10 Things To Watch For During BYU/LA Tech Game
PROVO, Utah – BYU hosts LA Tech tonight in a game featuring two undefeated teams. The Cougars are ranked No. 22 in both national polls and have been one of the hottest teams to open this unprecedented college football season.
Gameday Vibes 🕺 pic.twitter.com/xUvlNSJuJN
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) October 2, 2020
Here are ten things to watch for during tonight’s game between the Cougars and the Bulldogs.
BYU-LA Tech Game Info
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Radio: KSL NewsRadio
For more details on how to watch, listen, and stream the game at kickoff.
#1 Personnel absences
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s created a unique situation in regards to personnel. Every week there could be missing players that were not expected to be out heading into a given game. Contact tracing might be a bigger hurdle to climb for college football programs to overcome then the number of positive cases. A player impacted by contact tracing is out for 14 days. If you test positive for COVID-19, you’re out a minimum of 10 days.
#2 Zach Wilson looks to continue his hot start against LA Tech
Through the first month of the season, Wilson has been one of college football’s most efficient quarterbacks. On the heels of a career night 392 yards last week against Troy, what is the follow-up act?
Onto the next. pic.twitter.com/mvAau1OAlf
— Zachary Wilson (@zachkapono) September 29, 2020
Passing Game Coordinator Aaron Roderick credited Wilson for keeping the game simple as one reason he has seen a big jump in his play this season. According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson is the third-highest graded quarterback behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Alabama’s Mac Jones.
It is hard to expect 80 percent of passes to be completed, but Wilson goes up against a LA Tech defense with only one returning starter from last year’s 10-win team listed on this week’s depth chart for the Bulldogs.
#3 BYU/LA Tech: Cougars offense vs. Bulldog defense
Last week, BYU put up their most yards against an FBS team since Houston in 2013 with 664 total yards against Troy. LA Tech’s defense last week gave up 38 points to a high-powered Houston Baptist offense. The Bulldogs have been giving up 34 points and 447 yards per game through their first two contests this season.
#4 Scoring defense
Through two weeks of the season, BYU is number two nationally in scoring defense, giving up five points per game. LA Tech is sixth in the country scoring 48.5 points per game.
#5 Sack party
Last season, BYU had 12 sacks in the regular season. Through two games this year, the Cougars are already up to nine sacks with Khyiris Tonga and Zac Dawe leading the way with two each. LA Tech’s offensive line is the biggest group they’ve faced to this point of the season.
#6 Big plays to Gunner Romney
Junior wide receiver Gunner Romney has an eye-popping 30.2 yards per catch this season, which is good for fourth nationally. Romney is eighth nationally with 272 receiving yards this season. This week Romney will go up against LA Tech senior cornerback Zach Hannibal.
Through two games, BYU WR Gunner Romney's FBS ranks:
4th in yards/reception
8th in total receiving yards
8th in receiving yards/game
19th in all-purpose yards/game
BYU has two RBs in the FBS top 10 in yards/carry:
Tyler Allgeier 8th (7.58)
Lopini Katoa 10th (7.43)
— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) September 27, 2020
#7 Does BYU want the LA Tech “Smoke?”
One of the more dynamic players on LA Tech’s roster is punt returner Smoke Harris. Harris is a 5-foot-6, 184-pound specialist player who also sees time at wide receiver. Through two games, Harris is averaging 22.0 yards per punt return. BYU’s special teams have yet to face a return man like Smoke this season.
#8 Looking to extend passing streak
BYU has gone 17 consecutive games with at least 200 yards passing. The longest such streak dating back to 2009, saw BYU go 26 straight games with at least 200 yards through the air.
#9 When favored by 24
Since 1990, BYU is 38-0 in games where they are favored by 24 points or more.
#10 Oldroyd is money so far
BYU placekicker Jake Oldroyd is off to a hot start in 2020. The sophomore kicker is 4-for-4 on field goals through two games, including a career-high 54-yard make against Troy last week before halftime.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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