BYU football: Cougars roll to New Mexico Bowl victory over UTEP

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  • Richie Saint George, UT
    Dec. 20, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    Great game if you are a BYU fan and I am. But, what closet are they going to hide that ugly trophy in?

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 11:00 p.m.

    BYU looked pretty good. My only concern is that while our running game is really solid and racks up lots yards and first downs, there isn't a big play capability to it. Rarely do they ever go for more than 20 yards and we didn't get a single 50+ td run all season. Yet maybe with Heaps and his arm we might not need that out of the run game. The solid 6-10 yard runs are enough to distract defense while we bomb it through the air, but it would still be nice to see some Luke Staley-esque runs out there.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 19, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    Take away the plays where Brian Logan got burned and the score between BYU and UNM is even more lopsided.

    I think the D Backs are the only question mark for next year. Losing 3 starters to graduation and Thomas to injury is a big whole to fill. Hopefully some strong JC players in the wings. Every other group should be improved over this year. Hopefully Sorensen will Return With Honor, to keep our kicking game strong. Should be a double digit win season.

    Concerned with Bronco's comments about the QB position being up for grabs next year. The only spot that should be up for grabs is between Lark and Munns for backup. Heaps is the clear starter and the future of the program. You bring Nelson in to run the wildcat on 3 - 4 plays per game.

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 9:09 p.m.

    Well, as the season for BYU ends, I owe the coach Mendenhall an apology for putting him down this year and give him a thumbs up. This game was not only well played but well coached. Well done BYU.. well done.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    Love that Heaps said his O line was the best in the country. Smartest thing he's said all year, even though it's obviously not so. I believe Florida State made that very clear.

    And, that points up the problem BYU will have again next year with the stronger programs. Heap's is a pocket passer, who can't hurt you with his running ability and his receivers have only average speed. BYU's backs actually do a good job blocking wise, but they can't do it alone. BYU's O line simply isn't good enough to handle the more athletic D linemen, who will pressure Heaps into sacks and picks. If left tackle Reynolds leaves for the NFL, it will be a really big problem.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Dec. 19, 2010 8:07 p.m.

    Mottos at the U from hedgehog for next year:
    "We'll see the money in 2014"
    "The Pac 12 - Scheduling cupcakes is our strategy"
    "Gordon Gee for president"
    "PAC12 - Not the SEC, or Big 12, or Big 10, or Big East...but we're getting close"
    "PAC12 - Conference of probation"

  • CougarOnTheProwl Murray, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    Nice way to finish the season with a convicing win Cougars! I was impressed with the freshmen in this game that made significant contributions. Heaps and Hoffman look like they will be connecting often in the future. I liked the way "juice" Quezada ran the ball hard running through tacklers on his way to over the century mark in rushing yards. Lets not forget Falslev either, who had a nice return to set up a score early in the game. Also, The young TEs who seem to get better with each game,they combined for 5 rec for 40 yards with some key catches in the game. And on Defense Van Noy once again showed his ability to get to the qb and make plays in the backfield.

    One last shoutout to the seniors... Congrats to Rich, Logan, So'oto, Bradley, Ashworth, and the rest of the seniors on finshing their careers on winning note. They will be greatly missed and tough to replace. However, I am very excited about the young talent the Cougars have heading into independence in 2011 and am already looking forward to next season.

    Go Cougars!!!

  • Iheartblood Salt Lake, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2010 7:00 p.m.

    @anchorageles - BYU and Utah have the same winning % over the last 10 seasons @ 66%. How is that dominance by one or the other.

  • Iheartblood Salt Lake, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2010 6:55 p.m.

    @Big R - Tell me a team that goes 12-0 every year. You can't. BYU will have up years and down just like eveyone else, and will probably have 10+ wins next year or the year after.

    @BoiseSuperBlue - BSU is 2-1 against ranked teams this year. Not exactly a powerhouse schedule. There schedule is usually in this manner and is the main reason why one loss drop them out of the BCS games.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 19, 2010 6:36 p.m.

    To correct an above poster:

    I believe Boise State went undefeated during the regular season of 2008, only to be snubbed by the BCS who was obligated to take the higher ranked Utes. The Broncos played TCU in the Poinsettia bowl, losing by one.

    So, while they BCS might have taken TCU and BSU this year even if both TCU and Boise State remained unbeaten, the precedence does not guarentee that both would be in.

    In other words, the BCS doesn't take care of the non-AQ teams. They follow the rules they set for themselves, and then gripe about it later (see Jim Delaney regarding the Rose Bowl).

    And although we've yet to see it, a one-loss non-AQ team could make it. Had TCU had one loss this year, we may have still seen Boise, Nevada, or TCU in a BCS bowl since all were ranked high and you had an AQ champion (UConn ranked low). Again, their own rules.

    So, while the precedence would be for BYU to win all of their regular season games (which could happen) to make it to the BCS, I'm not sure it will be a necessity.

  • JJL Eugene, OR
    Dec. 19, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    This game was aboslutely meaningless and BYU fans know it.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Dec. 19, 2010 5:53 p.m.

    "Band of brothers".... sigh.

    Trust me when I say this is very junior high "ish".

    It might work at beY?u but it doesn't work with BCS programs.

  • BoiseSuperBlue Twin Falls, ID
    Dec. 19, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    And this folks, is why byu will never be invited to join the big boys at the BCS.

    Everyone knows that Boise will be the next mid-major to be invited to a BCS Conference. We play the best teams year in and year out and beat them all. Byu's 2011 schedule is VERY weak. It doesn't bode well for byu's future.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2010 2:55 p.m.

    Great game by the Cougs. If the pass defense could have been like the run defense, it would have been 52-3. BYU got burned on three big plays and the first three kickoff coverages were horrid.

    Fun to watch and be there. I am proud of these cougars for turning around this season.

    Going to miss Andrew Rich.

  • Stay the Course Mona, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    BYU with one change of a letter becomes BSU
    UTEP with one change of a letter becomes UTES
    Sorry Utes the horoscope and the stars have aligned
    Numerology is showing a huge beat down maybe even to a greater degree than the 52-24 score we saw.
    There will be nothing you can do about this one. BSU is ticked and will take it out on you.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    I didn't watch the game, but congratulations, BYU. I want BYU to win as long as they are not playing the Utes or any of our brother teams in the PAC 12. Finishing the year at 7-6 is a great accomplishment. It is something you guys can really build on next year.

  • johnyutah St. George, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 1:01 p.m.

    I love how BYU fans are saying your cougars are the most dominent team in Utah.... Lets get the facts strait, you guys lost to Utah. At Utah's worst they still beat BYU. Sad thing is when the pressure gets high the cougars fold. Oh yeah, and please refrain yourselves from bragging about rolling UTEP. You know that team is pathetic, and it was only the New Mexico Bowl. Nuff said.

  • OU812 Layton, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 12:52 p.m.

    Sorry Dean, not a Utah fan here, but nice try. The Lindsey, Covey days were better teams than whats out there now. But have fun getting your 8 wins against mediocre competition and blown out by Texas, ND and Mississippi and South Florida. We have seen this story many times before.

  • Iheartblood Salt Lake, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2010 11:49 a.m.

    BYU going independent with the ESPN coverage will give them more exposure and access to better players for recruiting. Getting into a BCS bowl was not the soul purpose of this move.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    This win means nothing against a team with a hobbled star quarterback. The only upside was the additional work the team and Heaps got with additional practices going into next season. What a qutsy effort by the UTEP qb Vittatoe. BYU needs some db's and tightends next season for Heaps to flourish. Overall team speed is also a concern.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Dec. 19, 2010 10:56 a.m.

    This game was nothing more than a practice scrimmage. The game that would have really meant something as a team with only 6 wins going into the final game of the season was the Utah game. This bowl game was a was rated 35th out of 35 bowl games. We're on the verge of having so many crummy bowls that soon some match ups will be sub eligible.

    You know it really gets me hearing many of my fellow Cougars use the bad calls as the principle excuses for losing to Utah. Those are normal for any game. What isn't normal is to have a 4th and inches just minutes into the 3rd quarter and have a 5th year Offensive Coordinator gamble totally at the wrong time and go for the first down/touch down when you are already 6pts up and in easy field goal range. It was a chip shot...and those 3 points at that point in the game would have forced Utah into having a two posession/two score track to take the lead away. Not putting up the 3 points caused the loss...all things equal. So Go Figure!

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    Yes UTEP is not a very good team, and yes Utah this year was smacked down on there Owen field by this true BYU freshman QB, who despite the horrible play call's from Anae, should have walked away from RES with the win, but shoulda, coulda, wouldas never count for anything.

    Anyway, the "Y" will have a terrific season in 2011, and Utah, well not so much. The Utes could pull off a miracle in the Las Vegas Bowl { the irony here is so comical the Utes in the LVB } you never know luck could be there lady ?

    But the reality is BSU will take them to the proverbial woodshed. The Bronco's are still on the war path and the Utes are standing right in there way.

    FYI : Never disrespect a Bowl Game you may end up in it ! Just sayin Utah :}

    "POLY" Cougar Nation

  • anchorageles Ventura, CA
    Dec. 19, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    Well what can I say.........this football has gotten more comments that the Provo Tabernacle did when it burned down last friday morning.....what a if you force my hand I guess I still throw my hat in to the ring and root for them Utes....THEY ARE THE DOMMANT TEAM IN least they will play a team that has grit............sorry BYU you just don't have it any longer!

  • NC FROGS 2010 Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    So, this is how a bowl winning streak continues...I've always wondered about that!

  • Big R La Palma, CA
    Dec. 19, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    The bad thing about the win is that it covers up what is becoming very apparent. BYU is not that good. They aren't bad, but will go 8-4 or 9-3 next year. If that is enough then all is well. If you have aspirations for something better than I think you may have to realize Bronco isn't going to get you there. Next year you have 7 easy wins, a game you should win (Central Florida) and four games that you can win, but can lose (Mississippi, Oregon State, Utah and Texas). A 12-0 is possible and a few years ago would have been expected, but now I'm thinking 9-3.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    OU812 and One Nil

    I guess the Ute cupcake season was greater than BYU's huh? Is that something to thump your chest about?

    There's not one smart fan out there that would diminish BYU's season of a comeback. 7-6 is not something to crow about but what this very young and inexperienced team accomplished is far more significant than what the Ute 10-2 season or shall we say 10-3 season represented.

    Though some of the teams were the same there were some notable differences. We all know what they are.

    The Utes will get totally trashed this week just like they did "in the most historic game ever played in RES".

    Next season both programs will have much to prove. Let everyone have their day, Utesies can boast of their PAC-12 debut and also poke fun of the BYU weak season of opponents but at the end of the day we shall see which program has relevance.

    This week will surely see the demise of 'little brother'. From a mighty #5 ranking to a season ending beatdown of epic proportions. Thanks for the entertainment.

    Who's program has momentum and relevance now?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 7:36 a.m.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Bronco needs to continue as defensive coordinator. Don't hand this off to someone else.
    2. A run game makes Heaps job so much easier. BYU needs to invest heavily next year in O-linemen and backs that can run.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Dec. 19, 2010 7:33 a.m.

    Congratulations, Cougars. You played a very good game.

    However, let's not get carried away talking about "beatdowns of epic proportions" where next year's Utah-BYU game is concerned. Sure, it's POSSIBLE, than the Cougars will "beatdown" the Utes, but it isn't PROBABLE. BYU hasn't beaten Utah by more than 7 points since 1996.

    But first things first. The potential beatdown that I am worrying about may be just three days away. I hope my Utes play their best game of the season. I am afraid it will take that to even have a chance against a very good Boise State team.

  • utefan56 st george, utah
    Dec. 19, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    hard to tell how good these guys are ....when they play teams like utep....congrats anyway ...

  • firestorm Lehi, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 6:51 a.m.

    Yah, and the U had to have a "BYU MIRACLE" come bak blok kick to beat a 6-6. Nice try Uter.... See ya thursday morning at the cryin towel...

  • USA Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 6:40 a.m.

    Cougars look real strong for next year. Not wanting to wish my life away, but I can't wait for next season to start! Go Cougars!

    Go Utes! It is going to be real tough against Boise State, but I am hoping you do well, and win!

  • Frozen Chosen Savage, MN
    Dec. 19, 2010 6:02 a.m.

    Heaps-to-Hoffman for a touchdown. Get used to that one, baby!

  • thedeancorp Provo, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 3:56 a.m.

    Wow OU812, that's some big talk coming from a team who loves to play all those cupcakes + more. Just looking at all those same teams plus iowa, san jose and pitt, you guys beat teams totaling 44-77 this year. Wow, you guys had it rough. Naw, I'm just playing with ya... You utes did great, only lost 2 games by a total score of 75-10. LOL, I guess winning against all those cupcakes heals all your ills too.

  • OU812 Layton, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    Funny how all the Y fans are claiming what a great comeback to the season this is. The only quality team you beat was SDSU and well we won't go there. You're saying wins against, UNM, CSU, UNLV, Wyo, and UTEP qualify as a turn around to the season? LOL. But I guess winning heals all ills.

    And Heaps a great QB, his numbers were numbers QB of BYU lore would put up in a half of football. Face it, you boys still have a long way to go.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    Dec. 19, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    U can't!

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Dec. 19, 2010 12:57 a.m.

    Nice job, Cougs!

    7-6 with a lot of youth gives us momentum going into next year.

    Again, I'll take the 7-6 record but I think we should have been 9-4.


    We lost to Utah State (Utah State?!?!?!?!?) and we GAVE the game away to Utah.

    Man!, how I would have LOVED to beat the yewties, the supposedly 'horrible' Cougars beating the (supposedly) mighty, indestructable yewties on their own field....a one-time 1-4 team beating a one-time top-5 team.

    Oh well, see you next year at LES, yewts! Prepare for a beatdown of epic proportions!

    GO COUGARS!!!!!

  • statman9 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 19, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    @Chris B
    Come on, let's be positive, you just shoot down BYU when anything positive is going for them. I don't think the refs missed a bunch of unsportsmanlike calls, I do agree that was an incomplete TD catch, but there is nothing you can do about that, and I don't think that would have changed the outcome of the game. Anyway, the point is that all you have ever done this year is shoot down BYU. Especially when really this has been an impressive season for them, starting 1-4 and ending with a 7-6 winning record, that is hard to do.

  • '90Cougar Hampstead, NC
    Dec. 19, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    Dave from Taylorsville says, "It's quite funny to sit hear reading the tripe some people spew. If you're going to talk smack, at least know something about football (i.e. college football)."

    That's a pretty arrogant opening for someone who obviously doesn't know as much as he thinks. He says, "Well guess what folks, if they stay in the MWC or WAC or any Non AQ conference, they could go undefeated and STILL not get in. I bet if Boise had won out, TCU would have been out."

    Wrong and wrong.

    While the BCS system has its flaws, it has rewarded every undefeated team from non-BCS conferences. Since 2004, every undefeated MWC and WAC team has gone to a BCS game.

    If both Boise and TCU had finished the season undefeated, they probably would have both been in the top 5. And like last year, they both would have received BCS bowls.

    You are kidding yourself it you think the Cougars had to become independent to get a chance at a BCS bowl. BYU's formula for a BCS bowl invite hasn't changed. Finish undefeated, and you get a BCS bowl.

  • One Nil to the Arsenal! Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 18, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    I get a kick out of people talking about how Utah barely beat a "average" BYU team with a Freshman QB...Bla Bla, How we should have mopped the floor with you guys playing at RES. Wasn't it just a year ago that a Freshman QB from Utah went into LES, against BYU's senior record breaking QB, and his stud TE, and "barely" came out with an OT win. Look at the series guys, this game is always close (except when we smoked you guys in 04 & 08). You should have killed us last year, but it was close, and lets be honest....Did Maxie pad really out play Jordan Wynn by that much? Thank you.

    Didn't watch the game today, but sounds like Hope's or Heaps had a good game. Something to build on for you guys, but lets not blow this out of proportion. This is UTEP guys. Of course this is the level of most of your competition next year, so you may in fact have a decent year after all. You can still run the table and never play for a NC. But guess what....we can!!!!

  • Tommy2Shoes Lehi, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    Great to watch the coaches turn Heaps loose. Most balls were thrown very well. I did think the Koffman catch was incomplete but the replay booth couldn't tell (must have Elmer Fudd in the booth). We did give up a few deep balls. Need to shore up the pass defense. On to indy and a better start next year.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Dec. 18, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    What a great game for our Seniors to end their BYU careers with. I was especially impressed with Andrew Rich. We will definitely miss him. I was also impressed with the Heaps-Hoffman combo and Di Luigi. He must have thighs the size of tree trunks! He moves piles of people. WOW!

    Still my favorite move of the game was Bronco's dodging of the Gatorade cooler. He may be "The Man", but he's still one of the boys. Love it.

    Congratulations Cougars on sticking together as a team when times were tough and persevering when others may have given in to discouragement. Congratulations to Coach Mendenhall for your leadership and example. As always, I'm glad your OUR Bronco. Good luck recruiting and we'll see you next year.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    Ute Fans,

    You needed a blown call and replay, and a blocked field goal to beat a very "average" BYU team...AT HOME! Going into next year, I wouldn't be worrying about BYU at all. You guys have some serious holes to fill if you're going to be any good. And you're quarterback is getting worse. Good luck.

    Can't wait for our rematch in LES, either! CO COUGS!

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 18, 2010 10:20 p.m.

    Too bad the utes won't match this win. BSU by 30!

  • yankee doodle Layton, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 9:05 p.m.

    Guess what Utesie fans? BYU wasn't the one that put UTEP in this game, they played who the bowl gave them as an opponent and thrashed the daylights out of them. BSU will do the same to the Utes. Cain with throw INT's all day. Heaps had zero, and he's a freshman. Nothing but blue skies ahead if he keeps developing. All you Utesies were sure beat your chests after beating your cupcake opponents so what comes around goes arounds boys.

  • AK Cougar Palmer, AK
    Dec. 18, 2010 8:44 p.m.

    Some silly comments above. To some of the critics. UTEP had -12 yards in rushing. That is total domination. As the article said, most of UTEP's passing came on 3 plays, big ones for UTEP and an obvious breakdown in the secondary somewhere. UTEP has some solid players however and they playee with lots of grit and passion. Hats off to them.

    For teams with 6 - 6 records at the end of the season. I agree that a D1 school should have much better records to get invited. The bar is set way too low for a bowl invitaion with honor. There are simply too many bowls. I would like the NCAA to step up and raise the bar to 8 - 4 record as a minimum to be eligible to play. It is fitting when #35 bowl doesn't have any eligible teams to invite. In a few years it will be a mute point anyway when the playoff enters NCAA football.

    Bronco is a real mans coach here. He turned the season around from the wrong way to the right way mid season. Great job Bronco to inspire the players and a proper way to end the season.

  • anti BCS Anaheim, CA
    Dec. 18, 2010 8:35 p.m.

    Congratulations Cougars on an impressive bowl win, even though the Miners weren't exactly the most stout opponent. This will be a nice springboard to next season.

    It's interesting to see all of the Utah fans mocking BYU's bowl win.

    Aren't they the same ones who are constantly beating their chests about Utah's bowl wins, even thought the vast majority of those wins were against mediocre teams.

    We'll see how much they really believe that after Wednesday.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 8:18 p.m.

    Good job Cougars. Just as I expected a nice win to end the season and more momentum for next year. Sure, there are some real cupcakes for next year's season but the schedule will improve over time.

    Got some nice commentary today.

    Next week 'little brother' will be needing a shoulder.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    Dec. 18, 2010 8:08 p.m.

    Glad that everyone looked good against a team that lost five of their last six games

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 8:05 p.m.

    Celebrate good times. The spread was 9.5 points. It'll be the only bowl win this year for an in-state team. Juice, JJ, Brian and Heaps-to-Hoffman will make D-coordinators lose sleep in years to come.

  • Dave from Taylorsville Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 8:05 p.m.

    It's quite funny to sit hear reading the tripe some people spew. If you're going to talk smack, at least know something about football (i.e. college football).

    BYU's season was salvaged, by anyones measure. Yes UTEP had NO BUSINESS being in this game. But if you look at what BYU has done in the last 6 games and this bowl game. . . with a LOT of freshmen, they are a better than good team. If they could play those first 5 teams again, I think the outcome would be a bit different.

    Having this many freshmen play (start) in so many key offensive positions is remarkable. The future is bright for the Cougs.

    And to those who say, "Well, you're going independent. And you'll have to go undefeated to play in a BCS game!" Well guess what folks, if they stay in the MWC or WAC or any Non AQ conference, they could go undefeated and STILL not get in. I bet if Boise had won out, TCU would have been out. But of course UConn would still be in. LOL

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 18, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    A few thoughts were confirmed by this game:

    ---"Heaps-to-Hoffman" is going to be a popular phrase over the next few years.

    ---BYU managed to finish with a winning record despite starting 1-4, 2-5. That says a lot about their coaching (and schedule).

    ---Not all 6-6 teams deserve to play in a bowl. UTEP is one, having lost 5 of their last 6 regular season games. Temple (8-4, with a win over UConn) would have been a better "match-up," yet they didn't get a bowl invite. Says a lot about geographics and bowl tie-ins.

    ---UTEP is about as good as Wyoming this year. That "winning record" rule should be reconsidered. Wouldn't we have rather seen BYU vs Texas (5-7) than UTEP?

    ---Beating cupcakes can be fun too, Y fans.

    ---There are quite a bit of "UTEPs" (or worse) on BYU's schedule next year.

    ---Although I predicted BYU to go 8-5 this year (with a bowl loss), and they didn't meet that expectation, I'd have to say they've set themselves up very nicely for their independence next year.

    Congrats BYU. Well played.

  • Mountainman56 Alpine, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    Every skill position player except Ashworth will be back next year and many of the best (Heaps, Hoffman, Quesada, Mahina, Wilson) are freshmen! It will hurt to lose So'oto and Rich on defense but most of the defense will be back too and the linebacker corps will be awesome. Going independent couldn't come at a better time - the next few years should be fantastic for Cougar fans!

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 18, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    It was awesome to see so many freshmen contribute in the game! Not just Heaps, but Quezada, Hoffman, Van Noy...awesome.

    Thanks Cougars for a great season. As fans we are proud that you did not hang your head and quit. Thanks for believing in Mendenhall, he is a great coach. It will be very exciting to see how you apply what you learned this year to next.

    Go Cougars!

  • pmoaks Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 7:22 p.m.

    Folks talking down the bowl and competition, just don't get that the real key to this bowl, was the Cougar's additional practice days...days that Texas didn't get...and a feather in their cap for recruiting...not a large bowl at all (Toilet Bowl??) but still an opportunity to show your stuff on national TV, and BYU did that in spades today.

    Great game and just wets my appetite for next year and the opportunity to play against some great opponents...Ole Miss, Texas and the Utes...another tough opening schedule, but they shouldn't have a quarterback controversy and add some additional talent to their roster with some of the redshirts from this year.

  • da bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 7:01 p.m.

    We have a really young team with a lot of talent! Fun to see!

    Yes, BYU did beat a mediocre team, but dominated them like any real good team would have.

    What does this mean? BYU has become a pretty good team over the season, and has a lot of potential.

  • Cris B. Sandy, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 6:56 p.m.

    One of hoffmans tds was incomplete. Several missed unsportsmanlike plays against byu weren't called. Its too bad the zebras wouldn't let utep have a chance.

  • Hotrod Sandy, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    Because UTEP is on of those great teams, really hard to beat. Yeah right!

  • stonewall Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    This game was a defining one in regard to how this season would be looked back upon. Win, and it's a winning season with a great turn-around and a springboard to much better things next year hopefully. Lose, and it's a losing season where we ended with a heart-breaker to our rival and a loss to a fairly pitiful UTEP team in one of the worst bowl games in the country. So this game was huge; not in the fact that we had a lot to win, but just in that we had so much to lose if we didn't. It could have destroyed momentum going into next year.

    As things stand, BYU fans don't have a lot to brag about with this specific game, but when it's taken in the context of the last 6 games, the future does look bright. Considering the 2006 team, possibly BYU's best since '96, came off a similar 6-6 season the year previous while getting better and better as the season went on in 2005, it's not irrational to get excited about next year being a potentially very good team.

  • AK Cougar Palmer, AK
    Dec. 18, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    Loved the game. Glad to see some good numbers from Heaps and some long balls thrown. The running game really powered down field pretty much running where they wanted when they wanted. Awewome game all around. Congrats to Bronco for turning this season into the best turnaround season of all time. Further, the players picked it up on defense and as a spillover effect onto the offense.

    Go Cougars.

  • yankee doodle Layton, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 6:05 p.m.

    Wow, what a game!! independent future is looking fantastic with Heaps at the helm. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I would take him ANY day of the year over Wynnie and the Pac-12. This is what the Vegas bowl score will look like in favor of BSU.
    Nice win COUGS!!!!!! Nice game Heaps!!! Possible undefeated season coming next year.

    Hey where is Chris B. anyway? Nice way off prediction again brother. LOL

  • oh ye confederacy of dunces Flushing, NY
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    If the Y actually has the guts to promote Doman and cut loose Anae--this BYU football team will be a VERY good team in the next few years. If Anae stays, we will win a lot of games and yet always struggle against the decent competition. Its the worst sort of cancer to root out--Anae is just good enough to make a believer out of most--yet bad enough to lose all the games that mean something.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    Probably Bronco's best coaching of his career at BYU. He fixed the defense, stayed positive and made a below-average team become a good team by season's end.

    I hope Bronco keeps coordinating the defense and promote Brandon Doman to Offensive Coordinator. The future is bright in Provo. Well done Cougs!

  • cactusflats American Fork, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    Albuquerque is the proud home of the New Mexico Bowl. Before the game they have the Tournament of Albuquerque Parade where all floats must be made out of different kinds of tortillas. It's a tradition like no other, some call it the Abuelo of them all.

    Also, Jake Heaps is going to be a star next year. And since they play a "bottom of the WAC" schedule, he might go off for 4 or 5 TD passes every game.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    Congratulations on the bowl win, BYU.

    Now, Utah go win in Vegas.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:14 p.m.

    Way to represent, Cougar fans! You both looked great on TV!

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    Let's not get carried away now. This wasn't much more than an extended scrimmage game. Sort of like putting Bingham High against a Post Jim Durrant Payson Lions team...Only UTEP played a little better than my Old Lions would have. Heaps, Diluigi, Kureya looked pretty good. Defense was a little iffy...can't say they were no means. And from the replays on the challenged... touchdown pass that was called and not overturned It looked to me like the Y receiver didn't have control of the ball although he did a fine job of acting like he did at the end of the play. One Aspect of the game I liked was how nice it was to actually finally see some balls down range for a change rather than the usual 5 and out or the pass underneath. But despite the score let's not forget this was UTEP and not Utah..the game that was given away because we gambled way too early in the game and didn't take the easy chip shot field goal. Anae's still a long ways from being out of the woods.

  • Spitvalve Denton, TX
    Dec. 18, 2010 5:07 p.m.

    Nice finish to the season, Cougs. Too bad we can't have that blocked FG at Utah back--that would have made the season. Looking forward to next year--had some red-hot freshmen out there today.

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    Dec. 18, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    Glad I could watch it in England, thanks ESPN. I can't find the UCLA game...oh right, pac-12. Wish I had some ESPN help with that one.

    Go Y

  • Feit_Gris Santa Rosa, CA
    Dec. 18, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    I was happy to see that there wasn't snow. With a big Pacific storm coming in. BYU played a great game. How about the toughness of UNLV's Q-back? Playing with torn ligaments in his ankle?

    Will be an interesting year next year. I would like more clips of the band. My daughter plays horn, in the band.

  • ColoradoRox Denver, Colorado
    Dec. 18, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Nice job BYU, but theres no braggin rights here. Two 6-6 teams in the albequerque turkey bowl....??? Heaps looked good -- could be a real stud over the next four years.

    This is just one of MANY "so what" and "who cares" bowl games over the next couple of weeks....

  • BYU/RSL Fan Provo, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    Good to see all the BYU haters out today! It means that the Cougars got under their skin! Go Cougars, and here's to independence!

  • nothegame Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    Ute fan here BYU looked real good Heaps is for real. That said UTEP was a bad bad team

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 4:08 p.m.

    Speaking of "Obscurity", that is what the 'U' will be next year and for many years to come, while the 'Y' will be off into the freedom of independence and big bucks being made every game while the blue chip players start lining up to play for the cougs. Watch out NCAA, here come the COUGS! ! !

  • Randy01 Lees Summit, MO
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    Not really a big deal. It does sum up BYU's season pretty well and is a good indicator of the program's status in the real world. Let's see how they do against ole miss and Texas next year.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    Congratulations cougars! Nice game, complete domination.

    Way to exit the MWC on a positive note.

    Bowl leading conference, MWC 1-0

  • mountains101 Denver, CO
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    Yes, they beat a very bad team... now sail off into Independent Obscurity won't you?

  • 1984 for life Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    We have sunk to a new low if we celebrate this victory. This is the kind of opponent we will be seeing every year since a BCS bowl is NEVER within reach.

  • Stay the Course Mona, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:11 p.m.

    Hold it is this BYU vs UTEP or BSU vs Utes?????
    Mark it down the scores will be similar with the team starting with a B as the winner

  • UtahDerek sandy, ut
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    Stay the Course, "Byu is the best football team in Utah", Wow your beating prob the worst fb team in the bowl system in years. Plus didn't Utah and Utah st BOTH beat BYU. By the way Burton is still unblocked. Go UTES

  • USA Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:08 p.m.

    Wow. Pretty dominant game by BYU. Call it the Cupcake Bowl.

  • B Logan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 3:04 p.m.

    No big surprise here. Success will be if BYU is playing in a BCS bowl in a couple of years.

  • Sammyg2 springville, Utah
    Dec. 18, 2010 2:55 p.m.

    well there yuo go BYU and botched replay to make up for the one against utah. This one is even more clear than the utah game :)

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Dec. 18, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Dominance by BYU so far, but they have to stop getting beat by the big plays; big kick return that led to a field goal, blown coverage that led to a long TD, interception return that probably would have led to a TD if UTEP doesn't run out of time, and now a 37 yard completion to the same guy who burned them earlier for 67 yards. Got to stop those, or UTEP could get back in this fast.

  • Stay the Course Mona, UT
    Dec. 18, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    My mommy always said it doesn't matter what you were that counts but what you become that counts
    BYU has become the best football team in Utah.
    got to love the play by play
    This is like taking candy from a baby

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    Dec. 18, 2010 2:22 p.m.

    I haven't seen a game in a while but BYU looks better. We just need to keep up the pressure and put this one way away.