Week 11 Preview - Idaho @ BYU

Chris Graythen

BYU had all last week to prepare for their encounter with future fellow independent, Idaho. The Vandals head down to take on the Cougars in Provo this Saturday at 8:15pm MT.

The Vandals are coming to Provo for the second consecutive year, and the most likely result is another drubbing, like the 42-7 beatdown the Cougars administered last year.

What we know about Idaho (1-8)

Idaho seems to be everyone's favorite team to lay the hurt on. They've had lopsided losses to Eastern Washington, LSU, North Carolina, Texas State, Louisiana Tech, and San Jose State. Their lone win was at home against the New Mexico State Aggies.

The Vandals score an average of 16 points per game, while giving up 42 points per game. Those stats rank them 123rd and 121st, respectively, and I didn't realize there were that many teams in FBS now.

The Vandals will be homeless next season as the WAC becomes football defunct. They've decided they'd rather be independent and FBS than try to find a home in an FCS conference. I predict this will lead to many, many more beatdowns in the years to come.

What we know about BYU (5-4)

Aside from one game that really got away in the 4th quarter (Oregon State), the Cougars played toe-to-toe with the toughest teams on their schedule, and fell just short against all of them. They have good wins against BCS bottom-dwellers WSU and Georgia Tech, as well as non-AQ notables Utah State and Hawaii.

The Cougars score an average of 26 points per game, while giving up just 14. Those stats put the Cougars at 17th and 7th, respectively.

This game against Idaho is just a stepping stone toward the Poinsettia Bowl. Hopefully it will provide the Cougars the opportunity to play a good, clean game, without accruing any more injuries.

Keys to the game

While usually this section is devoted to keys that will lead to victory, today it will be devoted to things that I'd be happy to see, because I don't think anyone questions a win here.

Win the turnover battle. I'd like to see the BroncoD take it to the Vandals, causing fumbles, finding interceptions, and even getting on the scoreboard.

Kicking. I want to see a perfect kicking game. If there's a field goal or PAT, make it. If there's a punt, get it inside the 20. And on the other side, I'd love to see another blocked kick!

James Lark. I love me some healthy Riley Nelson, but the more time you give Lark in this game, the better. I wouldn't want to see another unnecessary injury to a BYU QB that didn't need to be in the game.

Secondary Cast. Along with Lark, I'd like to see more positive plays from a few guys I haven't heard enough from lately. I want to see Skyler Ridley get some good catches, and see Paul Lasike get some more good runs in.

Prediction

It's hard to say whether this game will be easier than New Mexico State or not. Either way, it should be a cake-walk for the Cougars. I've got BYU winning 52-3.

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