes and Michael Reed caught the seventh. The Cougars also got a 24-yard Mitch Payne field goal and a 13-yard Wayne Latu scoring run. UCLA managed just 239 yards of total offense and was held to nine yards rushing. The Cougars converted 13-of-17 third down chances and hung on to the ball for 37:36.
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 30-of-41 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: UCLA - Passing: Kevin Craft, 23-39, 230 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Chase Moline, 7-12 Receiving: Terrence Austin, 8-88
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 27-35, 271 yds, 7 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 17-71. Receiving: Austin Collie, 10-110, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... This was the BYU everyone was waiting to see unleashed. UCLA is a good, rested team that should've been well prepared for a second straight statement game, and instead, BYU was a machine. Max Hall was on top of his game, but it was the defense and special teams that helped make it a rout. Hall and the offense took advantage of every opportunity. This was the statement game that everyone will point to as the year goes on, especially if UCLA turns things around and starts to play well. With Wyoming and Utah State coming up next, the scores should stay ugly.

Sept. 6
BYU 28 ... Washington 27
Washington QB Jake Locker ran for a three-yard touchdown with two seconds left to pull the Huskies within one, but in his excitement he threw the ball over his head and got flagged with a questionable celebration penalty. BYU blocked the 35-yard extra point attempt and sealed the win. The Cougars got three touchdown passes from Max Hall including a 15-yarder to Dennis Pitta with 3:31 to play to take the lead for good. Locker also ran for a 14-yard touchdown and threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse.
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 30-of-41 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: Washington - Passing: Jake Locker, 17-32, 204 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jake Locker, 18-62, 2 TD Receiving:
D'Andre Goodwin, 5-83
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 30-41, 338 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 23-136. Receiving: Dennis Pitta, 10-148, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeah, Washington got hosed with a horrible celebration penalty, but give credit to BYU for coming up with the blocked extra point to seal the win. Lost in all the controversy was a terrific game from Max Hall, who not only hit 30-of-41 passes, but also helped convert 12-of-14 third down chances. On the down side, Washington, mainly because of Locker, was able to move the ball too easily on third downs. Now comes a date against a rested UCLA, and for more national publicity, that has to be an impressive win for the Cougars. They might get knocked down a peg, at least as far as respect, after this week.

Aug. 30
BYU 41 ... Northern Iowa 17
BYU cranked out 563 yards of total offense with Max Hall throwing for 486 of them with touchdown passes to Michael Reed and Harvey Unga in the first quarter. Unga ran for two scores in the second quarter, but UNI came back with a 76-yard Josh Collins touchdown in the third and a Mark Huygens fumble recovery in the end zone to pull within ten, but that was as close as it got. 
Player of the game: BYU QB Max Hall completed 34 of 41 passes for 486 yards and two touchdowns. he also ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: Northern Iowa - Passing: Pat Grace, 11-18, 112 yds
Rushing: Pat Grace, 11-72. Receiving: Victor Williams, 5-53
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 34-41, 486 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Harvey Unga, 18-64, 2 TD. Receiving: Dennis Pitta, 11-213
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Cougars lost four fumbles and committed eight penalties against Northern Iowa, but the offense was explosive enough and effective enough to overcome the mistakes. That won't work against the better teams down the line, but Max Hall and the attack was in midseason form as it had few problems cranking out yards through the air. Now the running game has to get going after only netting 77 yards.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class
Austin Holt TE 6-6, 230  Bingham High School  South Jordan, UT
A Salt Lake Tribune 5A First-Team All-State selection ... earned Deseret Morning News 5A First-Team All-State honors ... under head coach Dave Peck, helped lead the Miners to an 11-2 record, including a trip to the championship game ... finished with a perfect 5-0 record and a first-place finish in the Region 3 standings ... a member of the 2006 5A State Championship team that went 14-0 ... led the Miners with 29 receptions for 490 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a senior ... averaged 37.7 yards receiving per game ... a U.S. Army All-American ... ranks as one of the top high school tight end prospects in the country ... plans to serve a church mission before enrolling to BYU .. recruited by Florida, Stanford, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon and UCLA.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Bernard Afutiti DL 6-0, 260  Mt. San Antonio College  Fontana, CA
Helped lead Mt. SAC to a 10-3 record during the 2007 season, including a 4-0 mark in the Mission Conference ... advanced to the championship game of the California State junior college championships before losing to San Francisco City ... defeated Bakersfield in the Southern California junior college championships, 47-42 ... ranked fourth on the Mounties' roster with 41.5 tackles on the season, including a team-leading 22 tackles for a combined loss of 91 yards ... credited with 8 sacks and had five QB hurries ... earned JUCO All-America honors ... named team MVP ... received Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors ... named the California State Defensive Player of the Year ... a four-year letterwinner at Kaiser HS in Fontana, Calif., graduating in 2005 ... received scholarship offers out of high school from Michigan, Oregon State, Utah and USC ... earned All-CIF honors as a senior, junior and sophomore ... named the Division 8 MVP ... named the Coca Cola and Old Spice Player of the Year ... a four-year all-league recipient ... married to Crystal Purcell ... has a two-year-old son, Zak ... recruited by San Jose State, Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State.

Jesse Taufi OT 6-5, 320  Long Beach City College, Long Beach, CA
Served an LDS Church mission to Fort Lauderdale, Florida ... anchored an offensive unit that averaged 317.8 yards per game ... prepped at Long Beach's Carson HS ... earned all-city honors as an offensive lineman at Carson HS ... cousin of current BYU defensive lineman Russell Tialavea ... recruited by USC, Washington and UNLV.

Rest of the Class

Bernard Afutiti 6-0 260 DL Fontana, Calif. (Mt. San Antonio College)
Michael Alisa 6-2 220 LB/RB Provo, Utah (Timpview HS)
Kevan Bills 6-3 225 LB Provo, Utah (Timpview HS)
Atem Bol 6-2 200 WR Hurst, Texas (L.D. Bell HS)
Jerry Bruner 6-2 225 RB/LB Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS)
O'Neill Chambers 6-3 208 WR Harmony, Fla. (Harmony HS)
Cameron Comer 6-1 185 DB Springville, Utah (Springville HS)
Spencer Hadley 6-2 220 LB Connell, Wash. (Connell HS)
Austin Holt 6-6 230 TE South Jordan, Utah (Bingham HS)
Solomone Kafu 6-5 315 DL Rio Linda, Calif. (Rio Linda HS)
Tolu Moala 6-1 230 LB Torrance, Calif. (El Camino College)
Jake Murphy 6-5 215 WR American Fork, Utah (American Fork HS)
Garett Nicholson 5-10 180 DB Salt Lake City, Utah (West HS)
Seta Pohahau 5-11 205 RB San Mateo, Calif. (Aragon HS)
Iona Pritchard 6-0 220 LB South Jordan, Utah (Bingham HS)
Daniel Sorensen 6-2 195 DB Colton, Calif. (Colton HS)
Justin Sorensen 6-2 220 K South Jordan, Utah (Bingham HS)
Brock Stringham 6-6 280 OL Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Mountain Vista HS)
Jesse Taufi 6-5 320 OL Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach City College)
Shiloah Te'o 5-11 195 DB Laie, Hawaii (Kahuku HS)
Michael Yeck 6-7 260 OL Keller, Texas (Keller HS)

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: After two straight 11-2 seasons and two straight Mountain West titles, BYU has become the far-and-away class of the league under Bronco Mendenhall. The 2008 team should be the best of the three. QB Max Hall isn't John Beck, but he's an All-Mountain West passer who showed he can both bomb away and come through in the clutch when needed. Nine starters return to the league's best defense and the entire front three, led by pass rushing terror Jan Jorgensen.
Why to be grouchy: Will the defense take a major step back after losing three of the four starting linebackers including all-stars Bryan Kehl and Kelly Poppinga? Three starters, along with co-starting CB Andre Saulsberry, are gone off a strong pass defense. Those losses could be just enough to prevent a good season from being a BCS one.
The number one thing to work on is: Turnover margin. BYU should have the Mountain West's best team, but it could be undone and upset if it keeps losing the turnover battle. Last year the Cougars were 93rd in the nation in turnover margin with 26 giveaways and 20 takeaways with a mere four forced fumbles. Getting more out of a woeful punt return game would be nice.
Biggest offensive loss: C Sele Aulai
Biggest defensive loss: LB Bryan Kehl
Best returning offensive player: OT Dallas Reynolds, Sr.
Best returning defensive player: DE Jan Jorgensen, Jr.

2007 Recap
Although Hawaii played in the Sugar Bowl, an argument can be made that BYU was the premier non-BCS program of 2007.  The Cougars got off the mat after starting 1-2 to win 10 consecutive games, cop another outright Mountain West title, and get revenge on UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl for one of those two September losses.  Winners of 16 straight conference games under Bronco Mendenhall, BYU is enjoying its best stretch of prosperity since the late 1980s.           

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Max Hall

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Jan Jorgensen

Biggest Surprise: RB Harvey Unga.  Just a redshirt freshman, Unga hasn't wasted any time becoming one of the most valuable Cougar players.  A physical, 1,000-yard rusher in his debut season, he gave BYU a presence in short yardage, while finishing third on the team with 44 receptions for 655 yards and four scores.    

Biggest Disappointment: The BYU defense had just a single lapse all year, and it cost the program a game to Tulsa and possibly a BCS bowl invitation.  A few weeks before the Cougars would gel, Hurricane QB Paul Smith went ballistic on them, throwing for a career-high 454 yards and five touchdown passes in a wild 55-47 victory.

Looking Ahead: The Cougars will wrap up 2007 in the Top 25 and begin 2008 with most of their league-best offense intact, meaning they'll be the trendy choice out of the mid-majors to play in a BCS bowl game.  A January game is the next step for a program that's quietly been terrific the past two seasons, winning 22 games and a pair of Las Vegas Bowls versus Pac-10 opponents.