The BYU Cougars will take on the UAB Blazers in the Independence Bowl. With DeWayne McBride ruled out due to injury, will UAB be able to sustain success on the ground and cover at the NCAAF odds?
UAB Blazers vs. Brigham Young Cougars
Saturday, December 18, 2021 – 03:30 PM EST at Independence Stadium
After winning three of their last four games, the UAB Blazers finished the regular season with an 8-4 record. That earned them a bowl appearance in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl against the BYU Cougars.
BYU put together an extremely solid season, winning 10 games and finishing the regular season with 5 straight wins. The only losses for BYU were against quality teams like Baylor and Boise State.
On the season, BYU averaged 33.5 points per game while allowing 24.3 points per game. The Cougars averaged over 450 yards of offense per game and allowed under 400 yards per game.
Quarterback Jaren Hall did a fine job under center as a sophomore, throwing for 20 touchdowns while limiting interceptions to just five on the season.
The offense has terrific playmakers and an offensive line that can really put in work to protect Hall. Not only did Hall have time to make solid decisions, but running back Tyler Allgeier finished the regular season with 1,414 yards on 249 carries. He also scored 20 touchdowns on the year.
Defensively, there are ways to beat BYU. The rushing defense allowed 151.6 yards per game on the ground and the pass rush was also a bit ineffective at times.
However, UAB is the exact opposite of BYU. Despite scoring 29.4 points per game, it’s the defense that has been the Blazers’ top unit this season. The defense allowed just 323.1 yards per game while allowing just 104.1 yards rushing this season.
The offense, on the other hand, averaged 384.3 yards per game this season and still found a way to score nearly 30 points per game. The defense gave UAB great field position plenty of times this year.
The passing game has been weak behind Dylan Hopkins. The junior threw for 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on the year. However, the offensive line has played well enough and has really helped out in the run game. The Blazers averaged 176.6 yards per game on the ground and should be able to find room against BYU’s shaky rushing defense in this game.
Therefore, I’ll ride with UAB and the points at the college football picks. UAB’s defense has been sensational this year and if they’re able to hold Allgeier to below-average numbers, the defense should have success.
Meanwhile, the only way to beat BYU on the defensive end is to run the football. I know DeWayne McBride will be out after rushing for 12 touchdowns this season but it’s the next man up.
As long as the offensive line continues to put in work and open up wholes, UAB should find success rushing the football. Give me UAB +6.5 here at one of BMR's best sportsbooks.
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