No. 25 BYU at South Florida
- Kickoff: 2 p.m. MDT
- Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa (65,890 capacity).
- TV: ESPNU
- Livestream: WatchESPN
- Radio: 1160 AM/102.7 FM
- Series: This is the third meeting between the schools — USF won the first game in 2019, while BYU beat the Bulls last season.
- Weather: Scattered thunderstorms with temperatures in the high 90s around kickoff.
For BYU: The Cougars are trying to extend their streak of double-digit win seasons to three, and that quest begins with the trip to Florida. BYU is 5-1 in season openers under Kalani Sitake.
For South Florida: The Bulls have won just three games under coach Jeff Scott in his first two seasons, and only one of those wins was against an FBS opponent.
What to watch for
BYU hasn’t looked particularly impressive in its two previous matchups with South Florida. The Cougars can ill afford a loss to start the season if they hope to make a national splash in their final year of independence, particularly with No. 10 Baylor and No. 11 Oregon up next.
There will be some familiarity in this contest: BYU has the most returning production in the nation at 85%, according to ESPN’s Bill Connelly, while South Florida is No. 3 at 83%.
The two quarterbacks have some history against each other.
While BYU’s Jaren Hall missed the 2021 USF game because of injury, he played against South Florida starter Gerry Bohanon last year when he was at Baylor.
In BYU’s loss to Baylor last season, Hall put up solid numbers, throwing for 342 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 25 yards and another touchdown, a 56-yard score on a fourth-down play.
Bohanon, meanwhile, threw for 231 yards and a touchdown with an interception, while leading a Bears attack that put up 303 rushing yards.
Chris Brooks, RB, BYU: Brooks, a transfer from Cal, is tasked with carrying the running back load the year after Tyler Allgeier — now with the Atlanta Falcons — set the program single-season rushing record.
Brooks will have help, with guys like Lopini Katoa, Miles Davis and Jackson McChesney returning, and fullback Houston Heimuli transferring in from Stanford.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder is expected to get the bulk of the work in the backfield, though, and the opener at South Florida will give Brooks the first chance to show BYU fans just what he can do.
“There is a lot of unknown still. We don’t know much about what they do on offense or on defense with the new coordinators that they have. So, we will have to be ready for everything and we’re preparing that way.” — BYU coach Kalani Sitake, on South Florida.
“They play well together. There is a oneness, very similar to how we won at Clemson with the culture that we had. You play one of us, you play all of us. That is what you see when you turn on the video watching BYU.” — South Florida coach Jeff Scott, a former Clemson assistant, on BYU.
BYU hosts top 10 Baylor in the Cougars’ home opener on Sept. 10. South Florida hosts Howard the same day.
Sept. 3 — BYU at South Florida.
Sept. 10 — BYU vs. No. 10 Baylor.
Sept. 17 — BYU at No. 11 Oregon.
Sept. 24 — BYU vs. Wyoming.
Sept. 29 — BYU vs. Utah State.
Oct. 8 — BYU vs. No. 5 Notre Dame (Las Vegas).
Oct. 15 — BYU vs. No. 19 Arkansas.
Oct. 22 — BYU at Liberty.
Oct. 28 — BYU vs. East Carolina.
Nov. 5 — BYU at Boise State.
Nov. 12 — BYE.
Nov. 19 — BYU vs. Utah Tech.
Nov. 26 — BYU at Stanford.
All times MT.