1. USF beat BYU in 2019 for one of its 4 wins. Has this team talked about that game going into Saturday?
There’s been such a massive amount of turnover within the roster that a lot of guys weren’t even on the roster in 2019. By my count, USF returns eight receiving yards, and -1 yard rushing from that 2019 game on offense. Defensively, they return six players from that game who registered a stat.
2. What USF players should BYU fans know about? What position group is the strongest?
Freshman QB Timmy McClain can be electric. But he’s still a freshman. Wide receiver Xavier Weaver has been a big-play threat all year. He has nine catches for 218 yards. The strongest group is probably the running backs. Colorado transfer Jaren Mangham has five rushing touchdowns on 20 carries. Brian Battie rushed for over 100 yards last week, and Darrian Felix and Kelley Joiner Jr have combined for 37 carries through three games. Mangham is a bruiser while Joiner and Battie are more shifty.
Defensively, linebackers Antonio Grier and Dwayne Boyles pace the Bulls. Grier had two sacks in the 2019 game, and Boyles had seven tackles.
3. Why has this USF program struggled the last few seasons, including this year?
Apathy in recruiting by former head coach Charlie Strong. He let the roster (and team culture) get so bad that new head coach Jeff Scott had to rip the program down to the studs. There’s no flex seal that’ll fix this. It’s a years-long process.
4. What worries you about BYU?
Is everything a suitable answer? I fear Tyler Allgeier and Lopini Katoa are going to combine for 250+ yards on the ground, and Jaren Hall picks apart a depleted secondary, and now I have to stay awake until 2am eastern to listen to the post-game presser from the players and coaches. That’s what worries me.
5. Sounds like Freshman Timmy McClain will get the start at QB. What skill set does he bring?
He’s a dynamic quarterback. He wears #9 just like former USF QB Quinton Flowers. I think McClain is a bit bigger than Flowers was, but has shown flashes that he can be a more than capable QB in college. He’s a lefty (!!!), and loves taking his shots down field, but make no mistake, he can take off and break a 70 yard run if given the chance. He’s not his fully formed self yet.
6. What is your prediction for the game?
The line is BYU -23. That seems right. 45-23 BYU, but USF covers.