BYU football: Cougars delighted to nail down another 10-win season

Published: Saturday, Dec. 31 2011 9:00 p.m. MST

Van Noy, who recorded 10 tackles, two sacks, five tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble against Tulsa, enjoys being around the players and coaches in the program.

"It's been an honor to play with teammates like Cody and under a head coach who is probably the most underrated coach in all of college football, as well as a defensive mastermind," Van Noy said. "He makes the game so much easier for the players. He makes it so simple and puts everybody in great positions."

Finishing the inaugural season of independence with a signature win is a big accomplishment for the program, Mendenhall said.

"I think it was fantastic and I think it was just one of many more to come. We've won 10 games as a conference member. Now we've won 10 games now (as an independent)," he said. "We'll keep winning games no matter if someone wants us in or wants us out. It's just who our team is. ESPN certainly recognizes that, and I think a number of people that have had a chance to see us play recognize that.

"I think this is just the beginning. This is five wins in seven bowl games, it's not just going to the games, it's winning the game, and that's the new tradition that we're embracing at BYU and it matters a lot to us."

Nelson said the BYU's 10th win will serve as a springboard for 2012.

"Our talent and skill level will keep increasing as we keep practicing. So moving forward, I'm very excited," he said. "I know our team is very excited. But sending our seniors out the right way, those guys accomplished something very unique in college football, three out of four bowl wins, three out of four 10-win seasons. Tomorrow when we wake up, back to the grind, reach our potential and be the team we can be next year."

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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