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Five things to know about BYU

Five things to know about BYU

BYU Washington St Football

BYU running back Tyler Allgeier carries the ball during the first half against Washington State on Oct. 23 in Pullman, Wash.

The Virginia football team heads West this weekend to face Brigham Young in Provo, Utah.

You’ve heard all the storylines about UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall’s return to his old stomping grounds, but there’s still plenty to examine about the Cougars and the game itself.

Here are five things to know about BYU ahead of Saturday night’s matchup at Lavell Edwards Stadium.

Season so far

The Cougars bring a 6-2 record into Saturday night’s matchup.

BYU got off to a strong start this season, winning five straight games, including a 26-17 victory over rival Utah. The Cougars suffered their first loss of the season on Oct. 9 at home against Boise State, then fell on the road at Baylor (38-24) the following week.

BYU got back on track last weekend with a narrow 21-19 win over Washington State in Pullman, Wash. After Saturday’s matchup with Virginia, the Cougars close out the regular season with games against Idaho State, Georgia Southern and USC.

Player to watch

Tyler Allgeier has been a workhorse back for BYU this season, averaging 21 carries per game. He had one of his best performances of the season last week against Washington State, racking up 191 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 32 carries.

Allgeier, who is 139 yards shy of reaching 1,000 yards rushing for the second consecutive season, has been a touchdown machine for BYU, reaching the end zone 11 times in eight games. Virginia’s defense, which is giving up nearly 200 rushing yards per game, will have its hands full trying to slow down Allgeier.

Back in the rankings

The Cougars returned to the AP Top 25 this week after their road win over Washington State. BYU dropped out of the poll for a week following its two-touchdown loss to Baylor, who is ranked No. 16 in this week’s AP Top 25 poll.

BYU cracked the top 10 in the AP poll earlier this season after starting 5-0, but back-to-back losses knocked the Cougars out of the poll for a week before their return to the rankings this week. The Cougars are 14-4 under current head coach Kalani Sitake when playing as a ranked team.

BYU will be the second ranked team Virginia has faced this season. The other was North Carolina, who was ranked No. 21 when it faced Virginia in Chapel Hill on Sept. 18. The Tar Heels won the game, 59-39.

Virginia has not beaten a ranked team on the road in a decade. The Wahoos’ last road victory against a ranked foe came in 2011 in a 14-13 win over then-No. 23 Florida State.

Power five success

BYU, which currently plays as an independent in football, has seven Power 5 opponents on its schedule this season.

In the five games they have played against Power 5 teams heading into Saturday’s matchup with Virginia, the Cougars have a 4-1 record, posting wins over Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Washington State. BYU’s lone Power 5 loss this season came against nationally ranked Baylor.

BYU will become a Power 5 program in 2023 when it joins the Big 12 Conference along with Cincinnati, Central Florida and Houston.

Working late

The Cougars are no strangers to late kickoffs.

Saturday’s matchup, which kicks off at 10:15 p.m. Eastern, will be the fifth game this season for BYU that kicks off later than 10 p.m. Eastern. The Cougars, who play in the Mountain Time zone, also had a game with in-state rival Utah State that kicked off at 9 p.m. Eastern.

BYU has thrived after dark, going 5-0 in night games this season.

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