LaVell Edwards Stadium -- Provo, UT
There’s good and bad news on the Toledo Rockets schedule this week.
The Rockets travel to Provo Utah for a Friday night game against BYU. The Cougars are a very well-respected program that has enjoyed plenty of success. However, they own a 1-3 record entering this week’s matchup.
Hmmmmm … you think!! 1-3 doesn’t sound very good, but it is BYU.
Failing to respect the Cougars might be a big mistake. That 1-3 record includes . . .
Of course, the Cougars are meeting another undefeated team this week as Toledo is off to a 3-0 start. It’s most recent action was a 52-17 bashing of Fresno State at the Glass Bowl back on Sept. 17. That gives the Rockets an extra week of preparation – and maybe a little rest – before wrapping up their non-conference slate against the Cougars.
BYU COUGARS (1-3, INDEPENDENT)
► As an independent that typically puts together some talented squads, BYU can piece together a diverse schedule. This year’s schedule includes PAC 12 teams such as Arizona, Utah and UCLA. However, the Cougars also reach the other direction with teams such as Toledo, No. 17 Michigan State, Mississippi State, Cincinnati and UMass. Then, too, there are the neighbors, like No. 24 Boise State, Southern Utah and Utah State.
► Teams on the BYU schedule are off to a 29-14 combined record. The combined record of opponents to date (including UT) is 14-4)
► This is the first meeting between Toledo and BYU, The Cougars are 5-4 against MAC opponents overall.
► Toledo is the second of three 2016 BYU opponents who have a bye week prior to playing the Cougars.
► BYU is averaging 20.8 ppg.
► Of the 385 total yards per game, 219.5 come via the pass and 165 yards through rushing. The Cougars have six rushing TDs and four passing scores.
► Senior running back Jamaal Williams (6-2, 220) ran for 169 yards with two TDs on 24 carries against West Virginia. He has 417 rushing yards on 79 carries (5.3 ypc) with three touchdowns overall. He has also caught six passes, adding another 76 yards to his combined totals.
► Quarterback Taysom Hill (6-2, 230), a 26-year-old senior, returned to action this year after missing almost all of last year due to a lisfranc injury that required surgery.
► He has completed 91 of 150 passes (60.7%) with four TDs and six interceptions. He has been sacked nine times.
► Hill is also the team’s second-leading rusher, owning 225 yards on 49 trips (4.6 ypc) and two rushing TDs.
► Five receivers have double-figure receptions. Nick Kurtz (6-6 215, Sr) leads the way with 18 catches for 205 yards and one touchdown. The next four receivers combine for 53 receptions for 481 yards and three TDs.
► BYU defensive leaders include 6-3, 220-pound sophomore linebacker Butch Pau’u (42 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble), and 6-4, 230-pound junior LB Fred Warner (34 tackles, 1 interception).
► Sophomore kicker Rhett Almond is 3 of 3 on field goals with a long of 25. He is 4 of 5 on PATs.
► The Rockets will need to elevate their game for higher elevations. LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo is 4,649 feet above sea level. Toledo, meanwhile, sits at 614 feet above sea level. The air at higher elevations, of course, is thinner -- potentially an advantage for a home team.
► Toledo is scoring 42.7 ppg. and allowing 10.0 points per outing.
► The Rockets have generated 563.7 ypg in total offense. The ground game has provided 230.0 ypg,, while the Rockets are passing at a 333.7 ypg clip.
► Quarterback Logan Woodside has completed 51 of 82 passes for 939 yards (62.2%) with 11 TDs and only one interception.
► Corey Jones leads the team in receptions (12 for 184 yards with 1 TD). Cody Thompson leads in yardage (361 yards on 11 catches) with three scores. Senior tight end Michael Roberts (6-5, 270) has five a team-high five touchdowns in his 10 receptions.
► Senior Kareem Hunt leads UT with 51 carries and 267 yards with two TDs. He ranks third among MAC rushers in rushing average (89.0 ypg).
► Senior John Stepec leads UT in tackles (19) and (TFL 5.0). Trevon Hester also has 5.0 TFL and a team-best 3.0 sacks.
► Toledo leads the MAC in scoring defense (20.8) and is second in scoring offense (42.7 ppg)