North Alabama (0-3) at No. 8 BYU (8-0), Saturday at 3 p.m. EST (ESPN3).
Line: BYU by 47 1/2.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The eighth-ranked Cougars had a week off to rest after a big win over then-ranked Boise State. Now they face a North Alabama team that’s winless in three games this season. BYU isn’t scheduled to play again until Dec. 12 against San Diego State. The Cougars might try to pick up another opponent, but this game could be a way to make another impression with the first College Football Playoff rankings. The Cougars could be in line for a New Year’s Six bowl matchup.
North Alabama has seven lettermen back on the defensive front. In addition, they added transfers Terrell Townsend (San Jose State), Mike Boykin (Tennessee State) and Dakari Bickham (UTEP). That’s going to come in handy trying to chase down BYU QB and Heisman Trophy hopeful Zach Wilson, who’s No. 4 in the country in both yards passing (2,512) and touchdown tosses (22).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
North Alabama: Junior offensive lineman Kedonis Haslam is the son of longtime NBA veteran Udonis Haslam.
BYU: WRs Gunner Romney and Dax Milne. Romney amassed 133 yards in a 51-17 win at Boise State, while Milne added 99 yards. Both are on the Biletnikoff Award watch list for the nation’s top receiver.
FACTS & FIGURES
This marks the first time North Alabama has faced BYU in any athletic event. … At 1,681 miles, it will be the sixth-longest football trip for the Lions. The farthest one was 2,454 miles when the team played Western Oregon in Monmouth during the 2015 season. … The Lions have yet to allow a score in the first quarter. … North Alabama boasts a 2-4 all-time record against FBS teams. … BYU will try to join the 2001, ’84 and ’79 teams that began 9-0. … BYU’s No. 8 ranking is the highest by the Cougars since the 2009 season, when they climbed to No. 7 in the AP poll. … Only family of the players and coaches will be allowed into LaVell Edwards Stadium this weekend due to COVID-19 restrictions. … The Cougars are the lone FBS team that’s ranked nationally in the top-10 in scoring offense, total offense, scoring defense and total defense.
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