The BYU Cougars went 8-5 last year, which now marks 8 winning season in a row under the guidance of Bonco Mendehall. This year the Cougars are looking for bigger things, with 14 starters back, a better than average recruiting class and a schedule that rates as 97th toughest in the nation. Preview & schedule are below.
Taysom Hill is back at QB for an offense that averaged 30.2 ppg last year. Hill is a dual threat QB that threw for 2938 yards and 19 TDs, while also running for 1344 yards and 10 TDs. He is still just a junior and should have another solid year. Taysom led the Cougars in rushing last year, but Jamaal Williams was a close 2nd, putting up 1233 yards and 7 TDs. The Cougars also have back 4 other backs that ran for at least 200 yards last year, making this a solid group of RBs. The WR corps loses its top 2 from last year, Ross Apo (204 yards, 3 TDs LY) and Mitch Mathews (17.3 yards per catch LY) both return and will be joined by Nick Hurtz, who was a highly touted Juco player and Devon Blackmon, who transferred from Oregon and was a #7 WR coming out of HS. The OL is very strong with all 5 starters back and good depth. It is rated 15th best in the nation. The Defense for the Cougars had issues last year, especially vs the run, but this year should be much better with a DL that is improved over last year. The LB corps looks very solid as well, with Bronson Kaufusi and Alani Fiu both back, after combining for 12 TFL, 16 PBUs and 3 INTs last year. The Secondary is the strength of this unit, with all 4 starters being seniors and three of them being returning starters.
The Cougars look ready for other big season this year. Their offense is stacked with playmakers and an OL that will not be pushed around this year. Taysom Hill just need to work on his accuracy some, after connecting on just 53.9% of his passes last year. The defense allowed just 22.1 ppg last year, but still they weren’t happy with the rush defense and that looks to be fixed with a much tougher DL and a LB corps that has been improved as well. The secondary looks outstanding this year. Any early road date with Texas will be tough, along with later road dates vs UCF and Boise State, but the rest of their schedule is very soft and they avoid Notre Dame this year. I expect the Cougars to finish with DD wins this year. KEY TREND: 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games vs Mountain West Conference Foes.
2014 BYU Football Schedule
Fri, Aug 29th, 2014 at Connecticut
Sat, Sep 6th, 2014 at Texas
Thu, Sep 11th, 2014 Houston
Sat, Sep 20th, 2014 Virginia
Fri, Oct 3rd, 2014 Utah State
Thu, Oct 9th, 2014 at UCF
Sat, Oct 18th, 2014 Nevada
Fri, Oct 24th, 2014 at Boise State
Sat, Nov 1st, 2014 at Middle Tennessee
Sat, Nov 15th, 2014 UNLV
Sat, Nov 22nd, 2014 Savannah State
Sat, Nov 29th, 2014 at California
Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports
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