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Utah State will come to LaVell Edwards Stadium tonight for a short-week matchup with BYU, and Kalani Sitake still has a lot of cleaning up to do with his squad after the Cougars’ win over Wyoming. In that game, the Cougars started slow and had too many penalties. Injuries continue to mount for the BYU football program in September.

Cougar Insider predictions

Predict the score of the BYU vs. Utah State game on Thursday night and explain your reasoning, break it down.

Jay Drew: Before the season started, this appeared to be one of the more difficult games on BYU’s schedule. Coming off a Mountain West championship, the Aggies were returning a bunch of quality starters, including quarterback Logan Bonner. Well, things have changed. Utah State is off to a disappointing 1-3 start with an embarrassing loss to Weber State. Which team will show up in Provo on Thursday night? 

I am predicting a fired-up, motivated Utah State team. But will that be enough? Probably not. The Cougars, although they are banged up after four games, should have too much talent for the Aggies. And BYU has Jaren Hall, who is having a phenomenal season.

Prediction: BYU 42, Utah State 28.

Dick Harmon: Utah State has had a disappointing start in 2022, and Logan Bonner has been a turnover machine. BYU gets a break during a short week hosting the Aggies because they are struggling.

You will see BYU is able to run the ball very easily against the Aggies, who rank No. 118 in the country by allowing 206 rushing yards per game. To give you an idea of what that means, Wyoming ranked No. 66 and gave up 138 rushing yards, while USF ranked No. 128 and allowed BYU to amass 314 yards on the ground. If BYU can run with big numbers, it makes Jaren Hall even more dangerous when he chooses to attack through the air.

Prediction: BYU 44, Utah State 14.

Cougar tales

Jaren Hall threw four touchdown passes, leading BYU to a convincing win over Wyoming last Saturday. Here are some game coverage stories from our staff:

  • Hall’s efforts have national experts commenting (Brandon Judd)
  • Depth carries an undisciplined, gritty team to win (Jay Drew)
  • BYU receiver depth shines through injuries (Dick Harmon)
  • D-linemen return but BYU still shorthanded (Jay Drew)
  • Highlights, key plays in BYU’s win (Kelsey Dallas)
  • Highest, lowest votes in AP Poll (Brandon Judd)

In basketball news, Mark Pope opened practice for the season, and here is Jeff Call’s report.

From the archives

Related
How LaVell Edwards played a hand on both sides of BYU-Utah State rivalry
What Utah State coach Blake Anderson thinks of BYU’s Jaren Hall

From the Twitterverse

Extra points

Good, bad news with injury updates (Deseret News)

What does this rivalry game mean for USU (Deseret News)

BYU hoops kicks off practices (KSL Sports)

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers:

Good description, Mr. Harmon, of BYU’s receiver depth and of Jaren Hall’s brilliance. Hall’s stellar play highlights Aaron Roderick’s almost-but-not-quite disappointing use of Hall thus far this season. Hall is by far BYU’s best player. Yet Roderick is, at best, utilizing only 55%-60% of his capabilities. BYU’s best teams of the past won with the QB throwing the ball 40-45 times per game. Hall’s stellar 330-yard effort against Wyoming would have been a so-so performance for a team that used to be one of the top passing teams in the nation every year. Against the good teams (thus far Baylor and Oregon, and surprisingly for about 3 quarters against Wyoming) BYU’s OL could not move opposing DL off the line of scrimmage. But they can pass protect very well. So why try to establish the run? ARod needs to do with his great QB what past OCs did with great QBs in the past, and that is throw the ball and then throw it some more. Hall is at his best in a 2-minute offense. He is calm, confident, poised and decisive. Start the game in hurry-up. Let him throw down the field. Unleash the beast! He easily could — and therefore should — throw it 40 times a game. Plus, throw it 40 times and Dallin Holker doesn’t transfer. Plus, you improve OL, receiver, TE and QB recruits. But more importantly, with a guy like Hall at QB throwing it all over, the run game opens up and BYU can then beat anybody, including Notre Dame and Arkansas. Come on, ARod, turn Hall loose.

— Cy1951

Up next

Sept. 29 | 6 p.m. | Football | Utah State | Provo

Sept. 29 | 7 p.m. | Volleyball | Portland | Portland, Oregon

Sept. 30 | TBA | Women’s tennis | Cal Invitational | Berkeley, California

Sept. 30 | 5 p.m. | Swimming and diving | Intermountain Shootout | Grand Junction, Colorado

Sept. 30 | 5 p.m. | Softball | Salt Lake Community College | Provo