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Game Day Predictions For Highly Anticipated BYU-Navy Matchup

An aerial view from a drone shows the U.S. Naval Academy’s Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, on May 13, 2020 in Annapolis, Maryland. The U.S. Naval Academy has canceled all public events associated with Commissioning Week 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After a longer than usual offseason, these two words are sweeter than ever before, “game day”.

BYU and Navy square off tonight in the top game of the underwhelming week one college football slate. This game came together one month ago and it has many storylines that will capture a lot of interest leading up to kickoff here in Annapolis.

But what is going to happen in this game? It’s time for some predictions as we lead up to kickoff between the Cougars and the Midshipmen.

BYU QB Zach Wilson shows off the deep ball

All eyes will be on junior quarterback Zach Wilson who earned the starting job with his play during fall camp during August. Wilson, who is now healthy, throws a nice deep pass. Look for Wilson to target some of his receivers down the field. Especially fellow junior receiver Gunner Romney who was a favorite target of Wilson’s during fall camp.

BYU Wins Turnover Margin

Turnovers are huge for any team but it seems to be an even bigger point of emphasis for BYU. The Cougars won only one game last year losing the turnover margin. That was against Liberty and BYU won that game by only one score.

With this game hovering around a toss-up, turnovers are going to be critical for BYU to pull off the victory. Wilson’s decision-making in the passing game was a point of emphasis during fall camp. While the defense will look to be opportunistic in their “option defense” against a first-time starter at QB from Navy in Dalen Morris.

Since this is Morris’ first start at QB and the Midshipmen have not gone live at any point during their fall camp practices, BYU’s defense will force takeaways, giving the Cougars the edge in the turnover battle.

Khyiris Tonga introduces himself to the nation

The worst enemy to a triple-option offense is a disruptive nose guard. BYU has that in senior Khyiris Tonga who is looking to improve his NFL Draft stock in his final year with the Cougars. A three-year starter, Tonga has said all of the right things this off-season from improving his availability in games to his impact that he expects to have. Now he has a national stage to prove it against a Midshipmen offense that will not be fazed by BYU.

BYU escapes Annapolis with a victory

This is going to be a tightly contested ball game throughout all 60 minutes. But from the aforementioned predictions, this will be enough to put BYU out in front of a Navy team that has their eyes set on replicating their program-best 11 wins from a season ago.

Score Prediction: BYU 24, Navy 23

BYU at Navy

Annapolis, Maryland

Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MDT)

TV: ESPN

Radio: KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

For an inside look at what it’s like to be at a college football game during the COVID-19 pandemic, follow @kslsports on Instagram. Mitch Harper will be giving you an inside look all weekend leading up to the BYU vs. Navy game on Monday. Find Mitch on Twitter here. 

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