With former quarterback Zach Wilson moving onto the NFL, most college football projections had BYU taking a step back this season. Instead, they’re 4-0 and ranked No. 13 with wins over two ranked opponents in the first four weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Utah State took a deflating loss in their last contest with a 27-3 loss to Boise State after having started the season 3-0. The Aggies didn’t have any insanely notable wins, but their victories over Washington State and Air Force at least deserve a pat on the back.
Utah State’s offense was superb up until their meeting with Boise State. Can the Aggies find more offense against a BYU team that has allowed under 400 yards of offense per game this season?
- Opening Line: BYU -7.5, O/U 58.5
- Current Line: BYU -7.5, O/U 60.5
- Last meeting: November 2, 2019, BYU 42, Utah State 14
There is no question that Utah State has surprised some folks to start the year. With wins over Washington State and Air Force — on the road, no less — they’ve turned some heads. The offense is averaging 31.5 points per game along with 533.3 yards per game. It’s also a balanced attack with 319.8 yards passing and 213.5 yards rushing.
It’s been an up and down season for Utah State quarterback Logan Bonner, but he has faired well if you take away the Boise State game. Bonner threw two interceptions and completed just 11 of 25 passes for 173 yards in the loss.
Defensively, Utah State has looked terrible in coverage, allowing 263.5 yards per game through the air. Their defense is also giving up 463.3 yards and 29.8 points per game. It’s hard to win when the offense goes up against elite defenses.
That’s what the Aggies are about to run into for the second straight week.
BYU has allowed under 400 yards per game, and their opponents are scoring just 19.3 points per game against them. They shut down Utah and Arizona State already this season, holding them to just 17 points. They had their worst week on defense against South Florida, allowing 27 points in a 35-27 win.
That game against South Florida was a bit puzzling, but BYU found a way to come out with the win thanks to a 21-0 start in the first quarter.
Right now, the Cougars are proving how dominant they can be at the line of scrimmage with fantastic pass protection and a solid passing game. They are averaging 219.5 yards per game behind Jaren Hall. He is not Zach Wilson, but he is good enough.
Hall actually missed the game against South Florida, allowing sophomore Baylor Romney to start in his place. Romney is a solid backup, but BYU expects to have Hall back for this game against Utah State.
- Cougars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games.
- Under is 5-0 in Cougars last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Road team is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
I’m capping this game as if Hall is starting for BYU. If he isn’t, I still believe the outcome will remain the same.
BYU has really shown minor weaknesses in their first four games. With two wins against ranked opponents, they’ve performed well. The pass protection will give Hall or Romney plenty of time in the pocket, and Utah State’s rush defense really hasn’t been effective at all this year.
There is also reason to believe that BYU can get some pressure on Utah State’s Logan Bonner, who struggles when the pressure starts to get to him in the pocket.
This should be a double-digit BYU victory, and if Hall starts, the line might tick up a couple of by kickoff.
Pick: BYU -7.5 (-110)
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