BYU-UAB Matchups and Prediction: Cougars better be ready for the Blazers
Here is Jared Lloyd’s look at the BYU-UAB matchups, including his prediction for the final score for Saturday’s Independence Bowl game at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana:
BYU offense vs. UAB defense
This is a strength-on-strength matchup as the Cougars have put up quite a few points, while the Blazers have generally been pretty stout on defense. It will be key for Tyler Allgeier and the BYU running game to find some openings to wear down UAB.
BYU defense vs. UAB offense
The Cougars have been really banged up on the defensive side of the ball, so having a few weeks to get healthy should make a big difference. The Blazers have some talented athletes and will test the Cougars both on the ground and through the air.
Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake has traditionally done well at making sure his team plays with a lot of energy, regardless of the opponent or the situation. UAB head coach Bill Clark has also enjoyed solid success with the Blazers, which have now gone to four bowl games in five years.
BYU traveled a lot farther but don’t be surprised if the Cougars still have a sizable block of fans in the stands. The weather could be a factor, since their is rain in the forecast. UAB will be more motivated to upset the No. 13-ranked Cougars but BYU has generally done well at taking care of the ball and limiting penalties.
Key Matchup: BYU offensive line vs. the UAB defensive front
The Cougars have generally done an excellent job both at opening up holes for Tyler Allgeier and in protecting Jaren Hall. The Blazers, however, have been committed to limiting opposing rushing attacks, which means BYU will deal with a lot of players around the line of scrimmage. The Cougars are missing some starters but others have stepped up and played well. This will be a tougher test, however.
BYU is coming into this game looking to play its best and have fun, just like it has all season. That’s why Cougar fans can be optimistic that their team will follow the same script that it has throughout 2021: Get the lead, allow the opponent to hang around, then close out the game down the stretch. BYU will play well but not perfectly and UAB will do some good things. The Cougars will get another big fourth quarter from Tyler Allgeier to get the victory.
BYU 31, UAB 20