The 19th-ranked BYU Cougars take on the Utah State Aggies on Thursday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. The Cougars, who are an Independent, are 3-1 while the Aggies of the Mountain West Conference are 1-3. These state rivals play each other every year, with BYU winning 7 of the last 10, including 1 34-20 win last season at Utah State, where they covered as an 8.5 point favorite. The Cougars are favored by a massive 24 points in this one. can they cover the large spread?
Utah State turns it over -- a lot -- in loss to UNLVIt has been a tough year so far for the Aggies. They beat Connecticut in the opener 3-20, but UConn football is not anywhere near UConn basketball -- in fact, they are among the worst teams in the FBS. Then the Aggies proceeded to lose the next three, getting crushed by Alabama 55-0, trounced by Weber State 35-7 as a 7.5-point favorite, and losing t0 UNLV 34 -24 as a 3-point underdog. Utah State really wasn't even that close, as a late touchdown and a 2 point conversion made the final score respectable. Now if you look at the stats, the game seemed pretty close. Utah State outgained UNLV 421 to 320, they threw for 325 yards and had more first downs -- holding a 22-21 edge.
https://t.co/K6PE3dJ8Pv If this continues the Pokes could very well get a shot at teeing off on Williams on October 22.— MatthewQuigley (@MatthrewQuigley) September 23, 2022
But here's the gaudy stat that jumps out at you -- turnovers. The Aggies had 6 turnovers -- yes 6 -- compared to 0 for UNLV. Quarterback Logan Bonner was the major culprit, throwing 4 interceptions. That stat line jumps out at you as he was 20-31 for 246 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 picks. Levi Williams came on in the fourth quarter, and he also threw a pick, going 7 for 10 for 67 yards and 1 interception. The Aggies also had a gaudy 11 penalties for 93 yards. It is hard to win games when you are shooting yourself in the foot. Bonner also threw 3 picks against Weber State the previous game. It is not clear if he will start or if they will go with Williams. But either one will have their hands full with BYU.
Davis runs wild for BYUThe BYU Cougars responded to their tough loss to the Oregon Ducks two weeks ago with a solid win over Wyoming at home last weekend. The showdown at Oregon was a good yardstick game for the Cougars, but they fell well hot against a national powerhouse, losing 41-20 as a 3.5-point underdog. Maybe there was some hangover from that last weekend as they came back home to face Wyoming and had a tougher time than expected. They were 21-point favorites against the Cowboys, but only won 38-24. And it was 35-24 before Justen Smith kicked a 25-yard field goal with about a minute left to add a little more cushion.
He was thaaaaaaaat close! #BYU freshman RB Miles Davis went off vs Wyoming. 13 carries for 131 yards. This 70 yarder gives BYU multiple players with 70+ yard runs in a season for the first time in school history. (Nacua 75 yards vs USF)#BYUFootball l @KSLSports pic.twitter.com/5DaUcFhOac— Sam Farnsworth (@Samsworth_KSL) September 26, 2022
But BYU really should have won by more, considering they racked up a ridiculous 525 yards of total offense. But they only had 19 first down to 22 for Wyoming. A big problem in the game was penalties as they were called for 11 penalties for 109 yards while Wyoming had just 2 penalties for 20 yards. That massive penalty discrepancy really closes the gap in terms of real total yards. Quarterback Jaren Hall was pretty close to perfect, as he was 26 for 32 for 337 yards and 4 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. Keanu Hill caught 5 passes for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns while Brayden Cosper had 4 receptions for 58 yards and a score. Miles Davis made beautiful music with 130 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This game really should be a lot closer than 24 points, but there are some extenuating circumstances on why it won't be. For starters, Logan Bonner really is better than he has been playing. He has had some rough games as of late, and maybe he is banged up. But this is not the type of game to work out the kinks. BYU is a top 20 team, a heated rival, and they are coming off a couple of games where maybe they underachieved a little. I think they come out here with things tightened up, as far as the penalties go, and they'll look for a dominant win to get back on track. Take BYU here giving up the points.
Full-Game Total Pick
BYU ran roughshod over a pretty good opponent that plays in the same conference as Utah State last week. Wyoming came into that game with a record of 3-1 and they hung around, although ultimately lost by 14 points. Wyoming had no answers for BYU's offense -- which dominated in the run game an the passing game. Utah State will have even fewer answers as their defense has been pretty bad, ranking No. 117 in the FBS and getting lit up by Weber State and UNLV. Even UConn got 20 points off them. BYU will wind up the 40s, easily, here, but I still like the under because I don't see Utah State generating much more than a couple of touchdowns. Take the under.