BYU will likely be involved in a bowl shootout with SMU in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque on Dec. 17, and it is unknown if the Cougars will have triggerman Jaren Hall, who was injured in the win over Stanford in the regular-season finale, to run the show.
SMU is known for its offense and features the top receiver in the country. While SMU has not faced the same competition as BYU, the Mustangs’ offense has better offensive statistics than the Cougars.
Here is a taste of our pre-bowl coverage so far:
- Ed Lamb expected to be HC at Northern Colorado (Jay Drew)
- Sitake addresses personnel issues for bowl prep (Jay Drew)
- Poppinga expected to return to BYU defense (Brandon Judd)
- BYU’s first bowl season began in New Mexico (Dave McCann)
- BYU vs. SMU intriguing matchup (Jay Drew)
- Why Cade Fennegan could make his BYU debut at the New Mexico Bowl (Dave McCann)
Cougar Insider predictions
Question of the week: Is this the best bowl game BYU could have hoped for and how would you describe the matchup with SMU?
Jay Drew: I will admit it. When it comes to covering BYU’s bowl game appearances, I get a little selfish. I care far more about the Cougars’ destination than their opponent. I’ve been to every bowl game they’ve been in since 2006, and was totally on board when they played in Hawaii, Florida and San Francisco. Boise, Albuquerque and Shreveport, not so much.
So is the 17th annual New Mexico Bowl the best bowl BYU could have hoped for after its 7-5 regular season? Not in my book. Not even in the so-called “Land of Enchantment.” Then again, the Cougars probably don’t deserve much better, given how they played in October.
That said, the opponent this year — SMU of the AAC — is a quality opponent with some superstars like quarterback Tanner Mordecai and receiver Rashee Rice and has the potential of putting up 50 points, at least, on the Cougars’ defense. There will be no overlooking the opponent this year, as might have been the case last year vs. UAB.
Dick Harmon: BYU is in the New Mexico Bowl because of October losses, so in my opinion, the Cougars earned what they got and the attitude should be to be grateful they have a bowl game. I don’t mind Albuquerque. I’ve been going there to cover football and basketball for 45 years. I know where to eat, stay and have some fun.
The matchup with SMU features two explosive offenses. BYU has had a tougher schedule than SMU and has scored more points and gained more yards. SMU will give BYU everything it can handle and that’s why you have to hope Jaren Hall is healthy to help with the shootout.
It should be an entertaining football game with a lot of fireworks if Hall is playing. The swag players get is about the same as anywhere because there is a cap on what can be given. Without a beach or palm trees, this is what it is and the big thing is the extra practices Kalani Sitake can use to prepare for next year. It would be better to end the season with a win and eight victories this year than go out a loser and that’s the rub next week. Can BYU do it?
BYU women’s volleyball defeated James Madison then lost to No. 2 seed Pitt in the NCAA volleyball tournament this past week.
In two of the most disappointing losses in the Mark Pope era, the Cougars lost a one-point setback to South Dakota in Vivint Arena after falling behind by more than 24 points, then followed that up with a 75-60 loss to Utah Valley. In the latter, the Cougars were outscored 41-22 in the second half.
From the archives
From the Twitterverse
The NET rankings are out! Our in-state teams fared very well except for one…— 🌹 801 Bracketology 🌹 (@801bracketology) December 5, 2022
Utah State: 15th
Still very early, but the first NET rankings allow me to make some better adjustments and start building a true bracket. Looking forward to working on it!
The full scope of BYU's changes are starting to take shape.— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) December 6, 2022
Ed Lamb has played a massive role in Kalani's tenure. I think his time and contributions at BYU have been largely understated. His fingerprints are on so many aspects of BYU football in Kalani's time as head coach. https://t.co/jsPssA9HuY
Four things to know about SMU (KSLsports.com)
Fall explains why he’s leaving BYU (KSL.com)
Three Cougars named freshmen All-American (byucougars.com)
Comments from Deseret News readers
Go Cougs. Maybe Sitake has a point. 7-5 but all losses were to ranked teams, couldn’t beat one, and the one to an unranked USF team that is generally a good football program.
Should be a good game but not paying to go to New Mexico for a vacation. Will watch it on the TV. Hope the Cougs win of course.
All nostalgia aside and the SMU game, every college football fan knows about that bowl game, BYU has been a letdown this year, yet I hope they get this even if it is the New Mexico Bowl and whoever the sponsor is.
Just win BYU. Not going to be easy yet I think they do it.
Dec. 7 | 7 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. Utah Valley | @Provo
Dec. 10 | 5 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Utah | @Provo
Dec. 10 | 8 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. Creighton | @Las Vegas