Another such performance is desperately needed by the 25th-ranked Cougars as they face the Cowboys on Saturday in their first game since suffering their worst loss in nearly five years.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made BYU -13 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on BYU -13 (View College Football bet percentages).
BYU (6-2, 3-1) dropped out of the poll after losing 38-7 at home to then-No. 10 TCU on Oct. 24, its worst defeat since falling 52-21 to Utah on Nov. 20, 2004.
"We've been having fun all year," quarterback Max Hall said. "That wasn't very much fun."
BYU is back in the Top 25 following its bye week, when it certainly must have been focusing on trying to improve its porous defense. The Cougars have allowed an average of 30.1 points in their last six games as they try to keep pace in the conference with TCU and No. 17 Utah, who both have 4-0 MWC records.
A contest with Wyoming (4-4, 2-2) should help. The Cougars have won five straight against the Cowboys, holding them to 17 points in the last four meetings.
BYU had three interceptions and recovered three fumbles in a 44-0 win over Wyoming at home Sept. 20, 2008.
The Cowboys have been struggling offensively this season, scoring 10 points in their last two games. Wyoming was limited to 202 yards in a 22-10 loss to Utah last Saturday as quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels was sacked five times.
Hall was also taken down five times, going 18 for 28 for 162 yards with a touchdown and an interception versus the Horned Frogs. He turned the ball over on a fumble after being sacked early in the fourth quarter.
Hall hadn't been picked off in two games while throwing five TD passes. He has thrown three touchdowns without getting intercepted in each of his two matchups with the Cowboys.
A victory in this contest would give the senior 28 wins, one behind Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer for first on BYU's all-time list.
Cougars running back Harvey Unga, meanwhile, is closing in on the team's career rushing record. He has 3,066 yards, trailing only Curtis Brown (3,221).
Unga was one of BYU's few bright spots against TCU, gaining 123 yards on the ground and catching a 3-yard pass from Hall for the team's only touchdown. He has rushed for 205 yards and three TDs while catching another score in two games against Wyoming.
The Cowboys were held to a season-low 51 yards rushing against the Utes. That left most of the pressure on Carta-Samuels, a freshman.
Carta-Samuels, who took over as the starter in the third game of the season, completed 19 of 30 passes for 121 yards and an INT. He has been sacked 11 times while failing to throw a TD pass in his last two games.
Wyoming has been hurt by poor offensive line play, and a lineup change didn't help. The Cowboys benched three-year starter Sam Sterner at left guard in favor of John Hutchins, but the line committed five of the team's seven penalties while runners gained 3.6 yards per carry.
A setback on defense also hurt Wyoming, which struggled to stop Utah after giving up 23 points in its previous two games. The Cowboys have three takeaways in their last four contests after forcing 11 turnovers in their previous four.
Wyoming's defense has not had a takeaway in four straight games versus BYU, which leads the series 42-30-3.
Posted: 11/3/09 4:28PM ET