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National experts make their picks for BYU-Oregon and Utah-San Diego State. Who’s favored?

SHARE National experts make their picks for BYU-Oregon and Utah-San Diego State. Who’s favored?
BYU Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) works to get away from Baylor linebacker Jackie Marshall (35) at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 10, 2022.

BYU Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) works to get away from Baylor Bears linebacker Jackie Marshall (35) during their game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Another week, another ranked opponent for No. 12 BYU.

This time, the Cougars are headed on the road to face No. 25 Oregon in what will be a more hostile environment — Autzen Stadium — than what they experienced last week in front of the home crowd in their 26-20 win over then-No. 9 Baylor at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Will the Cougars stay unbeaten, or will the Ducks take care of business?

National experts have weighed in this week, giving their predictions for that game, as well as No. 14 Utah’s matchup with San Diego State.

Here’s what six national publications predict for these games.


Bill Connelly outlined the BYU-Oregon matchup as one of the top games in Week 3, while using two ESPN metrics — the SP+ rankings and FPI power rankings — to illustrate the favorite in the matchup.

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon

One thing Connelly said to watch for in the game is whether the Ducks can get chunk plays on offense.

“Oregon’s Dan Lanning is still trying to figure out what he’s got. His Ducks responded well to their Week 1 shellacking against Georgia by manhandling Eastern Washington 70-14. It was a nice performance against a good FCS opponent, but it didn’t ease the biggest concern I have: Where in the world are the big plays?,” Connelly wrote.

“... BYU has allowed only three such plays, and all three came when it was already up by 30-plus against USF in Week 1. The Cougars are creating disruption with a bend-but-don’t-break approach — they rank 120th in blitzes per dropback but 15th in sack rate — and according to Sports Info Solutions data, they have missed only two tackles all season. Can Oregon dink and dunk its way to another rebound win? And will it matter if the Oregon defense can’t push back against the physical Cougars?”

  • SP+ projection: Oregon by 1.2.
  • FPI projection: Oregon by 1.5.

USA Today

Six USA Today writers made their selections for games involving Top 25 teams. Here are their predictions for the BYU and Utah games:

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon

  • Scooby Axson: BYU.
  • Jace Evans: Oregon.
  • Paul Myerberg: Oregon.
  • Erick Smith: BYU.
  • Eddie Timanus: BYU.
  • Dan Wolken: BYU.

San Diego State at No. 14 Utah

  • Scooby Axson: Utah.
  • Jace Evans: Utah.
  • Paul Myerberg: Utah.
  • Erick Smith: Utah.
  • Eddie Timanus: Utah.
  • Dan Wolken: Utah.

Despite picking Oregon to win, Paul Myerberg called a BYU upset his bold prediction for the week, saying, “this road win would raise the possibility that BYU could run the table and make a strong case for the College Football Playoff.”

Sports Illustrated

SI’s panel of five experts favored the Ducks over the Cougars.

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon

  • John Garcia: Oregon.
  • Molly Geary: BYU.
  • Ross Dellenger: Oregon.
  • Richard Johnson: BYU.
  • Pat Forde: Oregon.

CBS Sports

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon

Earlier this week, a panel of experts — including Brian Jones, Randy Cross, Aaron Taylor and Rick Neuheisel — all picked BYU to beat Oregon during a segment on CBS Sports Network.

“I’m going with BYU, and while they may be challenged at times versus speed — and Oregon has some speed — they will hit you in the mouth, and then they’ve got a few wrinkles on their offense,” Jones said.

“Jaren Hall, their quarterback, is playing fantastic football. This will not be too big for him,” Neuheisel said. “And 5-0 against the Pac-12? Make that 6-0 as they go and get it done in Autzen.”

Athlon Sports

Three Athlon Sports experts picked the winner for every FBS game:

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon

  • Steve Lassan: Oregon.
  • Mark Ross: Oregon.
  • Ben Weinrib: BYU.

San Diego State at No. 14 Utah

  • Steve Lassan: Utah.
  • Mark Ross: Utah.
  • Ben Weinrib: Utah.

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller made predictions for every game involving an Associated Press Top 25 team, while also projecting the score.

No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon

“Oregon didn’t do so well in its last game against a ranked opponent, as it was blown out of the water by Georgia in Week 1,” Miller wrote.

“BYU has looked mighty good, even beating Baylor last week without key receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney. It’s unclear whether either will be available, but I’d feel much more confident in my Cougars pick if they do suit up.”

  • Prediction: BYU 34, Oregon 27.

San Diego State at No. 14 Utah

“One year ago, this was a triple-overtime showdown won by the Aztecs, who finished with just 248 yards. But that was the game in which Charlie Brewer lost Utah’s quarterback job to Cameron Rising, as well as a game in which Tavion Thomas had just one carry,” Miller wrote.

“The Utes are much better now than they were in the first three quarters of that game, and a season-opening loss to Arizona suggests San Diego State may have gotten considerably worse. Unless Braxton Burmeister has been saving the game of his life for just this moment, Utah should cruise.”

  • Prediction: Utah 35, San Diego State 14.