Archive for December 19, 2016

BYU and Wyoming have a long and storied history of big games and meaningful matchups throughout the course of their days as rivals in the Rocky Mountain, Mountain States Athletic, Skyline, Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences.

While the games weren’t always close, there were plenty of tight finishes (15 games decided by three points or less) and legendary performances from some of the best players to ever wear a BYU uniform.

This is the ranking of the best of the best of those performances — the best individual showings against the Cowboys from years gone by.

15. Steve Stratton, 1971

Stratton carried much of the load as the Cougars used a dominating rushing attack to beat the Cowboys 35-17. In the 18-point win, he carried the ball 20 times for 173 yards and a touchdown.

Pete Van Valkenburg also did significant damage on the ground that day with 22 carries for 128 yards and a pair of scores.

14. Lakei Heimuli, running back, 1986

Heimuli had plenty of success against the Cowboys with his best rushing day coming in 1986. In the 34-22 win, he carried the ball 29 times for 177 yards and a touchdown.

A year earlier, he scored three first-half touchdowns while rushing for 137 yards on just 14 carries in a 59-0 win.

13. Jason Buck, defensive line, 1985

Buck had one of the best games of his junior season as the Cougars beat the Cowboys 59-0. In the huge win, he finished with four tackles, including three tackles for loss, one and a half sacks and a forced fumble.

12. Mark Bellini, wide receiver, 1986

Bellini had the most productive day of his senior season as the Cougars beat the Cowboys 34-22. In the win, he totaled seven catches for 159 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown to start the scoring.

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Steve Berkowitz and Christopher Schnaars of USA Today looked at the cost per win of the Division I football teams for the 2016 season, and former BYU head Coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff at Virginia came in as the most expensive of any team in the country.

After talking about the transition from Mike London to Mendenhall, they wrote, “the Cavaliers ended up with a 2-10 record this season — two fewer wins than they had last season — and the greatest cost per win of any Football Bowl Subdivision public school, an average of more than $3.2 million.”

Berkowitz and Schnaars then gave us how they came up with the number for Virginia, saying, “Mendenhall is making nearly $3.3 million from Virginia this season, including a $25,000 one-time signing bonus. His assistants are making just more than $3 million, including a combined $80,000 in signing bonuses.”

The Utah Utes paid $841,375 for each win, according the story, while the Utah State Aggies handed out $779,292 per win. BYU was not listed.

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The BYU Cougars dropped another close neutral court affair as they fell to Illinois 75-73 in Chicago Saturday night.

After trailing most of the way, the Cougars had a chance for the win, but a half-court shot from Nick Emery just missed the mark as time expired.

 The Fighting Illini used a balanced offensive attack to outlast the Cougars as five players scored in double figures.

Tracy Abrams led the way with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists while Maverick Morgan registered 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Eric Mika paced the Cougars with 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor and 7 for 8 from the free-throw line while adding eight rebounds.

Nick Emery added 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals, while TJ Haws chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

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