BYU vs. Utah State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Cougars and Aggies.
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
TV Broadcast: ESPNU
BYU (7-4) was caught in a rough patch when its 2016 campaign started out 1-3, but the Cougars pieced together three straight wins after that. One 28-27 loss to Boise State later, and Kalani Sitake’s team is riding yet another three-game winning streak. It took down Cincinnati and Southern Utah to begin November. Last weekend, the Cougars hosted UMass and destroyed the Minutemen, 51-9.
Utah State (3-8) has not seen a ton of success in its season, as it sits in sixth place in the Mountain West’s Mountain division. The Aggies had lost three games in a row before beating Fresno State at home on Oct. 22, 38-20. Since then, Matt Wells’ team has fallen in four straight games. It lost to San Diego State, Wyoming and New Mexico before it was taken down by Nevada last weekend.
BYU leads the all-time series with Utah State, 47-35-3. And it was the Cougars who won last year’s matchup in Logan, 51-28.
What To Know About BYU
Taysom Hill had a quality game against UMass by completing 18-of-30 passes for 165 yards. He was spelled by Tanner Mangum, who came into the game and completed 2-of-4 passes for 19 yards and a touchdown. Moroni Laulu-Pututau was found five times for 42 yards. Colby Pearson added two catches for 38 yards, and Mitchell Juergens caught three balls for 24 yards. However, the touchdown was reeled in by Garrett Juergens from seven yards out for his only catch.
On the ground, the Cougars got 101 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 carries from KJ Hall. Hill added 81 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. And Harvey Langi punched it into the end zone twice while taking 14 touches for 56 rushing yards.
What to Know About Utah State
In the loss to Nevada, Kent Myers was less than spectacular through the air. He connected on 10-of-18 passes for 127 yards and an interception. Myers found Ron’Quavion Tarver three times for 51 yards. Gerold Bright hauled in three balls for 43 yards. And then Wyatt Houston and Zach Van Leeuwen combined for 33 yards on four receptions.
The running attack was led by Tonny Lindsey yet again. He ran for 168 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Myers toted the rock like he usually does and picked up two touchdowns and 90 rushing yards on 11 carries. Rayshad Lewis also found the end zone and ran for 83 yards on four rushing attempts.
Offense: BYU – Hill has the ability to take over a game with either his arm or his legs.
Defense: BYU – The Cougars are No. 18 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 20.3 points per game.
Special Teams: BYU – Rhett Almond has filled in nicely for the injured Jake Oldroyd by connecting on 16-of-19 field goal attempts and accounting for 80 total points.
Coaching: BYU – Sitake has had a very successful season as a first-year head coach.
Matchup To Watch
Utah State running game vs. BYU defense
The key for the Aggies is to get Myers out on the edge and moving the chains with his legs early. He has the ability to make plays with his arm, but if he can start creating on the ground in the first half, that will put pressure on BYU to make adjustments and guard against it. If the Cougars pay too much attention to Myers, Lindsey can bust out of the gate and pick up yards in a hurry.
Spread: BYU -19
BYU vs. Utah State Prediction
Myers won’t be able to generate too many positive plays with his legs, and he’ll be forced to throw the ball more than Wells would want him to in this game. He’ll throw a couple of touchdowns, but he’ll get picked off as well. Lindsey will be bottled up for the most part. The Cougars will get a solid effort on the ground from Hill and Hall yet again. BYU will come out on top in this one.
BYU vs. Utah State Score Prediction: BYU 31, Utah State 20