BYU vs. Southern Utah prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Cougars and Thunderbirds.
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
BYU (5-4) had a slow start to the season — despite a big win in Week 1 — when it went 1-3. Since then, the Cougars have gone 4-1, with that one loss coming on the road at then-No. 14 Boise State, 28-27. The last time out, BYU was back on the road at Cincinnati and won, 20-3.
When it comes to the Thunderbirds (5-4), they’re sitting in sixth place in the Big Sky. Southern Utah is riding high right now, having won back-to-back games. Two days before Halloween, it took down Idaho State on the road, 52-27. Last weekend, the Thunderbirds defended their home field against Montana State, 38-21.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
What To Know About BYU
That win over the Bearcats didn’t yield a lot of production from Taysom Hill through the air. He completed 15-of-25 passes for 130 yards and an interception, but he did move the chains with his feet. He rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for the Cougars, but the team was led by Jamaal Williams. He racked up 92 yards on 25 carries despite not finding his way into the end zone. Squally Canada also ran for a touchdown and 41 yards with his nine touches.
What to Know About Southern Utah
Meanwhile, Patrick Tyler lit it up for the Thunderbirds last time out. He connected on 25-of-41 throws for 231 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers. Steven Wroblewski, Logan Parker and Cameron Chambers combined for 10 catches and 119 yards. Even though he didn’t catch a touchdown pass, Mike Sharp led the team with eight grabs for 63 yards. And Malik Brown and Raysean Pringle combined for 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
Offense: BYU – Hill has the ability to hurt a team through the air and on the ground. Plus, Williams can tote the rock with the best of ’em.
Defense: BYU – The Cougars are allowing 23 points per game this season.
Special Teams: BYU – Rhett Almond has hit 10-of-12 field goals this season, and his two misses have come from 40-plus yards out.
Coaching: BYU – Kalani Sitake is an exciting, fearless coach. He gives the Cougars the edge.
Matchup To Watch
Taysom Hill vs. Southern Utah defense
The key factor here is Hill. He didn’t have the cleanest game last time out for the Cougars. He needs to take it easy, complete some simple passes to find the touch and then open it up as the game progresses. The biggest issue for the Thunderbirds will be trying to contain him on the ground. Williams will do damage of his own, but Southern Utah can find itself in a favorable position if it limits Hill.
Spread: No line as of publication
Over/Under: No line as of publication
BYU vs. Southern Utah Prediction
Williams is going to run for days. He’s going to run all over the Thunderbirds. He’ll run through and around them. Williams will end up with more than 100 rushing yards and a touchdown, but Hill will really drive home the knockout punches with a couple of rushing touchdowns. The BYU quarterback will also be better with the passing attack, too. He’ll connect on more than half of his throws and notch a touchdown. The Cougars will win easily.
BYU vs. Southern Utah Score Prediction: BYU 42, Southern Utah 14