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Ravell Call
BYU players warm up before facing Boise State in NCAA football in Boise on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018.

THE BASICS

BYU (6-6) vs. Western Michigan (7-5)

  • Kickoff: Friday, 2 p.m., MST
  • Venue: Albertsons Stadium (36,387)
  • Surface: Blue Field Turf
  • TV: ESPN
  • Livestream: ESPN.com
  • Radio: KSL 1160AM/102.7 FM
  • Series: BYU leads, 3-2.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 30s.

THE STAKES

  • For Western Michigan … The Broncos are looking to finish with an eight-win season.
  • For BYU … The Cougars need a victory Friday to secure a winning season. A loss would give BYU back-to-back losing seasons.

THE TRENDS

  • For Western Michigan … The Broncos are 1-7 all-time in bowl games. Their only victory came against Middle Tennessee in the 2015 Bahamas Bowl.
  • For BYU … The Cougars are 0-1 this season against Mid-American Conference opponents, having fallen to Northern Illinois at home in October.

THE CRYSTAL BALL

  • For Western Michigan … The Broncos are riding the momentum of a victory over Northern Illinois in their regular-season finale that saw the defense play well under an interim defensive coordinator. Can Western Michigan stymie BYU like NIU did?
  • For BYU … If the Cougars can play for 60 minutes like they did in the first half against Utah, it could be a good day for BYU.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mike Krebs | MLive.com
In this Oct. 6, 2018 photo Western Michigan Broncos running back LeVante Bellamy (2) runs the ball during an NCAA college football game against Eastern Michigan at Waldo Stadium, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan faces BYU in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Bellamy has averaged 97.7 yards per game and finished the regular season with 1,172 yards rushing. (Mike Krebs/Muskegon Chronicle via AP)

Levante Bellamy, Western Michigan running back: The junior has rushed 190 times for 1,172 yards and six touchdowns this season. He'll face a BYU defense playing without Corbin and Isaiah Kaufusi.

Zach Wilson, BYU quarterback: The freshman has completed 102 of 164 passes for 1,261 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions in eight games this season, including six starts. He'll be looking to make plays with his arm and his feet.

KEY MATCHUP

BYU’s running backs vs. the Western Michigan front seven: The Cougars will likely need to run the ball effectively to give themselves a chance to win. But injuries have left BYU shorthanded. Matt Hadley won't play due to injury. Will Squally Canada or Lopini Katoa, who have dealt with injuries, be available? Will they be able to pick up yardage consistently on the ground?

QUOTABLE

"Offensively, they have a freshman quarterback like us, and they're figuring out who they are on offense. We know they're huge up front and are going to run inside zone and pin-and-pull and take shots on us. They haven't gotten in rhythm a ton, but when they get in rhythm, they have talent.”

— Western Michigan coach Tim Lester

“They’re a well-coached team. They’re tough. It’s going to be a good battle. I’m expecting a physical game. We have to match their physicality. Our guys are ready for the challenge.”

— BYU coach Kalani Sitake

NEXT UP

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BYU opens the 2019 season on Aug. 29 in Provo against Utah. Western Michigan kicks of the 2019 campaign at home against Monmouth.

BYU SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 1 — BYU 28, Arizona 23
  • Sept. 8 — California 21, BYU 18
  • Sept. 15 — BYU 24, Wisconsin 21
  • Sept. 22 — BYU 30, McNeese State 3
  • Sept. 29 —Washington 35, BYU 7
  • Oct. 5 — Utah State 45, BYU 20
  • Oct. 13 — BYU 49, Hawaii 23
  • Oct. 27 — Northern Illinois 7, BYU 6
  • Nov. 3 — Boise State 21, BYU 16
  • Nov. 10 — BYU 35, UMass 16
  • Nov. 17 — BYU 45, New Mexico State 10
  • Nov. 24 — Utah 35, BYU 27
  • Dec. 21 — BYU vs. Western Michigan (2 p.m., MST, ESPN)