Payne also had four punts for a 46.8 yard average and two were downed inside the 20-yard line. The Ray Guy Award semifinalist and Lou Groza Award candidate posted 13 of the Cougars' 49 points, including three field goals and four point-after conversions. Payne has 307 career points, needing 26 more points to tie the BYU all-time scoring record.
The Cougars posted 49 points against San Diego State, marking the most points the team has scored since racking up 56 points against Colorado State on Nov. 1, 2001.
SECOND-HALF PRODUCTION The Cougars recorded 36 second-half points, marking the second straight game BYU has posted over 35 points in the second half. In the team's last game, the Cougars scored 38 points in the second half at Air Force.
After posting just 187 yards of total offense in the first half, including 52 yards rushing and 135 yards passing, the Cougars racked up 135 yards rushing and 204 yards passing in the second half to finish Saturday with 526 yards of total offense. Interestingly, against Air Force, the Cougars posted 527 yards of total offense.
BACK-TO-BACK 40-POINT GAMES:
For the first time since posting 41 points at Mississippi State and 45 points at Hawaii during the 2001 season, the Cougars have recorded at least 40-points in back-to-back games. BYU dropped Air Force 41-24 on Oct. 23 and handed San Diego State a 43-9 victory over San Diego State Saturday afternoon.
WHAT SATURDAY'S WIN MEANS:
With today's victory over San Diego State, the Cougars improve to 5-4 overall and 4-1 in league play. San Diego State drops to 0-5 in the MWC. The Cougars need one more victory to become bowl eligible.
The win also gives BYU a one-game lead over New Mexico for second place in the MWC standings. With two league games remaining, the Cougars are guaranteed a winning record against league opponents and can do no worse than a 4-3 against MWC opponents. A Utah loss at Colorado State would tie the Cougars with the Utes for first place in the league standings. A Utah win over the Rams would give the Utes a one-game lead over the Cougars with two regular-season games remaining.
Saturday's 49-16 victory over San Diego State marks the first time BYU has posted three consecutive victories since the 2001 season.
The Cougars held San Diego State to just 16 points on the afternoon, marking the second time this season BYU has held its opponent under 20 points. The Cougars beat Wyoming 24-13 on Oct. 16.
PAT STREAK ENDS:
Matt Payne's streak of 67 straight PAT conversions came to an end on Saturday. SDSU blocked Payne's point-after attempt to end the school-record streak.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS:
The Cougars scored 10 points of their 49 points off SDSU turnovers, including a field goal following a Micah Alba interception and a Naufahu Tahi touchdown run after Cameron Jensen's third-quarter interception.
A WINNING MARGIN:
Saturday's 33-point win marks the largest margin of victory for the Cougars since dropping the Aztecs by 38 points on Oct. 27, 2001.
The Cougars scored their first touchdown of the day on a 68-yard completion from John Beck to Todd Watkins, completing a two-play, 74-yard drive with 11:27 left in the first quarter. The scoring drive took a total of 46 seconds, marking the third fastest scoring drive of the season. BYU scored on an 11-second drive against USC, as well as a 33-second drive at Air Force. The first-quarter touchdown also marked the earliest touchdown of the season. Previously, the Cougars scored at the 10:46 mark of the first quarter against Wyoming.
FIRST-QUARTER SHUTOUT STREAK STILL ALIVE:
With a first-quarter shutout against San Diego State, the BYU defense has held five straight opponents scoreless in the opening quarter of play, dating back Oct. 2 at Colorado State. On the season, the Cougars have posted a first-quarter shutout against seven of their nine opponents. Boise State and Stanford are the only two teams that have scored against BYU in the first quarter.
With 4:52 remaining in the second quarter, walk-on cornerback Micah Alba was credited with his second interception of the season, stepping in front of a b>Kevin O'Connell pass attempt. Alba's first interception came on Oct. 2 against Colorado State. Four plays later, Alba's interception led to a Matt Payne 43-yard field goal, giving BYU a 10-3 lead with 3:51 remaining in the first half.
COLLIE SETS MWC FRESHMAN RECORD:
Freshman sensation Austin Collie was credited with three receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns, including an 82-yard touchdown and a six-yard touchdown reception. Collie set a Mountain West Conference record with his 82-yard reception, marking the longest reception by a freshman in MWC history. Collie leads the Cougars with seven touchdowns. On the season he has 46 receptions for 614 yards.
GOOD GRIEF, CURTIS BROWN:
Sophomore running back Curtis Brown had 17 carries for 106 yards, marking his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game. Brown is the first BYU running back to have four straight 100-yard games since Luke Staley ran for seven straight in the 2001 season. Brown is only the third running back in BYU history to run for 100 yards in four straight games. The others include Staley and Pete Van Valkenburg. Brown has 129 carries for 691 yards, averaging a hefty 5.4 yards per carry.
Junior receiver Todd Watkins finished the afternoon with three receptions for 135 yards, marking his fifth 100-yard game of the season. Watkins needs one more 100-yard game to equal the BYU single-season record, which is currently held by three players (Chris Smith, Andy Boyce and Margin Hooks).
Watkins grabbed a 68-yard reception from Beck on the Cougars' second play from scrimmage, giving BYU an early 7-0 lead. Watkins also had a 52-yarder in the second half.
BECK NEARS 3,000 YARD MARK:
Sophomore quarterback Beck completed 15-of-25 attempts for 313 yards and three touchdowns. In his career, Beck has racked up 2,967 yards and needs just 33 yards to hit the 3,000-yard mark. Beck had a quarterback rating of 204.8 against the Aztecs, marking the highest rating since Brandon Doman posted a rating over 200 against California during the 2001 season.
Since BYU head coach Gary Crowton's first season at BYU, the Cougars have posted a 4-0 record against San Diego State. In four games, the Cougars have totaled 186 points, averaging 46.5 points per contest.
FIVE FRESHMAN START ON OFFENSE FOR SDSU:
SDSU started five freshman on offense against the Cougars, including quarterback Kevin O'Connell, receiver Brett Swain and offensive lineman Brandyn Dombrowski, Mike Kravetz and Will Robinson. That number would have been six if the Aztecs has started a running back (Brandon Bornes), instead of opening with the empty backfield.
SDSU'S PALMER PAST 45:
Freshman kicker Garrett Palmer's 47-yard field goal in the second quarter was his fourth conversion of the year longer than 45 yards. The longest is a 50-yarder against Nevada.