Yesterday, BYU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 beginning in 2023. Today, they take on arch-rival Utah on ESPN. The Cougars have a chance to break a nine-game losing streak against the Utes. Here are three keys to a BYU victory over Utah.
1. Avoid devastating turnovers
This one is painfully obvious. Not only turnovers, but devastating, game-changing turnovers have derailed BYU's chances against the Utes over the last decade.
Voice of the Cougars Greg Wrubell ran some numbers this week. BYU has committed 29 turnovers over the last nine games, and nine of those turnovers have resulted in defensive touchdowns for the Utes.
BYU must avoid devastating turnovers if they want to beat a very talented Utah team.
2. Jaren Hall must use his feet
BYU will take on a Utah defense that is much, much better than the Arizona defense they faced in week one. When BYU quarterback Jaren Hall drops back to pass against Utah, passing lanes will be tighter and the pass rush will arrive quicker than last week.
When plays break downs, Jaren Hall must be able to get first downs with his feet. Hall is a gifted runner, but he has dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout his career. If BYU is going to beat Utah, Jaren Hall must make Utah pay when they are undisciplined. Even more importantly, he must avoid big hits by sliding or getting out of bounds.
3. Take advantage of opportunities in the red zone
Like always, Utah's defense is very good. The last time BYU played Utah in 2019, they squandered multiple opportunities in the red zone. If BYU is going to pull off an upset over Utah, they must turn red-zone trips into touchdowns. Last week against Arizona, the Cougars were 2/2 in the red zone with two touchdowns.