Week Nine Friday Night College Football: Boise State Broncos at BYU Cougars

Boise State Broncos at Brigham Young Cougars
LaVell Edwards Stadium – Provo, Utah

Friday, October 25, 2013, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: BYU -6 1/2
Current Line: BYU -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 64 1/2
Current Total: 61 1/2
Opening Money Line: BYU -265 / Boise State +220
Current Money Line: BYU -290 / Boise State +250 

BYU is a 7 point favorite at home against Boise state in a battle of 5-2 teams.
BYU is a 7 point favorite at home against Boise state in a battle of 5-2 teams.

Both the Boise State Broncos and Brigham Young University Cougars are 5-2 this season as they meet Friday in Provo. The Broncos are 3-1 in the Mountain West and tied with Utah State for the Mountain Division lead. BYU is an independent. Boise State is 3-0 all time against BYU including a 7-6 win in Boise last season. The two schools are only 380 miles apart from each other.

Boise State is coached by Chris Petersen. The Broncos have losses at Washington 38-6 and Fresno State 41-40. Boise State has home wins over Tennessee-Martin 63-14, Air Force 42-20, Southern Miss 60-7,  and last week against Nevada 34-17, along with a road win at Utah State 34-23. BSU has won 3 straight games. The Broncos are 4-3 ATS and the total is 5-2 this season. Boise State failed to cover the 23.5 point spread against Nevada and the game went under the 68.5 total.

Nevada took a 17-7 lead at halftime against Boise State. However, the Broncos would score 27 unanswered points in the second half to win 34-17. Boise State had 557 total yards including 407 rushing yards. Nevada had 373 total yards including 165 rushing yards.  The Broncos had the only turnover of the game.

Boise State is outscoring teams 40-23 this season. The Broncos are #18 in scoring nationally. Boise State is averaging 494.4 yards per game including 270.4 passing and 224 rushing yards. The Broncos are #19 in total offense and #21 in rushing. On defense, Boise State is allowing 392.9 yards per game including 240.7 passing and 152.1 rushing yards. The Broncos are +3 in turnovers with 14 takeaways. BSU averages 38 penalty yards per game and opponents average 55 per game. Boise State is 64/119 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 53/118. The Broncos have 18 sacks and have allowed 12 this season. Boise is 36/40 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns and opponents are 24/27 with 17 touchdowns. The Broncos have one pick six this season and have allowed one too.

Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick broke his ankle in the first quarter of the Nevada game last week. He had surgery this week and there is a slight chance he could return for the Broncos’ bowl game. He had completed 72.3% of his passes for 1,589 yards with 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 42 carries, for 111 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.  Grant Hedrick takes over as the starter. Hedrick has thrown for 264 yards with a touchdown and an interception, along with 15 carries, 192 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Running back Jay Ajayi has 135 carries for 766 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. Aaron Baltazar had 50 carries for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Jack Fields has 33 carries, 97 yards and a touchdown, along with a catch. Receiver Matt Miller has 42 catches, 454 yards and 2 touchdowns. Shane Williams-Rhodes has 45 catches, 396 yards and 4 touchdowns. Geraldo Boldewijn has 25 catches 289 yards and a touchdown. Kirby Moore has 25 catches, 195 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Aaron Burks has 10 catches, 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. Five defensive players are listed as questionable or out Friday for the Broncos.

BYU is coached by Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars have losses at Virginia 19-16 and at home against Utah 20-13. BYU has home wins over Texas 40-21, Middle Tennessee 37-10, and Georgia Tech 38-20, along with road wins at Utah State 31-14 and last week at Houston 47-46. The Cougars have won 4 straight games after a 1-2 start. BYU is 4-3 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season. The Cougars were 10 point favorites on the road at Houston and the total was 64.5.

The first quarter between BYU and Houston was a wild affair that featured 45 points  and BYU took a 24-21 lead at the end of the quarter. Houston had a 95 yard kick off return and a 29 yard pick six in the quarter. Houston would take a    38-34 going into halftime.

Houston added a safety in the third to make it 40-34 going into the fourth. BYU took a 41-40 lead early in the fourth. Houston regained the lead at 46-41 with just over 5 minutes to go. However, Houston failed in their two point conversion attempt. the teams traded punts on the next two possessions. BYU took over again with 1:50 left. BYU took over at the Houston 48 and drove down to the Houston 11. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill three the go ahead touchdown pass to make it 47-46. BYU also missed a two point conversion. Houston took over with 1:08 left but threw an interception on their first play of the drive. BYU ran out the clock to hand Houston their first loss of the season.

BYU had 681 total yards including 417 passing and 264 rushing. Houston had 483 total yards including 435 passing yards. each team had 3 turnovers. BYU had 14 penalties for 125 yards and Houston had 10 for 88.

BYU is outscoring teams 32-21 this season. The Cougars are averaging 503.1 total yards (#14 nationally) including the #14 rushing attack in the country at 263.1 yards per game and also 240 passing yards. On defense, the Cougars are allowing 366 total yards per game including 229.9 passing yards and  136.1 rushing yards. The Cougars are -3 in turnovers with 11 takeaways. BYU is averaging 67 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 56 . BYU has forced 12 sacks and allowed 22. The Cougars are 49/138 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 44/138. BYU is 28/34 scoring in the red zone with only 17 touchdowns and opponents are 16/20 with 12 touchdowns. The Cougars have a punt return for a touchdown and 2 pick sixes, but have allowed a kick return and a pick six.

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill has completed 50.6% of his passes for 1,680 yards with 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He is more dangerous with his legs though. Hill has 124 carries, 772 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back Jamaal Williams is probable with a hip injury. Williams has 124 carries, 626 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with  7 catches for 53 yards. Paul Lasike and Algernon Brown will split the carries if Williams can’t go. Lasike has 42 carries, 171 yards and a touchdown. Brown has 34 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown. Michael Alisa has 32 carries, 99 yards and 3 touchdowns but is out for the season with a groin injury.

Receiver Cody Hoffman has 25 catches, 467 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mitch Mathews has 18 catches, 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. J.D. Falslev has 20 catches for 222 yards and a  touchdown catch along with a punt return for a touchdown. Skyler Ridley and Ross Apo will also get significant targets. Four BYU defensive players are out indefinitely or for the season including 3 defensive backs.

Boise State is 4-1 ATS in Friday games, 25-9 in road games, 21-8 on grass, 5-2 after failing to cover and after passing for less than 170 yards, 7-3 in non-conference games, 11-5 in October, 3-7 against teams with winning records, 2-5 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 2-6 after a straight up win, 1-4 after gaining more than 450 total yards, and after allowing less than 20 points.

BYU is 11-1 ATS against Mountain West teams, 5-1 in Friday games, 4-1 after failing to cover, in October and after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 7-2 after allowing 40 points or more, 18-6 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, 13-5 against teams with winning records, 12-5 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 3-8 after a straight up win, 1-4 after scoring 40 points or more, and after rushing for 200 yards or more.

Both of these teams are among the top rushing teams in the country, but the passing game is capable of putting up big numbers as well for both. I think BYU wins a close game at home but it should be a high scoring shootout unlike last year’s 7-6 baseball like score.

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