Utah Tech (4-6) at BYU (5-5)
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. MST
Venue: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo (63,475)
Radio: 1160 AM/102.7 FM
Series: Although both schools are in the state of Utah, they are meeting for the first time because Utah Tech — formerly known as Dixie State University — has only recently made the move up to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). They are scheduled to meet again in 2026 in Provo.
Weather: Sunny skies will greet both teams in BYU’s final home game of 2022, but it will be unseasonably cold, with temperatures in the mid-30s. It could be slightly breezy, with gusts up to 5 mph.
For BYU: The 5-5 Cougars snapped a four-game losing skid with a rousing 31-28 upset of Boise State two weeks ago, and were idle last weekend. BYU needs to defeat Utah Tech this week or Stanford next week to become bowl eligible for the 17th time in the last 18 seasons.
For Utah Tech: The Trailblazers have won three straight games and are playing their best football of the season after losing six of their first seven contests. Utah Tech’s “Spread-’N-Shred” offense racked up 603 yards in a 48-36 homecoming win over Southern Utah on Nov. 5 and followed that with a 502-yard performance in a 34-28 win over Tarleton State last Saturday.
What to watch for
BYU will honor up to 37 players before the game because it is Senior Day in Provo. Thirteen of the honored players are seniors and will exhaust their eligibility at the end of the season; another 24 are fourth- or fifth-year juniors and can return in 2023 if they so desire. Coach Kalani Sitake said honoring them now is the safest way to ensure that they get honored in case they do choose to leave.
BYU’s defense limited Boise State to fewer than 350 yards two weeks ago, but Utah Tech is just as explosive and is averaging 425.9 yards per game.
Utah Tech coach Paul Peterson is in his fourth year in St. George and has a 15-22 record there. He played collegiately at Boston College and is the younger brother of ex-BYU quarterback Charlie Peterson. Former BYU linebacker Shane Hunter (2007-10) is UT’s co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach. Defensive line coach Loni Fangupo played for BYU in 2011 after transferring from USC.
Jaren Hall, QB, BYU: Is this the fifth-year junior’s final game at LaVell Edwards Stadium? It certainly appears that way, although Hall told reporters Wednesday that he still hasn’t decided whether he will declare for the NFL draft or return to Provo in 2023. Coaches would like Hall to start fast and give the Cougars a big lead so they can give backup QB Jacob Conover a good look, but nothing is a given this year for the Cougars and Utah Tech figures to have the firepower to match BYU offensively, at least for much of the game.
“Well, Utah Tech is gong to be (excited). Tons of energy from them coming into this game. This is the end of the year for them. I know they are fired up for this game. I know their coaches. I know a lot of guys on that coaching staff, and I am familiar with a lot of people on their roster. So this is a game that they have had circled, and they are excited to end their year here, to come up into LaVell Edwards Stadium and play in a big stadium. … Their guys will be fired up and excited. We will get their best shot and that’s what we expect. My job is to make sure they get our best shot as well.” — BYU football coach Kalani Sitake.
“It (the score) is going to be 27, let’s go 27 to 14. I will give them 21 (points), maybe. Who’s winning, though? Utah Tech. That’s about it, though, yeah.” — Utah Tech receiver Malcolm Ross-Turner.
BYU heads to the Bay Area to face the Pac-12’s Stanford in the regular-season finale for both team. Stanford meets rival California on Saturday, but will be playing its final two games just for pride because it cannot get bowl eligible with just three wins to date. Kickoff for the BYU-Stanford game is at 9 p.m. MST and the third meeting will be televised by FS1.
Sept. 3 — BYU 50, South Florida 21
Sept. 10 — No. 25 BYU 26, No. 9 Baylor 20 (2OT)
Sept. 17 — No. 25 Oregon 41, No. 12 BYU 20
Sept. 24 — No. 19 BYU 38, Wyoming 24
Sept. 29 — No. 19 BYU 38, Utah State 26
Oct. 8 — Notre Dame 28, No. 16 BYU 20
Oct. 15 — Arkansas 52, BYU 35
Oct. 22 — Liberty 41, BYU 14
Oct. 28 — East Carolina 27, BYU 24
Nov. 5 — BYU at Boise State
Nov. 12 — Bye
Nov. 19 — BYU vs. Utah Tech, 1:30 p.m. MST
Nov. 26 — BYU at Stanford, 9 p.m. MST
All times MST.