PROVO — During the week of practice leading up to Saturday's game against Air Force, BYU's Harvey Unga wore a protective boot on his sprained ankle.

But that didn't stop him from running into the record books in the Cougars' 38-21 victory over the Falcons.

With three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the junior running back's five-yard run catapulted him into first place on BYU's all-time career rushing list. Unga now has 3,281 yards on 649 carries. He overtook Curtis Brown (2002, 2004-06), who had 3,221 yards on 641 carries.

"It's a great honor. Words can't explain how honored I am, to think of all the running backs that have been here," Unga said. "It's definitely something I'm going to cherish and always remember. I appreciate my offensive line for all that they do, as well as Manase (Tonga)."

Said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall: "I couldn't be more proud of him."

Unga credited the doctors and trainers for helping him rehab the ankle all week. He sat out of practice until Thursday.

For the game, Unga rushed 11 times for 67 yards. He said his ankle felt better afterward than it had the previous week against New Mexico.

"I love playing with the guy," quarterback Max Hall said of Unga. "He shows up every Saturday and it shows by the way he plays."

'ACT TO DECEIVE': Midway through the third quarter, BYU ran a trick play that was successful last season against Utah.

But not this time.

The Cougars had the ball at the Air Force two-yard line when Hall walked away from his spot behind center, pointing and gesturing as if barking out instructions. As he did, the ball was snapped to Unga, who ran in for an apparent touchdown.

But the officials whistled Hall for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the touchdown was negated. The officials explained afterwards that the penalty was called "for an unfair act to deceive the opponent. A 15-yard penalty for a live-ball foul was imposed at the previous spot and the down is repeated by rule."

A couple of plays later, Hall was intercepted and the Cougars failed to score.

MORE RECORDS FOR HALL: Hall surpassed former BYU QB John Beck's Mountain West Conference record for career total offensive yards. After a 33-yard pass to McKay Jacobson early in the third quarter, Hall eclipsed Beck's 11,060 career yards.

Later, an 18-yard completion to Andrew George moved him into first place in career passing yards. The previous record of 11,021 was held by Beck. Hall now has 11,039 career passing yards.

TURNOVER TURNABOUT: Air Force entered Saturday's game No. 3 in the nation in turnover margin with 25 takeaways and just seven turnovers.

Against BYU, the Falcons coughed up the ball four times.

JORGENSEN'S STREAK: Senior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen started his 50th consecutive game on Saturday, having started every game in his career.

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JORGENSEN'S RECORD: Jorgensen's tackle-for-loss on Air Force's last possession of the first half gave him 42.5 in his career, which sets a new MWC record. The previous mark was held by TCU's Chase Ortiz, who had 41.5 tackles-for-loss.

FLAG-BEARERS: BYU senior linebacker Shawn Doman carried out the team flag prior to Saturday's game while Marv Allen, a linebacker on the 1984 national championship team, carried the alumni flag.

Joining Allen was Kyle Allen and Jarica, Jaxon and Jaydon Garrick — the children of deceased 1984 teammates Mark Allen and Craig Garrick. Mark Allen, a defensive back, intercepted a pair of passes in BYU's '84 season-opening victory at No. 3 Pttsburgh. Garrick was a first-team all-conference guard.

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

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