Boise State vs. BYU: Game Preview, Kick Time, TV & Radio Schedule, Odds, Prediction
The rivalry continues in Provo.
Quarterbacks will be different.
WEEK 8: Boise State Broncos (6-0, 3-0 Mountain West) vs. BYU Cougars (2-4)
WHEN: Saturday, October 18 — 8:15 p.m. MT/10:15 p.m. ET
WHERE: LaVell Edwards Stadium; Provo, Utah
SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads 7-2 all-time
LAST WEEK: Boise State remained undefeated by defeating Hawaii 59-37; BYU fell on the road to South Florida by a score of 27-23.
ODDS (via OddsShark): Boise State -7
SP+ PROJECTION: Boise State by 8
FEI PROJECTION: Boise State by 16.2
This game is officially a rivalry game as these two teams have contracted to play through 2034, so get used to seeing this game on the schedule.
The big question in this game is who will play quarterback for both teams. BYU is without starting quarterback Zach Wilson who had surgery on his throwing hand but his backup is unclear.
Jaren Hall earned the start against South Florida but he left the game with a concussion and has been limited in practice this week. The two behind him that have been getting reps just to be prepared are Baylor Romney and Joe Critchlow.
Romney is the third quarterback and he came in last week’s game as Hall left and was a solid 6 of 10 on 73 yards, he said this week at practice that he is preparing as if he is the starter.
“I have been working for years, since I got back from my mission, just preparing for my opportunity when my moment would come,” Romney said after practice Wednesday via the Deseret News. “I still don’t know what is going to happen on Saturday, but I am going to be preparing like I am starting the game.”
Offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes is keeping it close to the vest on who will start.
While quarterback is the big question for BYU, they have other issues that Boise State can exploit. The ground game for the Cougars is near the bottom in yards allowed at 122nd and 101st yards per play allowing 4.79.
One area where BYU could make some inroads is its front-seven on defense against a Boise State offensive line that has allowed nearly too many to count quarterback hits.
However, even that area may not be all that much of an advantage, if any, as BYU has only five sacks, or in other words, four fewer than Broncos linebacker Curtis Weaver has on his own. As for tackles for loss, the Cougars have 23 which is 125th in the FBS.
Boise State Has Its Own Quarterback Issues
As BYU has its own conundrum under center, so does Boise State. The Broncos are keeping quiet if freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier will play this week. Against Hawaii, Bachmeier left the game after he took a hit to the hip and did not return.
All week, coaches on the Broncos side are keeping this quiet about if he will suit up and play. Chase Cord came in relief to lead the Broncos to victory over Hawaii by completing 12 of 18 passes for 175 yards in three scores. Also, third-string quarterback Jaylon Henderson had success on 6 of 10 for 82 yards and a score.
“I just think that room’s a lot tougher than people give them credit for,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said. “We don’t have just one guy. We played all three quarterbacks in this last game, and the reason why we did was because they earned it.”
It may not matter who Boise State brings out at quarterback againast BYU. Odds are it will be Cord since the Broncos should be able to get a win over the Cougars without needing Bachmeier under center.
This Boise State team is ranked 14th but they may not be as dominant as teams in the past with the same blue and orange, but that is not going to matter this week.
BYU has so many problems with its lack of a defensive presence up front to cause havoc at all. Assuming the Broncos will go with Cord he is a mobile player and will be able to create plays with his feet. Perhaps BYU will use its tactic against USC which was to drop seven or players and force Cord to be patient or make a bad throw with so many defenders off the line of scrimmage.
The Cougars still do not have any sense of a sure fire top receiver. There are three who have combined to split evenly 68 catches for three touchdowns and just over 150 yards per game. If Hall does play for BYU under center, he is more of an athlete type of quarterback and there were a number of designed runs to take advantage of that athleticism. He did rush for 53 yards on 16 carries but does the Cougar coaching staff want to put a player who had a concussion in so many called running plays?
BYU can do enough to hang around in games as they have only been blown out once this year in the 45-19 loss to Washington. This game may not see Boise State win by 21 or more points but at the very least the Broncos have the talent and coaching staff to win by at least two touchdowns.