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Utah State has a bevy of options in the passing game as Keeton continues distributing the ball to different receivers. Brandon Swindall looks like Keeton’s favorite so far with four touchdowns and 195 yards receiving. Six different Utah State receivers have at least 13 receptions this season and eight different receivers have caught at least one touchdown pass. Keeton should be able to take advantage of a middling BYU secondary with a few big plays.
The Cougars offensive line fell apart against Utah, surrendering five sacks and eight tackles for loss. The unit rebounded against the lower tier defense of Middle Tennessee, but will face a stiffer challenge against the Utah State defense, which has seven sacks and 29 tackles for loss this season.
Utah State lost Whimpey, one of its best and most consistent guards last week, a big blow for the team’s pass protection. The team also gave up four sacks against USC and two against Utah, similar caliber defensive lines to BYU’s. Overall, USU has surrendered nine sacks this season.
Defensive Line and Linebackers
BYU’s defensive line held their ground and controlled the line of scrimmage for the entire game against Middle Tennessee, allowing only 212 total yards of offense. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was all over the field, recording seven tackles, a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry and a safety. Overall, BYU’s front seven continues to be the most talented unit on the team and will have a tough test containing Keeton.
Utah State’s defense has been underrated this season. Minus a shootout against Utah, the Aggies haven’t surrendered more than 17 points in any game and have given up only 35 points in three games. However, the defense still gives up plenty of yards, especially in the passing game, surrendering 336 against San Jose State alone. Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell has been dominant for the Aggies, racking up six tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles this season.
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