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HAWAII WARRIORS (1-2) at BYU COUGARS (2-2)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: BYU -26.5 & 49
Opening Line & Total: Cougars -28 & 49.5
BYU looks to halt a two-game losing streak when it hosts a Hawaii team fresh off a 45-point blowout loss.
The Cougars need to get their offense in gear after back-to-back road losses, 24-21 to Utah and 7-6 to Boise State. BYU QB Riley Nelson was pulled after going 4-for-9 for 19 yards and 3 INT against the Broncos, but will start on Friday. That could be because of Nelson's 363 passing yards and 3 TD in a 41-20 Cougars win over Hawaii last December. The Warriors are reeling after a 69-24 loss to Nevada, which rushed for 355 yards and 7 TD. BYU is 19-5 SU versus Hawaii since 1978, but last year was the first meeting since 2002. The Cougars are just a mess right now.
Hawaii is usually a great offensive school, but this year the Warriors rank 102nd in total offense with a mere 337 total YPG. Junior QB Sean Schroeder has thrown for just 592 yards on 102 pass attempts (5.8 YPC) with 6 TD and 4 INT. Half of those scores came against FCS opponent Lamar. RB Will Gregory had a decent day against Nevada with 92 yards on 16 carries (5.8 YPC) with his first touchdown of the season.
Defensively, Hawaii has been carved up, allowing 40.0 PPG (4th-most in FBS). Last week, the Wolf Pack rolled up 69 points and 575 total yards without Hawaii forcing a turnover.
BYU is especially happy to return home, considering the school is 12-1 SU (8-5 ATS) in its past 13 home games. Nelson is taking most of the blame for the offensive failures, but his protection hasn't been great, as the Cougars have allowed 10 sacks in four games. Nelson is also getting little assistance from a rushing game that has averaged a mere 3.0 yards per carry in its three games against FBS opponents.
However, BYU's defense has been superb all year (246 YPG, 7th in nation), allowing just 69 rushing YPG, good for 9th in the nation. The Cougars defensive prowess all starts up front with Kyle Van Noy and Spencer Hadley combining for eight of the team's 14 sacks this year (T-8th in nation) and 12½ of the 34 Tackles for Loss (T-4th among FBS teams).