The 2022 season will be the last as an independent for BYU as the Cougars, along with a few others, will join the Big 12 in 2023. What to expect from BYU this year under Coach Kalani Sitake? Here is the preview for your NCAA Football Betting Odds.
BYU Cougars 2022 Season Betting Guide
The Cougars finished last season at 10-3 following a 31-28 upset loss to UAB in the Independence Bowl. All-American running back Tyler Allgeier led a Cougar near comeback finished with 192 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns. His season total of 1,601 rushing yards broke the BYU single-season rushing record, previously held by 2001 Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley (1,582).
Allgeier passed Lakei Heimuli (No. 6 at 2,710) and Taysom Hill (No. 5 at 2,815) in career rushing yards. Allgeier rushed for 2,899 career yards—No. 5 all-time at BYU. Allgeier also finished with 36 career rushing touchdowns, passing Jamaal Williams and Jamal Willis for No. 2 all-time. He is tied with current BYU running back coach Harvey Unga. Staley holds the career BYU record with 41. Finally, Allgeier became the first Cougar to score at least one touchdown in 11 consecutive games, passing wide receiver Mike Chronister who had 10 straight from 1976-77. Alas, Allgeier is now in the NFL, a fifth-round pick of the Falcons.
Cal transfer Christopher Brooks should take over as the primary running back. Brooks Ungar racked up over 2,000 yards of total offense in four years at Cal. Brooks led the Bears in rushing in both 2019 and 2021 with 914 yards and 607 yards respectively. He was also a threat as a receiver coming out of the backfield with 300 receiving yards and seven TDs. Brooks is a big, bruising running back. Listed at 6’1, 235 pounds, he uses strength and patience to get downfield.
Quarterback Jaren Hall is back as well. Despite missing three games due to injury in 2021, Hall completed 189 of 296 passes for 2,583 yards and 20 touchdowns, while compiling an efficiency rating of 156.1. He also had 62 carries for 307 yards (4.9 per carry) and three rushing touchdowns, while leading No. 19 ranked BYU to eight wins in 10 starts during the 2021 season.
Hall’s top target should be receiver Puka Nacua. Nacua led BYU in receiving yards with 43 catches for 805 yards (18.7 yards per catch) and receiving touchdowns, despite missing the 2021 season opener due to injury. He was second in all-purpose yardage with 953 (79.4 per game) and had four games with over 100 receiving yards — South Florida (102), Baylor (168), Virginia (107) and Idaho State (120). Nacua was named the 2021 Pro Football Network All-Independent Receiver of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and First Team Offense.
The offensive line is led by junior Clark Barrington. The 6-6, 302-pound left guard started all 13 games for the Cougars in 2021 and was named Pro Football Network All-American Third Team at the conclusion of the season. Barrington, a two-year starter, was also named 2021 Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team and was part of the Pro Football Network Offensive Line of the Year. The best of the bunch up front this year might be Oregon transfer Kingsley Suamataia – he’s a future NFL starter who’ll work at right tackle for now.
The defense has to be better this year. It has the talent, and it has the experience, but the D that allowed 388 yards and 25 points per game needs to generate more of a pass rush and has to be far tougher against the run.
Playing 22 different starters on defense and 19 on offense during the 2021 season. Coach Kalani Sitake and his staff had to rely on and develop the team’s depth while dealing with injuries. Sitake was rumored as a possible candidate for the Oregon job this offseason but BYU signed him to an “unprecedented” extension.
Sitake, 46, has guided BYU to consecutive seasons of 10 or more wins for the first time since 2008 and 2009. Only Alabama’s Nick Saban and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell have won more games since the start of last season than Sitake (21).
“As both a former player and a BYU fan, it is an honor to be the head coach at this great university,” said Sitake, a Cougars fullback in 1994 and from 1997 to 2000. “I am blessed to lead a football program full of tremendous young men, outstanding coaches and staff and the best fans in the world. We’re all excited about the opportunities ahead as we prepare to enter the Big 12.”
BYU opens the season at South Florida on Sept. 3 and is a 12-point favorite. We see the Cougars losing three times: at Oregon, vs. Notre Dame in Las Vegas, and at Boise State.
BYU Expert Prediction: 9-3 record
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