Living in Utah I get to hear the banter day in and day out about the fabulous Team from Provo. Yes, they are 5-2 this year and look imposing, but as Nacho says: "so anyways, let's get down to the nitty gritty."
They give up 135 on the ground and 230 in the air for some rather solid defensive numbers. On average they are better at stopping the run holding their opponents to just 66% of their season average. Pass defense holds them to 87% of season average. Not bad on paper. In their biggest loss this year, they held Utah to 129 yards rushing; way below their season average of 189 yards and only gave up slightly more in the passing game than Utah typically gains (273 vs. 260 yards). Set that aside and input an unknown dual threat with speed, namely: Grant Hedrick. The kid has blazing speed and can throw the short to mid range pass. This they know, but alas we have one game's worth of tape to critique. BYU has a solid front 7, but they have not been tested with a true dual threat QB for a full game.
On paper they look strong. They have some great impact players, especially in Van Noy. However, they have not yet proven themselves against a solid opponent and gave up 46 to Houston.
BSU has their last remaining test of the regular season in the Cougars and it will be what I feel is the biggest challenge not of Mr. Hedrick's season, but of Robert Prince's. His play calling has been questionable to say the least, and more often than not is all too predictable. Van Noy and company will be prepped and ready for this match up given the proclivity of the patterns that have developed from the offensive schemes this season. (Hint-stop with the wildcat on first and goal) and the bubble screen from first down between the 40s.) We need a healthy dose of play action pass and solid play from our tight ends as block-and-release receivers.
This is a good match up for BSU and will be determined in the trenches. Keys to victory: control the line of scrimmage to create run and passing lanes. Read and react play from Hedrick on option plays. Force BYU to over pursue with misdirection. Protect the ball.