Skip to main content

BYU Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2022

Jaren Hall, BYU Cougars Football

Jaren Hall and the Cougars have their sights set on a third straight 10-win season as they play their last year as an FBS Independent before joining the Big 12 in 2024.

Back-to-back 10-win seasons and AP Top 25 finishes have elevated expectations for BYU in its final season as an FBS Independent. The Cougars did not take a step back last year like some experts figured would happen with Zach Wilson heading to the New York Jets. Jaren Hall stepped in at quarterback and BYU flourished. The Cougars went 6-1 against Power 5 opponents, highlighted by a victory over eventual Pac-12 champion Utah.

BYU returns several key playmakers on both sides of the ball. Hall, a junior, enters his fifth season in the program. His top targets Gunner Romney, Puka Nacua, and Isaac Rex are all back. California graduate transfer Christopher Brooks is Tyler Allgeier's successor in the backfield after leading the Bears in rushing two of the past three seasons. Ten starters return on defense and many of their backups played tons of meaningful snaps a year ago. The ingredients are there to build on what BYU accomplished over the previous two seasons.

Related: BYU Football 2022 Season Preview and Prediction

Can BYU mirror the quick starts of the past two seasons and make serious noise nationally before heading off to the Big 12 in 2023? Some experts at Athlon Sports picked every game on the Cougars' 2022 football schedule.

BYU Football Game-by-Game Predictions for 2022

Steven LassanMark RossJohn Coon

at USF

BYU

BYU

BYU

Baylor

Baylor

Baylor

BYU

at Oregon

Oregon

Oregon

BYU

Wyoming

BYU

BYU

BYU

Utah State

BYU

BYU

BYU

vs. Notre Dame (Las Vegas)

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Arkansas

Arkansas

Arkansas

Arkansas

at Liberty

BYU

BYU

BYU

East Carolina

BYU

BYU

BYU

at Boise State

BYU

BYU

Boise State

Utah Tech

BYU

BYU

BYU

at Stanford

BYU

BYU

BYU

Final Record

8-4

8-4

9-3

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
BYU has won double-digit games and posted a 21-4 mark over the last two years, so projecting anything under 10 wins seems like a risky move. However, the schedule is not kind to the Cougars in their final year as an FBS Independent. Matchups against Baylor, Oregon (road), Arkansas and Notre Dame (Las Vegas) are against projected top-25 teams and that doesn’t include road dates at Boise State or Stanford.

The strength of BYU’s team should be its offense once again. Quarterback Jaren Hall is a rising star, there are weapons on the outside with Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua, and the offensive line is among the best in college football. Although scoring points won’t be an issue, the Cougars have to play better on defense after giving up 24.7 points a game and struggling to stop the run at times. Better luck in the health department would certainly help this unit take a step forward in ’22 after linebackers Keenan Pili and Payton Wilgar missed time last year due to injury.

I think the Cougars are probably closer to a 9-3 team, so 8-4 is underselling coach Kalani Sitake’s team a bit. Anything from 8-4 to 10-2 seems within reach for BYU in ’22.

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
BYU is on the verge of joining the Big 12 and the move is coming at a good time. Kalani Sitake has turned the Cougars into a consistent winner and that should continue in 2022. But it's a little much to expect this team to win 10 games, not playing a schedule that features four Power 5 teams and Notre Dame. The rest of the slate sets up very nicely but barring a couple of upsets, BYU is probably looking at eight or nine wins, putting them on the fringe of the Top 25. Not a bad way to end your independence.

John Coon (@johncoonsports)
BYU's football program is trending in the right direction as the Cougars move into the Big 12. Kalani Sitake has re-established a winning culture in Provo. The players have a relentless work ethic that shows on the field and it has helped BYU rise from a perennial seven- or eight-win squad to a legitimate Top-25-level team. Can BYU sustain the successes of the past two seasons? So much hinges on Hall's health. When he is at full strength, Hall is a game-changing QB who makes the Cougar offense so difficult to defend. But injuries have afflicted Hall in his four previous seasons with the Cougars and they are much more ordinary when he isn't behind center. BYU should see an improved run defense with linebackers Keenan Pili and Payton Wilgar back from season-ending injuries. If the Cougars stay healthy, there's no reason to believe they can't push for a third consecutive 10-win season and Top 25 finish. The schedule will be challenging with home games against Baylor, Arkansas, and Utah State, a neutral-site matchup with Notre Dame, and a road tilt at Oregon. But BYU proved it could go toe-to-toe with P5 opponents last season, so don't be surprised if the Cougars pull off an early upset or two and enter their new conference with massive momentum next season.

Podcast: Preseason Awards, QBs on the Rebound, Fall Practice Notes and the Latest on QB Battles