Utah State hosts No. 13 BYU with ‘Old Wagon Wheel’ on line
No. 13 BYU (4-0) at Utah State (3-1), Friday at 9 p.m. EDT (CBS Sports Network).
Line: BYU by 8 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: BYU leads 49-37-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The coveted “Old Wagon Wheel” is on the line. It became an iconic part of this in-state rivalry in 1948. The Aggies captured the wheel first, with a 20-7 win on Oct. 23, 1948. The Cougars have held it the last two seasons, though, since they won 42-14 in 2019 and didn’t play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BYU remains one of six teams this season who’ve yet to trail in a game. Utah State is 5-62 all-time against AP-ranked teams. The Cougars are the highest ranked team to pay a visit to Maverik Stadium since No. 6 Boise State in ’09.
BYU quarterback Jaren Hall is expected to return after sitting out a 35-27 win over South Florida due to a rib ailment. Baylor Romney stepped in and threw for 305 yards. The Aggies only get stronger as the game goes along. They’ve outscored teams 54-20 in the fourth quarter.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BYU: Linebacker Payton Wilgar, who has six tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks. The Cougars have nine sacks this season and 24 tackles for loss.
Utah State: Running back Calvin Tyler Jr. has two straight 100-yard performances. He had a career-best 132 yards at Air Force and then 126 yards against Boise State.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Aggies have 38 players from Utah in their program. BYU has 62 players on its roster from the Beehive State. ... The Cougars are 7-2 under coach Kalani Sitake in games played on a Friday. ... Only top-ranked Alabama (16) has more wins than BYU (15) since 2020. ... The Cougars are looking for their sixth 5-0 start in program history. The previous ones were 1979, ’81, ’01, ’08 and ‘20. ... BYU has won 19 straight games when it’s even or ahead in turnovers. ... BYU is 14 of 15 in the red zone, with 12 TDs and two field goals. ... The Cougars’ defense is holding teams to 19.2 points per game. ... Utah State wideout Deven Thompkins tops the Mountain West with 128.5 yards receiving per game. ... Aggies coach Blake Anderson has a 1-4 mark against AP-ranked squads. It includes a 35-3 win at No. 25 Troy in 2016 while at Arkansas State. ... Utah State is 8 of 13 on fourth downs. The Aggies have gone on to score in each of those drives, with six TDs and two field goals.
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