When: Friday, October 5, 7:00 PM MDT
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
TV/Streaming: ESPN2/ Watch ESPN
Utah State Aggies (3-1 overall, 1-0 Mountain West)
This very well could be the best Aggies team since their 2012 squad that finished the season 11-2. In large part because of the offense as the Aggies rank fourth in scoring offense (51.5 ppg).
This rivalry, which historically has always landed on the Friday before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints General Conference, has seen Utah State win three times over the last decade. Utah State’s last win at BYU (35-20) was in 2014, snapped a 17-game road losing streak to the Cougars that dated back to 1978. Overall, USU has played well in Provo in three of its last four games as it lost back-to-back outings by a field goal to BYU in 2012 (6-3) and 2011 (27-24).
The two teams play for the Old Wagon Wheel, which is an actual wheel from the pioneer wagons that made the long journey to Utah in the mid-1800s.
Key Players: RBs Gerold Bright and Darwin Thompson have combined to rush for 553 yards and 10 TDs on a stunning 8.1 yards per attempt. The key for Utah State will be not to use star QB Jordan Love too much and have a balanced attack with its running game.
Fantasy Bonus Baby: QB Jordan Love has completed two-thirds of his passes for 1,070 yards, five TDs and three INT. While the Aggies might try to run more still look for Love to have a big passing yardage game.
BYU Cougars (3-2 overall)
The Cougars have battled through one of the nation’s toughest schedules, with games against California, Wisconsin, and Washington. The highlight win was the win at Wisconsin but the two Pac-12 opponents were losses, including a 35-7 blowout last week in Seattle.
BYU’s offense hasn’t put up a lot of yards, but it has scored plenty of points mainly with the help of its defense and special teams. The Cougars have posted at least 24 point in their three wins, while its defense that only once his season has given up more than 23 points (35 last week to Washington).
BYU is not the traditional teams that at a time was quarterback U. Now, as the stats show, the team wants to control the ball and play a strong defense.
Key Players: LB Zayne Anderson and S Dayan Ghanwoloku are returning to the starting lineup after missing the Washington game. With the Aggies high powered offense, these two starters being back will be key to the Cougars stopping it.
Fantasy Bonus Baby: RB Squally Canada has rushed for 335 yards and five scores so far this year. He was not existing last week in the loss to Washington in gaining just 13 yards. He and the running game will need to get much better to control the ball and keep away from the powerful Aggie offense. Expect Canada to have a breakout game against the Aggies.
Fearless Prediction: With BYU playing a difficult schedule of four of their five games so far against Power 5 conference teams, this game might seem like a breather to some. But this is no breather as Utah State has a very powerful offense and an underrated defense. With it being a rivalry game, expect this one to be close throughout but the home field for BYU will likely prevail. BYU 27, Utah State 24