BYU Cougars vs. Wyoming Cowboys Preview
Where: Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, CA
When: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 – 9:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
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Betting on the BYU Cougars (-10)
The Cougars ended the regular season on a good roll, as they won their last four games with an average winning margin of 26.7 points. They finished the year 8-4 (9-3 ATS).
With starting QB Taysom Hill (elbow) out for the season, the team could be facing a challenge that’s a bit tougher than usual.
Don’t expect a big drop-off, though. The next guy in line is Tanner Mangnum, who posted an identical W-L record last year when he was the starter and averaged 259.7 YPG (23 TDs, 10 INTs). The sophomore was on the bench for much of the 2016 season, but was efficient when called upon. He’s 14-for-18 for 145 yards and two TDs in three outings.
Mangnum will also have the support of monster back Jamaal Williams. The senior had one of his most complete years in BYU, as recorded 1,165 yards on 5.6 yards per carry this season, while also rushing for 11 TDs. In five of his nine games this season, he had 130 or more yards.
Defensively, they have a slight advantage over Wyoming. The 364.3 total yards they allow per game are 33rd in the nation.
Betting on the Wyoming Cowboys (+10)
Unlike the Cougars, the Cowboys finished the regular season reeling. They lost three of their last four, two of which saw their opponents put up 56 and 69 points.
If they want to end the year with a win, the defense obviously needs a lot of stepping up. They give up the 17th-most total yards (464) and 24th-most points (34.8) per game in the nation.
Offensively is where Wyoming gets the most attention. Josh Allen has been good under center, averaging 229.6 YPG with 26 TDs (along with 13 INTs) this season. He and Tanner Gentry form one of the best passing combinations in the MWC, highlighted by Gentry owning a conference-leading 1,213 receiving yards and 12 TD grabs (both top 15 in the country).
Allen, Gentry, and tailback Brian Hill complement each other well. Everyone plays decoy for one another and the effect shows on the stat sheet. Along with the productive passing game is Hill’s big numbers out of the backfield. The junior concluded the season ranking fourth in rushing yards (1,767) and rushing touchdowns (21).
Through those productions, the Cougars are 22nd in points (37.1 PPG) and 46th in total offense (439.4 total YPG).
Wyoming was 8-5 in the regular season (9-4 ATS).
Wyoming (+10) makes enough plays to win a shootout, 41-35.
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