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First winning record of Bronco era

LAS VEGAS — It's been exactly one year since BYU last found itself with a winning record. A year ago, on Nov. 6, the Cougars defeated San Diego State to move to 5-4 on the season.

On Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium, BYU moved to 5-4 again with a resounding 55-14 win over UNLV. It marks the first time during the Bronco Mendenhall Era that the Cougars own a winning record.

Is there any significance to that?

"It's the next step. There have been a lot of firsts and this is just the next one," Mendenhall said. "It doesn't mean we're at the end. We're still at the beginning. This program is being shaped and molded with every game that we play."

"It feels good to win. It's a great feeling to come into someone else's place, even though it almost didn't seem like it because we had so many BYU fans here," said quarterback John Beck. "To come on the road and get a win was great for us and keeps us rolling heading into Wyoming."

Mendenhall and Beck know that last year the Cougars went on to lose their final two games.

Like a year ago, BYU has two more games — next week at Wyoming and the finale Nov. 19 at home against Utah. The Cougars need one more win to be bowl eligible, something they haven't done since 2001.

STILL PERFECT IN VEGAS: With the win Saturday, BYU improved its record to 6-0 all-time against UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium.

It was BYU's most lopsided win over UNLV since recording a 54-14 victory here in 1980. The lopsided result was a departure from recent games. Four of the last five games between the two teams had been decided by a touchdown or less.

NOTES: For the second week in a row, BYU allowed a blocked punt. "It's very frustrating," Mendenhall said. "That really bothers me. Because of the emphasis we placed on it and to see another one, I'm pretty upset about that." . . . Beck has now started 23 games for BYU, while offensive tackle Jake Kuresa has started 31 . . . The following Cougar players did not travel to Las Vegas — quarterback Jackson Brown, defensive back Aaron Singh, defensive back Quinn Gooch (hamstring), defensive back Chris Hale (hand) and linebacker Terrance Hooks.


E-mail: jeffc@desnews.com