Still Riding High

After beating the odds against 15th ranked TCU, a feeling of excitement still lingers in the Cougar camp with everyone from the starters to the scout team. The game was replete with memorable moments for all involved. The Cougars dominated the Horned Frogs in every aspect of the game, so each member of the squad had something to be proud of.

For BYU fans, last weekend could not have been scripted any better. With three days to prepare, the Cougars go on the road an put an end to the nations longest winning streak in convincing fashion.

"The funny thing is, I remember talking to my wife and telling her we were going to win this football game," said Davey O'Brien Award candidate John Beck. "I sat in Coach Doman's office, I think it was last Tuesday, and we both knew we were going to win that game."

Big offensive guard Travis Bright echoed Beck's feelings.

"Going into this game, the coaches said that if we do what we are supposed to, then no one will beat us," Bright said. "That's exactly what we did. The offense didn't have any penalties, and that's a good way to start these conference games. We felt this was a normal game and we should be able to go in there and win and we did."

Prior to the game, the BYU team captains met out in the center of the field for the coin flip with TCU's captains. In an ill-advised display of poor sportsmanship, the Horned Frog captains would not shake hands with Beck or Jensen after the coin toss.

"Cameron Jensen came back to the sidelines and said they were being really disrespectful and wouldn't shake hands," said Wagner. "He said they were being punks at the coin toss and stuff like that. Cameron came right up to me after the coin toss and said, ‘Wags, these guys are disrespecting us, man.' He said, ‘They wouldn't even shake our hands.' So that got me fired up right away and so we just said, ‘Hey let's just go in there and handle them,' and we did."

BYU quarterback John Beck completed 23-of-37 attempts for a game-high 321 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars' 31-24 victory over No. 15 TCU. For his performance over the Horned Frogs of TCU, BYU quarterback John Beck was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive player of the Week. The nomination is his second in three weeks and is the fifth of his career.

"It's funny because Jeff [Reynolds] called me and said, ‘Hey, you got player of the week for the BC game,'" said Beck. "I was like, ‘Well our team lost,' so it was a little weird, I think I got it for the TCU game last year and our team lost, so that one of those weird things. It's kind of one of those weird things like that record I have for throwing the most passes in game at 67."

The honor was much more gratifying after a win.

"To be named player of the week after a loss," said Beck "The great thing was we won this game, and it was a great ride home. One of the funnest things about winning is the plane ride home."

The 6-foot-1, 216-pound senior completed 23-of-37 attempts for 312 yards and three touchdowns, avenging last season's 51-50 overtime loss to TCU in Provo. With his performance in Fort Worth, Beck passes up former BYU quarterbacks John Walsh (8,390) and Robbie Bosco (8,400) to move into third place on BYU's all-time career passing list.

Beck currently has passed for 8,422 total yards and has tied with Gifford Nielson for seventh place on BYU's all-time touchdown completion list with 55 career touchdown passes. After playing in only four of BYU's five games, Beck leads the MWC with 1,286 yards and eight touchdown completions. He averages 321.5 passing yards per game. Beck ranks 5th nationally averaging 309.5 yards of total offense per game.

In the first five games, BYU's defense has allowed just 87 points with an average of 17.4 points per game. The Cougars are currently tied for 40th in the country in scoring defense, and are off to their best start for scoring defense since 1988.

"Obviously going into that [TCU] game, everyone felt that it was going to be a tough one, but the team felt a lot different than what everyone like the fan base or the media was saying, " said Wagner. "We knew that even though it was a short week, if we prepared right, we would be able to dominate those guys. We saw it on field and knew that if we just executed right, we would win. As a team, we feel that we should be 5-0 and have already seen what we could do against good teams in other games. It was a great win for us, and we did do what we were supposed to do. We had some turnovers, we didn't give any away and we didn't have any penalties on offense. Those are the kinds of things that if we as a team keep doing, nobody is going to stop us, and that's the truth of it. We can play with anyone in the country."

Following the game, the team gathered back in the locker room. The feeling among the players was a special one, and will be remembered by those on this team for a long time to come.

"I came in a little late because I was doing interviews on the field," said Beck. "When I came in Coach Mendenhall was jumping around, all the coaches were jumping around and the whole team was jumping around and going nuts. It was a special feeling because the team has worked so hard for that game and for that win, and win you accomplish that it really means a lot."

"I gotta admit, tt was a little weird to see Coach Mendenhall get so excited in that locker room," chuckled Bright. "Just knowing how stoic he is and then seeing how excited he was. It was just sweet. We did a lot of jumping up and down and throwing water around and then started singing our victory song. It was just sweet and just a great team experience."

"The locker room experience was just great," said Wagner. "It doesn't matter how beat up you are, how sore you are or how exhausted you are from chasing Ballard around all game long. To beat them the way we did was just awesome. The fatigue and all the pain didn't even matter because all of that was overwhelmed with the emotions we had in the locker room. We were pretty much just having a mosh pit in there just going wield and Coach Mendenhall was pretty much in the rafters. Everybody was in there and it didn't matter because this win was a good one for us all."

Click on the following link to hear Manase Tonga talk about the win over TCU


The following is a list of BYU's future non-conference schedules:
2007: Arizona, at UCLA, at Tulsa
2008: Nevada, at Washington, UCLA, at Arizona
2009: at Arizona State, Florida State
2010: Washington, at Florida State
2011: at Washington, Arizona State


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