The return of Bronco Mendenhall. Yes, there are some players on the team who were recruited by Bronco Mendenhall, but most of the Mendenhall footprint has left Provo. While fans were upset about his departure, they didn’t feel abandoned. One would think this game has a lot of rivalry feel to it, but it likely won’t be much more than another P5 game.
The one sense of rivalry this game will have is pride. The last thing Mendenhall wants to do is come into Provo and lose to his former team. BYU on the other hand wants to show that they are 100% past Bronco and while grateful for what he did, they are in a better place now.
This game will be a very high scoring affair. With both offenses being explosive, the winner will likely come down to who can win in the game of inches. Fourth down conversions, key first downs, downing punts inside the five yard line, and other aspects of the game that often get overlooked will likely decide the winner.
While pretty evenly matched, the Cougars pull off the win here, in large part to elevation and the home crowd.
Prediction: BYU 49 Virginia 38
Ranking Range: 19 – 23