LAS VEGAS -- It was a bittersweet reunion for the Pochman clan.

The gathering's only downer? BYU's 20-13 loss to Air Force.Former BYU kicker Ethan Pochman returned to the scene of the greatest moment of his football career -- Sam Boyd Stadium -- to watch his brother, current Cougar kicker Owen, play.

Two years ago in the WAC championship game, Ethan booted the biggest kick in Cougar football history, a 32-yarder in overtime that gave BYU a victory over Wyoming, a 19th WAC title and sent it to a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

He came to support his brother Saturday, making good on a promise that if the Cougars qualified for the WAC title game, he would make the trip from his home in San Diego to be here. It was the first time Ethan had been to a Cougar game this season.

"This is an incredible experience," Pochman said. "My brother is one of the best friends I have in the world. I'm the biggest Owen Pochman fan in the world. The football experience has made our relationship stronger. This is a culmination of our football experience."

Pochman, who had a sideline pass for the game, milled around on the field hours prior to the kickoff and he admitted soaking it all in was an emotional moment. "I cried," he said. "I was standing there at the 32 where I kicked from and my eyes started watering. I remember how fans swelled onto the field after the game. I became so overwhelmed being out there. I didn't expect that to happen."

When he met up with Owen, Ethan didn't dispense any brotherly advice. "We just had a catch on the field, just like the movie 'Field of Dreams.' Playing catch together is something we've always wanted to do. We didn't need to say anything."

Earlier this season, Owen broke Ethan's record of 61 extra points. Owen kicked 62 before missing No. 63. "I hope he breaks 'em all," said Ethan, who still holds the school record for most points scored in a season, 123.

Coming into Saturday's game, Owen had scored 94 points in 1998. "Owen's much better than I am," Ethan said.

Little brother, however, had his troubles Saturday. He had a kick blocked and another field-goal attempt bounce off the left upright.

MEDIA BLITZ: WAC media relations director David Chaffin said 150 press credentials were issued for the game. That's approximately the same number granted for the 1996 conference final between BYU and Wyoming. Interestingly, a few more press passes (160) were requested for the 1997 tilt featuring Colorado State and New Mexico.

THOMPSON A NO-SHOW: Even though it almost could have been billed as the Mountain West Kickoff Classic, commissioner Craig Thompson was nowhere to be found at the WAC championship game.

Thompson, who doesn't officially take over the post until January, was instead attending to duties related to his current job as commish of the Sun Belt Conference. The Mountain West, soon to be the new home of BYU and Air Force, did not try to capitalize on championship festivities to promote itself.

"It would not be appropriate," said BYU athletic director Rondo Fehlberg. "This is the WAC's day. It's a day to remember all the great memories that this conference has provided over the years."

EXTRA POINTS: BYU has now scored in an NCAA record 299 consecutive games . . . Former Cougars Ethan Pochman and Chad Lewis spoke at an alumni association gathering before the game.