Matt Payne, John Beck Named MWC Players of Week

The Mountain West Conference has selected senior punter <b>Matt Payne</b> and sophomore quarterback <b>John Beck</b> as the Special Teams and Offensive players of the week, respectively.

While it is the first time Beck has received the honor, the selection marks the fourth time Payne has received the weekly honor this season – a MWC record seventh of his career.


MATT PAYNE - With five PAT's on Saturday, Payne extended his consecutive point-after streak to 65, setting a BYU record for most consecutive PAT's. Payne's streak dates back to the 2002 season. In addition to his five PAT's, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound specialist connected on two field goals, including one from 23-yards out to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter.

The only player in the nation listed on both the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award watch lists, Payne equaled his career high with a 53-yard effort in the fourth quarter to give BYU a 34-17 lead. The fourth-quarter field goal marks the third 53-yarder of his career and the second of the season. Payne is a perfect 4-for-4 from over 50 yards this season. Payne (along with two other players) leads the nation this season with four field goals of 50 yards or longer.

Scoring 11 of the Cougars' 41 points on the day, Payne has totaled 294 career points, passing Luke Staley for second place on the BYU all-time scoring list.

Payne, who is one of just seven players in the country who handles kickoffs, field goals, PAT's and punts, was also credited with three punts on the afternoon, averaging 42.3 yards per punt. He had one punt downed inside the 20-yard line and one downed on the 21-yard line.

As a result of Payne's accuracy, BYU ranks sixth in the nation with a net punting average of 41.2 yards per punt. Payne leads the Mountain West and also ranks sixth nationally in overall punting with a 45.2 yards-per-punt average.

JOHN BECK - Beck led BYU to a 41-24 victory over Air Force on Saturday, improving the Cougars to 3-1 in conference play. He connected on 20-of-31 attempts for 319 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. After passing for just 83 yards in the first half, Beck led the Cougars to a 38-point rout in the second half, posting 236 yards passing and four touchdowns.

Trailing 10-3 after the half, Beck connected with junior receiver Todd Watkins on a 70-yard bomb on the second play of the third quarter to tie the score at 10-10.

With 6:29 remaining in the third quarter, Beck hooked up with freshman tight end Dennis Pitta on an 11-yard touchdown reception, extending the BYU lead to 17-10. After the Cougars blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, taking a 24-10 lead, Beck then found freshman Austin Collie in the back of the endzone for a 14-yard touchdown reception to take a 31-10 lead.

All totaled, Beck and the Cougars posted 28 unanswered, second-half points before the Falcons were able to get on the board again.

Leading by 10 with 2:59 remaining in the game, Beck found Pitta for the second time, scoring on a 1-yard pass to give the Cougars a 41-24 lead.

The game marked Beck's third 300-yard game of the season, helping the Cougars to record their first back-to-back victory since the 2002 season.

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