Monson: 50 rock-solid predictions for Utah-BYU game
Fifty things absolutely bound to happen, maybe not, in Saturday's BYU-Utah rivalry game â¦
1. The Cougars won't be able to run the football.
2. Star Lotulelei will be a beast.
3. Brandon Doman will counter those two things with a short-passing game.
4. A special-teams play will be huge.
5. BYU will hurry up its offense.
6. Utah will hurry up its defense.
7. Two Ute tight ends will catch balls, maybe three.
8. Three Cougar tight ends will catch balls, maybe four.
9. Desperate to get off to a better start, for the first time this season, Utah will score points in the first quarter.
10. Jon Hays will throw for more than 200 yards.
11. Riley Nelson will throw for more than 200 yards.
12. Each quarterback will get picked off once, maybe twice.
13. Both offenses will be blessed with and benefit from a minimum of one short field.
14. Both defenses' strategy, in order of importance, will be to 1) stop the run, 2) keep the short passes in front of them, perhaps even concede them, and then make sure to make tackles, and 3) force the other team's quarterback to beat them with his arm.
15. Under pressure, Nelson will chuck up multiple jump balls to Cody Hoffman.
16. Hoffman will catch most of those jump balls, leading BYU in receiving yards with more than 100.
17. Hays will look better than he did in most of his starts last season.
18. Somebody's going to fumble, somewhere, somehow, sometime, and it's going to hurt.
19. Utah's offensive line will have its problems.
20. BYU's offensive line will have its problems.
21. Michael Alisa will rush for no more than 50 yards.
22. Trevor Reilly will make plays all over the field.
23. Nelson will miss at least one play due to a hard hit.
24. The Utes will miss Brian Blechen and Eric Rowe in the back of the defense.
25. Four quarterbacks will see action, maybe five.
26. Max Hall will be lustily booed on BYU's sideline.
27. Max Hall won't care.
28. Kyle Van Noy will pick up a couple of sacks, maybe three.
29. Kyle Whittingham will pick up a couple of technicals. â¦ Wait, what?
30. Coleman Petersen will make a field goal, maybe two.
31. Coleman Petersen will miss a field goal, maybe two.
32. Bronco Mendenhall will suffer from the dreaded, redundant logo overload, wearing a "Y" on his cap and on his shirt.
33. Hays will get the ball to playmakers DeVonte Christopher, Dres Anderson and Kenneth Scott on the outside.
34. Riley Stephenson and Sean Sellwood will combine for some 15 punts.
35. Dave Fagergren will lead the Utes in tackles.
36. Brandon Ogletree will lead the Cougars in tackles.
37. Joe Kruger will not punch anyone, at least not according to the Utah game film.
38. If Utah's game film crew had been on hand for and shot the Thrilla In Manila, it would have missed all of Muhammad Ali's punches, too. (Not a prediction, just a convenient fact.)
39. Anderson will get at least one rushing attempt, maybe two.
40. If healthy, John White will run for 100 yards, maybe a buck-fifty.
41. If not healthy, John White's team will lose.
42. Travis Wilson will get at least four rushing attempts.
43. Taysom Hill will get at least four rushing attempts.
44. Either Wilson or Hill will score a touchdown, maybe both.
45. Preston Hadley will make or be involved in a big play.
46. Jordan Wynn will be shown standing on the Ute sideline no less than seven times by ESPN's cameras, maybe 17, maybe 17,000.
47. JD Falslev will catch more passes and gain more yards than anyone would think he could.
48. There will be at least one bad play after which Whittingham's head will rock and spin on his shoulders, like a ceiling fan in your TV den, and then explode.
49. Utah's offense will sputter, at times, and Brian Johnson's age will be blamed, all the time.
50. Same as it ever was, half of these guesses will be wrong, maybe more.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 1280 and 960 AM The Zone and 97.5 FM. Twitter: @GordonMonson.