Trying to Rebound
Provo, Utah - It's been more than a year since BYU has needed to bounce back from a loss.
That's the case on Saturday as the 18th-ranked Cougars face UNLV, looking to rebound after having the nation's longest winning streak come to an end.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made BYU -22 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 53% of bets for this game have been placed on BYU -22 (View College Football bet percentages).
BYU (6-1, 2-1 Mountain West) enters this contest coming off a disappointing 32-7 loss at TCU last Thursday, snapping its 16-game winning streak, the longest in the nation dating to a 55-47 defeat at Tulsa on Sept. 15, 2007. It also was the school's worst loss since falling 49-23 loss at Notre Dame on Oct. 22, 2005.
More important, the setback dropped the Cougars to fourth in the conference behind 3-1 Air Force, and the 15th-ranked Horned Frogs and No. 12 Utah - both 4-0 - while delivering a blow to their chances of earning a BCS bowl bid.
"It just hurts. When you get beat 30-something to seven, that stuff doesn't matter,'' BYU defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen said. "When you have high expectations like our team has and as hard as we worked to get better, it just feels horrible.''
Averaging 37.8 points coming into last week's contest, BYU was held to its fewest points since losing 20-3 at then-No. 22 Boston College on Sept. 3, 2005. Star junior Max Hall was 22-for-42 for 274 yards and two interceptions for the Cougars, who allowed 17 points in 16 minutes during the first half after giving up that many in their previous 16 quarters.
"It's more disappointing than surprising,'' said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, whose team also had its 18-game conference winning streak snapped. "When you make mistakes like we made against a team like that, that simply is the result.''
Austin Collie proved to be the lone bright spot for the Cougars, and can set a conference record with a sixth consecutive 100-yard receiving game after catching six passes for 116 yards against TCU.
The junior, who has 53 receptions for 789 yards with eight touchdowns, is fourth in the nation averaging 112.7 yards per contest.
Running back Harvey Unga was held to a season-low 53 yards on 14 carries against TCU, but will be looking for another big day versus UNLV after rushing 177 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in BYU's 24-14 win over the Rebels on Oct. 13, 2007.
The Cougars try for their fourth consecutive victory over UNLV (3-4, 0-3), which lost 29-28 to Air Force last Saturday. The Rebels rallied from a 14-0 deficit, but the Falcons kicked the game-winning field goal with 2:36 left in the game to hand UNLV its third straight loss after it beat then-No. 15 Arizona State and Iowa State in consecutive weeks.
"We have to keep working to get better and keep fighting to get better. The season is not over," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. "The team is not dead and we are going to come back.
"We are going to come back and play. We have a big game at BYU. We have to rally up the troops and come back, and go into Provo and win that game."
Sophomore Omar Clayton was 19-for-30 for 251 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman Phillip Payne caught six passes for a career-high 124 yards and his 12th touchdown for the Rebels. Clayton has thrown for 1,528 yards with 16 TDs, second in the MWC to Hall's 20.
UNLV, second-to-last in the conference allowing 32.7 points per contest, has not posted consecutive wins over Top 25 opponents since beating then-No. 16 Colorado State in 2002 and then-No. 14 Wisconsin early in the 2003 season.
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
UNLV is 6-4 against the spread versus BYU since 1992
BYU is 9-2 straight up against UNLV since 1992
4 of 7 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 1-1 against the spread versus UNLV over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 2-0 straight up against UNLV over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at BYU since 1992
UNLV is 4-1 against the spread versus BYU since 1992
BYU is 4-2 straight up against UNLV since 1992
2 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at BYU over the last 3 seasons.
BYU is 1-0 against the spread versus UNLV over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 1-0 straight up against UNLV over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[LB] Starr Fuimaono is out for the season. - Knee - 09/10/08
[WR] Spencer Hafoka upgraded to probable - Foot - 10/07/08
[C] Tom Sorenson expected to miss 4-6 weeks - Shoulder - 08/06/08
[LB] Dan Van Sweden expected to miss entire season - Leg - 08/16/08
[LB] David Nixon injured last game, upgraded to probable - Leg - 10/05/08
[LB] Grant Nelson is expected to miss - Illness - 10/05/08
[WR] Michael Reed upgraded to probable - Knee - 10/07/08
[DT] Terrance Hooks downgraded to expected to miss - Knee - 10/07/08
[LB] Vic So'oto expected to miss 4-6 weeks. - Foot - 09/08/08
[CB] Scott Johnson injured last game, upgraded to probable - Leg - 10/05/08
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Posted: 10/21/08 11:35 PM