2016-17 Football Previews – (Independant) – Cougars
Looking for 2016 BYU Cougars Predictions? BYU usually has a strong football program, fuelled by the physical and behavioural maturation of its players, thanks to their religious mission requirement. It is not uncommon for 23-26 year old players to take the field in Provo, Utah. One of BYU’s most famous alumni, longtime NFL pivot Ty Detmer, is back on campus as an offensive co-ordinator this year.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – BYU Cougars
Head Coach: Kalani Sitake
2015 Record: 9-4
BYU Cougars Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +25000
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He’ll hope to guide an explosive attack that will compete weekly.
BYU Cougars Predictions: Team Strengths
Brigham Young routinely has QBs that rack up the stats; Detmer (1989-1991), Max Hall and John Beck in the last decade all have over 11,000 career pass yards.
This season, the Cougars have another pair of signal-callers that can fill up a stat sheet. Senior Taysom Hill is the dual-threat option – he has excellent scrambling ability although he has struggled with injuries in his career.
Sophomore Tanner Mangum is the most decorated recruit in the school’s history and he proved his worth with 3,377 yards and 23 TDs as a freshman in 2015.
Hill is good enough, however, that this will be an interesting position battle. With either Hill or Mangum, BYU’s passing stats should be even more prolific in 2016.
The Cougars defense returns three of its top four tacklers from a year ago, though they lose Bronson Kafusi and his 11 sacks to the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL.
There is still lots of experience on that side of the ball, and stepping in at one of the CB spots is true freshman Troy Warner, who is a highly-touted high school recruit (rare for this school) who attended spring practice.
Warner will be interesting to watch this season.
Punter Jonny Linehan is also a special one, he made the transition from rugby and uses the rugby-style punt to smash kicks down the field, en route to a first-team All-Independent Conference nod.
He had a long of 77 yards last year, so Linehan can really thump it.
BYU Cougars Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Brigham Young has a lot of attrition in its receiver corps.
The Cougars lose Mitch Mathews, Oregon transfer Devon Blackmon and Terenn Houk from 2015.
Junior college transfer Nick Kurtz is still around (578 yards and three TDs last year), so he and the diminutive Mitchell Juergens will have to really pick up the pace.
It will help that they’ll have two talented, experienced QBs delivering the football.
Last year’s starting kicker Trevor Samson must be replaced, likely by tiny (5″7, 160 lbs) freshman James Baird. He’ll have some big shoes to fill, so he could hinder the special teams development.
There are a lot of returners along the defensive line, and the rush defense ought to be improved, but someone has to replicate Kafusi’s pass-rushing threat. That is a tall order indeed.
Finally, the Cougars have had Bronco Mendenhall as their head coach forever, but he departs for the University of Virginia, so unproven head man Kalani Sitake takes over.
He’ll have to jive with Detmer, who may carry an ego as he is a) a campus hero; and b) a successful high school coach.
BYU Cougars 2016 Prediction: 7-6
It’s not that the Cougars aren’t talented, they definitely are.
But the schedule gods have smote the Cougs with a downright hellion of a 2016 schedule. They will probably be an underdog in seven of their games this season.
They also have several neutral-site games to handle.
It is hard to predict exactly how BYU will finish because there is lots of tantalizing potential with this football team, but I have a sinking feeling that BYU won’t replicate last year’s nine-win output.
2016 BYU Cougars Football Schedule
- 09/03/2016 vs. Arizona (at Glendale, AZ) 10:30 pm
- 09/10/2016 at Utah 7:30 pm
- 09/17/2016 vs. UCLA 10:15 pm
- 09/24/2016 vs. West Virginia (in Landover, MD) TBA
- 09/30/2016 vs. Toledo 10:15 pm
- 10/08/2016 at Michigan St. TBA
- 10/14/2016 vs. Mississippi St. 10:15 pm
- 10/20/2016 at Boise State 10:15 pm
- 10/29/2016 BYE
- 11/05/2016 at Cincinnati TBA
- 11/12/2016 vs. Southern Utah 3:00 pm
- 11/12/2016 vs. Massachusetts TBA
- 11/26/2016 vs. Utah St. TBA
What do you think about our 2016 BYU Cougars predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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