West Virginia and BYU play Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field, the Landover, Md., home of the Washington NFL franchise. It's a unique neutral site game, as it's only sort of close to West Virginia and isn't anywhere between BYU and WVU's campuses. But the game makes good sense for both programs.
BYU, the country's largest Mormon university, has scores of alumni around the Washington area. This game is a chance for the Cougars to play in front of lots of those people, and it's also a shot at a Big 12 opponent just as the Cougars vie for inclusion in potential Big 12 expansion. West Virginia can struggle to attract good opponents to play road games in Morgantown, but neutral sites have proven to be a happy medium. So here we are, with a game that fits for both teams.
The action on the field should be entertaining. BYU and West Virginia are similarly talented teams, both somewhere around the top 40 nationally. This should be competitive, and it could turn out to be a good bit of fun.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. The broadcasters are Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer and Paul Carcaterra.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: West Virginia opened as a 3.5-point favorite, and that spread has grown wider.
Three big things to know
1. Taysom Hill needs to get better. The senior BYU quarterback hasn't been sharp in the Cougars' 1-2 start, and sophomore Tanner Mangum is eagerly sitting behind him. Hill has thrown four interceptions against two touchdowns so far, with pedestrian accuracy and yardage numbers to boot. Kalani Sitake didn't fault Hill for the BYU offense's struggles last week against UCLA, but it's worth wondering how much breathing room Hill will get.
2. West Virginia could give itself a real boost. The Mountaineers would enter Big 12 play undefeated with a win, and their conference schedule, while difficult, sets up nicely. Kansas State and Texas Tech are the Eers' next two opponents, and both are beatable. They play none of Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor before mid-November, and every week until then is a chance to pile up wins. This could snowball, in a good way, if WVU can win this week.
3. This is the schools' all-time first meeting in football. That's pretty cool, given that West Virginia's been doing this since 1891 and BYU since 1922. It's possible, of course, that this is the first of many.