Utah State Aggies at No. 20 BYU Cougars Game Day

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Forums College Football Utah State Aggies at No. 20 BYU Cougars Game Day

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  • #184800

    coleryan
    Member

    The one game on Friday night in college football is a good one as the upset minded Utah State Aggies take on the top ranked BYU Cougars.
    It is the sharing of information from the entire forum community that makes this the best sports betting forum on the internet!
    This thread will be updated daily with information on the game to include important news, injuries, and all essential information to picking a winner leading up to kickoff. Feel free to add anything about this game from news, opinion or picks, all comments and questions are welcomed!
    Good Luck this week!
    Cole (cool)

    #184801

    coleryan
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    A red alert is on for BYU’s football team.

    The words came from the lips of defensive coordinator Nick Howell last week following BYU’s fourth win of the season in which the Cougars climbed a few notches in the national rankings but gave up plenty of yards to Virginia.

    So, what exactly are the Cougars alert to?

    They’re undefeated, favored in upcoming games. Their quarterback is going on national radio shows. They have a big-hit defense and a legitimate duel-threat offense, and they’ll likely get linebacker Bronson Kaufusi, receiver Nick Kurtz and running back Algernon Brown back this week for Utah State.

    So, how does one call for a red alert during a bye week?

    By cutting down mistakes, miscues, penalties, and situations that cost momentum. The Cougars have to pressure QBs more since Houston and Virginia exposed a weakness. They need to be better tacklers in the open field. And it wouldn’t hurt to finish games with a flurry instead of on their heels.

    And then there are the penalties.

    “I like our guys. I like the physical edge,” said Howell. “I hate pass interference. There are things we’ve got to clean up and we address that every day. The positive is we’re playing hard, and we’re playing physical.”

    When a team is undefeated, you have to call for a red alert. Especially when Virginia exposed enough agenda points to easily fill eight practices.

    BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall himself declared earlier this season it is easier to teach and improve when you lose and have everyone’s attention. That hasn’t happened. Neither has Mendenhall backed away from his approach to get his offense and defense to play intense, feisty and on edge. He doesn’t want to back off the peddle, but he knows the Cougars can’t give up penalties that extend drives or rob themselves with big plays called back.

    The Cougars are a penalty machine.

    They lead the nation in penalties with just over 105 yards per game. If the trend continues, they’ll end the season by blowing up the numbers for penalties and yards in the Bronco Mendenhall era with 135 for 1,302 yards.

    The most-penalized Mendenhall team was 2013 with 102 for 868 yards. Only one other team was over 100 penalties; the 2008 squad had 101 for 912. The team with the least was the 2010 squad (70 for 583).

    Right now, the undefeated 2014 team has 44 penalties for 421 after four games.

    So far, penalties have not killed the Cougars. Obviously, their record is perfect.

    But penalties did bring back a 66-yard Taysom Hill touchdown run at Texas and an almost equally long TD catch and run by Devon Blackmon in the Houston game. Two interference penalties enabled Virginia to keep its last scoring drive alive and close the gap to eight. A personal foul penalty and roughing the passer infraction led to extended scoring drives for Houston.

    The past two seasons, penalties while BYU has been in scoring position inside the red zone have led to field goals rather than touchdowns when the offense seemingly went backward.

    BYU’s staff fosters intensity on effort plays. Part of that philosophy leads to “forgivable” penalties. Mendenhall loves effort and it shows in his pursuit drills. That he now has his offense playing gritty pleases him just fine. After all, most of the team has spent two years in LDS missionary service preaching love and peace, are Eagle Scouts, and are married. Those things could lead to enhanced domestication in a game that in reality is an organized fight.

    In a sense, you get the feeling Mendenhall wants cleaner play in regard to penalties, but he kind of likes the intensity and is reticent to rein it in.

    “That shows the attitude we’re having this year,” said tight end Devin Mahina. “It’s just the grit that we have as a team. We’re trying hard. We’re going to keep going hard until we hear those whistles blowing. If we don’t hear them, we’re just going to keep on going. I think the refs need to blow the whistles a little bit louder.”

    Well, they already have trigger-happy hands on their flags, Mahina.

    I wouldn’t crowd it by asking them to blow harder.

    I’d bet BYU cuts down on penalties. They have to address them. The red alert is like an alarm to be aware and on track. But penalties likely won’t be the most important thing on BYU’s agenda until it costs them a game.

    #184802

    coleryan
    Member
    • Author

    BYU -21

    Taysom Hill and BYU didn’t have much trouble getting by Utah State last October after Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton went down with what proved to be a season-ending torn ACL.

    An injury to the same knee could keep Keeton out of Friday night’s showdown in Provo.

    With both teams coming off byes, the 18th-ranked Cougars try to stay unbeaten and continue their recent domination of Utah State.

    BYU (4-0) has taken three straight and 13 of 14 in this in-state series after winning 31-14 on the road last Oct. 4. Hill threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns while Utah State lost Keeton in the first quarter.

    The Aggies (2-2) may again have to get by without Keeton, who is dealing with an injury to the same knee. He was hurt against Wake Forest on Sept. 13 and missed a 21-14 overtime loss at Arkansas State the following week.

    While Keeton had 18 touchdowns and two interceptions to go along with a 69.4 completion percentage before going down last year, he hasn’t looked the same since. The senior has thrown two TDs and four picks while completing just 51 of 92 passes.

    “Chuckie’s ability to create and his leadership and his experience, certainly you have to acknowledge,” Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “But really by preparing for him, anything else besides that you’re kind of ready for.”

    Keeton’s absence could make things all the more difficult for Utah State, which hasn’t won in Provo since 1978. The Aggies have dropped each of their last 17 visits, though the last two were both decided by three points.

    “It’s a tough place to play. LaVell Edwards Stadium has been a major home-field advantage for them over many, many years,” Aggies coach Matt Wells said. “They play well at home. We have a tremendous challenge on our hands.

    “They’re playing very well, and they’re hot right now. They have one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country. They’re always stout on defense. I already know that. I’ve seen that, and you know it from all the years playing them.”

    The Cougars, averaging 37.5 points, are enjoying their best start since opening 6-0 in 2008. Hill threw for two touchdowns and added another on the ground as BYU beat Virgina 41-33 on Sept. 20.

    “I think they battled really well,” said Mendenhall, whose team trailed 16-13 at halftime. “You could tell it was different for us from the beginning of the game. It was an appropriate and necessary situation to learn from and we put ourselves in it and we showed ourselves what we could do.”

    Hill is tied for first in the country among QBs with seven rushing TDs, and his 107.0 yards per game rank third. While the Cougars are averaging an impressive 230.3 yards on the ground, they could face a stiff test against an Aggies defense surrendering just 78.3 per game – tied with Michigan State for fourth in the FBS.

    Utah State took a 14-7 lead into halftime at Arkansas State but couldn’t keep up down the stretch with Keeton on the sidelines. Darell Garretson completed 27 of 46 passes for 268 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

    “You ask if there’s concern, yes, there is. But all of our goals, everything that we want to achieve this year as far as the Mountain West is concerned and our bowls are right in front of us,” Wells said. “You’re hurt and you’re crushed because you missed an opportunity to beat a really good team on the road and get to win number three.”

    The Aggies, who also suffered a season-opening 38-7 loss at Tennessee on Aug. 31, have dropped six straight and 25 of 26 road games against non-conference foes.

    However, Utah State has won two of its last three matchups against ranked teams, including a 21-14 victory over No. 24 Northern Illinois in last season’s Poinsettia Bowl.

    #184803

    coleryan
    Member
    • Author

    The Keys to Watch

    – When the Aggies have the ball:

    Watch for the Aggies play to the strength of the quarterback. If Keeton starts the game the Aggies will utilize his legs, as long as he is healthy. He has struggled against BYU, but he gives them the best chance at a win with his dual threat talents. If Garretson starts you will see much more pass protection in the cards and a game plan that will attack the BYU secondary. Garretson has put up the better numbers this year, although the competition has been inferior.

    Watch for the Cougars to put a spy on Keeton, if he plays, in order to contain him. The Cougars have shown that they have the ability to slow down Chuckie and so the coaches will make sure the players are all on the same page and playing sound assignment defense. If Garretson is in the game, watch for the front seven to dial up the pressure as they try to rattle him. Watch for them to get to him a few times, letting him know that they are just a few steps away, and causing his internal clock to speed up just a bit.

    – When the Cougars have the ball:

    Watch for the Cougars to start by establishing the run. They will use their normal assortment of rushing plays, including the read option, in order to force the defense to adjust and leave the receivers in single coverage. Watch for the Cougars to throw deep a couple times as they remind the Aggies what Hill and Matthews did to the secondary last year, and could do with a number of receivers this year. Watch for the Aggies to trust their secondary to not give up the long ball and stay with their receivers. The Aggies will devote as many defenders as possible to stopping Hill and Williams in the run game, so they will show some one-on-one coverage in the secondary.

    #184804

    coleryan
    Member
    • Author

    The Line: BYU -21, Total: 52

    Line movement: BYU opened at -14.5 on Sunday, and while the latter moved to -18.5, it’s a three-touchdown spread all over town at midweek.

    Trends that matter: Utah State is 4-0 ATS following a bye, but 1-4 ATS in its last five road games.

    BYU is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games against the Mountain West, but the Cougars are cold at the bet window overall, coming in at 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games.

    Utah State has gone UNDER the total in its last five road games, and BYU is 5-2 to the UNDER in its last seven overall.

    Head-to-head, Utah State is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these teams, and the UNDER has cashed in the last seven meetings.

    Four up, four down: Bronco Mendenhall has his team off to its best start in six years, at the very least in terms of its overall record. The only losses that the Cougars have accrued this season are against the spread, and they have dropped two in a row ATS as double-digit favorites.

    Each of the schools in this matchup are coming off of a bye week. In its last action, Brigham Young had to come from behind against Virginia after losing 16-13 at halftime. The Cougars were out-gained by almost 200 yards on offense, held the ball for only 19 minutes, and committed 12 penalties. Yet, BYU won 41-33.

    Quarterback Taysom Hill is the star for BYU and a definite duel threat. The junior has 876 yards through the air, 428 on the ground, and a combined 13 touchdowns on the season. He’s the team’s leading rusher by more than 100 yards.

    Mendenhall does have an extra week to prepare, and this is the end of a three-game home stand, but bye weeks haven’t been kind to Brigham Young lately. Mendenhall is 0-3 ATS in his last three outings off of a bye and 1-2 straight up in that situation.

    This season, each game with a total less than 50 points has gone OVER for BYU, and each total more than 50 has come UNDER.

    Chuckie’s revenge? Two weeks ago, Utah State ripped out a loss from the jaws of victory on the road against Arkansas State. A 38-yard field goal try at the end of regulation was blocked by the Red Wolves and the Aggies lost in overtime, 21-14.

    That happens to be just the latest loss against the spread for Utah State. They are 2-2 SU on the year, but have really underachieved. USU lost by 31 as a 3-point dog to Tennessee to open the season. Overall, they have lost two each as an underdog and favorite.

    Of course, quarterback is an issue. Chuckie Keeton had a season-ending knee injury at home last year against these BYU Cougars. His return this year has been a rocky one, and he re-injured the same knee against Wake Forest. Keeton is questionable for Friday night and his replacement Darell Garretson has been marginal.

    If Keeton plays, this is an ultimate revenge spot. USU was a 6-point favorite last year against BYU and the Aggies lost outright, 31-14.

    Injuries that matter: For BYU, running back Algernon Brown and linebacker Bronson Kaufusi are both questionable with ankle injuries.

    Weather: The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures around 54 degrees.

    #184805

    coleryan
    Member
    • Author

    Taysom Hill and BYU didn’t have much trouble getting by Utah State last October after Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton went down with what proved to be a season-ending torn ACL.

    An injury to the same knee will keep Keeton out of Friday night’s showdown in Provo.

    With both teams coming off byes, the 18th-ranked Cougars try to stay unbeaten and continue their recent domination of Utah State.

    BYU (4-0) has taken three straight and 13 of 14 in this in-state series after winning 31-14 on the road last Oct. 4. Hill threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns while Utah State lost Keeton in the first quarter.

    The Aggies (2-2) will again have to get by without Keeton, who is dealing with an injury to the same knee and could be done for the season. He was hurt against Wake Forest on Sept. 13 and missed a 21-14 overtime loss at Arkansas State the following week.

    “Chuckie’s ability to create and his leadership and his experience, certainly you have to acknowledge,” Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “But really by preparing for him, anything else besides that you’re kind of ready for.”

    Keeton’s absence could make things all the more difficult for Utah State, which hasn’t won in Provo since 1978. The Aggies have dropped each of their last 17 visits, though the last two were both decided by three points.

    “It’s a tough place to play. LaVell Edwards Stadium has been a major home-field advantage for them over many, many years,” Aggies coach Matt Wells said. “They play well at home. We have a tremendous challenge on our hands.

    “They’re playing very well, and they’re hot right now. They have one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country. They’re always stout on defense. I already know that. I’ve seen that, and you know it from all the years playing them.”

    The Cougars, averaging 37.5 points, are enjoying their best start since opening 6-0 in 2008. Hill threw for two touchdowns and added another on the ground as BYU beat Virgina 41-33 on Sept. 20.

    “I think they battled really well,” said Mendenhall, whose team trailed 16-13 at halftime. “You could tell it was different for us from the beginning of the game. It was an appropriate and necessary situation to learn from and we put ourselves in it and we showed ourselves what we could do.”

    Hill is tied for first in the country among QBs with seven rushing TDs, and his 107.0 yards per game rank third. While the Cougars are averaging an impressive 230.3 yards on the ground, they could face a stiff test against an Aggies defense surrendering just 78.3 per game – tied with Michigan State for fourth in the FBS.

    Utah State took a 14-7 lead into halftime at Arkansas State but couldn’t keep up down the stretch with Keeton on the sidelines. Darell Garretson completed 27 of 46 passes for 268 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

    “You ask if there’s concern, yes, there is. But all of our goals, everything that we want to achieve this year as far as the Mountain West is concerned and our bowls are right in front of us,” Wells said. “You’re hurt and you’re crushed because you missed an opportunity to beat a really good team on the road and get to win number three.”

    The Aggies, who also suffered a season-opening 38-7 loss at Tennessee on Aug. 31, have dropped six straight and 25 of 26 road games against non-conference foes.

    However, Utah State has won two of its last three matchups against ranked teams, including a 21-14 victory over No. 24 Northern Illinois in last season’s Poinsettia Bowl.

    #184806

    coleryan
    Member
    • Author

    On Monday when BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall called the matchup with Utah State a huge game, the Aggies understood he was taking more of a dig at the Utah Utes for not scheduling the Cougars rather than giving the Aggies credit for being an improved program.

    Yet the Aggies believe they can indeed be a huge opponent for the Cougars

    Sure, the Cougars are undefeated, have a quarterback who is gaining a national reputation and are 6-1 against the Aggies under coach Bronco Mendenhall.

    The Aggies, meanwhile, will head into the game with backup quarterback Darell Garretson as the starter following Wednesday’s news that Chuckie Keeton could be out for the season due to lingering knee issues.

    But none of those points are dampening the enthusiasm of the Aggies.

    “The last time we beat them was before I got here, so I’m looking for my first win,” offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey said. “What better place for it to come than down in Provo. It’s really important for us, and probably for the coaches for in-state recruiting, but for us for bragging rights.”

    The Utah and BYU rivalry had national attention as the “Holy War,” but with the Utes bowing out of scheduling the Aggies and the BYU-Utah rivalry not a yearly guarantee, both the Aggies and Cougars seem willing to turn their rivalry into a more high-profile clash.

    “We’re excited about playing BYU and I promise you our players are too,” Utah State coach Matt Wells said. “They’re excited about playing us? Cool. You’ve got a team that’s undefeated and deservedly in the playoff talks. They’re going to have to beat Utah State to do that.”

    Unfortunately for the Aggies, notching wins against them hasn’t been too difficult for the Cougars lately.

    The Aggies’ last win over the Cougars was a 31-16 decision in 2010. Since then, the Aggies have lost 27-24 in 2011, 6-3 in 2012 and 31-14 in 2013.

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