Here is Jared Lloyd’s look at the BYU-North Alabama matchups, including his prediction for the final score for Saturday’s game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo:
BYU offense vs. North Alabama defense
The Cougars are nearly seven touchdown favorites but this Lion defense has actually been decent during its three games. Don't be surprised if BYU has a couple of fruitless drives before figuring out what North Alabama is doing and pouring on the points.
BYU defense vs. North Alabama offense
The Cougar defense might not get the same attention as the offense but it has been a really good year on that side of the ball as well. This contest will likely follow the same script as other games with BYU stuffing the Lions for much of the game before North Alabama has a little bit of success against the reserves.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and his staff have made it clear that they expect their players to perform at a high level, regardless of the competition. Chris Willis is in his fourth year at North Alabama and has been solid, but this is the first chance for his team to make an impact on the FBS level.
North Alabama is on the road but BYU has said that only family of players and coaches will be allowed to watch the game, so it won't be a huge crowd. The cool weather will likely favor the Cougars, although the afternoon start time should mitigate that somewhat.
Key Matchup: BYU vs. itself
The Lions haven't won a game this season. If the Cougars do what they are supposed to do, they win easily. But if BYU makes a lot of mistakes and gives North Alabama hope, things could get dicey — at least for a little while.
North Alabama is going to come in fired up to show what they can do against a Top 10 opponent and the Lion defense is going to make a few nice plays. Then BYU will get in a groove, score touchdowns on five or six straight possessions while getting defensive stops and start putting in younger players to get more experience.
BYU 49, North Alabama 3