Ravell Call
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake pumps his fist as he leaves the field for halftime during NCAA football against Northern Illinois in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

Kalani Sitake needs to close out BYU’s home season with a statement game against a New Mexico State team in which the Cougars are the heavy favorites.

The kickoff is late, it will be cold, it is Senior Night, BYU fans are beyond hungry and antsy for a more explosive display from Jeff Grimes' guys. Attendance is down, many are finding comfort at home more appealing than late starts in the stands. And Utah week is on the backburner.

Is it reasonable for this BYU squad to put up some numbers Saturday night? Yes. And, they should.

Freshman quarterback Zach Wilson has four starts under his belt and BYU’s pass efficiency with him at the helm during a somewhat easier schedule went from 115 to 146. Even though Squally Canada and Lopini Katoa have been nicked up, senior converted linebacker Matt Hadley has had some of the team’s biggest plays of the season.

Put it this way, the slow-starting Cougars really need to race out of the chute against the Aggies, score first and often, punt less, find chunk yards, and light up the scoreboard if for no other reason than to gain confidence for the trip to Rice-Eccles the following week.

Utah travels to Colorado in hopes of keeping designs on a Pac-12 South title alive. It is a contest between offenses that are middle of the pack in the league. The difference is Utah’s defense and kicker Matt Gay, who can make field goals from Lake Bonneville.

Utah should win this one. The only way Colorado wins is if quarterback Steven Montez has a career day.

Utah State plays at Colorado State in a matchup to discover if any Mountain West team can force Matt Wells to play his starters in the fourth quarter. That’s what it has come to.

Jordan Love is close to locking up Player of the Year honors and record keeping by USU’s sports information staff is causing tennis elbow and carpal tunnel.

This week’s picks:

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  • Michigan State 28, Nebraska 21: Huskers not tough enough.
  • Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 28: Golden Domers enjoying elite season.
  • West Virginia 38, Oklahoma State 31: Precision passing is the difference.
  • Purdue 28, Wisconsin 24: Boilermakers fight hard down to the wire.
  • Virginia 28, Georgia Tech 21: Bronco really has option attack nailed.
  • USC 27, UCLA 21: Trojans remain city’s big brother.
  • Utah State 49, Colorado State 24: Aggies continue MWC thrashing.
  • Stanford 31, California 28: Cardinal beef proves too much.
  • Texas 37, Iowa State 24: Longhorn coach ignores incendiary week of accusations.
  • Washington State 41, Arizona 24: Mike Leach calls in the bombs.
  • Utah 28, Colorado 17: Utah’s defense continues to impress.
  • Fresno State 28, San Diego State 14: Bulldogs prepare for title.
  • Arizona State 31, Oregon 28: Sun Devils smell a South title.
  • BYU 49, New Mexico State 17: Cougars must elevate the offense.

Last week 13 of 14; overall 107 of 151 (.709).