Utah State hosts No. 13 BYU with ‘Old Wagon Wheel’ on line – Cache Valley Daily


Photo by Clint Allen

No. 13 BYU (4-0) at Utah State (3-1), Friday at 7 p.m. MDT (CBS Sports Network).

Line: BYU by 8 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: BYU leads 49-37-3.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The coveted “Old Wagon Wheel” is on the line. It became an iconic part of this in-state rivalry in 1948. The Aggies captured the wheel first, with a 20-7 win on Oct. 23, 1948. The Cougars have held it the last two seasons, though, since they won 42-14 in 2019 and didn’t play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BYU remains one of six teams this season who’ve yet to trail in a game. Utah State is 5-62 all-time against AP-ranked teams. The Cougars are the highest ranked team to pay a visit to Maverik Stadium since No. 6 Boise State in ’09.

KEY MATCHUP

BYU quarterback Jaren Hall is expected to return after sitting out a 35-27 win over South Florida due to a rib ailment. Baylor Romney stepped in and threw for 305 yards. The Aggies only get stronger as the game goes along. They’ve outscored teams 54-20 in the fourth quarter.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BYU: Linebacker Payton Wilgar, who has six tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks. The Cougars have nine sacks this season and 24 tackles for loss.

Utah State: Running back Calvin Tyler Jr. has two straight 100-yard performances. He had a career-best 132 yards at Air Force and then 126 yards against Boise State.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Aggies have 38 players from Utah in their program. BYU has 62 players on its roster from the Beehive State. … The Cougars are 7-2 under coach Kalani Sitake in games played on a Friday. … Only top-ranked Alabama (16) has more wins than BYU (15) since 2020. … The Cougars are looking for their sixth 5-0 start in program history. The previous ones were 1979, ’81, ’01, ‘08 and ’20. … BYU has won 19 straight games when it’s even or ahead in turnovers. … BYU is 14 of 15 in the red zone, with 12 TDs and two field goals. … The Cougars’ defense is holding teams to 19.2 points per game. … Utah State wideout Deven Thompkins tops the Mountain West with 128.5 yards receiving per game. … Aggies coach Blake Anderson has a 1-4 mark against AP-ranked squads. It includes a 35-3 win at No. 25 Troy in 2016 while at Arkansas State. … Utah State is 8 of 13 on fourth downs. The Aggies have gone on to score in each of those drives, with six TDs and two field goals.

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