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Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 11 Days

In 11 days the BYU Cougars will kickoff against UConn Huskies.

George Frey

For #11 Brandon Doman it just made sense to play at BYU. Despite interest from schools like Notre Dame and Texas A&M, BYU made the most sense. It was a family thing; he had three older brothers who also played for the Cougars.

Doman squandered a couple years buried in the depth chart and when he finally decided to make the switch, coaches had wanted to play safety, head coach LaVell Edwards wouldn't let him. The quarterback situation had changed and he needed a third string QB. Domans leadership skills started to show in the way that he advocated for himself. He bargained equal practice reps with LaVell so that he would actually have an opportunity to improve his talent. That was in the 2000 season, LaVell's last.

Bret Engemann and Charlie Peterson both got injured during the course of the season and with two games left Doman became the starting QB as a junior and the Cougars were 4-6 on the season. LaVell had gone nearly thirty years without a losing season and it was up to Doman to make sure that streak continued. The next game was against New Mexico, and was the first game in newly named LaVell Edwards Stadium. As if Doman's task wasn't daunting enough, Gordon B. Hinckley's pregame pep talk included, "Don't muff it." That's alright, having the opportunity to perform under pressure is what athlete's live for. He hung 37 points on Bronco Mendenhall's New Mexico defense and BYU won 37-13.

Then, for the last game of the season and the last opportunity to prevent a losing season the 5-6 Cougars went to Rice Stadium to play the Utes in LaVell's last game as a Cougar. With just over a minute to play the Cougars were down 27-26 and were on their own 15-yard line. Doman connected with Jonathan Pittman for a 34-yard gain, and then again on a beautiful fade, toe dragging, sideline reception. Luke Staley advanced the ball the the 4-yard line and then Doman kept the ball on an option. Running to the right sideline, Doman saw some space and made a quick cut up field. The defense collapsed on him as he reached the ball across the goal line. BYU won 34-27, Doman ensured that LaVell would go out with a victory, and kept LaVell from a losing season.