Saturday features a big game between independent schools as BYU plays Liberty. BYU travels to Virginia as the favorite in the second game between the teams. Liberty only joined the FBS in 2018.
The Cougars (4-3) are on a two-game losing streak, falling to Notre Dame by eight points and losing to Arkansas, 52-35. The Flames (6-1) are riding a four-game winning streak, beating Gardner-Webb by one point last week despite being massive favorites.
Let’s check the latest college football odds, stats, injury reports, and college football lines for BYU vs Liberty.
BYU: Tough Schedule
Through the first six weeks of the season, BYU was an AP Top 25 team, ranked as high as No. 12 after beating Baylor, which was ninth at the time, in a 26-20 win at home. The Cougars traveled to Oregon the following week and got beat 41-20, dropping to 19th.
The home win over Baylor has been the season’s highlight, especially after losses to three teams who were ranked in the Top 25 at one point. Playing teams that are ranked or within the Power 5 has left the Cougars with a worse record than usual, but in the long run, it could make them a better team.
Quarterback Jaren Hall has had a solid season, with 1,914 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. He played well last week, having the best game of his season against a formidable SEC opponent by throwing for 356 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
On defense is where the Cougars have struggled, giving up 496 yards against Notre Dame before Arkansas’ offense exploded for 644. They gave up five touchdowns through the air and two on the ground.
Liberty: Quarterback Injuries
Before the season started, Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze named transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer as the starting quarterback. Brewer would suffer a thumb injury four pass attempts into his first game, leaving backups Kaidon Salter and Johnathan Bennett to battle for the starting job.
Salter ultimately won the job, playing well in the Flames’ only game against a top team in Wake Forest, which was also the team’s only loss. In the game against Old Dominion three weeks ago, Salter suffered an ankle injury, leaving Bennett as the starter in the next two games.
With all the injuries, Bennett has been getting plenty of reps. The issue is he hasn’t been great, throwing six touchdowns and six interceptions, with a 51% completion percentage, in six games. Last week, he threw for 222 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.
Liberty‘s defense played solidly, forcing three turnovers and keeping Gardner-Webb to 325 yards. The defense had to carry the team with the offense not able to move the ball. The Flames won narrowly despite starting the game as 24½-point favorites.
BYU vs Liberty Injury Report
BYU vs Liberty Head-to-Head
These schools played in 2019, which was a 31-24 win for BYU in Utah.
BYU vs Liberty Game Information
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 22
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Williams Stadium, Lynchburg, VA
- BYU vs Liberty Live Stream: ESPN
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BYU vs Liberty Betting Lines
BYU vs Liberty Prediction
Liberty head coach Freeze has promoted this as the most important home game in the school’s history. The team has a better record than BYU, but the Cougars have played more challenging opponents.
The Cougars also have the advantage of having their starting quarterback available. Hall has been projected as a possible top pick in next year’s NFL Draft. BYU’s defense has been shaky recently but against potent offenses. The Flames’ third-string quarterback won’t be able to take advantage of that.
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