BYU Football: Why should the Cougars be taken seriously?

BYU Football: Why should the Cougars be taken seriously?

by Rick Istvan | Huskie fans everywhere are calling out the Cougars. The UW fans are saying BYU is ducking the Huskies. The University of Washington had reached out to BYU about a potential matchup and the Cougars respectfully declined.

Poisoned Apple Cup

The Huskies were supposed to have their rivalry game against Washington State last weekend but due to COVID-19 complications, the Cougars had to cancel. The PAC-12 is allowing programs to reach out to non-conference teams to schedule games to make up for opponents having to cancel. Apparently, the Huskies still wanted to play against a Cougar, so they reached out to BYU. Some may think UW, being a Power Five program, would help BYU’s prestige but that might not be the case.

Huskies loyal to the Pac

BYU plays as an FBS Independent. The Huskies are in the PAC-12. Despite both teams being subject to NCAA rules, each conference also has their own rules. The Cougars, before agreeing to a game, want to know where they stand on the CFP rankings when they come out on Tuesday. BYU also wants a game locked in and a contract signed. The Huskies can’t guarantee that because of PAC-12 rules. Arizona State and Utah were scheduled to play past weekend. Both ASU and the Utes are PAC-12 teams. Recently, Arizona State has been dealing with COVID issues. Since ASU had to cancel the game, per PAC-12 rules, Washington would have to play Utah. That means they would be leaving BYU without an opponent.

Every time a Bell rings

BYU doesn’t play another home game until December against San Diego State. On paper, SDSU looks like an average team but their running game is legit. If the Aztecs want to compete with the Cougars they’re going to have to do it on the back of Greg Bell. Bell ranks third in the nation with 134 rushing yards per game. Senior linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi is leading the way along a solid defensive line including Lorenzo Fauatea, Tyler Batty, Zac Dawe, and Bracken El-Bakri. With this lineup, the Cougars should have no issue containing Bell. The Aztecs allow about 200 passing yards per game. Against Nevada, SDSU allowed 288 passing yards and two touchdowns. Look for BYU Heisman hopeful, Zach Wilson, to put on a show in Provo.

Is BYU at Liberty against Coastal Carolina

Due to COVID concerns, Liberty had to cancel their game against Coastal Carolina. With Liberty out the Cougars are in. The Chanticleers are currently 9-0 and ranked #14 in the latest AP poll. With the Cougars coming into Carolina with a 9-0 record as well and sitting at #8 on the AP poll this should be a good game. Offensively, BYU scores an average of 47.6 points per game. The Cougars do this by averaging 333.4 pass yards and 202.3 rush yards per game. Coastal Carolina averages 38.7 points per game with 226.3 yards in the air and 222 on the ground. Although Cougars have the upper hand here, the Chanticleers have the advantage in another category. BYU has 39 penalties for 342 yards averaging 38 penalty yards per game. Coastal Carolina has 27 penalties for 258 yards with a 28 yards per game average. In order for BYU to keep Coastal at bay, the Cougars need to minimize the “dirty laundry” of careless penalties on the field.

Coin toss: Heads or Canterbury tales?

Coastal Carolina’s mascot is the Chanticleer. This mascot comes from The Canterbury Tales: The Nun’s Priest’s Tale. The Chanticleer is a proud rooster whose pride almost costs him his life. In the story, a fox uses Chanticleer’s own powers against him. The moral of this story is to never trust a flatterer. In this situation, Coastal Carolina is the “flatterer.” They are trying to use their record to tempt the Cougars into playing them because it could impact BYU’s Bowl Game chances. However, BYU didn’t get to where they are being gullible. Grayson McCall is the Chanticleers’ strength and BYU is going to use that against them. If Coastal Carolina has a chance at winning they are going to have to throw the ball. BYU knows that, and just like in the story, the Cougars are going to go for the Chanticleers’ jugular. BYU needs to put the pressure on McCall. If they do that, they can force punts or turnovers. The question is will this be a chapter in BYU’s story towards a New Year’s Six? Either that, or this be a fairytale ending for the Chanticleers.

Featured image courtesy The Daily Herald

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