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BYU football: What to watch for against the University of Idaho

Published: Saturday, Nov. 10 2012 9:00 a.m. MST

Taysom Hill, second from left, of the Brigham Young Cougars celebrates scoring BYU's only touchdown during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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THE STAKES

For Idaho -- The beleaguered Vandals are looking for a big upset on the road under 33-year-old interim head coach Jason Gesser.

For BYU -- The Cougars need one more win to become bowl-eligible, and they can do it on Senior Night in their home finale.

THE TRENDS

For Idaho -- The Vandals have more turnovers of any FBS team with 27. They are 0-5 on the road, having lost those games by an average of 39.2 points.

For BYU -- The Cougars are 8-1 under coach Bronco Mendenhall after a bye week.

THE EDGE

Idaho will win if the Vandals can force a flurry of turnovers, seize an advantage in the field position battle, and score touchdowns.

BYU will win if the Cougar defense plays like it has all year and the offense can run and pass the ball in inclement weather.

PLAYER TO WATCH

JAMAAL WILLIAMS, BYU: The phenom freshman running back has rushed for a team-high 516 yards and he could have a lot of carries against Idaho.

KEY MATCHUP

BYU'S DEFENSIVE SECONDARY vs. IDAHO QUARTERBACK LOGAN BUSHNELL: The Cougars announced Thursday that starting safety Joe Sampson has been suspended and has withdrawn from school, making BYU thin at that position. It will face a senior QB, Bushnell, who struggled last week against San Jose State.

INJURY REPORT

Idaho: TE Taylor Elmo, who has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury, is under indefinite suspension for an inflammatory tweet he sent on Twitter after coach Robb Akey was fired last week. RT Jordan Johnson (knee) is questionable.

BYU: Center Braden Hansen (abductor) is not expected to play until next week.

NEXT UP

Idaho hosts Texas-San Antonio, while BYU visits San Jose State (8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2)

SCHEDULE

(All times Mountain)

Aug. 30 BYU 30, Washington State 6

Sept. 8 BYU 45, Weber State 13

Sept. 15 Utah 24, BYU 21

Sept. 20 Boise State 7, BYU 6

Sept. 28 BYU 47, Hawaii 0 (8:15 p.m., ESPN)

Oct. 5 BYU 6, Utah State 3

Oct. 13 Oregon State 42, BYU 24

Oct. 20 Notre Dame 17, BYU 14

Oct. 27 BYU 41, Georgia Tech 17

Nov. 10 vs. Idaho (8:15 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

Nov. 17 at San Jose State (8:30 p.m., MT, ESPNU/ESPN2)

Nov. 24 at New Mexico State (1:30 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

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