BYU Cougars vs. Utah State Aggies
Date and Time: Friday, September 29, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Romney Stadium, Logan, UT
Opening College Football Odds: BYU -3
BYU vs. Utah State TV Coverage: CBS Sports Network
When Tanner Mangum was forced into starting duties as a freshman a couple years ago, he took the rest of the country by storm, immediately becoming a viable option in spite of the fact that he looked as green as could be in the huddle and on the field. Thus when it was finally his opportunity to step into the role as a full-time starter this season, good things were expected.
Instead, BYU has been a disaster. The Cougars have scored a total of just 39 points in four games, and now, Mangum is out through October with an ankle injury.
Beau Hoge was terrible against Wisconsin. Granted, that was against a very good Wisky team, but to throw for just 111 yards on 20 attempts, one of which went for 50 yards just before halftime, is disgraceful. If Hoge can’t improve after his week off, this will be another long game in an already long season for the Cougars.
Utah State was really popping last week against San Jose State. The Aggies outgained the Spartans 589-171 and forced five turnovers in a dominant 61-10 victory.
If there’s a knock on what the Aggies did, it came in turning the ball over. They committed three turnovers, two of which were interceptions. That said, Kent Myers had 181 yards as a passer and 84 more as a rusher, totaling four touchdowns in the romp. If he plays like that, Utah State is going to have a real chance at taking down its instate rival.
98 – The number of snaps Utah State had last week against San Jose State.
For a team averaging 79 snaps per game, the explosion against San Jose State was unexpected. But that’s what these Aggies are really capable of. Myers gets to the line of scrimmage relatively quickly in this offense and can keep the ball moving in a hurry.
We’ve seen that against both Idaho State and San Jose State in two very easy games for the Aggies. Against Wisconsin and Wake Forest? Not so much. Then again, in those two games, Utah State was beaten by the aggregate score of 105-20, while it beat San Jose State and Idaho State by an almost equal 112-23.
BYU vs. Utah State Free Picks
We’re going to find out a lot about BYU this week. The Cougars had a really tough schedule at the start of the season and got the snot blitzed out of them. Now, they’re playing with a backup quarterback who looked like a deer in headlights in his first game, yet he’s had a bye week to get things together for what will be his second career start.
This task is much easier for the Cougars, and we find a lot of value here as a result.
Let’s not forget that all of the top internet sportsbooks and sports media outlets were touting this BYU team as one that could have been a fringy contender for the College Football Playoff at the outset of this season. If that was really true, this team should take care of this game in spite of the fact that this spread is so darn close.
We’re not supremely confident that the Cougars won’t just fall apart and not even make a bowl game this year, but we suspect they’re going to have a decent response on the road after a week off.
College Football ATS Pick: BYU -3 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: BYU 23, Utah State 19