Loyal Cougars

Advanced Stats: BYU faces uphill climb against Huskies

Advanced stats and schedule comparisons jive with BYU’s underdog status to Washington.

Like we’ve done before, Loyal Cougars has broken down offenses and defenses for BYU and upcoming Fight Hunger bowl opponent, Washington.

Each chart shows points—either scored or given up by that unit from 0-50. Each opponent is placed left to right based on how well that unit ranks with Football Outsider’s advanced S&P+ statistics, from 1-125.

Up first: BYU’s defense.

Despite a new official defensive coordinator, the loss of several key cogs and completely rebuilding the defensive back field due to preseason injuries, Football Outsiders ranked BYU’s defense ranked 16th in the country this year.

Other than the outlier Houston game, the BYU defense has done a good job of holding total points down. The best defensive performance of the year by these metrics came against Georgia Tech, where BYU held the 16th-ranked offense to only 20 points. Really, it’s a shame there aren’t more triple option teams on the schedule as Mendenhall’s defenses have historically performed very well against them.

Washington’s 38th ranked offensive compares well to Boise State (34), Houston (41), Nevada (43) and Texas (45). Other than Houston, BYU’s defense was able to reasonably contain those offenses, giving up 20-23 points.


Next: BYU’s offense.

Rather than the tightly bunched, consistent performance seen on the defensive side of the ball, the BYU offense has shown very well in some games and very poorly in others.

You can see Utah State, Boise State, Texas and Houston well above the approximate line of expectations and Utah, Notre Dame, Middle Tennessee and Nevada well below.

Washington’s defense will be the third-best defensive unit BYU has seen this year, and other than against Utah State, BYU really struggled against any defense in the top 30.



Can BYU’s offense get back to its October form? The team as a whole struggled in November, going 1-4-1 against the Las Vegas spread in its last 6 games. Looking at expectations from BYU’s side of the ball, it looks like the Huskies would be favored 22-19.

Page 2: Looking at Washington

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