Five BYU Football Players To Watch During Boise State Game
PROVO, Utah – Can BYU football improve to 6-0 this season after taking on Boise State? We will find out later today as the Cougars host the Broncos in a network TV matchup that will give BYU a national spotlight.
The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. on ABC and will be a sellout at LaVell Edwards Stadium. If you’re at the stadium or watching at home, here are a handful of BYU players that you should be keeping an eye on.
Jaren Hall, Quarterback
Will Hall give it a go today? Earlier in the week, he told KSL’s UnRivaled that he felt “pretty confident” he would be able to play against the Broncos. Hall has been out since the Arizona State game and has dealt with multiple injuries.
If he’s anywhere near the full strength, he was at against Arizona, and for the first half of the Utah game, Hall is an excellent dual-threat athlete who is smart with the football. He has yet to have that substantial offensive performance as BYU’s starting quarterback this season. But he also faced some formidable defenses in Utah and Arizona State.
We will find out near kick-off officially what Hall’s status will be for today’s game.
Jacob Conover, Quarterback
If Hall cannot go, all signs would point to freshman Jacob Conover getting the first start of his BYU career. Conover has endless potential, and many around the program believe he will be a future star at quarterback for BYU.
During his first game action last week in a hostile road setting, he was nervous early on, but he settled in to help BYU roll to a 34-20 victory over Utah State.
Unlike Hall and injured Baylor Romney, Conover is a QB that might take a few more risks. You could probably chalk up to him being a young quarterback. But if Conover does get the start, don’t look for the aggressive playcalling from Aaron Roderick to be held back. BYU coaches have said all calendar year they feel they have three quarterbacks that can win games. Conover knew Roderick’s playbook inside and out after his first year with the program leading the scout team. He has a bright future ahead. But could glimpses of the future take center stage today? We will find out this afternoon.
Tyler Allgeier, Running Back
Tyler Allgeier is quickly rising the charts among the greatest ball carriers in BYU football history from walk-on to one of the nation’s best running backs.
The Fontana, California native is 133 yards away from hitting the 2,000 rushing yard mark in his BYU career. There’s a great chance he hits that mark today as he goes up against a Boise State defense that is currently ranked 104th nationally, allowing 191.2 yards per game.
With uncertainty at the quarterback spot, BYU has no questions at running back. Allgeier has elite vision and is performing at a level that looks like an NFL running back.
Campbell Barrington, Right Tackle
When Blake Freeland went down with an injury two weeks ago against USF, it could have been easily viewed as a devastating blow to BYU’s offensive line. But it hasn’t been because Campbell Barrington is a rising star that was ready to shine.
Last year, Barrington returned home after serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He’s the younger brother to fellow starting lineman Clark Barrington. Like Clark, Campbell needed to add weight during his first year back. But for those who got their eyes on Campbell last year, they knew he was going to be a special player.
Former BYU football left tackle and consensus All-American Brady Christensen told KSL Radio this past spring that Barrington would be “a stud” along the line. Barrington primarily took reps at guard in the first two weeks of fall camp this year before kicking out to tackle, where he thrived during his high school career.
BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick had no problem telling the media this week that Barrington will be “a great” in his BYU career. Through two weeks, Barrington has stepped in and been flawless at the right tackle spot.
D’Angelo Mandell, Cornerback
Boise State has a high-powered passing attack with quarterback Hank Bachmeier leading the way. As a result, BYU’s secondary will be tested, but that’s a challenge they embrace. Especially D’Angelo Mandell.
Mandell has been a leader of BYU’s cornerbacks this season and is part of a group changing the narrative around how defensive backs play in Provo. Gone are the days where Cougar DBs are seven yards off the line of scrimmage. Now you’re seeing Mandell and his secondary teammates playing man press coverage.
Mandell will likely get the difficult assignment of facing Boise State’s star wide receiver in Khalil Shakir. Shakir, once a BYU football recruit, is one of the top wide receivers out west. He’s averaging more than 16 yards per catch.
Mandell is one of the highest-graded players on BYU’s defense, according to Pro Football Focus. This is one of those matchups that could get Mandell on more NFL radars if he performs well against this Boise State receiving corps.
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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