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Monday, September 17, 2012

Opponent Tracker: Week 3 results for BYU’s 2012 Opponents

After week three, strength of schedule for the Brigham Young Cougars no longer really matters. Barring a bizarre turn of events, BYU is headed to the Poinsettia Bowl after its loss to Utah and its 2012 BCS dreams are shattered. But, we’ll still take a look at what BYU’s 2012 opponents did over the weekend to let Cougar fans know how impressive or demoralizing past BYU games were, and what to expect from future opponents.

Washington State (2-1): Defeated UNLV 35-21. The more I watch WAZZU, the less I am impressed with them. After being outperformed in every way by BYU, they barely squeaked a win out against FCS opponent Eastern Washington. Then this week, they played against the lowly UNLV, who lost to Southern Utah last year and to Northern Arizona this year. Should have been a cakewalk, right? Wrong. UNLV kept the game close in the first half, and Washington State could not close the game out. Luckily for Washington State, UNLV stalled and turned the ball over on downs twice in the fourth quarter while in good field position. The rest of Washington State’s games are against Pac-12 teams and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lose all 9 remaining games. The only team in the Pac-12 I give them a shot against is next week versus Colorado.

Next Game: Colorado, Sept. 22.

Weber State (0-3): Lost 35-21 at home to McNeese State. McNeese State is ranked No. 19 in the FCS, so the loss was expected. The Cougars were never depending on Weber State to bolster their strength of schedule much anyway though.

Next Game: Eastern Washington, Sept. 22

Utah (2-1): Won 24-21 against BYU. The game was sloppy and both teams tried to give it away to the other, but in the end, Utah won its third straight “Holy War.” As sloppy as their execution was, this win will likely give them confidence heading into Pac-12 play. I expect Utah to be a middle of the pack team in the Pac-12 this year and once again advance to a bowl game.

Next Game:  Arizona State, Sept. 22

Boise State (1-1): The Broncos got back on track in a 39-12 win over Miami (OH). The win moved them back into the AP Top 25, putting them at No. 24. Their run game was solid as D.J. Harper rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Harper also had a 21 yard touchdown reception and scored on a two-point conversion. Harper scored 26 points in the game, more than the Cougars scored against Utah. Now they have a short preparation week to get ready for BYU on Thursday night.

Next Game: BYU, Sept. 20.

Hawaii (1-1): Norm Chow got his first win in Hawaii in a 54-2 blowout of Lamar. The defense didn’t allow a single score as Lamar’s only points came on a fourth quarter safety. One thing that has always been a trademark of the Rainbow Warriors is they can score points. It looks like things have remained the same with Chow at the helm.

Next Game: Nevada, Sept. 22.

Utah State (2-1): Lost a nail biter to Wisconsin, 16-14. Once again, Utah State did what Utah State does best. Blow a big lead after a great start. Up by 11 at halftime, the Aggies let Wisconsin steal the game back. Chucky Keaton led a final drive down the field that gave Utah State one last chance, but they missed the field goal and lost the game. Had Utah State won the game and started 3-0, I could have seen them either being ranked this week or getting votes in the polls. However, the Aggies are showing for the second year in a row that they can play with the big boys.

Next Game: Colorado State, Sept. 22.

Oregon State (1-0): Bye week, did not play. They did move up into the unofficial No. 26 spot in the polls however. A win next week against top 25 UCLA will definitely move them into the top 25.

Next Game: No. 19 UCLA, Sept. 22.

No. 20 Notre Dame (3-0): Crushed No. 10 Michigan State, 20-3. The Irish defense shut down the Spartan attack, never letting them into the end zone. Linebacker Manti Te’o had 12 tackles in the game, one for a loss, and broke up two passes. This was just days after both his girlfriend and grandmother passed away. Notre Dame looks inspired, and will have the chance to really prove themselves next week in a rematch of last year’s classic game against Michigan.

Next Game: No. 18 Michigan, Sept. 22.

Georgia Tech (2-1): Destroyed Virginia 56-20. Virginia beat Penn State the week before. Georgia Tech opened with a 70-yard touchdown strike on their first offensive play of the game. In the middle of the game, the Yellow Jackets scored 35 straight points, turning a close game after the first quarter into a blowout. This high scoring offense could be trouble not only for BYU, but for a lot of teams.

Next Game: Miami (FL), Sept. 22.

Idaho (0-3): Lost 63-14 to No. 3 LSU. Did anyone really expect anything different? But hey, that’s more points than Washington scored against the Tigers.

Next Game: Wymoing, Sept. 22.

San Jose State (2-1): Defeated Colorado State 40-20. The Spartans used a big second half to pull away from CSU, outscoring them 23-7. San Jose State is looking better than they have in previous seasons, and their close opener against Stanford looks even more impressive after the Cardinal took down No. 2 USC.

Next Game: San Diego State, Sept. 22.

New Mexico State: (1-2): Lost to UTEP, 41-28. After UTEP played Oklahoma tough in its season opener, I didn’t really expect New Mexico State to put up much of a fight. UTEP opened the game with 20 points in the first quarter and held the Aggies scoreless. The final score is a little deceiving as to how much of a blowout the game really was, with New Mexico State scoring most of its points in the final quarter. Now the Aggies can get ready for their big “Rio Grande Rivalry” game against New Mexico. This could be the most boring rivalry game in the country, as New Mexico is also 1-2 with its only win coming against an FCS opponent. But if anyone is interested in watching, Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN3.

Next Game: New Mexico, Sept. 22.


The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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