BYU Monster Favorites
After a controversial road win two weeks ago, BYU was the subject of doubts over whether it had been deserving of its lofty spot in the Top 25.
There will be no such debate this week.
Coming off one of the most dominating performances in school history - and still carrying the nation's longest winning streak - No. 14 BYU looks to open Mountain West Conference play on a similar note Saturday when it hosts Wyoming.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made BYU -29 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on BYU -29 (View College Football bet percentages).
Not only was the Cougars' 59-0 win over UCLA on Saturday the third-biggest shutout victory ever for the program, but it came against a BCS conference opponent that had been ranked 23rd as recently as Sept. 6.
BYU (3-0, 0-0) scored 35 points in the second quarter and Max Hall threw six touchdown passes in the first half, finishing with seven TD throws to tie a school record despite spending most of the second half on the bench.
The Cougars rolled up 521 total yards even though no individual player had more than 110 yards from scrimmage. Austin Collie, Dennis Pitta and Harvey Unga each caught two touchdowns from Hall.
"That's what you want in an offense - not just one person or one player gets all the touches or all the success," Hall said. "Four different guys caught touchdown passes. It's very hard for defenses to defend that."
As impressive as Hall's performance was, BYU's defense may have played even better. The Cougars forced four turnovers and allowed nine rushing yards on 16 carries in handing UCLA its first shutout loss since 2001.
The win provided a big response to critics after the team barely escaped Seattle with a victory the week before. BYU appeared to give up the tying touchdown in the final seconds against winless Washington, but Huskies quarterback Jake Locker was penalized - questionably - for celebration and the 35-yard extra-point attempt was blocked.
Despite the fact that the 28-27 win was their 12th straight victory, the Cougars dropped three spots in the poll to No. 18. Saturday's win more than erased that fall - and quieted the criticism.
"We were just tired of it," defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen said. "We were ready to come out and make a statement ... and shut people up."
In addition to extending their winning streak, the Cougars will be looking to begin another season of dominance in the Mountain West. They've gone undefeated in conference play each of the past two years, winning 16 straight league games since a 41-34 loss to Utah on Nov. 19, 2005.
The Mountain West has been getting plenty of buzz after going 4-0 against the Pac-10 last weekend, but Wyoming (2-1, 0-1) hasn't received much of it. The Cowboys opened league play with a 23-3 home loss to Air Force on Sept. 6, then needed a last-second field goal to beat Football Championship Subdivision opponent North Dakota State 16-13 on Saturday.
Wyoming trailed 13-0 midway through the third quarter of that game, but came back with three Jake Scott field goals and a strong effort from running back Devin Moore, who finished with 21 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown.
"Once we started running the ball in the second half, the game started turning our way, and we started to get into a rhythm," coach Joe Glenn said.
The Cowboys have relied on their running game this season, with Moore and fellow senior Wynel Seldon combining for 459 yards in three games. Quarterback Dax Crum, however, has only 273 yards passing with two touchdowns and three interceptions in those contests, also getting sacked nine times.
Wyoming ended last season with four straight losses in conference play, including a 35-10 home defeat to BYU. It has also lost four straight to the Cougars, dropping seven of eight overall in the series.
The Cowboys haven't won in Provo since 1987.
Did you like this article? Subscribe to our College Football news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe