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2022 NCAA Football Preview: Brigham Young University Cougars  

Brigham Young University Cougars have been placing players in the NFL as of late. Is Puka Nacua the next player to get a shot?

Brigham Young University Cougars  

Head Coach: Kalani Sitake (48-29)

2021 Record: 10-3

Offense Analysis:

          The Brigham Young Cougars had a top 30 in the nation last year in terms of offensive output. They put up nearly 31 PPG and 443 YPG in the 2021 campaign. The biggest thing for the BYU offense is that they return 3 out of the 4 players responsible for the majority for their offensive firepower. It starts with returning Jr. QB Jaren Hall. The 6’1 QB threw for 2,583 yards, 20 TDs, and 5 ints last season, posting a 156.1 rating, and adding 3 TDs on the ground. Hall has the luxury of getting his two favorite targets back for the 2022 season. Sr. WR Gunner Romney racked up 594 yards and 3 TDs in his junior campaign. He will be lining up opposite of BYU’s number 1 receiver, former Washington Huskie, Jr. WR Puka Nacua. Nacua hauled in 43 catches for 805 yards and 6 TDs in his first season with the Cougars. As for the O-Line, they should be one of the best under Sitake’s regime with star talent across the board. California transfer Sr. RB Christopher Brooks will try to fill the void at lead back after Tyler Allgeier’s departure to the NFL.

Defense Analysis:

          In 2021, BYU’s defense was middle of the pack for Division I. The Cougar defense allowed over 400 YPG and 25.7 PPG to oppennents, posting the 74th ranked defense in the nation. The issue last year with the Cougar’s defense was inexperience. Although they are still a young core, inexperience shouldn’t be an issue in 2022. BYU returns Jr. LB Max Tooly and So. LB Ben Bywater, who led the team in tackles as a freshman with 102. BYU’s sack leader, So. DE Tyler Batty, also returns after leading the team with 3.5 sacks as a freshman. The Cougar secondary gets back their leading pass defenders. Sr. FS Malik Moore and So. DB Jakob Robinson return after leading the defense with 3 interceptions each.  

Summary:

Sitake enters his 7th season as the Head Coach at BYU, posting 6 winning seasons and back to back 10 win seasons. BYU was a bit of a surprise in 2021, most expected them to take a stop back following the Zach Wilson era, but BYU seemed to not lose a step finishing with 10 wins, including impressive wins over Utah, USC, and Virginia. I don’t consider last year to be a fluke, but I do expect a more realistic finish for the Cougars in the current year. This Cougar team is still very young and this season could prove to be more of a learning curve, with multiple Power 5 schools on the schedule, before BYU makes the jump to the Big 12 in 2023.

2022 BYU Football Schedule (Predicted W/L)

  • Sept. 3 – @ USF (W)
  • Sept. 10 – Baylor  (L)
  • Sept. 17 – @ Oregon (L)
  • Sept. 24 – Wyoming (W)
  • Sept. 29 – Utah State (W)
  • Oct. 8 – Notre Dame (L)
  • Oct. 15 – Arkansas (L)
  • Oct. 22 – @ Liberty (W)
  • OCt. 28 – East Carolina (W)
  • Nov. 5 – @ Boise State (L)
  • Nov. 19 – Dixie State (W)
  • Nov. 26 – @ Stanford (L)

Projected 2022 Record: 6-6

Written By: Steve DeFruscio

Instagram: @redshirt_szn

Twitter: @redshirt_szn , @stevedefruscio

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