Coach: Gary Crowton
12-2-0, 1 year
2001 Record: 12-2
@ Provo, UT
at California WON 44-16
at UNLV WON 35-31
at New Mexico WON 24-20
at San Diego State WON 59-21
at Wyoming WON 41-34
UTAH WON 24-21
at Mississippi State WON 41-38
at Hawaii LOST 45-72
Louisville LOST 10-28

2001 Final Rankings
AP-25, Coaches-24, BCS-UR

Reno Mahe is one of the nation's best receivers in one of the nation's best passing systems.
2002 Outlook

The eyes of the nations will be focused on Mormon football, attempting to see if the offensive charm of last season can become a staple much like the glory of not so long ago. Probably beaten to death already is the fact that Coach Gary Crowton is an offensive mastermind. His dedication to the topic has led to some very stellar recruits signing on; including a slew of famous quarterback possibilities. But the quick success under his first campaign was noticeable filled with extremely weak defenses to say the least. The offense appears to be reloading while the defense is making a major attempt at getting quicker. The future looks extremely bright, but the current season may find some difficulties. The first four games look to be the most difficult until the big finale with in state rival Utah. Keeping BYU out of a bowl does not appear to be an option under these circumstances. If the Cougars can at minimum get by with two wins during that early stretch, things could heat up once again. Coaches have the right players in the right positions offensively and this scheme will work. Now the young defense has to follow suit. Don't sell this team out, the next few seasons look to be very promising.

Projected 2002 record: 9-4

QB - 3.5 DL - 2.5
RB - 3 LB - 2
WR - 4 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Todd Mortensen, 4-8-0, 23 Yards, 1 TD

Rushing: Reno Mahe, 15 att., 174 yds., 0 TD's

Receiving: Reno Mahe, 91 rec., 1211 yds., 9 TD's

Scoring: Matt Payne, 12 FG, 73 PAT, 109 pts.

Punting: Matt Payne, 1 punt, 45.0 avg.

Kicking: Matt Payne, 12-17 FG, 73-76 PAT, 109 pts.

Tackles: Paul Walkenhorst, 69 tot., 39 solo

Sacks: Jeff Cowart, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Jernaro Gilford, 6 for 131 yds.

Kickoff returns: Curtis Holder, 3 ret., 22.3 avg.

Punt returns: Toby Christensen, 4 ret., 12.5 avg.


OFFENSE: Brandon Doman-QB, Charlie Peterson-QB, Ned Stearns-FB, Soren Halladay-WR, Mike Rigell-WR, Doug Jolley-TE, Teag Whiting-OG, Jason Scukanec-C, Aaron McCubbins-OG, Luke Staley-RB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Brett Keisel-DE, Ryan Denney-DE, Justin Ena-MLB, Isaac Kelley-WLB, Dustin Staley-SS, Michael Lafitte-CB, Aaron Edmonds-P

Meeting last season's offensive fireworks will need to be accomplished with a new task force on the field. Both senior quarterbacks have moved on, the Doak Walker Award winning running back Luke Staley left early to the NFL, and new linemen need to be plugged into the center of the wall. The good news is that Coach Gary Crowton is still calling the shots and that means BYU is in good hands with most any descent quarterback replacement. The Cougars have that in big, strong Bret Engemann, who started the 2000 season before being knocked out with a shoulder injury. His backups are highly touted, which includes the number one rated QB out of high school this year by most accounts, Ben Olson. Replacing Staley at running back is Marcus Whalen. You don't just replace clutch performances like that, but Whalen has the total skills after displaying flashes just two years ago as a freshman on national television. He missed all of last fall due to off-field troubles and spent the spring on the injured list. The depth factor is left with slim pickings and so getting Whalen to suit up for most of the year should be a priority. The receiver position is covered so to speak with senior Reno Mahe running routes. This is one of the nation's best receivers in one of the nation's best passing systems. Good numbers exist aside from Mahe, but none come close to matching his playmaking ability. Up front the group is lead by big tackle Ben Archibald who is a master at run blocking. Many scouting reports will note the loss of a few key linemen, but Dustin Rykert is the best on the team and he is at the other tackle spot. A great collection of tackles for any BYU passer is a huge bonus and a solid place to start. Coaches just need to find some new faces in the middle. These cats are all huge, averaging over 305 square pounds per man.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Bret Engemann-Jr Matt Berry-Fr
FB Logan Deans-So Jared Harper-So
HB Marcus Whalen-So Jared Harper-So
WR Andrew Ord-Sr Rod Wilkerson-So
WR Reno Mahe-Sr Toby Christensen-Jr
TE Spencer Nead-Sr Gabriel Reid-Sr
OT Dustin Rykert-Sr James Eastman-So
OG Quinn Christensen-Sr Vince Xanthos-Jr
C Ryan Keele-Sr Jeff Rhea-Fr
OG Isaac Herring-Sr Nate Hall-Fr
OT Ben Archibald-Sr Hanale Vincent-So
K Matt Payne-So ..



The defense gave up over 30 points a game last year. No need to go any further. Coaches seem determined to avoid the same catastrophe in 2002. The new and improved version has to start with All-American cornerback candidate Jernaro Gilford. Opponents had as much ease passing on the Cougars as they did rushing with the ball and the defensive backfield was noticeably a source of the problem after injuries started to take a toll. A few newcomers should help digest the bitter pill of a year ago with the arrival of JUCO transfers Walt Williams and James Allen. Both should push for time on the field right away. If the injury bug can stay out of the Provo backfield the outlook is much more positive. The middle of the front line should be set, but the outside has been left bare with the departures of Denney and Keisel. The linebacker situation has had a few shifts as the teams leading returning tackler, Paul Walkenhorst, has been moved to the middle in an attempt to fill the huge shoes of Justin Ena. The truth of the matter is that last season's lack of production won't be too difficult to maintain, but a major overhaul and attitude adjustment may not quite be the answer. Not much experience exists outside of a small handful of returning starters and the Brigham Young defense has never been known to pack a serious bite. Don't wait for a miracle, but look for some better play.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE John Denny-So Brandon Stephens-So
DT Jeff Cowart-Sr Scott Young-Jr
DT Ifo Pili-Jr Nathan Kolbaba-So
DE C.J. Ah You-Fr Brady Poppinga-So
SLB Bill Wright-Jr Levi Madarieta-Jr
MLB Paul Walkenhorst-Jr Mike Tanner-Jr
WLB Colby Bockwoldt-Jr Bryant Atkinson-Fr
CB Jernaro Gilford-Jr Micah Alba-So
CB O'Neil Howell-Fr Walt Williams-Jr
SS Brandon Heaney-Jr Michael Madsen-Jr
FS Aaron Francisco-So Joshua Brandon-Sr
P Tyson Dunham-Jr Matt Payne-So
Ben Archibald and Dustin Rykert make up a spectacular tackle duo worthy of protecting any quarterback or blowing open holes for any ball carrier. - (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)