BYU Vs. Wyoming: Game Day Preview Plus Score Prediction
Sep 24, 2022, 7:46 AM | Updated: 7:52 am
(Jason Olson, Deseret News)
PROVO, Utah – No. 19 BYU vs Wyoming rekindles an old-school rivalry from BYU’s past.
Outside of Utah and Utah State, BYU has never played a team more than Wyoming. BYU’s first win as a program came against Wyoming back in 1922. There’s a history between the two schools. Anyone around for those LaVell Edwards/Paul Roach games or the 1996 WAC Championship would tell you BYU/Wyoming used to be something back in the day.
The history of these two schools won’t impact tonight’s game. But don’t be surprised if you see a Wyoming team led by Craig Bohl that is jacked up to play. What can we expect from BYU after a blowout loss to Oregon?
No. 19 BYU vs. Wyoming
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. (MT)
Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended Pregame begins at 6 p.m.)
Now it’s time for the 3-2-1 game day preview for today’s matchup between BYU and Wyoming.
Three Game Day Thoughts
1. Tonight’s matchup feels like a “no-win” situation for BYU
BYU comes into tonight’s game as a three-touchdown favorite. That feels like a slight to a Wyoming team that has played tough through its first four games and holds a 3-1 record. But the wise guys in the desert like this BYU team.
If BYU wins big, it’s met with, well, you were supposed to do that. But, on the flip side, if BYU wins by a smaller margin, people might raise more questions about this BYU team one week after the blowout loss to the Ducks.
It’s also an example that these schedules are nearing an end. Next year, after playing a Power Five team, it won’t be a Group of Five team to heal your wounds potentially. Instead, it will be another P5 and then another.
2. All eyes are on BYU’s defense
Last week in the loss to Oregon, the Ducks rushed for 212 yards and passed for 227. It was a balanced attack that left BYU on their heels the entire afternoon when QB Bo Nix was in the game. So what’s the follow-up this week?
#BYU vs. Wyoming has a ton of history.
What is your favorite #WYOvsBYU memory?
📷: Deseret News pic.twitter.com/1xGc7T0hqr
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) September 24, 2022
BYU was in a lot of three-man front against Oregon, and it struggled. Especially with two of their defensive line starters out for that game. BYU DE Tyler Batty is expected to play tonight against the Pokes. What type of performance does BYU’s defense produce tonight against a Wyoming team that wants to play power football and run it down the middle?
BYU’s defense has to get off the field on third and fourth downs. If they don’t, BYU’s offense might be limited on the number of times they touch the football.
3. Time for BYU’s ground attack to get going
After the dominating performance against a USF team that nearly won at Florida a week ago, BYU’s rushing attack was flying high again. But after two matchups against physical Power Five defenses, the ground game has been stalled for BYU.
Last week against Oregon, BYU only rushed for 61 yards. Being one-dimensional like that isn’t going to work against anybody. Especially a young Wyoming defense that held triple option attack Air Force to 171 rushing yards a week ago in the upset victory in Laramie.
Chris Brooks is due for another breakout performance. He’s head and shoulders BYU’s best option at running back, it will be interesting to see if BYU incorporates more wide zone rushing attempts with Brooks, who seemed to be a perfect fit for that scheme in fall camp. Those wide zone play calls haven’t come as often through the first three weeks.
BYU’s offensive line shoulders some of the blame for the lack of rushing yards the past two weeks. Tonight, the big guys up front take on a tough Wyoming defensive line that isn’t as talented as Baylor’s or Oregon’s but does have some All-MWC type of talents in Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole in the interior.
Two BYU vs Wyoming Questions
1. Puka Nacua: Is he in or out?
BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua is another game-time decision tonight. Nacua has been out since quarter one in the season opener against USF with a high ankle sprain. BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said he’s “hopeful” that Nacua and fellow wide receiver Gunner Romney could play tonight, but as he noted, “it’s a broken record.”
Nacua and Romney both practiced this week. Romney was wearing a green “no-contact” uniform in practice.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) September 23, 2022
If both of these receivers can play, they will go up against a Wyoming secondary that has been the weakness of the Pokes’ defense through the first four weeks of the season.
2. What can we expect from Wyoming QB Andrew Peasley?
When Wyoming coach Craig Bohl made a public plea to bring in a quarterback from the transfer portal or the JUCO ranks, Utah State transfer Andrew Peasley heard Bohl’s shoutout and moved from Logan to Laramie.
BYU is familiar with Peasley; he stepped in for an injured Logan Bonner last year in the win against the Aggies in Logan. He was 5-of-7 for 38 passing yards and (-5) rushing yards.
Peasley is a dual-threat quarterback that Wyoming will use in designed runs. He’s become the leader of this team. Wyoming coach Craig Bohl has been impressed with Peasley as he’s been a calm leader for the Pokes.
One Score Prediction for BYU vs Wyoming
BYU should win this game. It would be a doomsday scenario for BYU if they somehow lost this contest. Instead, BYU gets the victory behind an effective rushing attack against one of the youngest teams in college football. Will the game impress anyone? Probably not. But it will be a solid effort to get back in the win column.
BYU 41, Wyoming 23
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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