2022 BYU Football Season Prediction, Preview, Awards, Bowl Game 2022
BYU football has been a staple among the independents, but can the Cougars end that strong run before moving to the Big 12?
It’s the final year before BYU football becomes a new member of the revamped Big 12, but the Cougars appear uninterested in relinquishing their relative dominance as an independent program under head coach Kalani Sitake.
After clinching double-digit wins last season and now heading into the 2022 campaign again with a healthy roster and high hopes, BYU is going nowhere as a nationally standout program for BYU this season.
Arrive at #26 FanSided’s Preseason Top 50 Rankingthe BYU cougars!
BYU football season 2021 in recap
Were it not for the CFP run that Cincinnati did a year ago, BYU would have been commended for what it did as a Group of 5/independent program. They dominated the Pac-12 with a 5-0 record against the Conference and finished 5-1 overall in the Power 5 competition, including a win over rival and Pac-12 champion Utah.
Overall, the result was a 10-2 regular season made even more impressive as the Cougars were forced to navigate a litany of injuries down the line.
The only negative note for BYU football a year ago was the upset loss to UAB in the bowl game, but a 10-3 finish remains nothing to scoff at. More importantly, the team that secured such a successful season is largely back for the 2022 season.
BYU Cougars offense preview for the 2022 season
- Returners (8): QB Jaren Hall, WR Puka Nacua, WR Gunner Romney, TE Isaac Rex, LT Blake Freeland, IOL Connor Pay, OG Clark Barrington, RT Harris LaChance
- Notable newcomers: RB Christopher Brooks (Cal), OT Kingsley Suamataia (Oregon)
- striker: Blake Freeland
There’s plenty of returning talent on the BYU offense, but the notable absence of running back Tyler Allgeier, who now plays for the Atlanta Falcons (bless him). The good news is that Sataki landed Cal grad transfer Christopher Brooks to fill that gap as a backfield starter, and he’s proven more than capable against Pac-12 competition to this point in his career.
Staying healthy should be Jaren Hall’s main goal because last season the fifth year was an electric playmaker with a dual threat component to his game that made everyone more dangerous. And if he stays healthy, the experienced pass catcher group around him is ready to make plays.
As for the line, this one is also experienced and adds a stud transfer from Oregon and Kingsley Suamataia. Blake Freeland is the leader of the group and the tone setter for what may be one of the better lines in the country as he has aspirations for the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
BYU Cougars defense preview for the 2022 season
- Returners (9): DE Tyler Batty, DT Earl Tuioti-Mariner, NT Caden Haws, LB Keenand Pili, CB/S George Udo, LB/S Payton Wilgar, S Chaz Ah You, S Malik Moore, CB D’Angelo Mandell
- Notable Newcomer: CB Gabe Jeudy-Lally
- striker: Tyler Batty
It’s a bit of a mixed bag for the Cougars defense in 2022. While there may only be nine listed returning starters, the injuries this group went through mean they’re bringing back 15 of their top 16 tacklers from last season, making BYU one makes the most experienced defense in the country this year.
However, this experience must lead to better performance. Sataki’s defense was conceding 25 points a game a year ago and a major reason for that was lack of advance. The linebackers, especially healthy now, should be a big boost for BYU this season, but they need Tyler Batty, who led the team with just 3.5 sacks a year ago, to step up and add a consistent pass rush deliver if the cougars want to achieve their highest expectations.
BYU football player awards watch for 2022 season
Several BYU football players have created preseason honors lists, but these three stand out as potential winners to keep an eye on for the 2022 season.
Jaren Hall, Walter Camp Player of the Year/Maxwell/Davey O’Brien
Jaren Hall’s hype is real after the quarterback threw for 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions, along with 307 rushing yards and three other scores in just 10 games last season. Now back in full health, great things are expected of the veteran leader at the front of the offense and he could make a case for any of those accolades.
Blake Freeland, Outland
With the hype setting in this season, it’s fair to argue that Blake Freeland is a leading contender to win the Outland Trophy for best lineman (offensive or defensive) in college football. He’s an excellent blindside protector with the ability to dominate any matchup. If he pulls through, he will advocate hardware.
Payton Wilgar, Bronco Nagurski/Butkus
It has been an unfortunate 2021 season for Payton Wilgar as he has struggled with injuries throughout the campaign. Now that he’s back, he expects to hit three-figure tackles this season and could be a big part of the defense that’s going to be a much better overall performer in 2022.
Biggest BYU football game on schedule for 2022
Never be afraid to give his team a challenge, Sataki has a tough schedule ahead of him with games against Baylor, Oregon, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Boise State. That’s before you also include some potentially tricky matchups at Liberty and Stanford and even the season opener against USF.
In this sense, welcome Baylor to Provo on September 10th is too massive to ignore. The Bears are one of the favorites to win the Big 12 this season, so a win in this matchup could not only send the Cougars a message to their future conference, but also set the stage for the future.
Many in the sport feel that the changes Baylor is going through are a little overlooked, and BYU can use their vast experience to counteract that. Additionally, if the Cougars start with a 2-0 win before going to Eugene, they’ll be in a far more advantageous position than a 1-2 start with dates against Notre Dame, Arkansas and Boise State still to come if they do want to have the chance of 10 wins again in the 2022 season.
BYU football best case scenario
Despite how good BYU can be, there’s no denying the tough schedule they’ve set themselves for this season. But if Hall is healthy and making a natural step forward in his second year as a starter while the defense also uses their experience to make a leap, then there’s undoubtedly a world where the Cougars are still thriving in this difficult one can navigate slab of slate.
We’re counting the opener at USF along with the games against Wyoming, Utah State, Liberty, East Carolina, Utah Tech and Stanford as wins simply because BYU looks far more talented and experienced than either of those teams. That brings us to seven wins if we look at what’s happening in the tougher parts of the schedule against Baylor, Oregon, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Boise State.
Even if the Cougars can be that good, I don’t see them doing better than 3-2 at this stretch, even at best, with losses in Oregon and against Notre Dame in Las Vegas on Oct. 8 most likely places where they are stalled. Even another one 10-2 The regular season is nothing for the Provo fan base to scoff at.
BYU football worst case scenario
The good news about the tough schedule is that, as mentioned, BYU football seems to have a number of games where they should punch their ticket for bowl eligibility pretty smoothly. This group of seven games, which we gave the Cougars best-case scenario, travels to the worst-case scenario, as things would have to get legitimately awful for this team to lose one of those games, to the point , when I really do it. don’t see it as realistic.
With that in mind, the five-game stretch against four Power 5 teams and Boise State is harder to navigate. At worst, I really think Sataki has done enough with this program to warrant believing that they won’t get carried away by this group, but a 1-4 run through this part of the schedule is far from out of the question. But if we’re talking about the worst-case scenario, they fall short in all of these games.
That would make BYU football stubborn 7-5 on the season, which for the worst-case scenario is still not that bad.
2022 BYU football season prediction
Looking at the best and worst case scenarios for this team, it’s only fair to say that the reality will lie somewhere in the middle.
It all boils down to the aforementioned five-game set for BYU, and I think they have a good advantage in some of those. Playing Baylor early in the season is an advantage for the Cougars, as is playing in Provo. I’ll give them victory over the Bears before losing in Oregon. I’m actually quite worried about Arkansas since their emphasis on offense in the trenches goes right against the Cougars’ biggest question mark, so I think the Razorbacks will get this matchup, as will Notre Dame in the Las Vegas game.
That brings us to Boise State, and clearly I think BYU is a better, more well-rounded team than the Broncos this season. So while the Cougars aren’t getting another 10-win regular season, I still have them at the end 9-3 with a chance to pick up a bowl win and then pull off a second straight 10-3 finish in a row.
BYU Football 2022 Bowl Match Prediction
College Football News has forecast the Cougars to play Appalachian State in a Group of 5 Titans clash at the Myrtle Beach Bowl. In the meantime, Sporting News’ Bill Bender predicts BYU will end up in the New Mexico Bowl in a fight against Colorado State.
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