The BYU Cougars and Houston Cougars meet at TDECU Stadium for is the most intriguing matchup of the non-Saturday games in Week 7. The weeks are a little messed up in college football this year given all of the postponements and cancellations, but officially, this is Week 7 of the FBS schedule, believe it or not.
The Pac-12 and Big Ten haven’t even played a game seven weeks into the season, though that will change soon. Houston has played in only one game this year after multiple coronavirus outbreaks. Five games have been disrupted as a result of the virus.
As an independent, BYU had to slap together a season with any teams that wanted to play them. There might be some regrets by schools who decided to schedule this very good BYU team. It would have been interesting to see BYU play their originally planned schedule. They would have given some Power Five schools a run for their money.
With the Mountain West deciding on returning instead of cancelling the whole season, it gave BYU an opportunity to fit in a couple of Mountain West games against Boise State and San Diego State. Houston and Boise State are the toughest opponents remaining on their schedule. Houston on Friday night is a nice opportunity for BYU to show that they’re for real.
The fact that BYU and Houston don’t have big opponents on the docket next week is good. Neither team should be looking ahead to play Texas State and Navy. No disrespect to Texas State or Navy, but they aren’t teams that anyone is going to be looking ahead to play. It’s good because we should see BYU and Houston at their best on Friday night.
BYU has always been kind of regarded as a slow, boring offense that just kind of goes through the motions and plays the ball possession game to win. That has not been the case this year, though. BYU has been a team that I’ve wanted to watch with the ball. Their offensive line has been men among boys against defenses. That’s helped give quarterback Zach Wilson loads of options.
He is having quite the season and not just running a boring BYU offense in 2020. Houston better be ready for a physical game up front against the BYU offensive line. If not, BYU are going to punch Houston in the mouth on Friday night. BYU are coming off a 27-20 win over UTSA last week. Now, that was a look ahead game for BYU.
They did just enough, but weren’t completely focused on UTSA. Meanwhile, Houston finally played their first game and came through with a 49-31 victory. It took Clayton Tune a minute to get going, but he shook off the rust and got going in the second half. Head below for our free BYU vs. Houston pick for October 16, 2020.
BYU Cougars vs. Houston Cougars NCAAF Betting Odds:
BYU vs. Houston Prediction:
Zach Wilson might be the most underrated in college football this season. He doesn’t get much attention because of where he’s playing, but Wilson has been money for BYU in 2020. Wilson has thrown 8 touchdowns and 1 interception with an insane completion percentage of 81.2%. His completion rate leads the FBS this season.
When you’re playing on a team with an offensive line like BYU has, then everything becomes a lot easier. Wilson has also rushed for 60 yards and 6 touchdowns with his legs. He’s a slippery runner that can make a defense pay if they’re not paying attention to his ability on the ground.
It starts with the running game for BYU. That opens everything up for Wilson to complete easy passes. BYU have averaged 214.8 yards on the ground this season. That puts their running game in the top-15 in the FBS. Houston will have to honor the run, which gives Wilson more opportunities to move the ball with his arm.
Overall this season, BYU has averaged 556.8 yards and 43.8 points per game. By both measures, BYU have been in the top-5 nationally through their first four games. Houston did a fine job holding Tulane to 211 yards last week, though they still managed to find 31 points. We don’t know much about the Houston defense from that game, but they were one of the worst in the FBS a season ago.
Houston conceded 467.5 yards and 34 points per game in 2019. Opposing offenses passed for an average of nearly 300 yards a game on the Houston defense. With some bodies back on defense, Houston should certainly be better than what we saw in 2019, but they still have some work to do. BYU likely moves the ball on them with their balanced offensive attack.
Expect Clayton Tune to keep Houston within reach of BYU on Friday night, though. Tune was rusty in the first half against Tulane last week, but heated up to finish the game with 319 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. He also rushed for 19 yards and an additional score with his legs. Mulbah Car and Kyle Porter, who should both have productive games in this one running the ball, chipped in with 3 touchdowns. Both offenses likely come to play on Friday night to push this one OVER the total.