AP NEWS

No. 25 BYU looks to follow-up Wisconsin upset vs McNeese St

September 20, 2018

McNeese State (3-0) at No. 25 BYU (2-1) , 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3).

Line: No line.

Series record: First Meeting

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

With a road game at No. 10 Washington on the horizon, BYU finds itself facing a trap game against a good FCS opponent. The Cougars can’t afford to lose and squash momentum gained against Wisconsin. A win for McNeese State could signal the Cowboys may have what it takes to make a run through the FCS playoffs.

KEY MATCHUP

BYU RB Squally Canada vs. McNeese State’s front seven. Feeding Canada the ball is the focus of BYU’s offense. Through three games, he has 265 yards and five touchdowns on 51 carries. Canada had his third career 100-yard game when he ran for 118 yards on 11 carries against Wisconsin. McNeese State has allowed 96.7 yards rushing per gamer, ranking 20th in the FCS.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

McNeese State: LB BJ Blunt. Protecting Tanner Mangum could get tricky for BYU with Blunt on the other side. The senior leads all FCS players with five sacks. Blunt totaled nine tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery in his team’s 20-10 win over Nicholls State.

BYU: LB Sione Takitaki. Moving to outside linebacker from defensive end has enhanced Takitaki’s ability to be disruptive. He led the Cougars with a career-high 13 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack in their 24-21 win over Wisconsin. Takitaki ranks fifth all-time at BYU with 12.5 career sacks.

FACTS & FIGURES

BYU is 11-0 against FCS teams over the last 20 years, including 2-0 under Kalani Sitake. The Cougars have not lost to a lower division team in football since 1960. ... McNeese State has given up only 20 first-half points this season. . BYU’s punt return defense ranks 12th in the FBS, allowing 0.67 yards per return. . McNeese State has scored touchdowns on its first possession in each of the team’s first three games.

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