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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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BYU football: Season in review

By Cody Brunner

BYU headed into the 2006 season with wary optimism. The Cougars had a proven talent at quarterback in John Beck and a charismatic coach in Bronco Mendenhall, but their defense acted more like a sieve than a stalwart machine in the previous season. But those holes quickly filled and the doubt in Cougar fans’ minds washed away as BYU racked up seven consecutive wins on their way to a No. 23 ranking. It all started on a Saturday afternoon in Tucson?

Arizona 16, BYU 13The Cougars gained more first downs (17-15), more total yards (313-253) and had a greater time of possession than their counterparts from Arizona, but they were unable to stop a last-second, 48-yard field goal kick from the Wildcats’ Nick Folk to win the game.The Cougars had a chance to tie the game late in the third quarter, but botched the snap on a 22-yard field goal attempt, and Arizona took over on downs. Despite losing the contest, Beck looked impressive throughout the season-opener, completing 28 of 37 passes for 289 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars’ run game turned out to be their Achilles’ heel, as they managed only 24 yards in the contest.

BYU 49, Tulsa 24What’s the best cure for starting the season off with a loss to a lesser opponent? Beating the living sin out of another lesser opponent. The Cougars had their way with the Golden Hurricane defense from the start, scoring a multitude of touchdowns on the ground and through the air to bury Tulsa. Beck was flawless throughout the contest, completing 17 of 22 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns. BYU’s doubled-edged sword of Curtis Brown and Fui Vakapuna dominated on the ground, racking up 234 rushing yards in the game.

Boston College 30, BYU 23The Cougars and Eagles fought their way through regulation and a pair of overtimes before BC quarterback Matt Ryan connected to Tony Gonzalez for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.BYU had a chance for a rebuttal, but Beck’s pass was intercepted by Eagles linebacker Jamie Silva to end the game.

BYU 38, Utah State 0Despite playing without their star quarterback, the Cougars’ offense couldn’t be stopped against the lowly Aggies, picking up 441 yards of total offense to snag the victory. Fui Vakapuna was the player of the game for the Cougars, picking up 73 yards and three touchdowns in the winning effort.

BYU 31, TCU 17The Cougars went into Fort Worth and shocked the nationally ranked Horned Frogs from the start, jumping out to a 17-3 lead and never looking back.John Beck returned to the field and made his presence felt throughout, passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns in his first game back from an ankle injury.

BYU 47, San Diego State 17MWC commissioner Craig Thompson should just rule out games involving SDSU because teams don’t even have to show up to beat them. Beck passed for four touchdowns and the Cougars jumped out to a 40-3 lead at halftime. Then the Cougars’ fourth-string came in and let up a pair of touchdowns.

BYU 52, UNLV 7Cougar running backs Curtis Brown and Mike Hague combined to rush for more than 270 yards against the Rebels. Good enough?

BYU 33, Air Force 14The offensive ber-talent that is Beck continued to dominate against the Falcons, passing for 258 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars to victory.For the third consecutive week, BYU jumped out to a huge first-half lead (21-0) and the Falcons were unable to overcome the deficit.

BYU 24, Colorado State 3BYU continued its Mountain West dominance against Colorado State, moving to 5-0 on the season. Though the Rams were able to do something very few teams have been able to do this season in holding Beck out of the end zone, it was not enough. Vakapuna filled the void with a pair of touchdown runs, and the Cougars won going away.

BYU 55, Wyoming 7 The Cowboys carried the No. 1 defense in the Mountain West Conference into the game, but didn’t leave with it. BYU racked up 454 yards of total offense and scored the first 55 points of the game. Beck returned to form, passing for 313 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cougars.

BYU 42, New Mexico 17The Cougars finally clinched the Mountain West Conference title outright with yet another impressive performance from Beck. The senior from Hayward, Calif., threw for four touchdowns and 464 yards to lead BYU to victory. Brown also pitched a solid outing from his tailback position, running for 124 yards and one touchdown in the winning effort. He was part of a Cougar offense that racked up 653 total yards against New Mexico.

Associated Press

BYU linebacker Cameron Jensen and quarterback John Beck raise the Mountain West trophy above their head after the college football game against New Mexico on Nov. 18 in Provo. BYU beat New Mexico 42-17 to win the Mountain West Conference and an invite to the Las Vegas Bowl.

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