Nobody knows what college football will look like this fall, and the recent announcements by the Pac-12 and the Big Ten that they will play a conference-only schedule just messed things up big time.
College football programs across the country have been taking the first steps toward beginning fall camp sometime in late July or early August. In the meantime, the previews will just serve as a quick update to each of BYU’s 12 opponents scheduled for the 2020 season.
Head coach: Chris Willis (4th season)
Game Day: Saturday, Nov. 21 in Provo
Overall series: This is the first meeting between BYU and North Alabama.
Top players: Jr. WR Dexter Boykin, So. DB Gerrell Green 5-9, Jr. DL Jbril Glaze
The Lions were a member of NCAA Division II from 1972-2017 and had a lot of success, becoming the only team to ever win three straight DII titles (1993-1995). North Alabama has the distinction of being the last Division II to beat an FBS team, defeating Southwest Louisiana (now Louisiana) in 1997.
The Lions joined the FCS in 2018 as an independent and joined the Big South in 2019. North Alabama went 7-3 in its first season but just 4-7 last year, so Willis and his staff are in a bit of rebuilding mode. Zach Lisko and Tyler Rice will team up to share offensive coordinator duties and their first order of business is finding a quarterback to replace the graduated Christian Lopez, who was an All-Big South selection.
Pound your chest: Boykin had a stellar season in 2019, catching 38 passes for 704 yards and six touchdowns and he’ll be joined by dangerous kick returner Andre Little (43-650-4). In addition, kicker Joe Gurley made 14 of his 17 field goal attempts.
Needs work: The defense surrendered 40 points or more in four contests and gave up 33.6 points per game. Glaze is a load and Green is a rocket in the secondary, but a need to stop the run (206.9 per game) will be a point of emphasis. With Lopez (2,699 yards, 18 touchdowns) gone, jumbo-sized senior Blake Dever (6-3, 257), who played in five games last season, will get a long look at quarterback.
In the news: The Lions were one of the few college football programs to get in a spring game before the coronavirus shutdown and got 11 spring practices in the books. The White defeated the Purple 17-10 in March 6.