BYU vs. USF Odds & Picks: Bet Saturday’s Favorite On the Road
Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: BYU Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3).
BYU vs. USF Odds
Coming off of back-to-back 10-win seasons, the BYU Cougars will be a threat to hit double-digit wins again before heading to the Big 12 next season. Kalani Sitake will return for his seventh season as the BYU head coach with 19 starters returning from last year’s 10-3 team.
Jeff Scott returns for his third year as USF’s head coach, and is looking to turn the program around. In his two years in Tampa, he has gone 3-18 while attempting to rebuild the roster.
USF appears to be heading in the right direction, but BYU is already there and preparing for its jump to a power conference.
Will South Florida keep up with BYU this Saturday?
Hall Leads Experienced Cougars Offense
Losing Zach Wilson did not appear to slow down the Cougars in 2021. Without Wilson, they still ranked ninth in FBS in Success Rate, as they were effective both on the ground and through the air (ninth Rushing and 11th in Passing Success Rate, respectively).
Jaren Hall took over at quarterback last season and threw for 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. Hall had an impressive 89.2 PFF grade last year, which was 27th in the country among qualifying quarterbacks.
Eight starters return on offense, including four of five offensive linemen. As a result, this should be one of the best offensive lines in the nation in 2022.
The biggest loss for BYU is Tyler Allgeier, who rushed for 2,731 yards over the last two seasons in Provo. Transfer Christopher Brooks is the projected starter at running back after spending the last four years at Cal and rushing for 1,734 yards there.
The offensive staff for BYU remains the same, as well. With this much continuity, I expect BYU to have a top-tier offense again this season.
Cougars Defense Looks to Take a Step Forward
If you liked the continuity on the Cougars' offense, you’ll love this defense, as BYU returns all 11 starters on the unit this season.
Whether this is actually a good thing remains to be seen, as the Cougars were 106th in Success Rate last year, ranking 95th against the run and 107th against the pass.
Ben Bywater led the team in tackles with 102 last season and is a possible NFL prospect at middle linebacker. Payton Wilgar had an 88.2 coverage grade at linebacker last year, which was the highest PFF Coverage Grade on the team.
The defense should be improved from last year as a whole due to its continuity and experience. While not a top-tier defense, this unit should be good enough to keep its great offense in most games.
Can Bohanon Turn Around the Bulls' Offense?
The Bulls were not impressive on either side of the ball last year, as they finished with a poor 2-10 record.
The offense ranked 75th in Offensive Success Rate, driven mostly by the running game (52nd). This should remain a strength, as the Bulls return their top four rushers from a season ago and the entire offensive line.
Overall, nine starters return for the USF offense. Baylor transfer Gerry Bohanon will lead the offense this year. Last season, he had an 80.3 PFF grade with 2,213 yards and 18 TDs for the Bears before being injured near the end of the season and losing the starting job.
With a new scheme and new quarterback being plugged into an offense that returns all of its offensive line and playmakers, USF’s offense has the potential to make a significant leap this season.
Bulls' Defense Switches to 4-2-5 Under Schoop
In a situation similar to the one BYU faces, many of last year's starters return for this defense, but that may not be a good thing.
Nine starters return on this side of the ball for a unit that ranked 121st in Success Rate last year (90th against the run and 128th against the pass).
Bob Schoop is the new defensive coordinator for the Bulls and will shift the defensive scheme to run a 4-2-5. He has previous experience as the DC at Mississippi State (2018-19), Tennessee (2016-17), Penn State (2014-15) and Vanderbilt (2011-13).
The new scheme and continuity may help USF improve on the defensive side of the ball, but it will be a major challenge to slow down BYU’s offense in the first game of the season.
BYU vs. USF Betting Pick
The Cougars are a New Year’s Six contender yet again behind their strong offense, and they should score at will in this game against a Bulls defense that was among the worst in the nation last year.
It won't help USF that there may also be some growing pains while adjusting in the first game with a brand new defensive scheme.
Bohanon and the USF offense will put some points on the board, but don't expect them to keep pace with Hall and company on the other side.