POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 02, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 10:33 p.m. HST, Sep 02, 2011
BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS
DEC. 3 AT ALOHA STADIUM
Stadium capacity: 50,000. Surface: UBU Speed Series
>> Head coach: Bronco Mendenhall
>> 2010 record: 7-6 (5-3 Mountain West)
>> Series: BYU, 19-8
>> Last meeting: BYU 35, Hawaii 32
(Sept. 6, 2002, Provo, Utah)
>> Offense: Pro style
>> Defense: 4-3
Returning starters: 10
Primary objective: Build around the talents of QB Jake Heaps, who started 10 games as a true freshman and passed for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns with nine interceptions.
At the controls: Former BYU QB Brandon Doman was promoted to offensive coordinator in January. He will continue to coach quarterbacks.
Leading the charge: RB JJ Di Luigi led the Cougars in rushing with 917 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught a team-high 45 passes.
Key to success: LT Matt Reynolds considered entering the NFL Draft, but returned to anchor the Cougars’ offensive line. He is receiving preseason All-America recognition.
Returning starters: Eight
Primary objective: Maintain the momentum of a strong finish to last season highlighted by major strides on defense.
at the controls: Head coach Bronco Mendenhall took over defensive coordinator duties after firing Jaime Hill five games into last season.
Leading the charge: USC transfer Uona Kaveinga redshirted last season and emerged as a leader at middle linebacker during spring practice.
Key to success: Safety Daniel Sorensen returned from a mission and is a leading candidate to step in for Andrew Rich, last year’s leading tackler. Kamehameha graduate Travis Uale started nine games at free safety and had 42 tackles.
>> First schedule as an independent includes road games against Mississippi, Texas, Oregon State and TCU and five WAC opponents.
>> Signed to play in the Armed Forces Bowl if eligible and not selected to a BCS game.
>> Started last season 2-5, then went 5-1 and closed with a bowl win over UTEP.
>> Head coach Bronco Mendenhall signed a three-year contract extension in January.