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ASU Opponent Preview: Arizona State Travels to BYU

Casey Lundquist from Cougs Daily joins AllSunDevils to discuss this week's opponent for Arizona State: BYU.
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The Arizona State Sun Devils are all set to pack their bags and make the voyage up to Provo, Utah and battle an unbeaten (and ranked) BYU Cougars team. BYU, fresh off a thrilling upset over rival Utah, look to again play spoiler to teams visiting LaVell Edwards Stadium. 

Although Arizona State has the overall series lead between the two programs at 20-7, the Cougars are currently on a two-game winning streak, with the teams last playing in 1998.

Needless to say, it's a big test for a Sun Devils team that hasn't been tested to their limits over the course of either game they've won thus far.

For a preview of BYU, AllSunDevils was able to gain valuable insight from Cougs Daily publisher Casey Lundquist. 

To view BYU's depth chart, click here.

To view what uniforms BYU will wear, click here.


Insider Interview With Cougs Daily

Donnie Druin: The Cougars are riding high off of a victory over Utah, and now find themselves ranked. What's been the key to success for BYU through the early stages of the season?

Casey Lundquist: I would point out two things. On offense, it has to be red-zone efficiency. BYU was one of the worst red-zone teams in college football in 2019. They were much improved in 2020, but their made-on-the-fly COVID schedule was also much easier to navigate than the 2019 schedule, so it was impossible to know how much the drop off in competition was driving that improvement.

BYU has made seven trips into the red zone. They have scored every time they have been in the red zone, totaling five touchdowns and two field goals. It's worth noting that one of those field goals was from inside the 10-yard line to seal the game against Utah last week. Leading up to that kick, the play-calling was purposely conservative, as BYU only needed a field goal to go up by two scores. From a total yards perspective, BYU's offense has not been prolific, but they have taken advantage of nearly every opportunity so far this season.

Second, I would point out the balance on the defensive side of the ball. Over the past few years, BYU has played a very conservative defensive style. Kind of a bend but not break mentality, if you will. BYU has been much better at keeping opposing offenses off balance with well-timed blitzes that have caused game-changing sacks and turnovers.

DD: Quarterback Jaren Hall has done a great job of not turning the ball over thus far, with five touchdowns to zero interceptions. What's his ball security meant to BYU's offense thus far?

CL: Before BYU beat Utah on Saturday, they were riding a nine-game losing streak against the Utes. In those nine losses, BYU had turned the ball over 25-plus times including nine times for defensive scores. Yes, you heard that correctly. BYU was giving up one defensive score per game on average. Hall's ability to protect the football made all the difference on Saturday, and BYU came away with its first win against Utah in over a decade. Hall's ability to avoid mistakes has largely made up for BYU averaging only 371 yards per game. BYU's offense still has a lot of room to improve over the course of this season.

DD: Defensively, the Cougars have won both of their matchups by limiting opponents to under 20 points. How has BYU been able to do that?

CL: Again, I go back to defensive balance. They have limited explosive plays and found ways to pressure the quarterback on important downs.

DD: It's undoubtedly a big matchup with Arizona State coming to town. Can you list one advantage and disadvantage the Cougars may face when they take on ASU?

CL: Lavell Edwards Stadium was a major advantage for BYU last weekend, and it should be an advantage again this weekend. BYU fans are really excited with the state of the program following last week's win over Utah and invite to join the Big 12. LES will be loud.

BYU has struggled, at times, to tackle in the open field this season. Arizona State has some very talented skill players, and they will have opportunities to pick up yards in the open field.

DD: If you could, highlight one or two players on each side of the ball who can make a difference for BYU.

CL: Jaren Hall. We've talked about Jaren Hall already. Hall is a true dual-threat quarterback for BYU. When he settled down against Utah and Arizona, he was able to make critical plays with his arm. He is also downright special running the football. Hall's dad played running back for BYU in the '90s, and his brother was a running back for the Cougars a few years ago. Hall will make you pay if you are not disciplined up front.

Tyler Allgeier: BYU's powerful running back is one of the best NFL prospects on the roster. He is listed at 5-11, 220 pounds and he has the speed to go the distance.

Keenan Pili: Pili has been everywhere for BYU on defense. Through two games, he has 24 tackles. Expect to hear his name a lot on Saturday night.

Chaz Ah You: Chaz has been terrific through the first two games. BYU uses him at the line of scrimmage to stop the run, they use him in pass coverage, and he is used frequently as a blitzer as well. Ah You's versatility gives BYU a lot of flexibility on defense.

Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. For more ASU news visit