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BYU-East Carolina football matchups and prediction: Can the Cougars quiet the doubters?

By Jared Lloyd - | Oct 27, 2022

Courtesy BYU Photo

BYU players run onto the field before the game against Liberty at Williams Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2022.

Here is Jared Lloyd’s look at the BYU-East Carolina matchups, including his prediction for the final score for Friday’s game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo:

BYU offense vs. East Carolina defense

The Cougars struggled against the speed and aggressiveness of Liberty but faces a Pirate defense that has had issues of its own this season. Jaren Hall will need to be better than he was last week, particularly with injuries still limiting the weapons surrounding him, but he knows how to bounce back from a less-than-average performance.

Edge: BYU

BYU defense vs. East Carolina offense

The Cougars have fallen apart on this side of the ball in the last two weeks, surrendering 93 points and allowing offenses to convert on a ridiculous 77.8% of third and fourth-down attempts (21-of-27). You’ve got to believe the Pirates — who are excellent on offense themselves — can’t wait to get their shot at moving the ball. BYU has to prove it can turn things around.

Edge: East Carolina


BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and his staff have to get things going in the right direction but haven’t shown they can do that yet. This is bordering on the feel of a must-win, since it is at home against a good-but-not-great opponent. East Carolina head coach Mike Houston is in his fourth year with the Pirates and is just under .500 (19-22). His staff has shown they can get the team ready for big games, as evidenced by the 21-20 home loss to then-No. 13-ranked NC State to start the season.

Edge: Even


BYU will be back at home but with the added pressure of having lost three straight games. East Carolina has to travel a long ways but played pretty well in its last two wins. Both teams have been on the plus side in turnovers, so that will likely be important again.

Edge: BYU

Key Matchup: The BYU offensive line vs. the East Carolina defensive front

If the Cougars want to get back to playing the type of football that allowed them to be successful in years past, it starts with being physical in the trenches. This is a group who hasn’t lived up to the expectations but is still capable of imposing its will upon the game. It needs to be able to get the tough yards and open up holes for the running backs. It also has to give Jaren Hall time to make good reads in the pass game. But the Pirates have seen Arkansas and Liberty pressure the Cougars into bad plays and will likely be aggressive at the point of attack.

Edge: Even


Any hope that the poor BYU defense was just a mirage has evaporated after another bad showing, so don’t expect the Cougars to fix it all in a short week. That means the Pirates will score and the BYU offense has to be able to respond. This will be a seesaw battle with big swings of momentum. When the game is in doubt down the stretch though, Jaren Hall will make some key plays and BYU will end its skid — barely.

BYU 44, East Carolina 40


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