Better Passing Game Make BYU the College Football Pick Over Utah State

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, November 28, 2015 5:00 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 5:00 PM UTC

The Cougars are fresh off the heels of a blowout win over Fresno State while the Aggies eked out a victory over Nevada. Let's analyze the college football odds first.

BYU (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS)
The college football odds makers installed the Cougars as 27-point favorites last week over Fresno State and the home team did not disappoint all those who backed them in their college football picks. BYU throttled the Bulldogs 52-10 employing a two-pronged attack featuring Tanner Magnum tossing for 336 yards and one touchdown while the ground assault was chewing up 138 yards and got rushing touchdowns by Algernon Brown, Francis Bernard (2) and Nate Carter. Nine different receivers caught passes with Moroni Laulu-Pututau leading the pack with 95 yards and a touchdown.

Though the offense was the star of the show, rolling to 520 total yards, the defense pitched in mightily with three interceptions including a pick-six by Kai Nacua. The Cougars rank 21st in passing yards averaging 295.9 YPG while the rushing attack takes a backseat gaining 138.5 yards per game on average. BYU is tied for 25th points scored in the nation scoring an average of 35 PPG. Defensively the team clocks in with the 29th best unit in terms of points allowed, surrendering an average of 21.3 points per game.


Utah State (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Utah State thought they would have a far easier time of it at home against the Nevada Wolf Pack and so did the oddsmakers who installed them as two touchdown favorites last week. It did not look as though the home team would even get the straight up win, never mind the cover, as they found themselves down 27-7 early in the third quarter of play.

But a funny thing happened as the Aggies refused to quit and launched 75 and 68 yard drives culminating in rushing touchdowns by junior running back Devante Mays. The 5'11" tailback out of Livingston, Texas would end the game with 133 yards and a six-yards per carry average while his team would rally with not only his contributions but a crucial fumble recovery in the endzone for a touchdown by teammate Kyler Fackrell to make it 28-27. Finally, kicker Jake Thompson split the uprights with a 42-yard field goal with only 35 seconds remaining and sealed the deal. The Aggies come into this one averaging 29 points per game (tied for 61st) and surrendering 24.8 PPG (52nd).


Final Analysis
The key here is that Kent Myers will not be under center for the Aggies this afternoon which takes a large chunk of the offense away from Utah State. BYU linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga had this to say, "I would say that [Myers] is a little better athlete. He can run around a little faster, makes guys miss a little more. He's a better athlete, but I think Chuckie throws it a little better..."

That's being kind to backup Chuckie Keeton who has just two touchdowns and six interceptions to Myers' 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The Utah State offense cannot rely solely on their running game however Keeton is prone to tossing picks which will only help the Cougars not only win this one but make it a blowout.

Utah State boasts a decent, though far from spectacular, defense while the Cougars have one of the best aerial assaults in the nation. More importantly the Cougars' defense is certainly equipped to handle a pedestrian Aggies' offense especially with backup Keeton limited in what he can do to move the chains other than heave it long.

College Football Pick: BYU -3 (-115) at 5Dimes

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