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BYU Football Opponent Power Rankings: Baylor ascends to top spot

By Staff | Oct 21, 2021

Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo

BYU players attempt to make a tackle during the 38-24 Cougar loss to Baylor in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)

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

1. No. 20 Baylor (6-1 overall, 3-1 Big 12)

Results: Baylor controlled both lines of scrimmage and rushed for 303 yards in a 38-24 victory against No. 19 BYU.

Game On: Bye (Next game Oct. 30 vs. Texas)

What’s Up? BYU managed just 67 yards on 24 carries and the Bears sacked Jaren Hall five times. … Baylor is ranked No. 21 this week, the first time for the Bears in the AP Poll since Week 7 of 2019 (22nd).

2. Utah (4-2 overall, 3-0 Pac-12 South)

Results: Utah outscored No. 18 Arizona State 28-0 in the second half to claim a 35-21 victory.

Game On: Saturday at Oregon State (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12 North), 5:30 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Network)

What’s Up? The Beavers last played on Oct. 9, a 31-24 loss at Washington State. … The series between Utah and Oregon State is deadlocked at 11-11-1. … The Utes have won five straight against the Beavers including 30-24 in Salt Lake City last season.

3. Virginia (5-2 overall, 3-2 ACC Coastal)

Plays BYU: Oct. 30 in Provo

Results: Virginia scored on all six first-half possessions and Brennan Armstrong threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-0 shutout of Duke.

Game On: Saturday vs. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC Coastal), 3:30 p.m. MT (ACC Network)

What’s Up? Georgia Tech last played on Oct. 9, a 31-27 victory at Duke. … The Yellow Jackets lead the overall series 21-20-1, with Virginia winning 33-28 at Charlottesville in 2019.

4. Arizona State (5-2 overall, 3-1 Pac-12 South)

Results: Jayden Daniels threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a third but Arizona State couldn’t hold a 21-7 halftime lead and lost at Utah 35-21.

Game On: Bye (next game Oct. 30 vs. Washington State)

What’s Up? After scoring 21 points in the first half against Utah, Arizona State went scoreless on four second half possessions, totaling just 82 yards of offense. … The Sun Devils dropped for 18th in the AP to out of the Top 25, receiving seven votes.

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

Plays BYU: Nov. 27 in Los Angeles

Results: Bye

Game On: Saturday at No. 13 Notre Dame (5-1), 5:30 p.m. MT (NBC)

What’s Up? Pro Football Focus has named USC’s Drake London (64 catches, 832 yards, 5 TDs) as the favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award for college football’s best wide receiver. … Notre Dame leads the overall series with USC 47-36-5 and has won the past three meetings, including 30-27 at South Bend in 2019.

6. Utah State (4-2 overall, 2-1 MWC Mountain)

Results: Eleyon Noa scored on an 11-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left as Utah State earned a 28-24 win against UNLV, keeping the Rebels winless at 0-6.

Game On: Friday vs. Colorado State (3-3, 2-0 MWC Mountain), 7:30 p.m. MT (CBSSN)

What’s Up? Cayden Camper kicked five field goals as Colorado State handled New Mexico 36-7. … The Rams lead the overall series with Utah State 39-35-2 but the Aggies have won the past two meetings: 29-24 at Fort Collins in 2018 and 34-24 at Logan in 2019.

7. Washington State (4-3 overall, 3-2 Pac-12 North)

Results: Washington State rallied past Stanford 34-31 as Jayden de Laura threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns.

Game On: Saturday vs. BYU (5-2), 1:30 p.m. MT (FS1)

What’s Up? Washington State has won three straight games (Cal 21-6, Oregon State 31-24, Stanford 34-31). … BYU leads the overall series 3-1 and won the last meeting 30-6 at Provo in 2012.

8. Boise State (3-4 overall, 1-2 MWC Mountain)

Results: Brad Roberts rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns for Air Force in a 24-17 victory at Boise State.

Game On: Bye (Next game Oct 30 at Colorado State)

What’s Up? Boise State scored two touchdowns on its first three possessions but didn’t reach the end zone again in the loss to Air Force. … Boise State lost its third home game of the season, the first time that’s happened since 1998.

9. South Florida (1-5 overall, 0-2 AAC)

Results: Shamari Brooks scored on a 3-yard run with 47 seconds left to lead Tulsa past South Florida 32-31.

Game On: Saturday vs. Temple (3-3, 1-1 AAC), 5 p.m. MT (ESPN+)

What’s Up? South Florida led Tulsa 24-10 midway through the second quarter. … Temple, which last played on Oct. 8 in a 52-3 loss to Cincinnati, leads the overall series with the Bulls 5-2 and has won three games in a row (2018-2020).

10. Arizona (0-6 overall, 0-3 Pac-12 South)

Results: Colorado shut out Arizona 34-0, extending the Wildcats losing streak to 18 games.

Game On: Friday vs. Washington (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12 North), 8:30 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

What’s Up? Arizona’s last win came on Oct. 5, 2019 (35-30 at Colorado). … Washington leads the overall series with Arizona 23-11 and has won four straight in the series, including 44-27 at Seattle in 2020.

11. Georgia Southern (2-5 overall, 1-3 Sun Belt East)

Plays BYU: Nov. 20 in Provo

Results: Jake Bentley became the first player in South Alabama history to account for five touchdowns in a game, rushing for two and passing for three more in a 41-14 victory against Georgia Southern.

Game On: Bye (Next game Oct. 30 vs. Georgia State)

What’s Up? Georgia Southern quarterbacks Justin Tomlin and Cam Ransom were held to seven completions on 25 passes for 112 yards. … The Eagles are winless on the road (0-4) this season.

12. Idaho State (1-5 overall, 1-3 Big Sky)

Plays BYU: Nov. 6 in Provo

Results: Portland State took a 24-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 31-10 victory at home against Idaho State.

Game On: Saturday at Montana State (6-1, 4-0 Big Sky), 1 p.m. MT

What’s Up? Idaho State had four turnovers in the loss to Portland State. … Montana State leads the overall series with Idaho State 11-3 but won the last meeting 24-17 at Pocatello in 2018.


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