Saturday’s game is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m. Fans can watch the game live on ESPN.
Ahead of this Big 12 showdown, here are four things for fans to know ahead of the kickoff.
1. Both were defeated last week
Both BYU and Iowa State will enter Saturday with a chip on their shoulders. Each team is looking to bounce back from a defeat last week.
“We are obviously disappointed in the way we played last weekend at West Virginia, so ready to get back at it,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake in his weekly press conference. “The guys played hard, but not hard or physical enough as a team to match West Virginia’s aggressive play. We need to have that fixed by the time we hit the field Saturday night. We saw a lot of errors and a lot of things that need to be improved on, but excited for this week and getting after it.”
It will not be easy for BYU to snap their two-game losing streak on Saturday.
“Iowa State is a really good team,” Sitake said. “The Cyclones are coached well, and are known for their toughness, and I am looking forward to getting our guys to answer.”
For the Cyclones, they enter with an identical 5-4, however, their 4-2 record in conference play keeps their hopes of playing in a Big 12 championship game alive. Iowa State will be looking to return to their winning ways after being defeated 28-21 at home against the Kansas University Jayhawks on Nov. 4.
“I think there is always pressure in our sport and I think the success you have, it becomes a little bit of a privilege,” said Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell in his weekly press conference. “But man, I think our kids fully understand the value of one day at a time, you know, continue to grow forward.”
Campbell and the Cyclones are excited for the opportunity that they have to face BYU on Saturday.
“There’s so much history and prestige at BYU,” Campbell said. “I think we are all just really honored and excited to be able to go play in this venue and against this opponent … We know we will get their best shot and how they play the game, it is going to be a great opportunity, but a great challenge for this team.”
2. Retzlaff is BYU quarterback
BYU will once again turn to Jake Retzlaff as quarterback. Starting quarterback Kedon Slovis remains unavailable due to injury.
“It was cool to be able to watch him (Retzlaff) do what he does, be able to use his legs and extend plays, scramble and throw the ball on the run,” said BYU wide receiver Parker Kingston. “He is a great player and it was great to watch him do what he loves to do.”
Against the Mountaineers, Retzlaff completed 24/42 passes for 210 yards and no interceptions.
“I think as the game went on, his (Retzlaff’s) confidence continued to grow,” Campbell said. “I thought by the fourth quarter he started to settle in and really look good.”
3. Both are ranked in the top 50
Both BYU and Iowa State ranked in the FBS top 50 for defensive takeaways this season.
The Cougars’ 18 forced turnovers have them tied for tenth in the FBS with six fumble recoveries and 12 interceptions.
“I really think it starts with their defensive front,” Campbell said. “They have great size, great length, man, they are physical at the point of attack, and then I think it trickles down to the second level.”
The Cyclones’ defense has managed to force 14 turnovers, one fumble and 13 interceptions, leaving them tied for 44 in the FBS.
“They have a great corner, and they are definitely the conference’s best defense for a reason,” Sitake said.
4. They each need one more win
The Cougars and Cyclones both entered the week with five wins, meaning that Saturday’s prevailing team will become eligible to be selected for a postseason bowl game.
A win on Saturday will mean that BYU will return to a postseason bowl game for the 39 time overall and the first time since 2020 when they lost to the University of Central Florida Knights in the Roof Claim Boca Raton Bowl.
“There’s a ton of urgency, especially coming back home against a good appointment. We are super urgent and eager to get to practice,” said Cougars linebacker AJ Vongphachanh. “I’ve been to a bowl game every year that I’ve played except for that COVID year. There is definitely a huge difference between making a bowl game and not making a bowl game. We’re one game away and we’re eager to get that sixth win this week.”
“I think it (making a bowl game) is another huge milestone forward,” Campbell said. “There is all these little milestones along the way that are just great milestones for any football program that you want to be able to celebrate, that doesn’t define success at the end of the year or failure, but it certainly gives you a guidance on who you are and where you’re going.”