A good chunk of America will be watching the NBA Finals, but for everyone else the only major sporting event on the board Friday night is the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the #22 BYU Cougars live from Provo.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
Friday’s game will start at 9 p.m. ET at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. This game will appear on ESPN2, and can be streamed via the ESPN app.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Louisiana Tech (+24) vs. BYU
Point Total: O/U 59.5 (-110)
Money line: Louisiana Tech (+950), BYU (-2000)
La Tech is 2-0 to start the season, with a last-second victory of hapless Southern Miss to open their season on September 19th, and a 66-38 blowout of FCS Houston Baptist last weekend. The Bulldogs are helmed by Skip Holtz, who has never won a conference championship in eight seasons in Ruston despite two championship game appearances.
Luke Anthony enters as the starting quarterback, and in two games this season he’s 30/51 for 463 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception. The Bulldogs are averaging 6.2 yards per play, but are also conceding 6.0 defensively, and that’s not great considering the quality of their schedule so far. Senior Adrian Hardy is the big play target with nine catches for 148 yards to open the campaign.
As for the Cougars, they’re ahead of where many expectations placed them in the preseason guides. There’s some caveats with the 55-3 thumping of Navy considering the Mids decided not to have contact in practice before the game, but their 48-7 dusting of a Troy team with some expectations in the Sun Belt was a nice checkmark.
Junior Zach Wilson, aka “Mormon Manziel,” is the signal caller, and he’s been lights out with 36/45 passing for 624 yards with and four touchdowns against one interception so far. It’s early and the samples are small, but BYU is averaging 8.3 yards per play offensively while allowing just 3.3 yards defensively.
Tyler Allgeier has 24 carries for 182 yards and two rushing TD’s already from the backfield, and wide receiver Dax Milne has 216 yards from scrimmage on just 16 touches already. For a team where the murmurs about the safety of head coach Kalani Sitake’s seat coming into the season were within earshod, the results through their hacked-together schedule so far seem promising.
Sitake was groomed for the job at his alma mater on the defensive side of the ball, and the speed, pursuit, and recognition from BYU this season has been outstanding. For a team that’s been prone to major penalty issues over the years, they’ve come a long way this season. But the Bulldogs are likely to be their biggest test so far despite the big spread.
The matchup of an ahead-of-schedule Coogs and a La Tech defense that has sieve-like qualities might mean the over could be a strong play for the over, or just the Coogs straight up to cover. But look for a lot of points out of the home team, who would be only eight short of the total if they hit their season average by themselves. And considering the opponent, that seems quite within the realm of possibility.
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