After two very tough road games, BYU will have the pleasure of returning home to a 1-2 Mountain West team. Although Hawaii may prove to be a test for the Cougars, it shouldn't be as close as the Boise State and Utah games.
The storyline of the week has been focused on quarterback Riley Nelson, who has a rumored back injury and is questionable to start. Healthy or not, there should be question over a guy who gave the ball away four times last week. Freshman Taysom Hill may get the start, but we will have to wait to find out.
Here is a complete preview for the game, with more news on the quarterback situation and much more.
Who: Hawai'i at BYU
When: Friday, 6 PM (MDT)
Where: Provo, UT
Stadium: LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
Radio: KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com
Internet stream: www.espn.go.com/watchespn/
Kyle Van Noy
- QB—Riley Nelson OR Taysom Hill (Backup: James Lark)
- RB—Michael Alisa (Backups: David Foote, Iona Pritchard)
- Slot Receiver: JD Falslev (Backup: David Foote)
- Wide Receiver: Cody Hoffman (Backup: Skyler Ridley)
- Wide Receiver: Ross Apo (Backup: Dallin Cutler)
- TE: Kaneakua Friel (Backup: Austin Holt)
- Left Tackle: Ryker Mathews (Backup: Michael Yeck)
- Left Guard: Famika Anae
- Center: Blair Tushaus (Backup: Famika Anae)
- Right Guard: Braden Hansen (Backup: Brock Stringham)
- Right Tackle: Braden Brown, Sr. (Backup: Manaaki Vaitai)
- Kicker: Justin Sorensen
- Punter: Riley Stephenson
- Long Snapper: Reed Hornung
- Holder: JD Falslev
- Left End: Mike Muehlmann OR Ezekiel Ansah
- Nose Tackle: Romney Fuga (Backup: Simote Vea)
- Right End: Russell Tialavea (Backup: Ezekiel Ansah)
- Strong-Side LB: Spencer Hadley (Backup: Alani Fua)
- Mike Linebacker: Uona Kaveinga (Backup: Zac Stout)
- Buck Linebacker: Brandon Ogletree (Backup: Manoa Pikula)
- Weak-Side Linebacker: Kyle Van Noy (Backup: Jherremya Leuta-Douyere)
- Field Corner: Jordan Johnson (Backups: Micah Hannemann and Robbie Buckner)
- Boundary Corner: Preston Hadley (Backup: Skye PoVey)
- KAT Safety: Daniel Sorensen (Backup: Craig Bills)
- Free Safety: Joe Sampson (Backup: Mike Hague)
- Punt Returner: JD Falslev
- Kick Returners: Cody Hoffman and Mike Hague
- QB Sean Schroeder (Backup: Jeremy Higgins)
- RB Joey Iosefa (Backups: Will Gregory, John Lister)
- WR Billy Ray Stutzmann (Backup: Trevor Davis)
- WR Jeremiah Ostrowski (Backup: Scott Harding)
- LT Blake Muir (Backup: Frank Loyd Jr.)
- LG Ben Dew (Backup: Hunter Hollowed)
- C Ben Clarke (Backup: Kody Afusia)
- RG David Lefotu (Backup: Chauncy Winchester-Makainai)
- RT Jordan Loeffler (Backup: Sean Shigematsu)
- TE Craig Cofer (Backup: Darius Bright)
- DE Paipai Falemalu (Backup: Marcus Malepeai)
- DT Geordon Hanohano (Backup: Haku Correa)
- NT Moses Samia Backup: Siasau Matagiese)
- DE Beau Yap (Backup: Tavita Woodard)
- WILL George Daily-Lyles (Backup: Kamalani Alo)
- MIKE TJ Taimatuia (Backup: Brenden Daley)
- SAM Art Laurel (Backup: Darryl McBride, Jr.)
- CB John Hardy-Tuliau (Backup: Kawika Ornellas)
- CB Mike Edwards (Backup: Dee Maggitt)
- SS Bubba Poueu-Luna (Backup: Charles Clay)
- FS Mike Sellers (Backup: Leroy Lutu)
- K Tyler Hadden
- P Alex Dunnachie
- LS Luke Ingram
- PR Scott Harding, Samson Anguay
- KR Mike Edwards
BYU headed up to Idaho to take on Boise State last Thursday, but it seemed as if the offenses on both sides forgot to show up. The Cougar defense was stellar, though—they did not give up a touchdown and held the Broncos to only 261 total yards.
BYU gave up five turnovers: three Riley Nelson interceptions, along with Nelson and Michael Alisa fumbles. After his third pick, to a lineman, was returned for a touchdown, Nelson was benched and Taysom Hill went in to lead the offense. He didn't have much success, either, until the fourth quarter rolled around. He then led the Cougs on a 95- yard, 11 play touchdown drive that put them down 6-7.
Only then did Bronco Mendenhall make, perhaps, one of the most controversial calls of his coaching career, when he opted to go for two after the touchdown. A PAT would've sent them to overtime, and if the defense held up (like it had all game) the offense could've scored and won.
BYU couldn't convert and lost, giving them a 2-2 record.
Last week, Hawaii played in a historic game.
But for the Warriors, it will hopefully be easy to forget.
In a 69-24 loss to Nevada, Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson tied a NCAA record with seven personal touchdowns, leading Nevada to their first road win at Hawaii since 1948. They racked up 575 total yards, and scored all seven times that they reached the red zone.
The Warriors finished with 378 yards despite lackluster play from quarterback Sean Schroeder. He completed only 22 of 40 passes for two touchdowns, along with a pair of interceptions. Despite being down 20-17 early on, Hawaii let the Wolf Pack go on a 42-0 scoring run to put them up big. After that, Schroeder never found a rhythm and the Warriors lost.
BYU is simply trying to find their offense, especially their passing game. In their two losses, the Cougs have completed 25 of 56 passes for 267 yards, which averages out to 133.5 yards per game.
In comparison, they completed 26 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns in the opener. Put simply, BYU needs to find its passing game again. With two of the most talented receivers in the West, they need a consistent quarterback to lead them.
Hawaii is looking to make a statement, which they can with a road win against BYU. To prove that they are a legitimate contender in the MWC, they need to prove that they can beat good teams on the road. With an 0-1 conference record and that lopsided loss to Nevada, there are not many people taking them seriously.
Also, it will be Norm Chow's first return to Provo with the Warriors, and he won't want to leave with a sour taste in his mouth.
The key player for BYU is whoever will be under center on Friday. Whether it be Taysom Hill, Riley Nelson or even James Lark, they will need to play well to win.
As mentioned earlier, the Cougar receiving corps hasn't played very well in the last two games because of the lack of quarterback production. The QBs have thrown for only a pair of touchdowns in the last two games and have had six turnovers. They only had 61 passing yards against Boise State.
It doesn't matter who plays quarterback against Hawaii as long as they play well. If they have a good game, BYU may get out of their slump and come out with a win.
Jeremiah Ostrowski had 99 yards off of seven receptions last week against Nevada, and was one of the only bright spots for Hawaii.
Unfortunately, he will have a much tougher task against BYU's seventh-ranked defense than a Wolf Pack D that ranks somewhere in the low 80s. For the Warrior offense to be productive, he will have to find a way to pick apart the Cougar defense.
Sure, Hawaii has a rushing attack in Joey Iosefa and Will Gregory that is capable of doing some damage, but Ostrowski and Sean Schroeder will need to find a way to put points on the board.
Hawaii will put up a fight against BYU, but if the Cougar offense finds a rhythm, they shouldn't have much difficulty pulling off a win.
My Prediction: BYU wins, 31-10