BYU and Iowa State both seek bowl eligibility in key Big 12 showdown
Thu, Nov 9, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
PROVO, Utah (AP) - Iowa State (5-4, 4-2 Big 12 Conference) at BYU (5-4, 2-4), 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Iowa State by 7 1/2 points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Iowa State leads 4-0
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Both BYU and Iowa State need a win on Saturday night to become bowl eligible. The Cougars are undefeated in Provo this season, with four home victories thus far. The Cyclones are seeking their third straight road win after beating Cincinnati and Baylor in back-to-back weeks in October.
BYU struggled to slow down West Virginia's powerful running attack, surrendering a season-high 336 yards on the ground in a 37-7 loss to the Mountaineers. Iowa State ranks 12th in the Big 12 in rushing offense, generating just 117.6 yards per game. The Cyclones have been held under 100 yards four times this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Iowa State: WR Jaylin Noel could give BYU's defense plenty of headaches. Noel ranks second in the Big 12 with 5.9 receptions per game, while averaging 47.2 yards on kick returns and 6.7 yards on punt returns. He is the only player nationally with a long reception of at least 50 yards, kick return of 70 yards, punt return of 35 yards, and pass of 40 yards this season.
BYU: Junior QB Jake Retzlaff made his first career start against West Virginia. Retzlaff threw for 210 yards in his debut but could not help the Cougars finish drives until the fourth quarter. If he can turn yards into points this week, it may rescue BYU's offense from its doldrums.
FACTS & FIGURES
BYU coach Kalani Sitake is coaching in his 100th game as the Cougars' head coach on Saturday. ... Iowa State DB Beau Freyler is the only Big 12 player ranked in the top 10 for both tackles (67) and interceptions (3). ... Cougars kicker Will Ferrin has missed only one field goal inside 50 yards this season. He is 8-of-9 inside the 50 and 5-of-5 inside the 40. ... Cyclones QB Rocco Becht has thrown 13 touchdown passes, three shy of matching Brock Purdy's freshman record at the school. ... BYU and Iowa State each rank in the Top 10 nationally in interceptions gained. The Cyclones have gained 13 picks so far this season while BYU has tallied 12 interceptions. ... This is the first game between the two schools since 1974.
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