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Week 5 of the 2022 college football season opens with an exciting matchup out west. The Utah State Aggies will take on the Brigham Young Cougars in an inner-state rivalry in the Beehive state. Handicapper Matt MacKay is here to make his predictions.
ANALYSIS

BYU vs. Utah State Prediction, Pick, Odds: Can Jaren Hall and the Cougars Put Up Some Points?

BYU is in a rhythm after bouncing back against Wyoming with a 38-24 win in Week 4. Junior quarterback Jaren Hall has already thrown for over 1,000 yards, accounting for nine touchdowns and just one interception. Hall and the rest of the Cougars will defend home turf during a prime-time matchup in Provo against the Utah State Aggies.

The Aggies had a fantastic 2021 season, finishing 11-3 with a 24-13 win over Oregon State in the LA Bowl. It's been a much tougher start in 2022, as Utah State has dropped three straight games in a lopsided fashion. Yes, the 55-0 loss to Alabama didn't inspire confidence, but quarterback Logan Bonner has regressed significantly. Eight interceptions across his last two performances indicate a deeper issue within the Aggies' offense.

These teams have played numerous matchups, but BYU has won convincingly in each of its previous two games against Utah State, winning 34-20 in 2021 and 42-14 in 2019. Sportsbooks are very bullish on the Cougars winning convincingly under the lights again in front of its home crowd. Can Utah State make it competitive or will BYU put up more points? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Thursday's game between Utah State Aggies vs. BYU Cougars.

BYU vs. UTAH STATE START TIME AND WHERE TO WATCH

Date: Thursday, September 29

Game time: 8:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

BYU vs. UTAH STATE ODDS

Spread: BYU -24 (-110), Utah State +24 (-110)

Total: Under 60.5 (-115), Over 60.5 (-105)

Moneyline: BYU (-2400), Utah State (+1200)

BYU vs. UTAH STATE INJURY REPORT

UTAH STATE

RB John Gentry (Questionable - Undisclosed), DT Phillip Paea (Out - Knee), Kyle Van Leeuwen (Out - Knee)

BYU

DL Earl Tuioti-Mariner (Questionable - Undisclosed), WR Gunnar Romney (Questionable - Ankle)

UTAH STATE VS. BYU PREDICTION

BYU will have no issues establishing its offense against Utah State during a Thursday night matchup in Provo, Utah. The Cougars are averaging 33.5 points per game, which ranks 56th out of 131 Division I FBS schools. Jaren Hall has been consistently great for BYU through its first four games, despite losing during a 41-20 blowout against Oregon in Week 3. He still completed 29 of 41 pass attempts for 305 yards and two touchdowns, while avoiding interceptions, showcasing his ability to stay efficient and play clean football while experiencing adversity.

The Cougars are 2-0 at home this season, including 1-1 against the spread (ATS), which makes the 24-point cover a bit uncomfortable. Until assessing their opponent. BYU is a 24-point favorite against Utah State, which finds itself struggling to get out of its own way. Bonner is a graduate transfer from Arkansas State, following his coach, Blake Anderson, and experiencing quite a bit of success in 2021.

This magic is currently nowhere to be found in Bonner's decision-making or arm, as he threw three interceptions in a bad 35-7 loss to Weber State and five interceptions against UNLV in Week 4. Despite the five turnovers, Bonner got the Aggies out to an early 7-0 lead and wound up tossing over 300 yards and three touchdowns.

Utah State's rushing attack is its weak point. The lack of productivity on the ground allows defenses to scheme against Bonner, collapsing the pocket and eliminating his top options in the passing game. Calvin Tyler Jr. is averaging 3.7 YPC and has yet to score a touchdown, while transfer wideouts Brian Cobbs and Justin McGriff have yet to reach 300 receiving yards or more than two touchdowns. Bonner is turnover-prone but could hang a few points on BYU's defense, which is surrendering 26.5 points to its opponents this season.

Utah State is 0-4 ATS this season and has never scored more than seven points in the first quarter. The Aggies fall behind early and then grind against soft coverage to put up points later when the game is a lopsided uphill battle. 24 points is a lot for a team to cover, especially if BYU gets off to an early lead and coasts in the second half.

Utah State is a bad team right now and they are getting zero help from Bonner or its rushing attack. BYU doesn't force a lot of turnovers but Bonner has been serving them up on a silver platter through the air. Meanwhile, BYU running back Christopher Brooks is averaging 5.4 YPC and has three touchdowns on the ground. Versatile wideout Puka Nacua is a dual-threat player with a dual-threat skillset that will keep Utah State on its heels.

The star of the game has to be Hall. He didn't suit up against Utah State during a 34-20 win, but he did complete 12 of 16 passes for 214 yards and rushed seven times for 54 yards and two touchdowns as a ball carrier. The Aggies just gave up three rushing touchdowns to UNLV and lost the turnover margin by six. Keep in mind, the last two matchups between these teams have never surpassed 56 total points.

Let's play this one safe and take the under 60.5 point total. BYU cruises to its fourth win comfortably with a big night on offense, while Utah State does enough to score on a couple of possessions.

UTAH STATE VS. BYU PICK

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Article Author

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Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.

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