College Football Predictions: How BYU and Utah Games Will Play Out

Wyoming will try to bring a bully stick to BYU on Saturday night in Provo. But is a club big enough?

Beating the Cougars at Provo, Laramie, Las Vegas or Mars would make the season for the Cowboys and respected veteran head coach Craig Bohl.

Bohl knows exactly how much Wyoming fans despise the Cougars and knows what a victory would mean for the Cowboy Commonwealth in the middle of the Rockies.

Bohl is a defensive-minded coach and must have seen a movie of the Oregon game where the Ducks linemen chased the Cougars and physically pushed them. Wyoming may not have the same manpower in the trenches as Oregon, but Bohl has big bodies, pretty good athletes and will have them itching to chase BYU at the line of scrimmage.

The big question is, can his young team get physical contact with the Cougars at BYU’s home field?

Bohl’s roots with the physical game are deep and rich after stints in Nebraska as a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, three FCS titles in North Dakota State with stops at Tulsa, Wisconsin, Rice and Duke.

He is an expert in preparing his teams for the big moments. It will be an honor for Bohl to do his job at LaVell Edwards Stadium. It’s a class act in a rivalry that has historically had many rough edges.

“It’s a legendary rivalry,” BYU tight end Isaac Rex said this week. “I know that from the WAC and Mountain West days, Wyoming has always been a key game for us. They’re going to be tough, they’re going to be brave, Wyoming is a good team, so we have to be really prepared.”

Look for BYU to play their late-running game against Wyoming. The Cougars need to get a better boost for their running backs, and those ball carriers have been challenged to be more efficient at gaining yards. Anything less than 135 on Saturday would be an F.

But this game will be won by BYU’s passing game because offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick has the weapons. If Puka Nacua is able to play, it’s the icing on the cake. BYU’s offensive line has struggled with run blocking, but it’s the exact opposite with pass protection. Darrell Funk’s professional pass design and execution are outstanding and that will set up quarterback Jaren Hall for some big plays.

Utah in the state of Arizona

The first Pac-12 game for Utah at Arizona State is a post-Herm Edwards affair that has all the makings of a big Utah win.

Look for the Utah offense to mow down the Sun Devils. Cam Rising is going to have a great game and put up some numbers. Utah’s defense is good enough to give ASU a lot of trouble. Easy road win for Utah to go 1-0 in the league and start the real season in their title defense.

UNLV in Utah

This game is a draw even though some bettors favor UNLV to win at Logan by three points. The Aggies have experienced some challenges earlier this season and have yet to fully recover from the loss to Alabama and subsequent setback at the hands of Weber State at Maverick Stadium.

This game will be decided on who gets the most turnovers. Blake Anderson really needs this win to get things rolling in Mountain West. The defending champion and previously ranked Aggie program can’t afford to let that 2021 momentum slip away.


predictions

Washington 34, Stanford 17

Clemson 28, Wake Forest 21

Baylor 28, Iowa State 24

Louisville 31, South Florida 14

UCLA 24, Colorado 21

Tennessee 27, Florida 24

Texas 38, Texas tech 28

North Carolina 24, Notre Dame 21

Oregon 42, Washington State 21

California 21, Arizona 19

Arkansas 27, Texas A&M 24

UNLV 17, Utah State 14

Oklahoma 38, Kansas State 28

Southern California 37, Oregon State 28

Utah 41, Arizona State 17

BYU 38, Wyoming 21

Last week 11-3: 29-10 overall (.743).

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