College Football Pick
By Jason Green
Well, BYU is probably happy to be playing a team outside the Pac 12, as they beat Arizona in their season opener, but then lost to Utah and UCLA. However, both losses were close ones and the Cougars have covered the spread in all 3 of their Games this season.
West Virginia has a solid offense that ranks in the top 23 in the nation in both passing and rushing yards per Game. However, their defense may be an issue since they graduated 8 starters on that side of the ball. Their offense will be tested in this Game facing a BYU defense that has not given up more than 20 points in their first 3 Games.
This is the first ever meeting between these schools.
West Virginia beat Youngstown State 38-21 in their last Game, but they failed to cover as a 20-point favorite.
This Game is being held at a neutral site at FedEx Field in LAndover, Maryland. BYU is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games at a neutral site and WVU is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site Games.
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The Cougars are led by a defense that has a solid LB trio in Butch Pau’u, Fred Warner and Francis Bernard. The Cougars are stronger against the run than the pass and if BYU cannot pressure the QB they may be in trouble. That QB will be Skyler Howard, who has 642 yards with 5 TD and 2 INT in only 2 Games. He has 2 WR’s with over 200 yards and not only that, but 2 RB’s that have combined for 315 yards.
Howard can also move the chains with his legs being the 3rd leading rusher for the Mountaineers. WVU is loaded on offense and while they have issues on defense BYU has failed to light it up on offense this season. Overall, West Virginia only ranks 94th in the nation defending the pass and 95th defending the run.
BYU’s offense only ranks 120th in the nation averaging 17 ppg, but they may pad that stat this Saturday. They have talent on that side of the ball with QB Taysom Hill, RB Jamaal Williams, and a decent WR corps. Hill has to avoid the turnover, as in 3 Games he has only 2 TD and 4 INT. Hill is a duel threat QB and he and Williams, who only rushed for 28 yards on 12 carriers in the loss to UCLA, must run the ball well to win.
BYU is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games following a straight up loss.
West Virginia is 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and they have only covered the spread in 1 of their last 6 Games after an ATS loss.
Jason’s Pick: So far, close gmes are the norm for BYU and against some tough competition. We’ll call for yet another one decided by less than a TD. BYU +7.