BYU College Football Preview

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Schedule and Odds

BYU looked primed for a huge season last year after starting 4-0 and then quarterback Taysom Hill broke his leg. The Cougars finished 8-5, an ultimately disappointing season for a team that won 41-7 at Texas early in the year. Once again, BYU is listed with an over/under of eight wins but due to a tougher Schedule, the under is getting the most money at -175.

The good news for BYU is that Taysom Hill is back at quarterback even though he didn’t practice in the spring. The senior QB is getting tons of hype entering the season, and if he stays healthy may even be a Heisman contender. The bad news for the Cougars is that they have no one to come in if Hill does get hurt. In 4.5 Games last year, Hill had 15 total TDs, 3 INTs and 460 rushing yards.

Also returning from injury is running back Jamaal Williams, who only really played in six Games last year. Williams is also a huge part of the offense after he ran for 1,233 yards two years ago for 5.7 yards per carry. Algernon Brown is an able backup, but still not the same quality as Williams. Hill will have plenty of receiving talent to work with led by Mitch Mathews (73 receptions, 922 yards, 9 TDs) and a few other seniors on the squad, including tight end Terenn Houk (21 receptions). The offensive line is a strength too with Four starters returning from last year’s group led by Tejan Koroma, who was a Freshman All-American in 2014.

The Cougars struggled on the defensive end somewhat last year and that led to head coach Bronco Mendenhall reclaiming his role as the play-caller. They allowed 27.5 points per Game last year and return six starters.

The main issue for this group will again be in the secondary, the same unit that struggled last year allowing 270 passing yards per Game. Only one starter returns from that unit and none of the projected starters are seniors. The front seven should be stout again though for BYU with Bronson Kaufusi and Travis Tuiloma leading the way on the line.

BYU’s September slate is a blood bath with road Games at Nebraska, UCLA and Michigan, and their only home Game is against Boise State. However, that also means that October is filled with home Games against lesser competition. A Game against Missouri at Arrowhead and a trip to Utah State will be tough in the final month, as well. If Hill and Williams can stay healthy, the sky is the limit for this team, even with an over/under set at only eight.

The Cougars have the talent to win any Game on their Schedule. It’s just about putting things together and staying healthy. If the defense improves as well, double-digit wins wouldn’t be a surprise, as long as Hill plays every Game.

2015 BYU Football Schedule

Sept. 5 at Nebraska
Sept. 12 vs. Boise State
Sept. 19 at UCLA
Sept. 26 at Michigan
Oct. 2 vs. Connecticut
Oct. 10 vs. East Carolina
Oct. 16 vs. Cincinnati
Oct. 24 vs. Wagner
Nov. 6 at San Jose State
Nov. 14 vs. Missouri (Arrowhead Stadium)
Nov. 21 vs. Fresno State
Nov. 28 at Utah State

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