The BYU Cougars will host the Boise State Broncos in an MWC tilt Saturday night from LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Broncos cruised to a 59-37 home win against Hawaii in their previous clash, and the Cougars dropped a 27-23 road decision to South Florida last week. Boise State tallied a 21-16 home win against BYU last season.
#14 Boise State Routs Hawaii, Remains Undefeated
The #14 Boise State Broncos will attempt to keep their undefeated record intact in this challenging road matchup. They also stand at 3-0 in MWC play which included a dominating 59-37 home win against Hawaii last week in a game that had the Broncos labeled as 13 points favorites. Broncos’ QB Hank Bachmeier exited the game early with a hip injury and he is questionable. Chase Cord came in and he was stellar, collecting 175 passing yards with three touchdowns. Boise State has depth at QB and if Bachmeier cannot play in this game, Cord is a capable replacement. Cord has recorded 295 passing yards with a 6:0 TD to INT ratio, while Bachmeier has accumulated 1547 passing yards with a 9:3 TD to INT ratio.
Boise State features two potent RB’s led by Robert Mahone who has accrued 375 rushing yards. The junior RB has rushed for over 70 yards in two out of his last three games, and he has notched 375 yards, while teammate George Holani has 366 rushing yards.
The Broncos have several big threats in their receiving core. They have three players with over 300 receiving yards led by John Hightower. The senior WR is red-hot, securing 246 yards in his last two games, and he is up to 444 receiving yards on the year. The Broncos passing offense will be tested against a good BYU pass defense this week.
The Boise State defense surrendered a season-high 37 points against Hawaii last week, although overall they are solid. The Broncos pass defense stands 43rd in the FBS. They are currently averaging 37 points on the season, ranking them 26th in the country. The Boise State defense is holding opponents to 19.5 points, placing them 27th overall, and they are 2-0 on the road.
BYU Charged with Third Consecutive Defeat
The BYU Cougars are in desperate need of a win. The Cougars losing streak was extended to three games in a 27-23 road loss to South Florida last week in a matchup that had BYU favored by 4.5 points. BYU is playing without #1 QB Zach Wilson and their top running back Ty’Son Williams is out for the remainder of the regular season. Jaren Hall got the start at QB last week and he exited with an injury after completing 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards. Hall is questionable with a possible concussion but OC Jeff Grimes stated he is hopeful the freshman QB will play. If he is unable to suit up, 3rd string QB Baylor Romney will start. Romney connected on 6 of 10 passes for 73 yards last week.
The Cougars rushing offense was able to register 218 yards against USF last week despite playing without their top rusher. Emmanuel Esukpa tallied 43 rushing yards on 13 carries against USF, and he has 184 rushing yards on the year.
Alevo Hifo has the potential to put up big numbers. The senior WR tallied 111 receiving yards against Toledo last month and 87 yards against Washington in week four. Hifo has 303 receiving yards on the season. The BYU offense has not fared well recently due to their tough string of injuries.
The Cougars' defense hasn’t been a big problem in their three-game slide. They are tremendous against the pass, holding opponents to 189 passing yards per game, while their rush defense stands down at 123rd. BYU is scoring an average of 22.3 points, ranking them down at 105th overall. They are allowing an average of 30.5 points, pegging them down at 95th in the FBS. The Cougars are 1-2 on their home field.
The Boise State Broncos are:
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games against BYU.
The BYU Cougars are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against the MWC.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 175 passing yards in their previous game.
- 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight-up loss.