Saturday, October 31, 2020, LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo Utah, 10:15 p.m. ET
Hilltoppers at Cougars Betting Preview: Hilltoppers (+28.5), Cougars (-28.5)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The Hilltoppers (2-4) easily could be going to Provo with just a single win after escaping with a 13-10 victory over Chattanooga last week to get a second victory.
Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, a graduate transfer from Maryland, has provided the bulk of their offense. He completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 632 yards and seven touchdowns in five appearances and also rushed for a team-high 227 yards.
He has split time with sophomore Kevaris Thomas, who left the Chattanooga game with a hip pointer. Thomas has completed 52.9 percent of his passes for 369 yards.
In addition to the win over Chattanooga, the Hilltoppers also have a three-point win over Middle Tennessee, holding on for the 20-17 decision by recovering an onside kick attempt with just over two minutes remaining.
The Hilltoppers have losses to Louisville, Liberty, Marshall, and UAB and will be big underdogs against a hot BYU team, but that doesn’t deter coach Tyson Helton.
“Big game this week, get to play an undefeated BYU,” Helton said. “It will be a very unique trip but an exciting one. A great opportunity to play an undefeated team, and I know our guys will be excited about that. We’re definitely looking forward to going out there. It should be a pretty good deal to be on national television.”
The 11th-ranked Cougars (6-0) have won the first six games of the season for the fifth time in program history behind the passing of Zach Wilson.
Among teams that have played multiple games, BYU ranks fifth nationally in scoring offense (45.0 points per game), total offense (547.3) and passing offense (353.3) behind Wilson. He has completed 126 of 161 passes for 1,928 yards, 16 touchdowns and one interception. He also has rushed for 115 yards and six touchdowns.
Wilson finished 19 of 25 for 287 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Texas State last week and also added 15 rushing yards and a 16-yard pass reception. BYU also set a school-record with 14 players catching at least one pass.
But Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake says there are still plenty of things for his team to work on.
“I love the way our guys responded all night,” Sitake said, “and I look forward to fixing some of the things we can improve on from this week and play better next week against Western Kentucky.
“That is my mindset, is just thinking about things we can get better at.”
Hilltoppers at Cougars Betting Pick for October 31, 2020
This one could get ugly real quick. The Cougars look to be on a mission (no pun intended) in averaging 45 points a game to 17.6 for the Hilltoppers while holding foes to just 14.0 points per out.
The Hilltoppers are giving up 27.8 points a game and averaging only 277 yards a game in total offense to BYU’s 547.3 yards a game. The Cougars have topped 50 points twice (55-3 over Navy, 52-14 against Texas State) and could hit that a third time.
Hilltoppers at Cougars Betting Pick:
Cougars 52, Hilltoppers 20
Hilltoppers at Cougars Best Bet for October 31, 2020
The Hilltoppers scored only one touchdown their last outing but that stood up for a 13-10 win over Chattanooga when the FCS squad was denied a touchdown when a return man was deemed to have signaled a fair catch before running back a kickoff 100 yards for a go-head score in the closing seconds. Wilson (321.3 yards a game passing) should have a great day against WKU.
Hilltoppers at Cougars Best Bet: OVER 50.5