Top 25 teams and games — No. 18 BYU Cougars

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 13, 2008 at 12:11 a.m.

No. 18 BYU

The buzz: BYU enters the 2008 season with its eye on a potential BCS bowl game berth. The Cougars enter the season with confidence, having won 10 straight including a Las Vegas Bowl win over UCLA. They have most of their offensive stars back as well as All-American candidate Jan Jorgensen at defensive end.

Difference-maker: Junior defensive end Jan Jorgensen led the MWC and ranked 12th nationally with 20 tackles for a combined loss of 115 yards last season. He also led the MWC with 14 sacks and is on several preseason watch lists including the Lott Trophy.

The upside: The Cougars will return junior quarterback Max Hall, an Arizona State transfer who threw for 3,848 yards and 26 touchdowns a year ago as well as leading rusher Harvey Unga, who rushed for 1,227 yards and 13 TDs last year as a freshman.

The downside: The Cougars will be shuffling their linebackers to replace Kelly Poppinga and Bryan Kehl. Poppinga and Kehl were the Cougars top two tacklers a year ago with 113 and 91 tackles, respectively.

Schedule factor: BYU shouldn't have many problems with a relatively light MWC schedule. However, nonconference games at Washington (Sept. 6) and at home against UCLA (Sept. 13) should provide the Cougars with a challenge.

Game No. 18 Missouri at Texas

Where: Texas Memorial Stadium

When: Oct. 18

Why it's sexy: Features two of college football's most recognizable quarterbacks in Missouri's Chase Daniel and Texas' Colt McCoy.

Preseason buzz: Will Muschamp had plenty of success slowly down offenses in the SEC. Now, Texas' new defensive coordinator will get a chance to try to stop one of the Big 12's top offenses in Missouri. The game comes a tough time for Texas one week after it hosts Oklahoma.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top