BOISE STATE AT BYU
Kickoff: 10:15 p.m. ET/7:15 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Line: BYU +2.5; O/U 55
The top two teams outside of the Power 5 per my own, inscrutable rankings, Boise State and BYU, both beat Power Five opponents in Week 1. Boise State controlled throughout despite the close score against Washington, while BYU saw its lead slip away in the fourth quarter, only to have it return on the play of the season thus far.
Tanner Mangum, the freshman quarterback who threw that Hail Mary, looks to be The Man for BYU Saturday. Taysom Hill’s foot injury sustained at Nebraska ended the talented but snake-bit quarterback’s season, which prompted the below video from inside the Cougars locker room.
As spectators, we’re easily detached. Injuries are viewed largely through the prism of how it impacts that team on the field, but BYU’s all-access peek demonstrates the emotional ties player and coaches develop.
Still, there is an on-field impact, and BYU is undoubtedly impacted negatively by Hill’s absence. Mangum was fine in relief last week, completing 7-of-11 passes for 111 yards — though 42 came on the Hail Mary.
Meanwhile, Hill scored three touchdowns that gave BYU the cushion it needed to make that final play happen. His dual-threat playmaking will be sorely missed, particularly with the run game lacking a replacement for Jamaal Williams.
That bodes especially poorly against a Boise State defense that allowed Washington, a multiple-running back offense, just 29 yards.
With the Bronco front seven stymieing any attempts at the run, the freshman Mangum will be forced to take chances against one of the best turnover-generating secondaries in college football.
Expect a big play from either Darian Thompson or Donte Deayon.