BYU at Toledo
Time: 11 AM CST, Saturday
Spread: BYU -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The BYU Cougars suffered a 19-45 loss to then-No. 22 Washington last week after having knocked off both Tennessee and USC in Weeks 2 and 3. This week, the Cougars take to the road to face Toledo as 2.5-point favorites. The game will air at 11 AM CST, and it has a betting total of 60.5 points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
The BYU Cougars have been good, yet inconsistent, thus far in 2019. The loss last week to Washington raised some red flags that may have been missed from Weeks 1 through 3. To start with, quarterback Zach Wilson had some accuracy issues: He completed 26 of 42, which is respectable, but he launched an interception and only picked up 6.6 yards per throw.
The backfield was not better, picking up less than three yards per attempt and managing just one touchdown. Conversely, the Cougars defense did none of the things to Washington’s offense that was done to it: Jacob Eason threw for 290 yards with three TDs, and Washington picked up another 187 yards on the ground, averaging nearly five yards-per-carry.
Against the USC Trojans in Week 3, those things were far less apparent, though the rushing attack is beginning to surface as a definite weakness for BYU. Even in the win over USC it managed just 3.3 yards-per-carry, merely obscured by the fact it rushed two of those 40 carries for a touchdown. It also benefitted from forcing three INTs during that win. The fact remains, the Cougars are showing enough futility via the rush that any successes can be marginalized. Only Ty’Son Williams boasts enough rush attempts and a good enough average to be considered a real threat.
Zach Wilson is a total fake, averaging only 1.1 yards-per-carry, which is not outstanding enough at all to offset the three interceptions he’s thrown (just matching his three TDs). The Cougars would be wise to attempt to get Williams more involved as a receiver, where he has caught seven passes for 47 yards. Tight end Matt Bushman is No. 2 in receiving yards with 208 on just 15 catches. He is also a good end zone threat, when utilized, though his one TD catch hardly substantiates it. The Cougars, though, have thrown just three TD passes thus far. The offense has some noticeable glaring issues, and it could be that even Toledo is able to expose these in a game that the Cougars are not even a full field goal favorite in.
The Toledo Rockets are 2-1 on the season after consecutive victories over Murray State and Colorado State. It suffered a loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Week 1 season opener.
Toledo has shown some promise in its softly schedule 2019 thus far, though. Quarterback Mitchell Guadagni has been good: 499 yards on 59.6 percent passing with a 9.6 yard-per-completion average and four touchdowns to his credit— with not a single interception and just three sacks through three games. All systems go.
The backfield has been wildly successful, too. The Rockets top-two options via the rush have been great, one of those being Guadagni, at that. No. 1 back Bryant Koback averages 7.7 yards-per-carry and has scored five of the team’s nine rushing TDs. Guadagni has rushed for 199 yards on just 30 carries with a pair of TDs, as well. No. 2 backfield option Shakif Seymour has just 23 attempts to his credit, but also boasts a solid 4.5 yards per. The Rockets favor the rush, but it has a successful enough passing game to mix this up and keep BYU on its toes.
With two top-tier receivers an a great tight end in Drew Rosi, Toledo has the talent at the skill positions to successfully complete a small upset this week.