Provo , UT - BYU has needed late-game heroics to win each of its last two games. Hosting San Diego State, however, should give the Cougars a chance for a drama-free fourth quarter.

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Boasting one of the nation's top offenses, the 17th-ranked Cougars look to keep the Aztecs winless in Mountain West Conference play when the teams meet Saturday.

Oddsmakers from have made BYU –36.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on BYU –36.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

BYU (8-1, 4-1) has scored more than 40 points in each of its last two games, but needed clutch play to win both contests.

Down four points with 1:36 remaining and 76 yards to go, the Cougars ended up beating Colorado State 45-42 last Saturday night. They were behind by one point with less than two minutes to play against UNLV on Oct. 25, but won 42-35.

"This team keeps finding a way to win football games," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

The Cougars have won eight straight games decided by seven points or fewer, but could use an easy contest before going on the road for their final two games of the regular season - at Air Force and No. 10 Utah.

This matchup, though, is at Edwards Stadium and BYU has won 18 in a row there since losing its final home game in 2005. While the Cougars have won their five home games this year by a 207-55 margin, the Aztecs have been outscored 202-47 in losing all five of their road games.

San Diego State has dropped five straight overall, losing by an average of 30.2 points. The Aztecs (1-8, 0-5) have scored seven points or fewer in four of their last five games.

A similar effort won't be good enough for San Diego State to keep up with BYU, which ranks 21st in the nation in scoring at 35.6 points a contest.

Max Hall leads the Cougars, having completed 70.0 percent of his passes for 2,753 yards and 29 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He threw five TD passes against Colorado State, including the game-winner to tight end Dennis Pitta with 22 seconds remaining.

Pitta shared MWC offensive player of the week honors with Wyoming's Devin Moore, who rushed for 234 yards and three TDs on 24 carries in a 35-10 win over San Diego State last Saturday. Pitta caught a career-high 12 passes for 175 yards, including two key fourth-quarter grabs.

Pitta is second on the Cougars with 62 receptions, 820 yards and six TDs. He's an outstanding complement to wide receiver Austin Collie, who had nine catches for 156 yards and three TDs versus the Rams.

Collie has 69 receptions for 1,058 yards and 11 scores on the season, including seven straight 100-yard efforts.

"Teams have to pick their poison of who they are going to guard," Hall said.

Hall and BYU's passing attack are balanced by a strong running game led by Harvey Unga, who had 133 yards and a touchdown against Colorado State. He tops the team with 837 yards and 6 TDs on the ground.

Unga may get a heavier workload for this game. San Diego State ranks last in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 292.8 yards per game.

The Aztecs gave up 378 yards on the ground against Wyoming, and have allowed 21 rushing TDs in their last five games.

"We don't have much margin for error right now," San Diego State coach Chuck Long said. "Everything has got to be letter perfect, and when it's not letter perfect we get exposed. That is our issue right now."

San Diego State hasn't been much better on offense. The Aztecs rushed for 17 yards against Wyoming, scoring their only TD when Justin Shaw caught a 26-yard pass from Ryan Lindley in the third quarter.

Shaw had a career-high 71 receiving yards. He entered the game with three receptions for 46 yards.

Atiyyah Henderson, though, had a tough game, rushing for 27 yards after a 177-yard effort against Colorado State on Oct. 25. He also fumbled on the Wyoming 17-yard line to end a first-quarter drive.

BYU has won six of its last seven meetings against San Diego State, and leads the all-time series 24-7-1.

Top Betting Trends
All games in this series since 1992
BYU is 10-4 against the spread versus SAN DIEGO ST since 1992
BYU is 11-3 straight up against SAN DIEGO ST since 1992
7 of 12 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 2-0 against the spread versus SAN DIEGO ST over the last 3 seasons 
BYU is 2-0 straight up against SAN DIEGO ST over the last 3 seasons 
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at BYU since 1992
BYU is 5-3 against the spread versus SAN DIEGO ST since 1992
BYU is 6-2 straight up against SAN DIEGO ST since 1992
3 of 6 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at BYU over the last 3 seasons.
BYU is 1-0 against the spread versus SAN DIEGO ST over the last 3 seasons 
BYU is 1-0 straight up against SAN DIEGO ST over the last 3 seasons 
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[OL] Mike Matamua missed last game %27?%27 - Shoulder - 10/25/08
[DE] Tommie Draheim missed last game %27?%27 - Shoulder - 10/25/08
[DE] Tony DeMartinis is expected to miss the season. - Knee - 09/03/08
[WR] Jon Toledo missed last game %27?%27 - Toe - 10/25/08
[WR] Mekell Wesley upgraded to probable - Back - 10/29/08
[RB] Davon Brown missed last game %27?%27 - Shoulder - 10/26/08
[DE] Ryan Williams is expected to miss the rest of the season. - Concussio
[DT] Siaosi Fifita downgraded to expectd to miss - Knee - 10/29/08
[OL] Neil Spencer is expected to miss entire season - Shoulder - 09/08/08
[DT] Ernie Lawson expected to miss 3 weeks - Ankle - 10/20/08
[LB] Jerry Milling is out for the season. - Foot - 10/02/08
[LB] Dan Van Sweden expected to miss entire season - Leg - 08/16/08
[LB] Grant Nelson missed last game, "?". - Kidney - 10/27/08
[C] Tom Sorenson expected to miss 4-6 weeks - Shoulder - 08/06/08
[LB] Terrance Hooks missed last game %27?%27 - Leg - 10/27/08
[LB] Vic So'oto expected to miss 4-6 weeks. - Foot - 09/08/08
[CB] G Pittman has decided to transfer. - Academics - 10/21/08

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Posted: 11/04/08 3:23 PM

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