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Does BYU have puncher’s chance against Boise State?

Struggling Cougars face a streaking Broncos team that is solid on both sides of the ball

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BYU running back Lopini Katoa flies through the air after being hit during game against East Carolina on Friday.

BYU running back Lopini Katoa flies through the air after being hit during game against East Carolina on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Provo, Utah. Will the Cougars be flying to the turf Saturday when they take on the tough Boise State Broncos on the Smurf turf at Albertsons Stadium?

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

This article was first published in the Cougar Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Tuesday night.

Kalani Sitake has a tall order this week to travel to Boise State and take on the Mountain West Conference’s best team. He’ll need to do this with one of the worst defenses in the country and an offense that struggled with consistency in crunch time last week against East Carolina.

Here are a few of our coverage stories of the game with ECU last week:

Cougar Insider predictions

Predict the score of the Boise State-BYU game and explain your prognostication.

Jay Drew: If there is a blue moon shining down on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium on Saturday, the Cougars might have a chance to upset the touchdown-favorite Broncos. Otherwise, I don’t see BYU ending its four-game losing streak and snapping Boise State’s four-game winning streak. Talk about teams heading in opposite directions.

I’ve thought of a couple of scenarios where BYU might have puncher’s chance of winning, then I remember that the Cougars have one of the worst defenses in the country, and Boise State one of the best. This one might get ugly. The Cougars will have to play perfectly and they haven’t shown the ability to do that. The misery continues for Cougars fans at a place where BYU has won just once — during that COVID-19 year of 2020.

Prediction: Boise State 52, BYU 21

Dick Harmon: Back in August when everyone was projecting wins and losses, I had BYU winning nine and losing three, and one of those losses would be at the end of nine straight games at Boise State on the road, a place they have struggled to win over the years. Now we get to that time and the Cougars are reeling from four straight losses after starting 4-1 and being ranked No. 16.

The Cougars are struggling on defense and playing without linebackers Max Tooley and Payton Wilgar, and safety Malik Moore, Chaz Ah You and others. On offense, Chris Brooks is nursing a hamstring, Kody Epps is done for the season, Gunner Romney might be done for the season and others are limping, wearing foot-support boots and slings. QB Jaren Hall hasn’t been the same since he got knocked around by Utah State. This is not the team to take on the Mountain West Conference gem Boise State, which is anxious, just like Liberty and East Carolina, to prove it is every bit as good as the Big 12-bound Cougars.

Prediction: Boise State: 38, BYU 24

Cougar tales

While many fans on social media are throwing grenades at BYU coaches and players over the four-game losing streak, defensive end Tyler Batty vows that the mistakes being made on defense will stop and the Cougars will improve.

In this piece, Jeff Call reviews what Mark Pope said about the basketball team after a Blue vs. White scrimmage.

From the archives

From the Twitterverse

Extra points

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers:

The difference between Boise State and BYU is this ... Boise did what it needed to when it was obvious (get rid of their OC and bring in Dirk Koetter, who has completely turned this season around). BYU cannot do the same (with their DC ... family ties, etc) when a total team re-vamp is desperately needed. Boise will run them into the ground with their new QB and rushing attack.

— Magicman32

You BYU haters guys are unreal. Still on that Washington game from two years ago, still barking the same nonsense? Conveniently forgetting that Washington refused to schedule the game, only gave BYU a maybe, as long as no other team wants to play the Huskies that week (which happened)? There was never going to be a game. Washington saw to that. You know this, and yet here you are again with the same drivel.

While I’m at it, you guys ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Your malicious schadenfreude. Your insatiable need to team shame BYU fans.

BYU has turned a year with whispers about a NY6 bowl into a near catastrophe now. Very sad to see. For us. For you? You taking delight in it, repeating your giggling pleasure ad nauseam. Yet you keep shoveling the dung on us, laughing as you do.

I’m embarrassed and highly disappointed by my team. All BYU fans I know feel the same way. But from now till the end, I’ll continue to cheer for them. Sadly, I think we know what you’ll do.

— Mowgli

Up next

Nov. 2 | TBA | Women’s tennis | ITA National Fall Championships | @San Diego, California

Nov. 2 | TBA | Men’s golf | St. Mary’s Invitational | @Moraga, California

Nov. 2 | 7 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. Ottawa (Arizona) | @Provo

Nov. 2 | 8 p.m. | Women’s soccer | vs. San Diego | @San Diego, California

Nov. 5 | 5:05 p.m. | Football | vs. Boise State | @Boise, Idaho

BYU coach Kalani Sitake tells during loss to Notre Dame at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake gets hyped up after his team scored, closing the gap to 25-20 against Notre Dame, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News