California at BYU
Time: 9:15 PM CT
Spread: BYU -2.5
FBS Independent BYU won its week 1 matchup 28-23 over Arizona, and now it travels home to host California. The Cougars are 2.5-point favorites in this Week 2 affair, with the over/under set at a somewhat ‘low’ 46 points according to NCAA Football oddsmaker at bookmaker 5dimes.
BYU won Week 1 with a balanced attack led by Tanner Magnum. The QB threw 18 of 28 for 209 yards with a TD, and his passes were handily spread around between a host of options. No BYU receiver finished with more than 36 yards or three catches, but the offense generated 209 yards, an 11.6 yard per catch average through the game. Squally Canada led the rushing group with 98 yards on 24 carries and three TDs. Lopini Katoa had another 39 yards on eight carries. Magnum was unsuccessful out of the pocket with no yards on his three attempts rushing the football.
BYU was just 4-9 last season and it was the second-worst season it has had under Kalani Sitake. It was nearly their worst in 50 years. The entire offensive staff had been overhauled, and perhaps it can be chalked up as a “year of adjustment” for the Cougars. Magnum has started more than 20 games prior to this season, but he is coming off an Achilles’ injury and he was limited in spring. All indications are now, that is he fine. However, should Magnum falter he has Beau Huge and Joe Critchlow behind him, as well as true freshman Zach Wilson.
It is, mostly, just something to keep an eye on, because Magnum looked good in Week 1.
The Cougars probably improve on last season’s showing, but it may be another losing season for BYU, even after starting week 1 with a ‘W.’ The schedule is difficult, to say the least, and the Cougars mostly would just like to return to a bowl game this season.
California won week 1 over North Carolina 24-17. It divided its QB duties mostly between Ross Bowers and Chase Garbers. Both impressed fairly well. Bowers was 8 of 17 for 56 yards and Garbers was 7 of 13 for 54 yards and a TD. It helped offset a weak rush attack, though Cal did pick up 160 yards on the ground—it was mostly concentrated in the hands of Patrick Laird and offset by a 3.3 yard-per-carry average.
Laird had 95 yards on 29 attempts with a TD, but Bowers was particularly bad on his attempts, losing seven total yards on three tries from the pocket. Garbers was much better functioning as a dual-threat with 39 yards on 10 carries, including a long-run of 17-yards.
California WR Jordan Duncan led his unit with three catches for 34 yards, but Laird had the lone TD reception as the running back caught four passes for 14 yards. Laird looks to be the major strength of Cal’s offense this year, and if it can get a better season out of its “D” it could be a much-improved team.
Last year, Cal ranked no. 46 in the nation in defense allowing 24.7 points per game, and that was its strength. The offense mustered only 17.1 points per game and ranked No. 123, while its rush attack was particularly ineffective in accumulating just 130 yards per game and ranking No. 104.