BYU already was considered an underdog heading into its matchup Saturday (7:30 p.m. MT, ESPN) against No. 13 LSU before the game was moved from Houston’s NRG Stadium to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans because of Hurricane Harvey.
But the Vegas line and location don’t seem to matter much to the Cougars.
“It’s really the same kind of trip,” BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We are going to play an opponent in an unfamiliar place. It doesn’t matter to us.”
New Orleans is about a 90-minute drive from LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge, making what was already expected to be a largely pro-LSU crowd likely even larger.
The Cougars (1-0) are coming off a lackluster 20-6 win over Portland State last week. They’ll need to be much sharper offensively against the Tigers (0-0), who are 17-point favorites.
“This definitely wasn’t our best performance. It was a little too sloppy,” BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum — an Eagle High grad — told the Desert News after the Cougars’ season opener. “We had way too many penalties, shooting ourselves in the foot, especially on big plays. That’s something we don’t want to have happen. We have to get better than that.”
Idaho streaking into 2017
The Vandals won their final five games of the 2016 season, which ties for the 10th-longest active winning streak in the country.
A win over Sacramento State in the Kibbie Dome on Thursday (7 p.m. MT, Altitude) would give Idaho six consecutive wins for the first time since 1994.
Sacramento State is coming off a 2-9 season but returns 21 starters. The Hornets lost five of their final six games of 2016 and finished tied for second-to-last in the Big Sky standings.
Idaho States hopes to defy expectations
The Bengals finished last in the Big Sky preseason media and coaches’ polls, and ISU gets its first chance to quiet the doubters against Division II Western Oregon at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Holt Arena.
Rob Phenicie, the wide receivers coach last season, makes his head coaching debut for the Bengals against a Western Oregon squad that went 4-6 in 2016.
Idaho State was 2-9 last season for its 12th losing record in 13 years, but the Bengals are 20-1 against non-Division I teams over the last 20 years.
College of Idaho to face first D-I opponent
The Yotes (0-1) play their second road game of the season and first in history against a Division I opponent at Northern Colorado on Saturday (2:05 p.m., 99.1 FM) in Greeley, Colo.
It is the season opener for the Bears, who also host Idaho State on Sept. 23.