Greetings from Richmond, Va., where I will be spending the night before heading over to Charlottesville -- which is about 65 miles away.
It is hot here. And humid.
It will be about 85 degrees at 3:30 p.m. ET when the Cougars and Cavaliers kick off, with 80 percent humidity. There is a 40 percent chance of rain, so that might cool things off a bit.
I sat next to a BYU fan from Saratoga Springs on my flight here, and his father from Taylorsville was across the aisle. I'm guessing there will be about 5,000 BYU fans at Scott Stadium for the season opener, many of whom purchased their tickets through Virginia.
All that conditioning work the Cougars did, or said they were doing, will be needed Saturday. If nothing else, the Cougars should be well-prepared mentally. While classes at Virginia began last Tuesday (Aug. 27), classes at BYU don't start until next Tuesday.
"I think that's been huge for us. I feel like a professional this week, having no school, and being able to do football all day, and extra work, to be able to be in the weight room, the film room, more," linebacker Kyle Van Noy said on Wednesday. "After practice, you don't have to go to a class, or go do homework. You get to do thing that you wouldn't be able to do things during school time. So that's been huge for us."
Quarterback Taysom Hill seconded Van Noy's comments:
"It is unique. It is extremely nice," Hill said. "We will get ramped up and get the tutors and everything else rolling. It is nice to be able to focus on Virginia without having homework and things like that."
And here's what running back Jamaal Williams had to say about not having school to worry about yet:
"Oh, hallelujah. That's what I am talkin' about. I wish every week was like that. This is wonderful. This is like the best week of all time for me. To actually get ready with a whole week of football and no school is the dream," he said. "Once school comes, it is a different ballpark. But right now it is good to just worry about football and everything, study your playbook, don't have homework. So I just can't wait for this week to take its toll, all the way through.
Next week, first week of school. It's going to be alright. Just gotta endure it."
I wrote a little piece earlier this week about how Hill will be making his first start on the road on Saturday. He says he is looking forward to it.
"I like going into hostile environments. I like going in and having fans not rooting for you," he said. "It is a fun environment. When you think about the game experience as a kid, I thought about going into hostile environments, and going in and competing and playing well, and coming out with a win. Nobody wants to lose on their home field. That's our mentality."
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