The college football season is fastly approaching and it is time to bring back our “Crossing Enemy Lines” segment with team previews of all the teams that the Texas Longhorns will be playing this year. In this segment, we bring in Mitch Harper of LawlessRepublic.com, Fansided’s BYU website, to get his preview of the BYU Cougars.
Chris Flanagan: Who is BYU returning?
Mitch Harper: BYU returns a total of 12 starters on a team that finished 8-5 a year ago. Most notably, Senior Outside Linebacker, Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy, was a leader of a defense that finished third in overall team defense from a year ago. Van Noy is considered a potential 1st round NFL Draft pick in next April’s draft.
Senior Safety, Daniel Sorensen is another player that returns. One of the hardest hitting safeties out west, Sorensen will lay the lumber on opponents.
Going over to the offensive side of the ball, Senior Wide Receiver Cody Hoffman is receiving all the pre-season accolades for an offense that has Robert Anae returning as Offensive Coordinator (at Arizona past two seasons as OL coach). Hoffman, is close to cracking the top 20 of all-time NCAA leaders in receptions. He has caught a lot of passes despite inconsistent quarterback play. To heal the QB troubles, BYU is looking to Sophomore Taysom Hill to bring the level of Quarterback play Cougar fans are used to seeing. Hill started in two games last season but his season was cut short after blowing out his ACL against Utah State.
CF: What do BYU fans think about their chances against Texas?
MH: Many BYU fans feel the Cougars let one slip away in 2011, falling to the Horns 17-16. Revenge is on the mind out here. Folks look at Texas right now and think of the recent struggles, particularly on defense, and see it as a victory in Provo. Those same folks don’t realize Texas is one of the most experienced teams in all of College Football this year.
Both offenses are trying to bring an up-tempo attack that gets off 70, 80, or even 90 plays in a game, so I would expect an exciting ball game but a close one.
CF: What is the atmosphere like at BYU football games?
MH: This is something over at LawlessRepublic.com we have been very passionate about. For years, many BYU fans just showed up to the game at kickoff and then left a couple minutes early to beat the traffic. We wanted to make a change.
Now, BYU has designated tailgating lots. Seems crazy to think this is a big news story, but there was nothing for Cougar fans to mix it up and mingle. Any Longhorn fans that want to visit our Lawless Republic tailgate feel free to stop by. We will treat you great.
Also, a great pre-game tradition for visiting fans at BYU is that you can take a tour of the LaVell Edwards Stadium press box. Just make sure to speak with one of the event staff and they will give you the tour. Wear your burnt orange and you will be treated great.
During the game, the setting is beautiful. Nestled up against the Wasatch Mountains, there isn’t many settings in College Football more scenic than a game at BYU. For those of you making the trip to Provo, you will enjoy your time here. The fans are loud, but respectful.
Looking forward to a great game between two storied programs! Its been 25 years since Texas last visited Provo, so we can’t wait.