With plenty of firepower and questions to match, the BYU Cougars kick off their 2013 season on the road against the University of Virginia on Saturday afternoon.
BYU has won six consecutive season openers, and the Cougars are early favorites in the game.
From there, the schedule gets even tougher.
"(The schedule) gives up a lot of opportunity. I think it's important that as a team we don't get ahead of ourselves. ... We're going to take it one game at a time," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Everyone is really excited. I love the guys competing around me and they're ready to go."
Monday, Mendenhall announced the team captains. The players elected Daniel Sorensen and Uani Unga on defense and on offense, JD Falslev and Skyler Ridley, noting three of the four started their careers as walk-ons.
BYU senior linebacker Kyle VanNoy know what he wants to achieve this season.
"I think pressure is what you make of it," he said. "Here at BYU the defense is held to a high standard. We know that going into every season.
"I don't think it's necessarily pressure. I think we like that and we want that. That's kind of the attitude that we take going against offenses -- that we're the best in the country and we're out to prove it."
When Virginia opens the season Saturday against BYU, 6-foot-4, 290-pound sophomore Ryan Burbank will be the starting center and signal caller for the reworked offensive line.
The Cougars and their 3-4 alignment present a stiff test out of the gate, and Burbank will line up across from 6-2, 305-pound nose tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna on most plays, but he and the rest of the line feel confident that the Cavaliers' defense under new coordinator Jon Tenuta has prepared them well.
"I feel like we have a darned good defensive line," he said, "and if we feel comfortable blocking them, we can feel comfortable blocking a lot of other guys."