re is the latest preseason ranking for BYU: No. 25 BYU Cougars
Opening week game at USF, Sept. 3
Most important game of the season: Baylor, Sept. 10
X factor: WR Puka Nacua is coming off a breakout season in which he caught 43 passes for 805 yards with six touchdowns after making just 16 grabs over the previous two seasons. After the departure of Tyler Allgeier fifth-round pick of Atlanta, Nacua’s presence is ever more important as QB Jaren Hall tries to build off his strong 2021 season.
Biggest question mark this season: Can the Cougars get off to a strong start? Because they’ll face Baylor and Oregon in the second and third games of the season, a 1-2 start is clearly on the table. If that happens, the rest of the reason won’t have serious stakes because they are an independent team. It’s precisely the scenario to show why joining the Big 12 will be such a great move for the program. If the Cougars can get through those two games, though, 5-0 looks doable heading into the game against Notre Dame in Las Vegas. – Bonagura
If BYU is 1-2 after the first 3 games it doesn’t say as much about independence as it says that they aren’t a really good football team. If they are 1-2 after three games and they were in the Big12 I would say the same thing.
The key to this team is the defense and it’s coaching or schemes. Pressure on the QB, regardless of what Tui says is the big issue. If we have it, we will win. If we don’t, we will likely get beat. The USF game is the biggest one on the schedule right now. BYU has shown remarkable ability to play crappy against average teams and this game is a trap for BYU.
Whenever I look at BYU’s schedule and W/L’s, I look at home vs away games. ND to me on a neutral field is a 50/50 game whereas true away games is where BYU usually gets beat. We have away games at USF, Oregon, Liberty, BSU and Stanford and ANY away games can become a loss. I am going to say that BSU is our toughest away game with Oregon as a close second. ND is going to be a big favorite in Vegas but they have too many? s for me to rank them our toughest game. Baylor and Arkansas of the SEC, have my full attention
The three big questions for me are:
1- can Hall stay healthy (granted, BYU has 2 backup QBs that have at least 2 years in the program)
2- Attrition, How will injuries at key positions, I really should have this as #1. BYU is playing the toughest schedule of ANY school in America, let that one settle in!
3- as Thawk points out, will a TUI. defense put any pressure on QBs. BYU will beat teams this year because of our potent offense but what happens when we can’t score, as in; A very good Baylor or SEC Arkansas just pounds the ball down our throats. And we all know how Tuiaki adjusts in games…He doesn’t.
This SF game would have me worried if USF had any kind of defense USF gave up 35 ppg last year. USF sucked on defense and BYU is LOADED on offense. BYU also has 86% of it’s scoring returning.
BYU 34-24 USF