LAS VEGAS In his final game as a BYU Cougar, senior receiver Michael Reed made a statement with his play. Reed caught nine passes for 117 yards in BYU's 31-21 setback Saturday in the Las Vegas Bowl.
After the game, when asked how he wanted to be remembered, Reed made another kind of statement, disclosing some of his frustration from this season.
"I could have easily complained this whole year about not getting the ball as much as I thought I should have got the ball," he said.
"I just went out there and did my job. I did the little things, like block. When the ball came to me, I would make a play. I want people to remember me as a unselfish player. There are many other players around the nation that wouldn't have stood for the stuff I had to stand for this year not getting the ball as much as I thought I would get it.
"But it's a team game," he said, "we finished with a 10-3 record. I'm proud of this team."
Senior linebacker David Nixon was also disappointed to end his career with two straight losses. But he added he'll have fond memories of his time in Provo.
"This wasn't the note I really wanted to finish on, but it's been a great ride here at BYU," he said. "These past three years, I've been able to go 32-7. That's a great record to hold. The things I've learned from the coaches and other players is something I'm going to miss. Life goes on."
Another senior, running back Fui Vakapuna, suffered a separated shoulder in the first half and did not return. In his last game at BYU, he rushed once for two yards and caught one pass for five yards.
MORE RECORDS FOR COLLIE: Wide receiver Austin Collie now has 11 consecutive 100-yard receiving games, which ties the NCAA record held by current Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree. Collie had 119 receiving yards against Arizona.
ONE KICK TOO MANY: Arizona kicker Jason Bondzio booted the ball twice on one play, although he probably wishes he had one of them back. After the Wildcats scored to make it 7-0 with 6:23 remaining in the first quarter and Bondzio converted the extra point, the senior kicked off to O'Neill Chambers, who fumbled the ball forward.
Bondzio had an excellent chance to make a recovery and give the Wildcats the ball deep inside the Cougar 30, but instead ended up kicking the ball out of bounds and BYU retained possession.15 comments on this story EXTRA POINTS: Actor and singer David Hasselhoff sang the national anthem prior to the game. ... Temperature at kickoff was 44 degrees. ... Announced attendance was 40,047 the fourth-largest crowd in Las Vegas Bowl history and the seventh-largest in Sam Boyd Stadium history. ... With BYU's loss to Arizona, the MWC is now 6-2 this season against the Pac-10. ... Arizona converted 6-of-9 third-down attempts in the first half, including its first five. ... Two talented pass-catchers had an uneventful first half. BYU's first-team all-conference tight end Dennis Pitta did not catch a pass in the first two quarters, while first-team All-Pac-10 tight end Rob Gronkowski had only one reception. It came on a third-and-2 late in the first half on a drive that eventually stalled. ... Wildcat senior quarterback Willie Tuitama, who threw for 325 yards on 24-of-35 passing and accounted for three touchdowns, was named the Las Vegas Bowl MVP. ... This was Arizona's first victory against a Mountain West Conference team in the past two seasons. The Wildcats lost to the Cougars to open 2007, followed by two defeats at the hands of New Mexico the past two seasons.