A new, fast-paced offense, along with the shallow secondary and the outstanding linebacker corps, will make for some interesting storylines going into the game.
Taysom Hill will start for the Cougs under center, and we will see plenty of options in the rushing game, from Jamaal Williams to Algernon Brown. The receivers have plenty of depth also, and if the passing game gets rolling, it could be a really fun game to watch.
Kyle Van Noy will lead the Cougar defense against young, inexperienced quarterback David Watford, and if he can receive sufficient help from the rest of the unit (especially the secondary), the defense will not fall much from last year's elite level.
The offense will come out of the gates a little bit rusty, as it is still a work in progress. The defense will hold them in the game, but by the second quarter, Hill will be making big plays and the line will be opening holes.
With questionable depth at several positions on the field, no matter if BYU can run away with an early lead, we should see plenty of different players on the stat sheet.
PASSING STATS: 21-of-36, 178 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Taysom Hill: 20-of-33, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Ammon Olsen: 1-of-3, 7 yards, 0 TD
RUSHING STATS: 52 carries, 291 yards (5.59 average), 2 TD
Jamaal Williams: 18 carries, 113 yards, 1 TD
Michael Alisa: 11 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD
Adam Hine: 8 carries, 46 yards
Taysom Hill: 5 carries, 25 yards
Paul Lasike: 6 carries, 12 yards
Iona Pritchard: 4 carries, 10 yards
RECEIVING STATS: 21 catches, 178 yards, 2 TD
Cody Hoffman: 6 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD
Skyler Ridley: 4 catches, 43 yards
JD Falslev: 4 catches, 28 yards 1 TD
Ross Apo: 4 catches, 22 yards
Brett Thompson: 2 catches, 17 yards
Mitch Mathews: 1 catch, 12 yards
DEFENSIVE STATS: 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR, 7 points allowed
Justin Sorensen: 1-of-1, 29 yards
BYU's high-tempo offense will start a little bit shaky, but holes will start to open for the running backs as the game progresses.
We will see solid performances on the ground from several players, namely Jamaal Williams and Michael Alisa, which will lead to opportune plays through the air.
Taysom Hill may struggle with his accuracy—something that has nagged him throughout fall camp—but there is no shortage of options on the receiving end of his passes.
Cody Hoffman will likely be singled out by the defense, so we may not see as much of him as we have recently, but there are plenty of others that can make big plays.
Last year's third-ranked defense will come out strong against a solid UVA line, but inexperienced backfield. BYU's defensive line will likely lose the battle, at least early on, while Virginia will open Cavalier running holes. The linebackers will do their job in pass coverage, though, and come away with an interception.
In the end, it will be a close game, but BYU's offense will wear out the opposing defense by the fourth quarter. They will then break away with a substantial lead.
Football is almost here, and BYU should get a big win on the road this Saturday.