GAME PREVIEW: 17 BYU at Colorado St.

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(KSL Sports) Despite a win against UNLV last Saturday, the 17th ranked BYU Cougars are still a work in progress and still trying to regain their confidence from the sound beating they took in Texas against TCU.

The BYU offense looked to get back on track against the Rebels, but UNLV had no trouble finding the holes in the Cougar defense.

Now BYU (7-1, 3-1 MWC) travels to Fort Collins to take on the Colorado St. Rams (4-4, 2-2 MWC) who are coming off a 38-34 win over San Diego St. The Ram offense has almost as much potential to put points on the board at home as the Rebels did in Provo.

If the defense continues to struggle to keep opposing offenses off the field and out of the end zone, it'll again be up to the up-and-down Cougar offense to keep BYU in the game and in the win column.

KSL takes a look back and a look ahead as we prep for game day.

What did we learn about BYU vs. UNLV?

  • The offense was productive and more in sync than it had been in weeks (no three-and-outs for the first time this season)
  • BYU is best when spreading the ball around (Max Hall completed passes to nine different receivers)
  • the thin defensive secondary needs a lot of help from the front seven

What questions do we have about BYU?

  • How will BYU's shorthanded defense handle CSU's pro-style attack?
  • What can the coaching staff do to camouflage BYU's weaknesses in the secondary?
  • When will Harvey Unga finally break a long run? (his longest run from scrimmage is 17 yards)

What can BYU expect from Colo St.?

  • A balanced offensive attack (33 runs, 33 passes at SDSU)
  • A constant pressure on Max Hall
  • A generous defense (allowed 34 points or more in four of eight games)

What can we expect from BYU vs. Colo St.?

  • Big punt returns from O'Neill Chambers (CSU is 115th in net punting)
  • Max Hall to attack CSU's banged-up secondary
  • An attempt to repeat previous stingy defensive showings vs. the Rams (CSU has scored a total of 33 points in its last 3 meetings with BYU)


  • With David Tafuna out with a shoulder injury, which he suffered at practice on Wednesday, Andrew Rich gets the starting nod at Kat safety versus Colorado State (Rich made the game saving interception against UNLV).
  • BYU is down to five regulars to fill the four secondary spots (Johnson, Howard and Bradley at corner; Fowler and Rich at safety)
  • BYU RB Fui Vakapuna last week became the 28th Cougar to surpass the 1,000 yard career rushing plateau (1,012)
  • BYU has won the past four matchups with CSU, as well as 11 of last 13 meetings in Fort Collins. In those 11 games, BYU has averaged 40.5 points.
  • BYU has scored almost twice as many offensive touchdowns this season than CSU (34-19 TDs). BYU has scored 24 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing. CSU: 9 passing, 10 rushing.
  • Neither BYU (80%) nor CSU (76%) is ranked higher than 73rd nationally in Red Zone proficiency on offense


The game at CSU is the first of a four-game stretch to end the season for BYU; three of the games are on the road, where BYU has been outscored this season. BYU and CSU look a lot alike—from their offensive schemes to their struggles in the secondary. Points should be plentiful in this one, with BYU good enough to win another shootout.

Kick-off of the game is at 4 p.m. at Hughes Stadium. Pregame coverage of the game can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM beginning at 2 p.m.

You can listen to and watch Greg Wrubell call the game on by clicking on the Radio tab and clicking chat below the Now Live picture in the upper right hand corner.

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