No. 9 BYU vs. No. 21 Boise State

No. 9 BYU vs. No. 21 Boise State | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 5, 2020

Could a Group of 5 school make the College Football Playoff this season? It’s possible that either BYU or Boise State could if they run the table – alas only one can because the No. 9 Cougars visit the No. 21 Broncos in a spectacular Friday matchup.

How to Bet BYU at Boise State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 9:45 PM ET
  • Where: Albertsons Stadium
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: BYU -3 (total 59.5)

Last Meeting

While BYU is an independent and Boise State in the Mountain West, they play most years and did in 2019 with BYU upsetting then-No. 14 Boise 28-25 in Provo. Cougars QB Baylor Romney threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start. He was the third-stringer most of last year but threw two scoring passes to Matt Bushman. It was BYU’s first win in the series since 2015. The Broncos trimmed an 18-point deficit to three late in the fourth quarter. The Cougars were able to run out the clock after Austin Kafentzis picked up a yard on 4th-and-inches from the BYU 34 with 2:17 left.

BYU and Boise State are meeting for the 11th time and for the ninth consecutive year. Boise leads 7-3. BYU has not won on the blue turf in Boise (0-5) against the Broncos, but did defeat the Western Michigan Broncos in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Why Bet on BYU? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

BYU (7-0) comes off a 41-10 win over Western Kentucky last Saturday and the Cougars only have two games scheduled after this one. Quarterback Zach Wilson, a Heisman candidate, finished the night with 224 passing yards going 18 for 32 with three touchdowns and one interception. He added five rushing attempts for 35 yards and one touchdown.

Wilson broke Charlie Peterson’s school record of consecutive passing attempts without an interception (164). He made it to 184 before his 185th was intercepted by Western Kentucky in the third quarter. It was just his second interception of the year.

BYU scored touchdowns on all five of its first-half drives. With a field goals in the third and fourth quarters, BYU has scored in 26 of 28 quarters this year.  BYU scored more than 40 points for the sixth time in seven games. It’s the first time in school history the Cougars have topped 40 points in six of the first seven games of a season. BYU is 7-0 for the first time since 2001. It is the fourth time the Cougars have started 7-0 (2001, 1984, 1979).

The Cougars were last ranked in the top 10 in both polls in 2009 after opening the season with wins over No. 3 Oklahoma and Tulane to be ranked No. 7 in AP and No. 9 by the coaches. Prior to 2020, the last time BYU was ranked in the top 25 was during the 2018 season when the Cougars were ranked as high as No. 20.

Left tackle Brady Christensen has been added to the Outland Trophy Watch List after grading out as the only tackle with a 90 or above grade in both run and pass blocking by Pro Football Focus. He is currently graded as the No. 2 overall tackle in college football. Christensen has played and started all 33 games of his career.

Why Bet on Boise State? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Boise State (2-0) won at Air Force 49-30 last Saturday. Jack Sears threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score while filling in for starter Hank Bachmeier, and Avery Williams scored on an 88-yard kickoff return. Sears made his first start at Boise State and second in his career (Oct. 27, 2018 USC vs. Arizona State).

CT Thomas hauled in two of Sears’ TD passes, including a 75-yarder on the game’s first play. The Broncos have now captured 11 straight Mountain West games. It’s their longest streak since joining the league in 2011. Boise State was without Bachmeier after the sophomore QB didn’t make the trip for an unspecified reason. Sears, a transfer from USC, made the most of his chance by finishing 17 of 20 for 280 yards and no turnovers.

Boise State played its first game this season as a nationally ranked team. It’s the 19th straight season Broncos have been ranked, tied with USC for seventh-longest active streak nationally.

As of this writing, it’s not clear if Bachmeier will be cleared to play in this one. This week, coach Bryan Harsin did not commit to the sophomore regaining his job once healthy. “We’ll see,” Harsin said when asked if Bachmeier would be the starter once cleared to play.

For this one, Boise State is 5-3 at home against ranked opponents during its FBS era, and 15-18 all-time, regardless of location. Against top-10 opponents, Boise State is 5-2 and has won each of its last four such matchups.

Boise State is 61-17 all-time in non-Saturday games, including a record of 36-11 on Fridays. During the regular season, Boise State is 53-11 in non-Saturday contests, and 36-9 on Fridays. Of the Broncos’ previous 10 games against the Cougars, only three have been played on Saturday.

Game Trends

  • Cougars are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. MWC.
  • Cougars are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • Cougars are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 road games.
  • Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
  • Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Boise State.

Expert Prediction

  • BYU 30, Boise State 27

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