BYU vs. Wyoming prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Poinsettia Bowl between the Cougars and Cowboys.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 21 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
TV Broadcast: ESPN
BYU (8-4) had a rough go of it in its first four games. It was 1-3 to start the season. But the Cougars won their next three games, and after a loss to Boise State, 28-27, Kalani Sitake’s team won its final four games to end the season.
As for Wyoming (8-5), it pieced together a five-game winning streak to start its season 7-2. However, a triple overtime loss to UNLV, 69-66, turned things around in the wrong direction. The Cowboys dropped their final two games of the season, including the Mountain West title game to San Diego State, 27-24. That loss came two weeks after Wyoming beat the Aztecs, 34-33.
The all-time series between the Cougars and Cowboys is in favor of BYU, 44-30-3. They last met in Provo in 2010, and BYU hung on for the 25-20 win.
What To Know About BYU
A hyperextended elbow will keep Taysom Hill out of this one, and that means Tanner Mangum will be taking the snaps for the Cougars. In three games this year, Mangum has completed 14-of-18 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. However, last season when he filled in for an injured Hill, Mangum threw 23 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and hit on 59.9 percent of his passes for 3,377 yards.
In the running game, BYU has Jamaal Williams to turn to, and he’s done a great job finding the end zone. Williams has rushed for 11 touchdowns while picking up 1,165 yards on 208 carries. Hill had also accounted for a big chunk of the running game with 603 yards and eight touchdowns, meaning now Squally Canada could see more touches. He’s picked up two rushing touchdowns and 298 yards on 70 carries.
What to Know About Wyoming
Linebacker D.J. May is out for the rest of the season with a pectoral injury, effectively ending his time with the Cowboys. But the good news is that won’t affect how they move the ball on offense. Josh Allen has been tossing the ball well, having completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 2,996 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 picks. His leading receiver is Tanner Gentry, who has caught 65 balls for 1,213 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Wyoming can move the chains on the ground, too. That’s where Brian Hill comes into play. He’s toted the rock 323 times and picked up 1,767 yards while scoring 21 touchdowns. He’s clearly the bell cow back for the Cowboys. But Allen can run, too. He’s run the ball into the end zone seven times on the season.
Offense: Wyoming – Allen can sling the ball, and Mangum has barely played this year. Plus, Hill is a beast when he’s carrying the football.
Defense: BYU – The Cougars are No. 32 in total defense, giving up 364.3 yards per game.
Special Teams: BYU – Rhett Almond has hit 36-of-37 extra points and 16-of-20 field goals.
Coaching: Wyoming – Craig Bohl had this team playing for a conference title.
Matchup To Watch
Brian Hill vs. BYU defense
The Cougars have to dedicate every ounce of energy toward stopping Hill. He has the ability to destroy a defense in a hurry by adding up the yards and seeking out the end zone. If BYU doesn’t stack the box and force Allen to make plays with his arm, Hill will do a lot of damage.
Spread: No line as of publication
Over/Under: No line as of publication
BYU vs. Wyoming Prediction
This will be Brian Hill’s game from start to finish. He’ll run for 150 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Allen will chime in with a rushing touchdown to go along with two passing touchdowns. Mangum will play well and will toss three touchdowns to go along with a score from Williams, but BYU won’t be able to pull out the victory. Wyoming wins this one in a close game.
BYU vs. Wyoming Score Prediction: Wyoming 38, BYU 34
Campus Insiders Staff Picks
Brian Stultz: BYU
Jeff Bartl: Wyoming
Rich Cirminiello: BYU
Robert Judin: Wyoming
Pete Fiutak: BYU