LARAMIE, Wyo. — BYU junior running back Curtis Brown enjoyed a little lunch date with a Cougar predecessor this week, one Luke Staley — the featured back from 2001 who racked up game, season and career rushing and scoring marks and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top back.
"We just talked about how his career went and all," said Brown, who joined Staley and three other standout BYU backs in most career games rushing more than 100 yards.
With 153 yards net rushing in Saturday's 35-21 victory over Wyoming, Brown has 10 games over the proverbial century mark — half of those 10 this season — and joins Staley, Jamal Willis, Lakei Hemuli and John Ogden as the Cougar career leaders in 100-yard games.
And Brown, who last year had a season-high 159 yards against this same Wyoming team, not only has one more regular-season game this fall, he still has a senior season remaining.
"I'm stepping into his number and his shoes," said Brown, who wears the same No. 6 jersey Staley made famous. "He's a great mentor to me."
With his 153 yards rushing and two ground touchdowns against Wyoming, Brown now has 942 total yards and a dozen scores on the ground. But he also has some perspective, thanks to the lunch visit with Staley, who when talk came around to records reminded Brown that he missed fourth quarters of blowout games, missed three games (two to injury and one because of academic concerns) and skipped his senior year entirely to opt for the NFL Draft.
"He humbled me," admitted Brown.
TO DYE FOR: KSL Radio sideline reporter James Dye — a former two-time all-conference return specialist for the Cougars who also played at Wyoming — was accosted by Cowboy fans wanting to start something after the game.
"Hey, I played two years at Wyoming," he said. "Why don't you go ask (former Cowboy head coach) Joe Tiller who I am."
NEW FORMATION: Concerned with blocked punts in each of the previous two games, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall assigned a new threesome in the backfield of punt formations to help protect Derek McLaughlin.
The trio are 6-foot-3, 348-pound guard Brian Sanders; 6-5, 312-pound tackle Eddie Keele; and 6-4, 313-pound nose tackle Manaia Brown — or nearly a half-ton of protection for McLaughlin.
FUTURE COUGARS: A couple of BYU recruits had big games in Utah high school state playoff games this weekend.
Pine View quarterback James Lark needed only three quarters to collect 304 passing yards and three aerial scores and another 79 rushing yards and a TD on the ground in the Panthers' 58-14 victory over Grantsville. And while he gained a meager 37 yards on 18 carries against Alta, Brighton back Mike Hauge opened the game with a 66-yard kickoff return and then scored on a 99-yarder in the fourth quarter in the Bengals' 31-28 triumph.
MISCELLANEOUS: Injury updates include receiver Zac Collie (a twisted ankle, with initial X-rays coming back negative) and katback K.C. Bills (a concussion and under observation) . . . With scoring drives of 84, 89 and 94 yards, the Cougars collected some of the longest drives of the season . . . BYU now leads the overall series against Wyoming (39-30-3), now with back-to-back victories over the Cowboys after last year's 24-13 win in Provo. Wyoming had won two of the last three games played in Laramie.