When the first Friday of October rolls around, it will feature yet another exciting matchup between the BYU Cougars (3-2) and the Utah State Aggies (4-1).
These programs have been regularly meeting since 1922, with BYU leading the Old Wagon Wheel rivalry, 44-34-3.
It should be one of the most exciting matchups in the long and storied rivalry between these two schools when they take the field on national television this week, with tons of Top-25 implications and potential bowl appearances at stake.
Let’s take a look at where to watch the game and some players to keep an eye on, make a prediction for the final score and much more.
When: Friday, Oct. 5 at 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah
Watch: ESPN, DTV: 206
Live Stream: ESPN3
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line: Line TBD
Injury Report (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
QB Riley Nelson—Back—QST
RB Michael Alisa—Arm—OUT
DL Eathyn Manumaleuna—Knee—OUT
No significant injuries to report
While neither BYU nor Utah State is scratching the Top-25 of either the AP or USA TODAY coaches’ poll right now, a win would give either team a big boost to their chances of getting voted in.
At 3-2, BYU is having a bit of a disappointing season, but lost to then-No. 24 Boise State by a single point and rival Utah by three. Beating the 4-1 Aggies (who knocked off the Utes in OT), a team that has one loss, by two points, to Wisconsin, would give the Cougars a great chance of making it back into the rankings.
While it’s unlikely that either of these teams makes a BCS bowl, a win on Friday night would significantly increase their chances.
Utah State Player to Watch: Kerwynn Williams
The Aggies senior superstar can do it all on the field.
Through five games, Williams leads the team team with 519 yards and three TDs on 89 rush attempts and is also the top receiver. He’s caught 18 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
This do-it-all stud from Las Vegas will be instrumental in any victory that Utah State hopes to earn over BYU. Expect Cougars head coach/defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall to have nightmares when he game-plans for Williams.
BYU Player to Watch: Taysom Hill
Hill, a true freshman, took over for struggling senior Riley Cooper while he rested his ailing back against Hawaii.
The young signal-caller posted respectable stats—12-of-21 for 112 yards, two touchdowns and an interception via the air and 15 carries for 143 yards and a TD on the ground—in a 47-0 romp of the Warriors.
It’s going to be hard for Coach Mendenhall to replace Hill with Cooper, who hasn’t been able to get this team rolling offensively in the way that the young man from Pocatello, Idaho has.
If Cooper is healthy, the Cougars have a bit of a QB controversy on their hands.
Prediction: BYU 21, Utah State 10
If BYU rolls with Hill, it should have no problem generating points and scores against the Aggies.
Which Team Will Win?
The Cougars' main asset is their defense, which is one of the best of the nation. That unit has kept teams like Hawaii off the board and held more powerful offenses, like Boise State, to just a single TD.
While the Aggies will likely get a score or two of their own, they don’t match up well with the Cougs. Utah State will have a hard time containing the opposing offense while dealing with their fearsome defense.