The BYU Cougars put their four-game winning streak on the line Friday night against the Boise State Broncos at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
In arguably their most impressive road win of the season, the Cougars captured a 47-46 shootout against Houston behind a career-high 545 total yards and four touchdowns from sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill.
Hill did toss three interceptions, but the BYU defense also forced three picks, and receiver Skyler Ridley made the winning 11-yard touchdown grab with over a minute left to play. Ridley finished with seven receptions for 90 yards, and senior receiver Cody Hoffman recorded a team-high 156 receiving yards with a touchdown.
That kind of wild offensive production might not be possible against a Boise State squad ranked third in total offense and second in total defense in the Mountain West.
Last week, the Broncos fired off 20 points in the third quarter for a 34-17 victory over Nevada. Running back Jay Ajayi ran down 222 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Grant Hedrick contributed another 115 yards and two scores.
But in victory, the Broncos lost starting quarterback Joe Southwick to a broken right ankle on the game’s first offensive play. Hedrick filled in going 18-for-21 for 150 yards and a pick. Southwick could return by the end of the regular season according to the Idaho Statesman, but for now Hedrick is starting and in head coach Chris Petersen’s good graces ahead of his first career start.
“He did a good job,” Petersen said. “You can see that from the stands. Not many balls hit the ground.”
However, the Nevada defense was one thing, but the Cougars are a far stiffer test. They give up 3.5 rushing yards per game, have picked opponents off eight times, and are 29th in the nation with 21.4 points allowed per game. Senior linebacker Uani ‘Unga leads the team with 69 total tackles, and Kyle Van Noy has recorded 4.0 sacks for a loss of 29 yards.
In their five victories, the Broncos have only surrendered 16.2 points led by junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence’s 6.5 sacks, and 4.0 sacks by junior lineman Beau Martin.
Point Spread: BYU favored by 7 points.
Over/Under: 62 points
Kickoff Time: 8 PM Eastern Time
Where To Watch Online: ESPN3
TV Channel: ESPN
Prediction: BYU 32, Boise State 20