Reeling from yet another loss, BYU's football team will take a week-long break before beginning preparations for meeting Colorado in the Freedom Bowl later this month.
BYU, 8-4, finished the regular season Saturday with a 41-17 loss to No. 2-ranked Miami in the Orange Bowl.The Cougars, who have lost three of their last four games, will be up against a similar losing streak in bowl games when they meet Colorado. They have lost three straight bowl games (to Ohio State in the '85 Citrus Bowl, UCLA in the '86 Freedom Bowl and Virginia in the '87 All-American Bowl). Their overall bowl record of 4-8 isn't much better.
Colorado, 8-3, will be another stiff test for BYU. The Buffaloes' three losses this season were all to nationally ranked teams, and only one of those losses wasn't close. They were soundly beaten by Oklahoma State, 41-21, but they were barely edged by Oklahoma, 17-14, and Nebraska, 7-0.
The Buffaloes are led by sophomore running back Eric Bieniemy, who finished sixth nationally in rushing with 1,243 yards. He averaged 5.7 yards a carry, 124.3 a game.
Before meeting CU, the Cougars hope to use their time off to heal their wounds. Defensive tackle Tim Clark, recovering from a knee injury, didn't make the Miami trip. He could be ready to play in the bowl game. However, the Cougars definitely won't have the services of all-conference cornerback Rodney Rice, who broke an arm against Miami.
After yanking Sean Covey in three of their last four games because of ineffectiveness, BYU coaches are considerng a change at quarterback, which would mean starting freshman Ty Detmer in his place. Following the Miami game, Edwards said he and his coaching staff would discuss the matter next week, after returning from their recruiting trips. It is the first time this year he has not emphasized Covey was the starter.
Covey had another rough outing Saturday. He completed 7 of 17 passes for 59 yards and was intercepted twice. He was benched late in the second quarter, with BYU trailing 24-3. Detmer started roughly, throwing two second-quarter interceptions, but he settled down in the third and threw two touchdown passes. He wound up throwing a third interception, but only because the pass glanced off the hands of the intended receiver. Detmer completed 16 of 27 passes for 212 yards, which accounted for most of BYU's meager 322 yards total offense.
The regular season is finished, which means the statistics are final. BYU's best numbers were produced by senior wide receiver Chuck Cutler. His 64 receptions have been bettered by only four BYU players - Jay Miller, Phil Odle, Gordon Hudson and Lakei Heimuli. His 1,039 receiving yards rank second behind only Miller's 1,181 yards. Curiously, after catching 10 touchdown passes in the first eight games of the season, Cutler failed to catch a single TD pass in the remaining four games.
Covey threw for 2,607 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Detmer threw for 1,252 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Junior fullback Fred Whittingham led in rushing with 516 yards. Junior Mike Salido rushed for 336 yards.