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How and what to watch for BYU vs. Navy

The best game of college football’s opening weekend features a major contrast in styles of play with BYU and Navy.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the best game of college football’s shortened opening weekend will take place on Labor Day as the BYU Cougars are set to travel and take on the Navy Midshipmen.

Navy is going into 2020 without its best player from last season in Malcolm Perry, who set an FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 2,017 yards in 2019. Senior Dalen Morris appears to be the starter to take over for Perry, beating out sophomore Perry Olsen for the quarterback position.

Viewers will see quite the contrast in offensive style between Navy’s triple-option attack and BYU’s wide-open offense.

Zach Wilson was named the starting quarterback for BYU as he returns for his junior season. Wilson missed four games in 2019 with a fractured thumb but still threw for 2,382 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was able to beat out Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney during fall camp.

Operating as an independent, BYU lost a big chunk of its 2020 schedule but was able to quickly put together an eight-game slate.

Injury Report

BYU tight end Matt Bushman, who considered entering the NFL Draft after last season, suffered a season-ending injury during practice on Monday.

BYU running back Sione Finau is still waiting to be medically cleared to practice recovering from an ACL tear.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Monday night’s game will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland and can be seen on ESPN.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: BYU (-2) vs. Navy
Point Total: O/U 52.5 (-110)
Money line: BYU (-124), Navy (+102)

  • BYU finished 0-5 against the spread in its last five games in 2019.
  • BYU is 0-5 against the spread in its last five games on the road.
  • Navy is 9-1 straight up in its last 10 games.
  • Navy is 7-0 straight up in its last seven games.

The Best Bet

These are two evenly matched teams and in game that’s projected to be this close, let’s side with the home team. As special as Malcolm Perry was for Navy, the Midshipmen should be OK offensively turning to a senior quarterback on Monday night. It’s not too bold of a statement considering it’s only a two-point spread, but Navy is going to start out its season with a victory as the home underdog.

Pick: Navy +2

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