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Wednesday January 26th, 2022 6:35AM

No. 14 BYU hopes to avoid letdown versus Georgia Southern

By The Associated Press
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No. 14 BYU (8-2, No. 14 CFP) at Georgia Southern (3-7), Saturday at 4 p.m. EST (ESPN+).

Line: BYU by 19 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Cougars were off last week and have won three straight. BYU is 16-4 under coach Kalani Sitake when playing as a ranked team. The Eagles have faced two ranked teams already this season, losing to No. 20 Arkansas and No. 21 Coastal Carolina. The Cougars are the highest-ranked FBS team to visit Allen Paulson Stadium, surpassing CCU from two weeks ago.

KEY MATCHUP

Cougars QB Jaren Hall versus the Georgia Southern secondary. Hall has passed for 1,995 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has a passer efficiency rating of 155.91. The Eagles’ pass defense ranks 126th in passing yards allowed and the Georgia Southern defense ranks 75th in third-down percentage.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BYU: RB Tyler Allgeier ranks No. 7 nationally with 1,162 yards rushing and is tied for the national lead with 17 touchdowns. Dating to Furman in 2013, Georgia Southern has lost its last 28 games when being outrushed.

Georgia Southern: RB Logan Wright leads the Eagles with 716 yards rushing, 5.9 per attempt and has broken off 13 runs of 25 or more yards.

FACTS & FIGURES

BYU ranks No. 15 in the nation with 12 interceptions this season. After Malik Moore’s three picks, Payton WiIgar has added two interceptions, including one against Virginia. Drew Jensen had his first pick of the year and second of his career vs. Virginia. ... After giving up 23 passing touchdowns in the first seven games of the season, the Eagles’ defense has allowed just one over the past three games. ... Georgia Southern has played eight previous game against ranked opponents as a member of the FBS, winning against Appalachian State in 2018 and 2019. ... The Eagles have five players who have started at least 14 games in a row: offensive guard Aaron Dowdell (23), center Logan Langemeier (23), safety Anthony Wilson (21), defensive end Justin Ellis (14) and outside linebacker Benz Josue (14).

___

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