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BYU/Boise State Game Day Preview Plus Score Prediction

Brigham Young Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates what he thought was a touchdown against the Utah State Aggies in Logan on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. He was downed at the 1-yard line but scored later. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah –  The season’s midway point is already here for BYU football as the Cougars get ready to host Boise State.

This is the 12th meeting all-time between the two programs, separated by 381 miles. Boise State leads the series 7-4, but BYU is currently on a two-game winning streak over the Broncos.

Last year’s meeting was a memorable one for BYU. The Cougars handed Boise a 51-17 defeat, the largest setback for the Broncos in 25 years on the Blue Turf.

BYU enters this game as one of the hottest quarterbacks in college football as they’ve won 16 of their last 17 games. Only Alabama has a better record dating back to the start of 2020 in that stretch. Boise State, on the other hand, is in a rare position. BSU enters this game at 2-3, the first losing record through five games since 2001. First-year head coach Andy Avalos is a former Bronco looking to find “the standard” from this year’s BSU squad.

No. 10 BYU vs. Boise State

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. (MT)

TV: ABC

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

Now it’s time for the 3-2-1 Game Day preview plus a score prediction.

Three Game Day Thoughts

1. This game has a lot of similarities to 2019’s matchup

Two years ago, BYU entered the annual rivalry contest against Boise State with a 2-4 record against an undefeated, nationally-ranked Boise State team in rainy weather. BYU pulled off the upset with third-string quarterback Baylor Romney, handing the Broncos their lone loss of the regular season. In the process, they saved Kalani Sitake’s job.

Boise State will look to do the same. The Broncos have faced one of their most demanding schedules through the first five games in the last 15 years. Knocking off a top-ten BYU team would right the ship for Boise, who isn’t in this situation often.

2. Both teams come into this game banged up

You’ll be hard-pressed to find any team that doesn’t have its fair share of injuries at this point of the season. But BYU and Boise State come into this matchup having tested their depth more than most. BYU has two quarterbacks that are banged up in Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney. Hall is getting close and said earlier this week to KSL Sports that he is “pretty confident” he will play this on Saturday. Offensive linemen James Empey and Harris LaChance are going to be game-time decisions. But their reserves have done an excellent job in replacing them in Connor Pay and Campbell Barrington.

Fullback Masen Wake was out last week seen with a boot on his right foot. Also, defensive lineman Lorenzo Fauatea got banged up in last week’s win over Utah State. Kicker Jake Oldroyd is always on a week-to-week status with his lower back injury.

Boise State starting running back George Holani is questionable this week. Also, due to an undisclosed reason, the Broncos starting center Kekaniokoa Holomalia-Gonzalez has been out for the entire year.

3. BYU is seeking a 3-0 record against rivals for the first time during Independence

Never has BYU gone 3-0 against their top rivals since becoming an Independent in 2011. With wins over Utah and Utah State already in their back pocket, BYU can make it a clean sweep in rivalry games over Boise State. That would be quite an accomplishment for the program as there was a stretch from 2017-2019, where they lost seven straight against rival schools. However, things have changed in a hurry for BYU.

Two BYU vs. Boise State Questions

1. Who starts at quarterback for BYU?

It’s either going to be Jaren Hall or Jacob Conover. If Hall can give it a go, that would be a massive boost for BYU as he hasn’t played since September 18. But how effective will he be?

If Hall can’t go, freshman Jacob Conover gets the start. During fall camp, BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said that Conover has shown flashes of a young Zach Wilson. Conover was rattled in his first collegiate appearance against Utah State, but he did enough to get BYU to the finish line over the Aggies.

Getting Hall back would do a world of good for BYU as they have three games against Power Five teams coming up after Boise this week.

2. How many carries will Tyler Allgeier get? 

Regardless of who is the quarterback for BYU, the Cougars have a star in the backfield in Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier put together a career-high 218-yard performance in last week’s win against Utah State. Throughout games, Allgeier seems to get stronger and wear down the opposition.

Boise State comes into the game with 104th ranked rush defense in the country. That’s music to the ears of Allgeier, who has NFL talent with his elite vision and underrated top-end speed. This should be a game where BYU turns to Allgeier at least 25 times.

Score Prediction

BYU has more talent; they have the identity and winning culture that Boise State currently lacks, with Avalos as the new head coach. But this game is tricky. BYU needs to make this game as short as possible by giving the rock to Tyler Allgeier early and often. There’s no need to worry about style points. Just win and advance.

The BYU defense has to find a way to get off the field when they have Boise State behind the sticks in third and long scenarios.

Boise State is not going to go down without a fight. Their backs are against the wall and they have a chance to change the narrative of their season with a potential win over BYU. Look for this game as a one-possession contest heading into the fourth quarter, but BYU’s defense makes the stops necessary to hold the upset-minded Broncos.

BYU 28, Boise State 20

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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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