BYU vs. Arizona (Glendale)
Saturday, 7:30 pm PT - FS-1
CRIS Opener: Arizona pk O/U 63
CRIS Current: Arizona -1 O/U 60.5
Major changes going on at BYU with longtime head coach Bronco Mendenhall headed to Virginia and former Oregon State DC Kalani Sitake handed the reigns. Also new will be offensive coordinator TY Detmer who takes over for Robert Anae who followed Mendenhall to Charlottesville. Detmer has never coached at the collegiate level and plans to implement a more pro style approach compared to the spread, up-tempo attack ran under Anae. The move is interesting because it doesn't necessarily fit the skill set of veteran quarterback Taysom Hill who as we all know is ultra-dangerous using his feet. However, it may give Hill a better chance to stay healthy after missing time due to injury each of the last two seasons. Either way, the plan is to be more deliberate as stated by backup quarterback Koy Detmer Jr.
“Last year, we were trying to go real fast and catch the defense off-guard, trying to score a lot of points and get a lot of plays,” said backup quarterback Koy Detmer Jr. “This year, we’re going to slow it down. We’re going to try to execute on each play more. With this offense, we’re going to try to put the defense in positions we want them to be in so we can get the look we want to run a play to get a good result. There’s a lot more manipulation. Ty’s going to be a mastermind up there calling plays. Ty will call a play and we look at our wristbands. No more crazy signs on the sidelines. It will be huddle up and go.”
On the flip side, Arizona isn't looking to slow down its pace. With quarterback Anu Solomon and running back Nick Wilson back, the offense is expected to put points on the board. But I look for big improvements on the defensive side of the ball from the Wildcats. Last year, thanks to a litany of injuries, Arizona allowed 6.29 ypp and 484.6 ypg in PAC-12 play. Head coach Rich Rodriguez went out and hired former Boise State DC Marcel Yates. He inherits a relatively "green" stop unit but one that is healthy and coupled with his "havoc" style of play should yield better results in 2016.
This is a game that will likely feature plenty of yards and points but I think with BYU's new offensive mentality and Arizona's fresh start on defense, there's far more potential for stops than had these two teams met up last season. The number has crept down some but I'd still look under at 60.5.