Reeling BYU faces uphill climb against No. 14 Oklahoma

No. 14 Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, No. 14 CFP) at BYU (5-5, 2-5), Saturday, 10:15 p.m. EST (ESPN).

Line: Oklahoma by 24 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: BYU leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

No. 14 Oklahoma is still alive to reach one last Big 12 title game and needs to take care of business with BYU to get there. BYU has lost three straight games and faces an uphill climb to bowl eligibility. The Cougars need an upset win this week or next week to get to the six-win threshold.

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma will be salivating at the chance to run the ball against BYU. The Cougars have surrendered 754 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground over their last three games and have held just one Big 12 opponent under 150 rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Sooners have rushed for at least 200 yards in three of their last five games while averaging 4.9 yards per carry or better in each contest.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oklahoma: When QB Dillon Gabriel last faced BYU in the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl, his UCF squad was blown out by the Cougars. Gabriel now has a chance to exact revenge. He accounted for a school-record eight touchdowns against West Virginia while throwing for a season-high 423 yards. It was Gabriel’s second 400-yard game of the season.

BYU: If the Cougars have any hope of ending their skid, running backs LJ Martin and Aidan Robbins need to be consistent in piling up yards on running plays. Martin and Robbins combined for 114 yards on 18 carries against Iowa State. BYU is 4-0 this season when Martin rushes for at least 60 yards.

FACTS & FIGURES

Oklahoma is the only FBS team to score at least 59 points in three games this season. … BYU is 7-10 against AP Top 25 opponents under Kalani Sitake. … Gabriel ranks fourth nationally in total offense with 340.6 yards per game. … Cougars TE Isaac Rex holds the school record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end with 23 touchdowns. … Oklahoma WR Nic Anderson leads the Big 12 in yards per catch (25.7) and has scored eight touchdowns on 24 receptions this season. … BYU is averaging only 42 penalty yards per game, ranking 20th nationally. … The Sooners have allowed an offensive touchdown in just 14 of 40 quarters so far.

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