by Daniel Olsen | Troy Bolton, a fictional high school star basketball player, starred in the Disney Channel Original movie High School Musical about 15 years ago. The movie series was filmed primarily in locations throughout Utah. Now, the Troy Trojans travel to Provo to take on the BYU Cougars for the first time in college football history (and there are plenty of opportunities for more puns).
Troy Bolton, played by Zac Efron, led the East High Wildcats to two straight state championships while simultaneously starring as the lead in the school musical.
The lead quarterback for the Troy Trojans, Gunnar Watson, finally got his chance to start for the Trojans after playing backup minutes the previous year.
BYU enters this game ranked 18th in the AP Top 25 poll which is an impressive improvement upon their ranking last week at #21. The Cougars were supposed to play the Army Knights on Saturday, September 19th but it was postponed due to positive COVID tests within the Cougar football team.
The jury is still out on how much of a challenge the Trojans will be for the BYU Cougars. In their first game on Saturday, they easily disposed of a Middle Tennessee team that hasn’t looked very good so far.
The Army Knights beat Middle Tennessee 42-0 in Week 1 so they as a ranked team would have definitely been a tougher game for the Cougars than Troy. The Trojans did put up 47 on Middle Tennessee but allowed 14 points.
According to the ESPN Football Power Index, the Cougars have an 83% chance to win this game. The Lavell Edwards Stadium will now be empty as Utah County has moved from yellow up to the orange phase. 6,000 of the over 65,000 seats that were going to be occupied are no longer available due to restrictions for COVID-19. As other teams have done, BYU is allowing fans to purchase fan packages including a cardboard cutout of them at the game. It will be a hard ticket to get so priority will be based on season ticket holder status.
Troy can be a dangerous Sun Belt team if they are overlooked. Ask any Big 12 team that lost to a Sun Belt team in Week 1. The Ragin’ Cajuns beat a ranked Iowa State team and the Arkansas State Red Wolves beat the Kansas State Wildcats.
Troy has upset really good teams in the past, including a big upset win over LSU a few years ago. If BYU overlooks them, they could be in trouble. I’m predicting this game won’t be another 52 point blowout like the game vs Navy was but the Cougars should win by at least a safe two possessions if they play at the level they are capable of.
Final Prediction: I think this will be a monumental game in the quest for perfection in the revised schedule for the Cougar football team. While they were originally supposed to play at Minnesota this week before the Big 10 cancelled their season, this presents an opportunity the Cougars haven’t had in a long time which is to finish with an undefeated season.
I am not worried about the offense but I fear the defense might let up just a little bit. I am still predicting a two score victory for BYU and they can move up as high as #16 with a win. With the SEC starting this week, it might be hard to move higher than that but if the Cougars keep winning in convincing fashion, they can do what schools like Clemson do every year: obliterate inferior competition.
Gotta getcha’ head in the game BYU. It might be hard early on but we’re all in this together Cougar nation! With the bad High School Musical puns out of the way, it’s time for my final score prediction:
Final Score: BYU 31 Troy 17