I'm now 7-3-1 on my College Best Bets for the season and I have 7 College Best Bets for Saturday at drbobsports.com in addition to Free Analysis on 34 College and 8 NFL games (my NFL free analysis was 11-1 last week). I don't have a Best Bet on tonight's game, but I lean with the dog against an overrated BYU team I bet against last week for a winner.
Byu (-4) 26 UTAH STATE 24
BYU's offense has been very good in recent years, but freshman quarterback Jake Heaps has been horrible so far, averaging just 3.9 yards per pass play against teams that would combine to allow 6.2 yppp to an average quarterback. Heaps' numbers should be much better tonight against a Utah State secondary that has allowed 7.2 yppp to teams that would combine to average just 5.4 yppp against an average team. Utah State may not actually be that bad against the pass, as they were good against the pass versus both Oklahoma (4.8 yppp allowed) and Fresno State (6.1 yppp), who are both better than average passing teams. Their pass defense rating is skewed by last week's 15.1 yppp allowed to San Diego State, so they're not as bad as this season's overall stats make them out to be (I rate them at 1.1 yppp worse than average). However, Heaps is probably not as bad as his season stats look either and I expect about 5.6 yppp from Heaps in this game. It appears that Utah State's defense is just as bad as the BYU offense and I project 5.4 yards per play for the Cougars in this game.
Utah State's offense is led by veteran quarterback Diondre Borel, who was great against Oklahoma in the opener but has struggled the last two weeks. Borel is a solid quarterback and Utah State's offense is decent (5.3 yppl against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl to an average team), so they should move the ball reasonably well against a mediocre BYU defense that has given up 6.2 yppl this season to teams that would combine to average 6.1 yppl against an average defensive team. I project Utah State with 5.5 yppl in this game, but the Aggies have been horrible on special teams and field position could be an issue if that continues. Overall, my math model favors BYU by just 2 ½ points and I'll lean with Utah State plus the points against the overrated Cougars.
I have free analysis of 8 NFL games and 34 College games this weekend in the Free Analysis section of my website.