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How BYU, Utah games against Wyoming and ASU will shake out

BYU is favored at home against Wyoming after disappointing road loss to Oregon, while the Utes face an ASU team in turmoil in their Pac-12 opener

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BYU head coach Kalani Sitake watches from the sideline during BYU’s season opener against USF in Tampa.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake watches from the sideline during season opener against USF on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Cougars are coming off a tough loss to Oregon and looking to get back on track against Wyoming on Saturday.

Robert W. Grover, for the Deseret News

Wyoming will try to take a bully stick to BYU Saturday night in Provo. But is it a big enough club?

Beating the Cougars in Provo, Laramie, Las Vegas or Mars would make the season for the Cowboys and respected veteran head coach Craig Bohl.

Bohl knows exactly how much Wyoming fans despise the Cougars and knows what a win would mean for the Cowboy Commonwealth amid the Rockies.

Bohl is a defensive-minded coach and he has to have seen film of the Oregon game where Ducks linemen got after the Cougars and physically pushed them around. Wyoming may not have the same personnel in the trenches as Oregon, but Bohl’s got big bodies, fairly good athletes and he’ll have them frothing to get after BYU at the line of scrimmage.

The big question is, can his young team get physical with the Cougars on BYU’s home field?

Bohl’s roots with physical play are deep and rich after jobs at Nebraska as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, three FCS titles at North Dakota State with stops at Tulsa, Wisconsin, Rice and Duke.

He is an expert at getting his teams up for big moments. It will be an honor to have Bohl do his work in LaVell Edwards Stadium. He is a class act in a rivalry that’s historically had a lot of rough edges.

It’s a legendary rivalry,” BYU tight end Isaac Rex said this week. “I know going back to the WAC and Mountain West days, Wyoming has always been a key game for us. They’re going to be tough, they’re going to be gritty, Wyoming’s a good team, so we have to be really prepared.”

Look for BYU to tinker with its lagging run game against Wyoming. The Cougars must get a better push for its running backs and those ball carriers have been challenged to be more efficient at gaining yards. Anything short of 135 Saturday would be an F.

But this game will be won with BYU’s pass game because offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick has the weapons. If Puka Nacua is able to play, it is icing on the cake. BYU’s offensive line has struggled with its run blocking, but it is the exact opposite with pass protection. Darrell Funk’s pass pro design and execution is outstanding and that will set up QB Jaren Hall for some big plays.

Utah at Arizona State

The Pac-12 opener for Utah at Arizona State is a post-Herm Edwards affair that has all the markings of a big Utah win.

Look for Utah’s offense to mow over the Sun Devils. Cam Rising will have a big game and put up some numbers. Utah’s defense is good enough to cause ASU a lot of problems. Easy road win for Utah to get to 1-0 in league play and kick off the real season in its title defense.

UNLV at Utah State

This game is a tossup even though some oddsmakers favor UNLV to come away with a win in Logan by three points. The Aggies have experienced some challenges early this season and still haven’t fully recovered from the loss to Alabama and the subsequent setback at the hands of Weber State in Maverick Stadium.

This game will be decided on who gets the most turnovers. Blake Anderson really needs this win to get things rolling in Mountain West play. The defending champ and formerly ranked Aggie program can’t afford to let that momentum from 2021 get away.


Washington 34, Stanford 17

Clemson 28, Wake Forest 21

Baylor 28, Iowa State 24

Louisville 31, South Florida 14

UCLA 24, Colorado 21

Tennessee 27, Florida 24

Texas 38, Texas Tech 28

North Carolina 24, Notre Dame 21

Oregon 42, Washington State 21

California 21, Arizona 19

Arkansas 27, Texas A&M 24

UNLV 17, Utah State 14

Oklahoma 38, Kansas State 28

Southern Cal 37, Oregon State 28

Utah 41, Arizona State 17

BYU 38, Wyoming 21

Last week 11-3: overall 29-10 (.743).