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JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
Virginia quarterback David Watford hands off the ball during preseason practice in Charlottesville.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Brigham Young vs. Virginia
3:30 P.M. SATURDAY | ESPNU | SCOTT STADIUM, CHARLOTTESVILLE
OFFENSE: EDGE COUGARS
After winning the starting job in the first month of the season last year, then-true freshman BYU quarterback Taysom Hill suffered a season-ending knee injury. Today he'll be looking for 6-foot-4 senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who enters the season with 203 career receptions, including 100 in 2012. Hoffman has had double-figure TD receptions in back-to-back years. Jamaal Williams rushed for 775 yards in 2012 as a freshman.
DEFENSE: EDGE COUGARS
The Cougars ranked third nationally in total defense. That unit is headed by Kyle Van Noy, a 6-3, 245-pound senior LB who is on seven national award watch lists. Van Noy had 13 sacks last year but the Cougars clearly are also imposing against the run. Only Notre Dame rushed for more than 120 yards against BYU last season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: EDGE COUGARS
BYU ranked second nationally in net punting but will have a new punter. The Cougars blocked six kicks, as opposed to UVa, which blocked just one extra point. J.D. Falsley had punt returns of 44, 43 and 42 yards at Georgia Tech, while UVa's longest punt return all season was for 25 yards. UVa brought in ex-Division I head coach Larry Lewis to head that unit.
INTANGIBLES: EDGE CAVALIERS
Pick any statistic and BYU's 2012 performance in that category was off the charts. Maybe the Cougars' most impressive win was a 41-17 romp at Georgia Tech, on the same field where the Yellow Jackets had hammered UVa six weeks earlier, 56-20. Otherwise, the Cougars were pretty average on the road, where they were 2-4. Other than Top 25 opponents Notre Dame and Boise State, the schedule was not overly challenging.
PREDICTION: Brigham Young 17, Virginia 13
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