Houston vs. BYU prediction: Cougars a live underdog

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After a 4-0 start, BYU is dreaming about its first unbeaten season since the 1984 national title campaign. But the Provo bunch should not start thinking past this clash at Houston on deck Friday night.

This will be BYU’s toughest test to date after Dana Holgorsen’s Cougars shook off the rust and an early deficit to Tulane last week, not to mention five turnovers, and won going away by a 49-31 count. This after having five straight games either postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus.

Indeed, this looms a challenge for BYU’s Cougars, which has leaked a bit in pass defense, allowing 65 percent completions and nearly 300 passing yards by UTSA’s unheralded duo of Lowell Narcisse and Frank Harris, which kept the heavy underdog Roadrunners within earshot last Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium in the first point-spread loss of the season for BYU.

Once beyond early jitters last week, UH’s Clayton Tune zinged the Green Wave for 319 pass yards and a couple of TD passes for a balanced Houston offense that also gouged 157 rush yards. What most impressed for UH last week, however, was a defense that allowed a Tulane team that had scored 66 points its previous game at Southern Miss to only 211 yards, with the Greenies defense actually scoring a pair of TDs off of Houston giveaways in the first quarter.

This suggests that red-hot BYU QB Zach Wilson (completing better than 80 percent of his passes thus far!) might find yards and points tougher to come by than vs. the four previous foes, especially as UH recorded six sacks vs. mobile Tulane signal-callers last week.

The play: Houston, +5.

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