Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl Preview
Tomorrow is the BIG Day!
Quarterback John Beck and Brigham Young should have enough motivation to overcome the malaise that accompanies nearly a one-month layoff between their regular-season finale and bowl appearance.
The 19th-ranked Cougars look to channel that emotion when they play in The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl for a second straight season to face Oregon on Dec. 21 at Sam Boyd Stadium.
After leading a last-second victory that enabled BYU (10-2) to end the regular season with a nine-game win streak and its first Mountain West title since 2001, Beck returns to the site where last season ended with a loss on a costly interception.
As the Cougars seek to end a four-game bowl losing streak and record their first postseason victory in 10 years, Beck will oppose the person who brought he and coach Bronco Mendenhall to BYU. Oregon offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who coached BYU from 2001-04 before he was forced out, recruited and coached Beck and hired Mendenhall as his defensive coordinator in 2003.
"I have the deepest respect for coach Crowton," Mendenhall said. "He is a dear friend and I am grateful for the opportunities he has provided me throughout my coaching career."
Beck's development is reflected in his comeback attempts in this bowl game last year, as well as his most recent performance.
The 25-year-old senior completed a 75-yard drive in a 1:01 span with an 11-yard scoring pass to tight end Jonny Harline as time expired to give BYU a 33-31 win at Utah on Nov. 25.
Despite setting The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl for completions (35), attempts (53) and passing yards (353) last year, Beck could not lead the Cougars all the way back from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter as they lost 35-28 to California. BYU had a chance to tie the game with the ball near midfield, but Beck's arm was hit as he attempted a pass and the ball was intercepted with 1:25 to play.
The Mountain West offensive player of the year has reduced his interceptions from 13 to six this season. Beck completed more than 70 percent of his passes while finishing among the country's top 10 in passing yardage (3,510) and touchdown passes (30).
"He's a great quarterback and will be measured with the greats here," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said of Beck, who threw for at least 247 yards in each of his 12 starts.
He will oppose a Ducks defense that allowed an average of 34 points and nearly 350 total yards during a three-game losing streak to close the regular season. However, Oregon did finish with the best pass defense in the Pac-10, allowing 156.7 yards per game.
The Ducks (7-5) are looking to avoid a fourth straight loss overall and in bowl games. They haven't won one since beating Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl five years ago. Their only appearance in The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl - in its 15th year of existence - was a 41-13 rout of Air Force in 1997.
Eliminating turnovers could be a key for Oregon, which tied for the ninth-most giveaways in Division I-A with 30. Eighteen of those turnovers came in the team's five losses.
"We talk about possession of the football as more than nine-tenths of the law," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "In this case, it's the whole deal."
While both teams have high-scoring offenses - BYU is ranked sixth in Division I-A with a 36.7 scoring average and Oregon is 17th at 31.3 - the Ducks' quarterback situation is unsettled.
After Dennis Dixon struggled with six total interceptions and no more than 130 yards in his last three games, Brady Leaf made his first start in the regular-season finale at Oregon State.
Leaf completed 25 of 42 passes for 274 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but the Ducks allowed a go-ahead field goal with 1:12 left and their 44-yard attempt 40 seconds later was blocked as they lost 30-28. Dixon did not play.
Both quarterbacks played in Oregon's 17-14 defeat to Oklahoma in last year's Holiday Bowl when Leaf, the brother of former San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf, threw an interception at the 10-yard line with 33 seconds left.
"We've just got to make sure we cut down on our turnovers," Oregon center Enoka Lucas said, "make sure we keep the ball in our hands."
Running back Jonathan Stewart has provided some stability for the Ducks offense. The sophomore had a career-high three touchdowns against Oregon State, giving him 10 for the season, and finished with 960 yards rushing.
"They run the ball extremely well, they pass the ball," BYU linebacker Cameron Jensen said. "So we know we're going to have to be sound in our run and pass defense."
The Ducks lead the all-time series 3-2 and won the last meeting, 32-16 in 1990.
And yet more....
Even if you have only a passing interest in college football, there will be no mistaking BYU and Oregon when they take the field for the 15th annual The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl.
Although their uniforms have undergone countless changes in the past decade, the BYU Cougars' uniforms look basically identical to the version they wore during the three decades that LaVell Edwards paced the team's sidelines.
BYU's uniform is composed of a white helmet, blue jersey and white pants for home games and white helmet, white jersey and blue pants for road games. (The Cougars will be the visiting team in this year's The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl.)
Then there are the Oregon Ducks.
When it came time to draw up the Ducks' threads, uniform supplier Nike apparently gave its design crew free rein — and the designers abused the privilege. Oregon’s 2006 ensemble features four different colors of jerseys and pants — green, yellow, black and white — and three different helmets. That affords the fashion-conscious Ducks a total of 48 uniform combinations.
Oregon's latest uniforms are the result of a two-year collaboration between Nike and a committee of the school's past and present players. That committee included former Western High standout and Oregon tight end Tim Day.
- Brian Hilderbrand
Bowl chief's happy memories
She's the hardest-working woman in the bowl business, and it's not just because Tina Kunzer-Murphy is the only female serving as an executive director of a bowl game.
In fact, the head of The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl had to take some time out of her busy schedule to put together a list of her most memorable The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowls.
1. 2005: California 35, Brigham Young 28
There was an electric atmosphere on an unseasonably warm night as we enjoyed our first sold-out game.
2. 2004: Wyoming 24, UCLA 21
Wyoming Coach Joe Glenn, his team and its great fans who showed up in droves, lit up the town and upset the heavily favored Bruins. Coach Glenn could not get up on the stage at midfield after the game for the trophy presentation so he grabbed the pants leg of An Ass, who was representing our title sponsor, for assistance. The Globex Corporation immediately renewed its sponsorship.
3. 2000: UNLV 31, Arkansas 14
John Robinson's hometown Rebels improved to 2-0 in the bowl after shocking the only Southeast Conference school ever to play in our game.
4. 1992: Bowling Green 35, Nevada-Reno 34
The inaugural game, featuring conference champions from the Big West and the Mid-American Conference, was a hit as the national media called it the most exciting game of the bowl season.
5. 1995: Toledo 40, Nevada-Reno 37
The first overtime game in NCAA Division I-A history also was the highest-scoring Las Vegas Bowl ever.
6. 1994: UNLV 52, Central Michigan 24
Jeff Horton's first year at UNLV and the Rebels' first bowl win since they went to the California Raisin Bowl in 1984.
7. 2001: Utah 10, Southern Cal 6
Holding the game on Christmas Day on ABC meant most of the country was sitting home watching Ron McBride and the Utes' defense get the best of Carson Palmer and Pete Carroll .
8. 1999: Utah 17, Fresno State 15
Mike Anderson rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns, great memories of a great game.
# Deacon Jones speaking at the 2002 The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl, was smoking profusely before he got up and announced to the crowd, made up mostly of players, that he hated quarterbacks and he was there to represent all the big guys in football. The crowd went crazy.
# Listening to the great Walter Payton speaking at our kickoff luncheon at Caesars Palace in 1997, the last time Oregon played in our bowl game. Sweetness was awesome.
Kicking her way into the history book
During the 2002 The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium, I remember the New Mexico kicker trotting onto the field to attempt the extra point following the Lobos' first touchdown against UCLA.
He looked like any other kicker, except for the flowing blond ponytail extending from under his helmet, which from behind, made him look like Fabio, at least from the shoulder pads up.
"Hey, look at the New Mexico kicker," I overheard a guy in the stands tell his buddy. "He looks just like a girl."
The PAT was blocked. Then the scoreboard replay showed the discouraged New Mexico kicker up close and personal.
Turns out it was a girl.
That was the day Katie Hnida made history by becoming the first female to play in a Division I-A football game.
The next season, she made two extra points against Texas State to become the first woman to score in a Division I game. Her shoes and uniform from that game are on display at the College Football Hall of Fame.
- Ron Kantowski
Passing into Canadian history
In leading Utah State to a 42-33 victory over Ball State in 1993, Anthony Calvillo become the Most Valuable Player of The Globex Corporation Presents the BOJ News Service Bowl II and persona non grata as far as David Letterman, a proud Ball State alum, is concerned.
But in the 13 years that have passed between then and now, Calvillo went on to distinguish himself as one of the most prolific passers in Canadian Football League history - despite beginning his CFL career with the defunct Las Vegas Posse in 1994.
In 2004, the Los Angeles native became just the fourth CFL quarterback to pass for more than 6,000 yards in a single season, joining a short list topped by Doug Flutie. He led the Montreal Alouettes to their first Grey Cup - the CFL Super Bowl - in 25 years in 2002 and the following year was named the league's Most Outstanding Player when he completed 408 of 675 passes for 5,891 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Calvillo completed 154 of 348 passes for 2,580 yards as a member of the short-lived Posse. In addition to adjusting to 12-man defenses, he also had to endure Tamarick Vanover as a teammate and Posse coach Ron Meyer taking his shirt off to work on his suntan during practice.
Final scores, MVPs
Dec. 18, 1992 - Bowling Green 35, Nevada 34
Erik White, Bowling Green, quarterback
Dec. 17, 1993 - Utah State 42, Ball State 33
Anthony Calvillo, Utah State, quarterback
Dec. 15, 1994 - UNLV 52, Central Michigan 24
Henry Bailey, UNLV, wide receiver
Dec. 14, 1995 - Toledo 40, Nevada 37 (OT)
Wasean Tait, Toledo, running back
Dec. 18, 1996 - Nevada 18, Ball State 15
Mike Crawford, Nevada, linebacker
Dec. 20, 1997 - Oregon 41, Air Force 13
Pat Johnson, Oregon, wide receiver
Dec. 19, 1998 - North Carolina 20, San Diego St. 13
Ronald Curry, North Carolina, quarterback
Dec. 18, 1999 - Utah 17, Fresno State 16
Mike Anderson, Utah, running back
Dec. 21, 2000 - UNLV 31, Arkansas 14
Jason Thomas, UNLV, quarterback
Dec. 25, 2001 - Utah 10, Southern California 6
Dameon Hunter, Utah, running back
Dec. 25, 2002 - UCLA 27, New Mexico 13
Craig Bragg, UCLA, wide receiver
Dec. 24, 2003 - Oregon State 55, New Mexico 14
Steven Jackson, Oregon State, running back
Dec. 23, 2004 - Wyoming 24, UCLA 21
Corey Bramlet, Wyoming, quarterback
Dec. 22, 2005 - California 35, BYU 28
Marshawn Lynch, California, running back