BYU (4-2) is riding a two-game win streak by a total score of 53-3, and will need to sustain that momentum as they welcome the Oregon State Beavers (4-0) to town on Saturday.
OSU is undefeated so far this season, but recently took a blow when their starting quarterback Sean Mannion sustained an injury. Without him and a difficult schedule remaining, the Beavers may have a tough time.
However, we will see if the Beavers can withstand BYU's powerful defense and Provo's first ever "blackout" game this weekend. Here is a complete preview for the matchup.
Who: #10 Oregon State at BYU
When: Saturday, October 13th, 1:30 PM MDT
Where: Provo, UT
Stadium: LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
Radio: KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com
All-time Series Record: Series tied, 5-5 (BYU won last year's meeting in Corvallis, Oregon, 38-28)
Taysom Hill (QB)—will not play, knee
Famika Anae (OL)—will not play, multiple injuries
Michael Alisa (RB)—will not play, arm
Sean Mannion (QB)—will not play, knee
Offense (Starters in bold)
QB: Riley Nelson, James Lark
RB: Jamaal Williams, David Foote, Iona Pritchard
WR: Cody Hoffman, Ross Apo, JD Falslev; Skyler Ridley, Dallin Cutler, David Foote
TE: Kaneakua Friel, Austin Holt
LT: Ryker Mathews, Michael Yeck
LG: Solomone Kafu
C: Braden Hansen, Blair Tushaus
RG: Manaaki Vaitai, Brock Stringham
RT: Braden Brown, Manaaki Vaitai
K: Justin Sorensen
P: Riley Stephenson
LS: Reed Hornung
H: JD Falslev
LE: Ezekiel Ansah, Mike Muehlmann
DT: Romney Fuga, Simote Vea
RE: Russell Tialavea, Ezekiel Ansah
LB: Spencer Hadley, Alani Fua
MLB: Uona Kaveinga, Zac Stout
LB: Brandon Ogletree, Manoa Pikula
OLB: Kyle Van Noy, Jherremya Leuta-Douyere
CB: Jordan Johnson, Micah Hannemann, Robbie Buckner
CB: Preston Hadley, Skye PoVey
SS: Daniel Sorensen, Craig Bills
FS: Joe Sampson, Mike Hague
PR: JD Falslev
KR: Cody Hoffman, Mike Hague
QB: Cody Vaz
RB: Terron Ward, Jovan Stevenson, Clayton York
WR: Markus Wheaton, Jordan Bishop, Brandin Cooks; Obum Gwacham, Micah Hatfield
TE: Colby Prince, Connor Hamlett
LT: Michael Philipp, Derek Nielsen
LG: Josh Andrews, Justin Addie
C: Roman Sapolu, Jake Welch
RG: Grant Enger, Michael Beaton
RT: Colin Kelly, Derek Nielsen
DE: Scott Crichton, John Braun
DT: Castro Masaniai, Mana Rosa
DT: Andrew Seumalo, Mana Tuivailala
DE: Dylan Wynn, Rudolph Fifita
SSLB: D.J. Welch, Jabral Johnson
MLB: Feti ‘Unga, Reuben Robinson
WSLB: Michael Doctor, Cade Cowdin
CB: Jordan Poyer, Ryan Handford
SS: Anthony Watkins, Tyrequek Zimmerman
FS: Ryan Murphy, Micah Audiss
CB: Rashaad Reynolds, Sean Martin
PK: Trevor Romaine
P: Tim McMullen
As mentioned earlier, BYU has scored 53 points in the last two games.
Unfortunately, only six of those came last week against in-state foe Utah State. But what matters is that they left with a win, no matter the sloppiness.
Freshman quarterback Taysom Hill threw for 235 yards and BYU's lone touchdown, and ran for 80. Jamaal Williams once again had a good game, with 71 rushing yards. Receiver Cody Hoffman finished with 114 yards off of only eight receptions.
USU's Chuckie Keeton completed 22-of-38 passes for over 200 yards, but BYU's stellar defense held running back Kerwynn Williams to only 18 yards, his lowest number of the year.
Oregon State was able to handle Washington State at home on Saturday, as the Beaver defense picked off Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday four times. OSU's quarterback Sean Mannion threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, but included three interceptions.
Oregon State's win total (four) is higher than last year's total for the entire year (three). After the game, their passing game moved up to ninth in the nation. Their defense is 24th.
BYU needs to use this game to get Riley Nelson back in the system. After a two-game break, Nelson hasn't taken a snap since the third quarter up in Boise (he had four turnovers).
Because of Taysom Hill's injury, he will be the man for the rest of the year. Also, with two road games at Notre Dame and Georgia Tech coming up, BYU needs to gain momentum and confidence.
Oregon State is in a tough situation. After their greatest start in a long time, they lost their starting quarterback and are facing the fifth-best defense in the nation. If the Beaver rushing game doesn't get rolling, they will be in a tough situation.
Starting QB Cody Vaz has never started a college game before, and that could be hard to do, as BYU's rushing defense leads the country.
BYU's defense is great. There is no need to worry. Their offense is questionable, but should be fine. No need to worry. But the other unit, special teams, should have every Cougar fan scared to death.
Sure, the punting game and kickoffs have been great, but the place kicking aspect has been hideous. Kicker Justin Sorensen hasn't made a field goal since December in the bowl game, and has made only one extra point this season. Although he's been battling injury, BYU needs a reliable kicking game in order to put up more than six points against good defenses.
Cody Vaz will have his first career start against BYU, and will take his first snaps since 2010. He has completed six-of-17 passes in his career at OSU, and will need to play well in order to leave LaVell Edwards Stadium with a win.
BYU's defense averages 3.3 sacks per game, and hasn't allowed a touchdown in over 13 quarters of play. Vaz is in a tough spot, and will need to overcome that to chalk a W.
I don't think Riley Nelson and the Cougar offense will score more than one touchdown, but the defense will pitch in another. BYU's defense will hold strong and not give up a touchdown, but maybe a few field goals.
In the end, the Cougs will come out victorious.
My Prediction: BYU wins 13-6