The game highlighting Friday night action between No. 14 BYU and Houston could turn out to be one of the weird, late-night contests we've all come to know and love. This game will feature one of the nation's premier passing attacks from BYU going against a Houston offense that showed up in its first game of the season. Either way, expect plenty of points.
BYU has quietly been one of the more entertaining teams through its first four games. However, the Cougars have played Navy, Troy, Louisiana Tech and UTSA. That's not BYU's fault, of course, but it does give some pause over how good this team is when it's ranked as a top-15 team and half of the FBS hasn't played yet.
Meanwhile, Houston got off to an understandably slow start against Tulane before racing past the Green Wave for a 49-31 win. Dana Holgorsen's Cougars have been hurt by postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19, so it was good to see them actually take the field and play well. BYU hasn't left Provo since its first game of the season, so it'll be interesting to see how Houston does as a home dog.
BYU: Quarterback Zach Wilson has been electric with 1,241 yards, eight touchdowns and just one pick through four games. He's also completing his passes at an impressive 81.2% while averaging more than 12 yards per attempt. The downfield passing game of the Cougars will be a challenge for Houston. Tulane is a run-heavy offense, and while Houston did a good job of getting in the backfield, the pass defense hasn't really been tested yet. If BYU is going to win on the road, Wilson needs to be great again.
Houston: It's not often that you lose the turnover battle at -5 and still win by double digits, but that's what Houston did against Tulane. Those mistakes have to be cleaned up against BYU, though. Houston's defense up front was also especially good against the Green Wave, allowing just 1.56 yards per rush (including six sacks for 44 yards). Getting to Wilson and being disruptive in the backfield is going to be important.
Date: Friday, Oct. 16 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: TDECU Stadium -- Houston
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Game prediction, picks
There's been some notable line movement on this game. What was a 3.5-point spread in favor of BYU has now jumped to 5.5 points. Understandably, money was coming in on a team that's 4-0 but was only a slight road favorite. The jump gives Houston a little more cushion, and given how the defense turned out against Tulane, the Cougars can make enough stops to keep it under a touchdown. Pick: Houston +5.5
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