The Brigham Young Cougars (6-4) look to enhance their bowl profile when they finish their season off with a pair of WAC teams. They travel to play San Jose State on Saturday and New Mexico State the following week.
The Spartans (8-2, 4-1) have other plans, though, as they have their sights set on the national rankings. Wins over BYU and No. 20 Louisiana Tech could get them there.
Following are the key points of interest in this matchup.
When: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via OddsShark)
Over/Under: 48.5, Spread: BYU -3.5
As much as San Jose State games tend to hit the over, I see the offense struggling in this game. Some betting models show this being a 75-point game with just a few points separating the teams.
I'd like to follow the model and take San Jose State and the over in this game, but I just can't support the decision. I see the Cougars covering the spread but coming in under the target.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Mike Hague, DB, Out for Season (Calf)
Skye PoVey, DB, Out (Foot)
Eathyn Manumaleuna, DL, Out (Knee)
Marcus Mathews, TE, Out (Nose)
Michael Alisa, RB, Out (Forearm)
Ian Dulan, DL, Out (Back)
San Jose State
Tyler Ervin, CB, Out (Shoulder)
Derek Muaava, LB, Out for Season (Knee)
This nonconference contest is mostly about jockeying for bowl position. San Jose does have a chance to get into the Top 25, though, if it can survive home games against BYU and No. 20 Louisiana Tech.
San Jose State currently trails Louisiana Tech (9-1, 4-0) and Utah State (8-2, 4-0) in the WAC. A Tech victory over Utah State and a San Jose State win next weekend would leave a three-way tie atop the conference standings.
BYU Player to Watch: Cody Hoffman, WR
BYU doesn't tend to do a lot offensively, but Hoffman is their most productive playmaker. He has five 100-yard games this season and six touchdowns.
Hoffman will have a size advantage at 6'4", 215 lbs. The junior could have a big day catching balls from Riley Nelson.
San Jose State Player to Watch: David Fales, QB
The Spartans want to move the ball through the air. Fales has been effective in every game this season except the opener against Stanford (24-of-35, 217 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 124.4 QBR).
The junior is a first-year starter and has 3,126 yards, completes 72.4 percent of his passes, boasts a passer rating of 170.6 and has 25 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
If Fales can pull out a performance like the one he had against Utah State (38-of-50, 467 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, 174.3 QBR) the offense could score enough to secure the win.
Prediction: BYU 24, San Jose State 13
As hard as I try, it it difficult to come up with a legitimate scenario that has San Jose State pulling the home win. They will need a huge day from their defense, likely including points, to pull this one out.
San Jose State has a good offense, but it hasn't play a defense as good as BYU's this season. The one area BYU is suspect is against the run, but that isn't an area of strength for the Spartans.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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