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With another lopsided win, BYU football team shows New Year’s Six potential

BYU wide receiver Gunner Romney (18) carries the ball against Louisiana Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

BYU would rather not look ahead on the schedule, but that may start getting tougher given how good the Cougars have looked through three games.

A 45-14 win over Louisiana Tech on Friday night at an empty LaVell Edwards Stadium marked a third straight dominant performance. The margin of victory is 41.3 points per contest, including a 52-point win over Navy and a 41-point triumph over Troy. Junior quarterback Zach Wilson (24 for 26, 325 yards, 2 TDs) has been a revelation, gaining more respect on a national level with each passing week.

By any metric, No. 22 BYU has impressed. A New Year’s Six bowl is not too crazy of a thought at this still-early juncture, but in fairness, the Cougars' schedule has not instilled fear. To that end, is it difficult to not look ahead and imagine where this team may be in a month when the presumed first test arrives, Nov. 7 at Boise State?

“We take it one game at a time, one day at a time, and now we’re practicing for UTSA this next week,” Wilson said. “They’re a great team, we can’t take anything for granted. We’re only three games in. We’ve done a great job to this point, but it really doesn’t mean anything yet.”

Regardless of whether or not wide receiver Gunner Romney or Wilson want to admit it, the notion of BYU going to Albertsons Stadium in Boise at 7-0 is real.

At 3-0 with a trip to UAB pending next Saturday, UTSA visiting Provo on Oct. 10 offers some intrigue, but that 3-0 resume of Texas State, Stephen F. Austin, Middle Tennessee does not lend optimism toward beating this high-octane BYU team.

Under normal, non-pandemic conditions, going to Houston on Oct. 16 might be a problem, but those Cougars have not played a game yet and will not until Oct. 8. Texas State is a tough sell as a threat to BYU on Oct. 24, same with Western Kentucky on Halloween, so circle Boise State on Nov. 7, plus San Diego State coming to Provo on Dec. 12.

Both Mountain West programs were added to the schedule this week, with the Broncos matchup standing as a legit, late-season matchup between non-Power Five programs, potentially with NY6 implications if the Cougars are unbeaten and ranked high enough. Before the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out original plans, Boise State, long a Group of Five threat, was the consensus pick to win the Mountain Division title in the Mountain West.

For now, the Cougars are rolling, while acting as a fun, easily digestible watch for college football enthusiasts on this side of the country. BYU is the only college football program playing in the Mountain or Pacific time zone for another few weeks, and the Cougars have been up to task thus far.

“We always say that our record after these games is 0-0,” junior wide receiver Gunner Romney said after hauling in seven Wilson passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. “We go into the next game with the same energy as we prepare for the first game. You don’t get a big head from the other games, you have to take it week-by-week and give your all to the next opponent.”

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