Monson: 50 things that are sure to happen in BYU-Utah game
By Gordon Monson
Tribune ColumnistFirst published Sep 17 2013 01:35PM
Fifty things that are bound to happen — or not — at Saturday night’s Utah-BYU game:
1. Utah’s cornerbacks will get toasted for substantial gains on more than five plays.
2. BYU’s cornerbacks will get toasted for substantial gains on more than 10 plays.
3. Travis Wilson will pass for over 300 yards.
4. Taysom Hill will pass for more than 200 yards.
5. BYU will throw the ball more against the Utes because … it has to at least try.
6. Hill will chuck screwballs over the head of or into the turf in front of or off to the side of at least three open receivers.
7. Hill will still complete better than 33 percent of his passes.
8. Hill will successfully squib throws to open targets because Kalani Sitake will risk leaving those targets open, committing extra assets to contain Hill’s running.
9. Despite all that, Utah’s defense, which hasn’t allowed a single rusher to pick up 100 yards in any of its first three games, will allow two against the Cougars.
10. Hill will run for triple digits — but just barely.
11. Jamaal Williams will outrush Hill.
12. Wilson will be Utah’s leading runner.
13. Every time Kyle Whittingham is asked, either before or after the game, about Williams and Kyle Van Noy, he rather condescendingly will say they are fine players, but will go on emphasizing that the Utes face those kinds of athletes every week in the Pac-12.
14. Van Noy will unleash three seasons worth of frustration on Utah, hauling down the thunder and proving to Whittingham that the coach does not face KVN’s kind of athlete every week in the Pac-12.
15. Utah will miss Reggie Dunn.
16. Bronco Mendenhall will talk in incomplete sentences during the postgame, often leaving out the subject, saying things like: "Played with effort and intensity. Tried real hard. Proud of our players. Hate all you media dopes. Don’t know what to say. Crap."
17. Utah fans will hurl a thousand profanities at BYU players and pour imaginary beer on the heads of at least one Cougar player’s parents.
18. BYU fans will quote Max Hall 20,000 times.
19. Neither offense will hit 50 percent on third-down conversions.
20. BYU will score nearly every time it gets into the red zone.
21. Hill will wish he had a completely healthy Cody Hoffman.
22. Hoffman will play, will hate on his nagging hamstring, and will wish he’d gone to the NFL.
23. Dres Anderson will get over 100 receiving yards and catch at least one touchdown pass, maybe two.
24. BYU will be troubled by a couple of bad snaps.
25. Andy Phillips will clutch up, channel his best Franz Klammer, and kick three field goals.
26. Justin Sorensen will hit a couple of kicks, too, and find some redemption after last year’s block.
27. Trevor Reilly will lead the Utes in tackles.
28. Hill will throw a pick.
29. Wilson will throw one, too.
30. There will be a key fumble.
31. There will be a key special-teams play.
32. A controversial call will affect the game’s momentum/outcome.
33. BYU will wear old-style royal blue — jerseys and pants.
34. Utah will wear all red.
35. Mendenhall’s defense will be more aggressive than Sitake’s.
36. Alongside Van Noy, Alani Fua will rudely introduce himself to Wilson, getting a couple of sacks.
37. The Utes will go ahead and try to contain Hill, but not pressure him as much as they should.
38. At some point, the Cougars will remember the antiquated notion that they do, indeed, have traditional tight ends on their roster.
39. Mendenhall and Whittingham will act as though this game is just another game.
40. Mendenhall and Whittingham will act as though they like and respect one another.
41. Mendenhall and Whittingham will be lying.
42. Robert Anae will use his offense at times in the way Air Force used to use its offense: Run the ball — and look to hit on a devastatingly big pass play.
43. Bubba Poole will be given a chance to shine.
44. Ammon Olsen will get in for at least one play, maybe multiple plays.
45. There will be some razzle-dazzle, some trickeration by both teams.
46. Stupid penalties will be a factor.
47. By the end of the fourth quarter, everybody on hand will realize how lame-brained it is that Utah is choosing to play Fresno State instead of BYU over the next two seasons.
48. The game won’t end until zero dark thirty.
49. BYU will win.
50. Half these predictions will be wrong.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.