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BYU Football Opponent Power Rankings: Unbeaten Baylor moves into top spot

By Darnell Dickson - | Sep 23, 2021

BYU junior wide receiver Gunner Romney makes a diving catch during the 27-17 Cougar win over Arizona State at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Marcia Harris, Special to the Daily Herald)

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

1. Baylor (3-0 overall, 1-0 Big 12)

Plays BYU: Oct. 16 in Waco

Results: Baylor rolled up 307 yards on the ground – 122 from Abram Smith – in a 45-7 victory against Kansas.

Game On: Saturday vs. No. 14 Iowa State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12), 1:30 p.m. MT (FOX)

What’s Up? Baylor leads the Big 12 in rushing offense with 323.3 yards per game and 7.3 yards per carry. … Baylor leads the overall series with Iowa State 10-9 and won 31-28 in Ames last season.

2. USC (2-1 overall, 1-1 Pac-12 South)

Plays BYU: Nov. 27 in Los Angeles

Results: Former Utah prep quarterback Jaxson Dart came off the bench to replace an injured Kedon Slovis and threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns as USC blasted Washington State 45-14.

Game On: Saturday vs. Oregon State (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12 North), 8:30 p.m. MT (Pac 12 Network)

What’s Up? Oregon State shut out Idaho 42-0 last week. … USC leads the series with the Beavers 63-11, with the Beavers last winning in 2010.

3. Utah State (3-0 overall, 1-0 MWC Mountain)

Plays BYU: Oct. 1 vs. BYU in Logan

Results: Utah State rallied with 15 points in the fourth quarter to finish a wild 49-45 victory against Air Force.

Game On: Saturday vs. Boise State (1-2, 0-0 MWC Mountain), 10 a.m. MT (CBS)

What’s Up? Calvin Tyler Jr.’s 61-yard scoring run with 3:54 to play was the clincher in the win at Air Force. … Boise State had won 12 in a row in the series before Utah State claimed a 52-26 victory at Logan in 2015.

4. Arizona State (2-1 overall, 0-0 Pac-12 South)

Results: Arizona State committed four turnovers and a whopping 16 penalties for 121 yards in a 27-17 loss at No. 23 BYU.

Game On: Saturday vs. Colorado (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12 South), 8:30 p.m. MT (ESPN2 or ESPNU)

What’s Up? Colorado was shut out 30-0 at home against Minnesota last week. … The Buffaloes won the past two meetings by a total of ten points while Arizona State last won 41-30 in 2017.

5. Virginia (2-1 overall, 0-1 ACC Coastal)

Plays BYU: Oct. 30 in Provo

Results: Brennan Armstrong threw for a school record 554 yards and four touchdowns but Virginia was outscored 35-11 in the second half in a 59-39 loss to No. 21 North Carolina.

Game On: Friday vs. Wake Forest (3-0, 1-0 ACC Atlantic), 5 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

What’s Up? The Cavaliers surrendered 699 yards – 392 on the ground – in the loss to North Carolina. … Virginia leads the overall series 34-16 but Wake Forest has won the past four meetings.

6. Utah (1-2 overall, 0-0 Pac 12 South)

Results: In the third overtime, the Utes 2-point conversion try was unsuccessful in a 33-31 loss at San Diego State.

Game On: Saturday vs. Washington State (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12 North), 12:30 p.m. MT (Pac 12 Network)

What’s Up? Cameron Rising came off the bench to throw three touchdowns and lead Utah on a late charge to tie the game and force overtime. … After getting replaced and losing his starting role as the Utes quarterback, Charlie Brewer quit the team this week.

7. Boise State (1-2 overall, 0-0 MWC Mountain)

Plays BYU: Oct. 9 in Provo

Results: Boise State had a 36-yard field goal blocked with 2:05 to play and lost to Oklahoma State 21-20.

Game On: Saturday at Utah State 3-0, 1-0 MWC Mountain), 10 a.m. MT (CBS)

What’s Up? The Broncos have managed just 202 yards rushing in their first three games. … Boise State has won five straight games in the series and is 17-1 against the Aggies since 1998.

8. Washington State (1-2 overall, 0-1 Pac-12 North)

Plays BYU: Oct. 23 in Pullman

Results: Washington State took an early 14-0 lead but surrendered 38 consecutive points in a 38-14 loss to USC.

Game On: Saturday at Utah (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12 South), 12:30 p.m. MT (Pac 12 Network)

What’s Up? The Cougars were outscored 28-0 in the third quarter in the loss to USC. … The series with Utah is tied at 9-9, with four of the past five meetings between the two schools taking place in Salt Lake City.

9. Georgia Southern (1-2 overall, 0-0 Sun Belt East)

Plays BYU: Nov. 20 in Provo

Results: Georgia Southern was competitive in the first half with No. 20 Arkansas, trailing 24-10, but was held scoreless in the second half and lost 45-10.

Game On: Saturday vs. Louisiana (2-1, 0-0 Sun Belt West), 4 p.m. MT

What’s Up? The Eagles managed just 81 passing yards against Arkansas. … Louisiana leads the overall series with Georgia Southern 3-1 and has won the past two meetings 20-18 n 2020 and 37-24 in 2019.

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

Results: Arizona has now lost 15 consecutive games dating back to 2019 after falling to in-state opponent Northern Arizona 21-19.

Game On: Saturday at No. 3 Oregon (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12 North), 8:30 p.m. MT (ESPN)

What’s Up? Oregon outscored Stony Brook 31-0 in the second half of 48-7 victory last week. … The two teams have split the last two meetings in the series, with Oregon winning 34-6 in at Eugene in 2019 and Arizona claiming a 44-15 win at Tucson in 2018.

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

Results: South Florida picked up its first win of the season by beating FCS opponent Florida A&M 38-17.

Game On: Saturday at No. 15 BYU (3-0), 8:15 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

What’s Up? Freshman quarterback Timmy McClain was 12 of 23 for 163 yards and a touchdown while running for 51 yards in his first start in the win against Florida A&M. … South Florida won only other meeting with BYU, winning 27-23 at Tampa in 2019.

12. Idaho State (0-2 overall, 0-0 Big Sky)

Plays BYU: Nov. 6 in Provo

Results: Bye

Game On: Saturday vs. Sacramento State (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky), 1 p.m. MT

What’s Up? The Bengals have been outscored by an average of 42-12 in their first two games. … Sacramento State leads the overall series 8-4 and won 41-21 in 2017.

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