#9 Baylor Bears at #21 BYU Cougars Betting Preview
One of just three contests in Week 2 featuring a pair of top-25 teams, the #21 BYU Cougars (1-0) host the #9 Baylor Bears (1-0) in a battle between future Big 12 opponents. Baylor handed the Cougars a 38-24 loss last season in Waco and owns a 2-1 all-time record against BYU.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 10:15 p.m. EST inside LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. The Cougars are a 2.5-point favorite, and the over-under total is 54.0 points.
What to Know – #9 Baylor Bears
Baylor had no troubles dismantling Albany in its season opener last week, 69-10. Dave Aranda is in his third season as the Bears’ head coach and led the team to a 12-2 and New Year’s Six Bowl victory over Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.
Sophomore quarterback Blake Shapen started the last three games for the Bears last season and made a solid season debut last week, completing 17-of-20 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. In 106 collegiate pass attempts, Shapen has yet to throw an interception.
The Bears churned out 269 yards on the ground, averaging 6.3 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Richard Reese led the way with nine carries for 62 yards and a pair of scores. Qualan Jones added six rushes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
Through the air Baylor racked up 314 yards, averaging 14.3 yards per completion. Monaray Baldwin caught four passes for 84 yards, including a 47-yard score in the Bears’ first possession. Hal Presley added three receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.
What to Know – #21 BYU Cougars
The Cougars rolled into Florida and looked solid in a 50-21 thumping of the South Florida Bulls. Head coach Kalani Sitake is in his seventh season as the head coach of the Cougars and posts a respectable 49-29 win/loss record.
Utah native Jalen Hall was sharp in the opener, throwing for 261 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Hall tossed 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions as a sophomore in 2021.
BYU rushed all over the Bulls’ defense, averaging 8.4 yards per carry to the tune of 312 yards on the ground. Christopher Brooks carried the rock 13 times for 135 yards and a touchdown, while Puka Nacua added three carries, 76 yards, and two scores.
The Cougars spread the ball around in the passing game with 12 different players hauling in at least one reception last week. Dallin Hooker and Keanu Hill had touchdowns receptions, while Chase Roberts led BYU with three receptions for 41 yards.
The Pick is In
Saturday night’s matchup should be a competitive one in Utah, but the Cougars were dealt a major blow on Friday with the announcement that wide receivers Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua were out due to injuries. That is a major blow to the Cougars’ offense.
Baylor is a well-coached program that will come ready to play. Shapen’s ability to protect the ball will help the Bears keep this one close all the way to the end.
The Pick: Baylor Bears +2.5