BYU Football: Sustaining Drives and two more keys to beating Northern Illinois

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

BYU Football faces Northern Illinois and their tough defense on Saturday afternoon, and the Cougars need to do three things to halt the Huskies.

It’s been 14 long days without a BYU Football game, but that’s finally at an end. The Cougars will host Northern Illinois for their third and final home game in October.

The Cougars and Huskies enter with identical 4-3 records, and they mirror each other in other ways as well, including good defenses and shaky offenses.

If BYU wins this weekend they’ll have already exceeded their win total from last year and be one win away from bowl eligibility. If they lose the margin of error for making a bowl game becomes razor-thin.

This is one of those times that home field advantage may be the biggest difference maker, although LaVell Edwards Stadium hasn’t exactly been a Cougar fortress for the last couple of years 4-6 in 2017 and 2018).

If the Cougars are going to knock off the Huskies and earn their fifth win of the season, there’s three things they’re going to need to do particularly well:

1 – Sustain Drives

Northern Illinois is a good defensive team, especially against the run. They only allow 115.1 points per game, which is 20th best in the nation.

Because the Husky defense is good, BYU can’t afford to shoot themselves in the foot like they have so often this year. Points will be at a premium in this game, and if the Cougars turn the ball over or stall drives through dropped passes, missed assignments, or penalties they may not reach double-digits on the scoreboard.

BYU did a much better job of avoiding those miscues against Hawaii, and they have to carry that over into this weekend.