Independence Bowl Preview UAB vs BYU

Independence Bowl Preview: UAB vs BYU | NCAAF Betting Analysis & Prediction

The first ranked school in action for the college football bowl season is No. 13 BYU as the Cougars take on UAB in the Independence Bowl on Saturday afternoon with BYU as a solid favorite on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet UAB vs. BYU NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: BYU -7 (total 54.5)

Series History

Ranked No. 13 in the final College Football Playoff Rankings, BYU will be the highest-ranked team to play in an Independence Bowl in the game’s 45-year history. The last and highest-ranked team entering an Independence Bowl was LSU in 1997, when the Tigers entered the bowl ranked No. 15. BYU has never faced UAB.

Why Bet on UAB?

The Blazers (8-4) won their regular-season finale 42-25 over UTEP. Jermaine Brown Jr. rushed for a career-high three touchdowns as UAB gained 221 of their 328 total yards on the ground and scored four of their six touchdowns by rushing. The other two touchdown came via touchdown passes from Dylan Hopkins to senior tight ends Gerrit Prince and Hayden Pittman.

Brown Jr. rushed 16 times for 88 yards and three touchdowns after replacing an injured DeWayne McBride who left in the first quarter after compiling 99 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries. It’s not clear if McBride, the team’s leading rusher, will play here. McBride ran for 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns while ranking fourth nationally in yards per carry (6.75).  Third-leading receiver RaJae’ Johnson-Sanders entered the transfer portal as did quarterback Tyler Johnston, who lost his starting job to Dylan Hopkins.

Senior defensive tackle Tyree Turner was named first-team All-Conference USA. Turner was a force at nose tackle and led a dominant rush defense that ranks 12th nationally by allowing just 104.2 rushing yards per game. Turner finished the year with 20 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

End Alex Wright finished the year with 42 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound edge rusher finished the regular season as one of the seven FBS edge defenders who put up an 80.0-plus Pro Football Focus grade in both run defense and as a pass-rusher. Wright generated a 19.9% pressure rate and 26.1% pass-rush win rate in 2021, top-five marks at the position.

UAB has been bowl eligible all six years under the direction of Head Coach Bill Clark (2014, 2017-2021), but missed the postseason in 2014 when the program was shut down and last year after South Carolina withdrew from the Gasparilla Bowl. UAB won the program’s first bowl game in 2018 with a 37-13 victory over Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl, and a win over BYU would not only be UAB’s second bowl win, but just its fourth victory over a nationally ranked opponent.

Why Bet on BYU?

BYU (10-2) beat Southern Cal 35-31 in its season finale on Nov. 27. Quarterback Jaren Hall finished 20 of 32 for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Wideout Keanu Hill hauled in four passes for 72 yards and one touchdown. Fellow receiver Puka Nacua also added three receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown.

Running back Tyler Allgeier led Cougar receivers with five receptions. On the ground, he went for 111 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, his sixth 100-yard game of the year. Allgeier moved to No. 2 in single-season rushing yards at 1,409 and No. 7 in career rushing yards at 2,707. His two rushing touchdowns moved him into No. 5 in career rushing scores at 32. He has a national-best 20 rushing scores this year.

BYU went 5-0 against the Pac-12 this season, beating Arizona, Utah, Arizona State, Washington State and USC. BYU also beat Virginia to win six Power 5 games this year, the most in program history. BYU won 10 games for the second consecutive season for the first time since the 2008 and 2009 seasons. It is BYU’s 18th season with at least 10 wins.

BYU is now 18-4 under Kalani Sitake while playing as a ranked team. BYU is currently No. 13 in the College Football Playoff and AP Top 25 and No. 15 in the Coaches Poll.

BYU is playing just its third game in the Bayou state and first postseason contest. The Cougars played both previous games in the Superdome in New Orleans. Most recently, BYU played LSU in 2017 and back in 2009 matched up with Tulane. BYU is in a bowl game for the 16th time in 17 seasons, and fifth in six seasons under Coach Kalani Sitake. BYU is 3-1 under Sitake in bowl games.

The Cougars have a 39-12-1 record against teams from Conference USA in football all-time.

Game Trends

  • Blazers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
  • Blazers are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Blazers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
  • Cougars are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. CUSA.
  • Cougars are 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Cougars are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

Expert Prediction

  • BYU 31, UAB 24
 
 

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