BYU Football seeks to bounce back against San Diego State

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BYU Football seeks to bounce back against San Diego State

The No. 18 BYU Cougars will host former Mountain West rival San Diego State after suffering their first loss of the season to No. 13 Coastal Carolina.

While the Cougars may be officially out of the conversation for New Years Six Bowl contention, they are still 9-1 and have a high probability of landing an attractive bowl game. 

BYU will wear its “blackout” uniforms against SDSU for the first time since 2016. The Cougars are 2-1 when wearing black. 

The universities were originally scheduled to play each other this season on Nov. 14 prior to the Mountain West Conference’s decision on Aug. 10 to postpone its 2020 season as a result of the pandemic. 

BYU’s Dax Milne (5) and Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall (10) walk off the field after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 22-17. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

“We are excited to have the Aztecs back on the schedule,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said when the game was announced in early October. “We share a long history of exciting games over many decades. We are pleased the Mountain West Conference determined to play football in 2020 and worked with San Diego State to allow this previously scheduled non-conference game to be played.”

In 2019, SDSU finished its campaign with 10 wins, including a 13-3 home victory over the Cougars. Zach Wilson threw for over 300 yards, but suffered two interceptions, two sacks and failed to throw a single touchdown pass during the Cougars’ trip to San Diego. 

The Aztecs finished their 2019 campaign with a dominant 48-11 win over Central Michigan in the New Mexico Bowl.

The Cougars and the Aztecs have had 37 previous meetings, the Cougars lead the all-time series with a 28-8-1 record. SDSU and BYU will meet in Provo for the first time since 2010 when the Cougars beat the Aztecs 24-21. The Aztecs have just two wins in 18 trips to LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Cougars take a team photo after the game against Boise State on Nov. 6. BYU played Boise State at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho on Nov. 6, 2020. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

The unranked Aztecs are 4-3 on the season with victories over UNLV, Utah State, Hawaii and Colorado State. The Aztec special teams unit had a dominant performance against Colorado State with a 93-yard kickoff return and a 90-yard punt return. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Brookshire completed 14-of-22 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Brookshire added a team-high 38 yards rushing for SDSU. 

Senior running back Greg Bell leads the Aztec offense with 569 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Bell also has 72 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown to his name in 2020. Sophomore quarterback Carson Baker has seen the most number of reps in the red and black this season, but Brookshire has been listed as the starter for Saturday night’s matchup in Provo. 

The regular-season finale and final home game will also serve as Senior Night for BYU, honoring longtime players Isaiah Kaufusi, Matt Bushman and Khyiris Tonga, among others. This year’s Senior Night is unique because the seniors have the option to return for another year due to COVID-19. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. MST. 

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