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BYU Football 2021 Opponent Power Rankings: Baylor will provide stiff test for Cougars

By Darnell Dickson - | Oct 14, 2021

AP

Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, left, scores past Virginia linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo, on a pass play in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Here’s our weekly ranking of BYU football’s opponents with a look at their schedules and matchups.

1. No. 18 Arizona State (5-1 overall, 3-0 Pac-12 South)

Results: A spectacular defensive touchdown in the fourth quarter and a big-play offense pushed No. 22 Arizona State past Stanford 28-10.

Game On: Saturday at Utah (3-2 overall, 2-0 Pac-12 South), 8 p.m. MT (ESPN)

What’s Up? Utah is coming off a 42-26 victory at USC. … Arizona State leads the overall series 22-9 but the Utes won the last meeting 21-3 in 2019.

2. Baylor (5-1 overall, 3-1 Big 12)

Results: Gerry Bohanon posted career-highs of 336 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead Baylor to a 45-20 victory against West Virginia.

Game On: Saturday vs. No. 19 BYU (5-1), 1:30 p.m. MT (ESPN)

What’s Up? Baylor and BYU have split the two games in the series, with Baylor winning 40-36 in 1983 and the Cougars earning a 47-13 victory in 1984. … Former Cougar coaches Jeff Grimes (offensive coordinator) and Eric Mateos (offensive line) will be on the Baylor sideline on Saturday.

3. Utah (3-2 overall, 2-0 Pac-12 South)

Results: Cameron Rising passed for 306 yards and three touchdowns and Tavion Thomas ran for 113 yards and a score as Utah raced past USC 42-26.

Game On: Saturday vs. No. 18 Arizona State (5-1 overall, 3-0 Pac-12 South), 8 p.m. MT (ESPN)

What’s Up? Cameron Rising was 22 of 28 for 306 yards and three touchdowns against USC. … Arizona State won 11 straight in the series (1977 to 2014) until the Utes won 34-18 in Salt Lake City (2017).

4. Virginia (4-2 overall, 2-2 ACC Coastal)

Plays BYU: Oct. 30 in Provo

Results: Brennan Armstrong engineered a 21-3 fourth quarter comeback with 487 passing yards and Virginia survived a last-second field goal attempt for the second straight week in a 34-33 win against Louisville.

Game On: Saturday vs. Duke (3-3 overall, 2-2 ACC Coastal), 10:30 a.m. MT (ACC Network)

What’s Up? Virginia trailed 30-13 with 1:29 to play in the third quarter before mounting a comeback against Louisville. … The Cavaliers lead the overall series with Duke 39-33 and has won six in a row, including 38-20 in Charlottesville last season.

5. Boise State (3-3 overall, 1-1 MWC Mountain)

Results: Boise State scored two touchdowns on two BYU fumbles in the second quarter and knocked off the No. 10 Cougars 26-17 in Provo.

Game On: Saturday vs. Air Force (5-1 overall, 2-1 MWC Mountain), TBA (FOX/FS1/FS2)

What’s Up? The Boise State win at BYU was the first victory by a MWC team over a Top 10 opponent on the road since 2005 (TCU’s upset of Oklahoma). … The Broncos lead the overall series with Air Force 6-3, with the Falcons last win coming in 2016 (27-20 in Colorado).

6. USC (3-3 overall, 2-3 Pac-12 South)

Plays BYU: Nov. 27 in Los Angeles

Results: Kedon Slovis threw for 401 yards – 162 to Drake London – but it wasn’t enough as Utah rolled past USC 42-26 at the Coliseum.

Game On: Bye (next game Oct. 23 at Notre Dame)

What’s Up? The USC defense allowed 486 yards (189 rushing, 306 passing) in the loss to Utah. … The Trojans still lead the overall series with the Utes 13-7.

7. Utah State (3-2 overall, 1-1 MWC Mountain)

Results: Bye

Game On: Saturday at UNLV (0-5 overall, 0-1 MWC West), 5 p.m. MT (CBSSN)

What’s Up? The Aggies lead the overall series with UNLV 18-6 and have won five in a row, with the last Rebels win coming in 2008 (27-17 in Las Vegas). … Utah State will host Colorado State on Oct. 22.

8. Washington State (3-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12 North)

Plays BYU: Oct. 23 in Pullman

Results: Jayden de Laura threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns as Washington State handed Oregon State its first league lost, 31-24.

Game On: Saturday vs. Stanford (3-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12 North), TBD

What’s Up? Washington State coach Nick Rolovich confirmed he has requested a religious exemption from the state to avoid being vaccinated against COVID-19. … Stanford leads the overall series with the Huskies 40-29 but Washington State has won the past four meetings.

9. South Florida (1-4 overall, 0-1 AAC)

Results: Bye

Game On: Saturday vs. Tulsa (2-4 overall, 1-1 AAC), 10 a.m. MT (ESPNU)

What’s Up? Tulsa has won two of its past three games, including a 35-29 victory against Memphis last week when Anthony Watkins ran 44 yard for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. … South Florida leads the overall series with Tulsa 3-1 but the Golden Hurricane pounded the Bulls 42-13 in Tampa last season.

10. Arizona (0-5 overall, 0-2 Pac-12 South)

Results: UCLA rushed for 329 yards, including 145 from Brittain Brown and 117 from Zach Charbonnet, in a 34-16 victory against Arizona to keep the Wildcats winless.

Game On: Saturday at Colorado (1-4 overall, 2-0 Pac-12 South)

What’s Up? Wildcats starting quarterback Jordan McCloud will miss the rest of the season due to injury. … Colorado leads the overall series with Arizona 15-8, including a 24-13 victory in Tucson last season that ended a three-game streak for the Wildcats.

11. Georgia Southern (2-4 overall, 1-2 Sun Belt East)

Plays BYU: Nov. 20 in Provo

Results: Brooks Bruce kicked a 24-yard field goal with 1:46 to play as Troy held off Georgia Southern 27-24.

Game On: Thursday at South Alabama (3-2 overall, 0-2 Sun Best West), 5:30 p.m. MT (ESPNU)

What’s Up? After rushing for seven touchdowns and 503 yards in a win against Arkansas State, the Eagles had just 82 yards on 38 carries against Troy. … Georgia Southern is 7-0 all-time against South Alabama including a 24-17 victory in Stateboro last season.

12. Idaho State (1-4 overall, 1-2 Big Sky)

Plays BYU: Nov. 6 in Provo

Results: Tanner Conner caught five passes for 150 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown reception, as Idaho State earned its first victory with a 27-17 victory against previously undefeated UC Davis.

Game On: Saturday at Portland State (2-4 overall, 1-2 Big Sky), 3 p.m. MT

What’s Up? Idaho State’s Jayden Dawson (eight tackles, one tackle for loss, one force fumble, two pass breakups, one interception) and Kevin Ryan (five punts, 41.4 average, three inside the 10) earned Big Sky Players of the Week honors for defense and special teams, respectively.

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