BYU Football: Game preview, prediction and live stream vs. Utah State

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

After a bye in Week 4, BYU football returns to the field on Friday night hoping to end a three-game losing streak. Will they take down Utah State on the road?

BYU still has not posted a win over an FBS opponent in 2017. The Cougars opened the year with hopes of challenging for a spot in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games. Instead, they are merely fighting for bowl eligibility of any sort after losing three straight.

The modest win over FCS Portland State seems like it occurred in another season at this point. Defeats against LSU, Utah, and Wisconsin weren’t completely unexpected. But at this point of the season, the Cougars are averaging fewer than 10 points per game on the scoreboard. Kalani Sitake‘s team will hope that a bye week will serve as a reset for this season’s fortunes.

Utah State, meanwhile, also lost to Wisconsin as well as Wake Forest over the first month of the year. But the Aggies also have a conference win in Mountain West play, after blowing out San Jose State 61-10 in Week 4. As the hosts for Friday’s prime-time showdown, the Aggies are hoping to win the Old Wagon Wheel for just the sixth time since Division I split into I-A and I-AA back in 1978.

Here’s how to watch Friday’s game between BYU and Utah State:

Date: Friday, Sept. 29
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Logan, Utah
Venue: Maverik Stadium
TV: CBS Sports Network
Live Stream: CBS Sports

Keys to Victory

For BYU, they need to be far better passing the ball than they have been up to this point of the season. With Tanner Mangum still nursing an ankle injury, it is uncertain whether he will or Beau Hoge will get the start against the Aggies. Either way, they will need to take advantage of a Utah State secondary that is ranked 83rd nationally in opponent passing efficiency but which is also giving up under 200 passing yards per game.

They could also finally use a breakout game from Squally Canada in the backfield. Canada has averaged fewer than 30 yards per game since taking over the running back duties from the graduated Jamaal Williams this season. No matter who starts at quarterback, he will not be effective unless the backfield provides some balance to the offense.

Utah State, meanwhile, will need another strong performance from quarterback Kent Myers. Against San Jose State, Myers was 18-of-24 passing the ball for 181 yards and two scores. He added another 84 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 15 carries, doing his best Chuckie Keeton impression all along the way. To win the Old Wagon Wheel for the first time since 2014, Utah State will need another standout game from Myers.

Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of Sportsbook Review

Point Spread: BYU -3
Over/Under: 46


Rivalry games often seem to bring the best out of teams, and this contest should be no exception. Despite playing on the road and bearing the lower winning percentage, BYU is still a three-point favorite for the Friday showdown. That seems about right for a margin of victory in this contest, making a push more likely than anything else in terms of the betting lines. Of course, that’s only if the Cougars manage to win in the first place.

Despite showing improvement in his mobility, Mangum is going to sit another game out as Hoge gets his second career start. The Aggies won’t be as tough as Wisconsin, but they will nevertheless make life difficult for the Cougars quarterback. Hoge will finish under 200 passing yards and have at least one interception and one strip-sack fumble.

Next: 2017 Top 50 players in college football

Meanwhile, Myers will put up a solid performance for the home side. Myers will play a full game after getting early rest against San Jose State, and he could come close to 300 passing yards against the BYU secondary. Look for Utah State to pull off the upset as BYU’s misery continues full force in 2017. The Aggies will cover the line in the opposite direction in this close encounter between state rivals.

Final Score: Utah State 20, BYU 17