Game: East Carolina Pirates @ BYU Cougars
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Pirates +3.5, Cougars -3.5
East Carolina and BYU square off in a nonconference game on Friday night in Provo, Utah. The Pirates enter tonight’s game coming off their best victory of the year. BYU comes in off its worst loss. East Carolina (5-3) started the season 3-3 but has won two straight with consecutive wins over Memphis and UCF. ECU beat Memphis in four overtimes and then turned around and surprised the Knights 34-14.
The Pirates never trailed in the win over UCF, who came into the game with a record of 5-1 and an undefeated American Athletic Conference record. Early in the second half, UCF scored a touchdown to cut the lead, but East Carolina outscored the guests the rest of the way 17-3. East Carolina had little time to enjoy themselves because of the short week.
ECU head coach Mike Houston recognizes that BYU will present a challenge for his Pirates. The Cougars have lost three straight, but they will be playing at home on a Friday night. BYU lost to Notre Dame, Arkansas, and just last week to Liberty by a score of 41-14.
Jireh Wilson, a junior safety for ECU, won the AAC Defensive Player of the Week award after making three tackles (one solo), recovering a fumble, and recording his second interception in the win over UCF.
It has been six weeks since the Cougars’ pulled their 26-20 upset against then-No. 9 Baylor. BYU started the 2022 season 4-1, the only loss coming at the hands of now No. 8 Oregon. The Cougars haven’t won since beating Utah State 38-26 on Sept. 29.
The Cougars’ hopes of making a bowl game would be in jeopardy with a fourth straight loss. After taking on the red-hot Pirates, BYU plays FCS Utah Tech, a non-FBS opponent that won’t aid in bowl consideration. After Utah Tech, BYU faces Stanford from the Pac-12.
After the Cougars’ 52-35 loss to Arkansas, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake made some adjustments and took over defensive play-calling duties from defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki. Arkansas had gained 644 yards against the Cougars’ defense. The move didn’t do much good as Liberty piled up 547 total yards, including 300 on the ground. The win was Liberty’s seventh in eight games. Defense wasn’t the only issue against the Flames. BYU’s offense totaled just 258 yards on 50 plays from scrimmage.
East Carolina is now 5-2 SU in its last seven games. The Pirates are also 5-2 ATS in their last seven games on the road. BYU is 2-4 SU in its last six games. At home, the Cougars are 17-2 SU in their last 19 games. They are 0-6 ATS in their last six games, but BYU is 5-0 ATS in its last five games played on a Friday.
The Over is 7-3 in BYU’s last 10 games. The Over is 8-1 in ECU’s last nine games against an FBS independent. Both teams rank in the top 50 in the nation in scoring. BYU averages 32.4 points per game while East Carolina averages 33.1.
Join Oskeim Sports today and save 20% on your first purchase at the online store!