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BYU-Arizona State Matchups and Prediction: Can the Cougars keep rolling?

By Jared Lloyd - | Sep 17, 2021
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BYU players celebrate with fans after the 26-17 Cougar win over the Utes at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (BYU Photo)
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BYU defenders signal after getting a big stop during the game against Arizona at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)
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BYU fans cheer on the team during a time out during the game against Arizona at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)
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BYU freshman kicker Justen Smith kicks off during the game against Arizona at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)

Here is Jared Lloyd’s look at the BYU-Arizona State matchups, including his prediction for the final score for Saturday’s game at LaVell Edwards Stadium:

BYU offense vs. Arizona State defense

The Cougars have shown they are willing to grind things out on the ground with Tyler Allgeier, Lopini Katoa and a little QB runs by Jaren Hall sprinkled in. Arizona State’s defense has looked good but it has yet to truly be tested in 2021.

Edge: BYU

BYU defense vs. Arizona State offense

The Cougar defense faces a dangerous dual threat QB in Jayden Daniels, which means mistakes in containment or coverage could result in the Sun Devils making big plays. BYU will have to be careful in how it applies pressure, which means Daniels will find some openings.

Edge: Arizona State

Coaching

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and his staff have made some good in-game adjustments so far, something they will likely need again against ASU. Sun Devil head coach Herm Edwards is facing scrutiny for off-field issues but is a proven veteran. He’ll have Arizona State ready.

Edge: Even

Intangibles

The Cougars have won the turnover battle in the first two games but need to clean up some needless penalties. BYU will be at home and LaVell Edwards Stadium can be a tough place to play. Arizona State hasn’t played a road game in front of a packed house since 2019.

Edge: BYU

Key Matchup: BYU linebackers vs. the Arizona State running backs

Much of the focus will be on Sun Devil QB Jayden Daniels but if the Sun Devil running backs like Rachaad White and DeaMonte Trayanum start gashing the Cougar defense, it will open things up for Daniels to run and also to use play-action to find open receivers. BYU’s linebackers have been making a lot of plays, though.

Edge: Even

Prediction

This is a clash of two teams seeking respect — but only one will stay unbeaten. I see this game having some big plays by both sides and that should make for more points then in the first two Cougar contests. BYU, however, will once again control the ball and score when it matters to hold off the Sun Devils down the stretch.

BYU 32, Arizona State 25

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