BYU Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
BYU's season opener at Virginia is only 123 days away (who's counting?), and there's not a Cougars fan out there who isn't looking forward to this season.
The Cougs return plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, led by All-American Kyle Van Noy, and it could be a special year.
But how does BYU stack up against the teams it plays this year? What is a reasonable expectation for a season record? Here is a compilation of game-by-game predictions to answer your questions.
Week 1: Virginia
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I will be shocked if the new offense doesn't come out a little rusty, and the defense will get them rolling. Expect a low-scoring contest for the first quarter or two, with Taysom Hill and the offense picking it up after a while.
Prediction: BYU wins, 20-7
Week 2: Texas
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Texas has been in preseason polls since January and has climbed as high as 11th in national rankings. Although the Cougars host the Longhorns in Provo, it will be tough for them to stop such a talented squad. Hopefully, the offense will be running smoothly by then, but I predict a narrow loss handed to BYU.
Prediction: Texas wins, 24-21
Week 4: Utah
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After a bye week, the Cougars will host their archrival Utah in the "Holy War." Home-field advantage wasn't much of a difference-maker in 2010 when BYU played the Utes, but I see a talented Cougars team finally getting revenge on their rivals.
But who knows, it could play out much differently.
Prediction: BYU wins, 30-28
Week 5: Middle Tennessee
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Middle Tennessee isn't a team that will provide BYU with an intriguing and exciting matchup, but the Blue Raiders aren't one to look over, either. The Raiders blew out Georgia Tech on the road last season, but then again, they lost to Arkansas State 45-0.
Prediction: BYU wins, 48-14
Week 6: Utah State
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Utah State was a solid team in 2012, and it shouldn't be much different in 2013. Despite losing head coach Gary Andersen, the Aggies will be led by quarterback Chuckie Keeton. USU will host the game, and although I don't think it will pull off the win, it will be close.
Prediction: BYU wins, 26-23
Week 7: Georgia Tech
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BYU kept Georgia Tech from scoring an offensive touchdown last year en route to a 41-17 win, and the Cougars should soundly beat the Yellow Jackets again, this time on their home turf. BYU will take a break from in-state rivalries with this one, and it should be a big win.
Prediction: BYU wins, 45-21
Week 8: Houston
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Despite returning quarterback David Piland, Houston will not likely be a great team in 2013. The team finished 5-7 last season and return many of its key players, so it will look very similar to how it did last year.
BYU will take this game on the road with ease and shouldn't have much difficulty.
Prediction: BYU wins, 42-14
Week 9: Boise State
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BYU dropped a close game last year on the road against Boise State, but despite questionable play-calling, the Cougars defense was extraordinary. If BYU can build on last year's performance, or even come close (with at least some offensive production), I bet it can upset the Broncos.
Prediction: BYU wins, 17-14
Week 11: Wisconsin
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Wisconsin, headed by former Utah State coach Gary Andersen, has the potential to be a top-25 team. Although I think that BYU has the talent to beat the Badgers, playing in Camp Randall Stadium will be a huge boost for the home team.
Prediction: Wisconsin wins, 28-24
Week 12: Idaho State
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The last time Idaho State and BYU met, in 2011, the Cougars won 54-3. ISU was 1-10 last season.
Prediction: BYU wins, 65-7
Week 13: Notre Dame
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BYU was able to keep a close game up until the final buzzer against Notre Dame last season, and the Cougars have the potential to do the same this year. Although I do not think that they will pull off the upset against a top-10 team, they will keep it close.
Prediction: Notre Dame wins, 21-17
Week 14: Nevada
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Nevada was average at best last year with a 7-6 record, and although it returns Cody Fajardo to call plays under center, it won't be a great team. In Kyle Van Noy's homecoming, I doubt that the Wolf Pack will pull off the upset.
Prediction: BYU wins, 35-10