Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy (3) celebrates a big defensive play during BYU's game against Utah at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah September 17, 2011.
Monson: BYU will beat Utah, and here’s why ...

After 3 straight losses to Utes, Cougars will be more motivated.

First Published Sep 20 2013 11:08 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:34 pm

All week long we’ve broken this thing down, torn it apart and put it back together again, tossed it in the air like dough-spinners at Luigi’s Pizza.

We’ve said, on the one hand, Travis Wilson has to be effective throwing against BYU’s secondary, that Utah’s offensive line must keep Kyle Van Noy and Alani Fua out of Wilson’s mug, that Kalani Sitake’s defense has to contain Taysom Hill, and, on the other, Hill must pass the ball accurately enough to punish Utah for stacking the box, that Jamaal Williams has to run like he usually does, that BYU’s defense must pressure Wilson, but not allow him to get loose.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

We’ve all said line play on both sides of the ball will be big, turnovers will be bigger.

Blah, blah, blah …

The key factor, though, in who will win the Last Rivalry Game Before the Two-Year Drought is something else entirely.

If nailing this pick of a winner came down to personnel and strategy and coaching, it’d be tough. The sample sizes are small, the guesswork large. If we went solely off of that, I’d want to go back and lean on the Kiu Formula. Kiu is my German Shepherd who helped me successfully pick the Green Bay Packers as Super Bowl champions a few years ago by selecting to eat from one of a few dog bowls provided, the one with the Packers’ logo on it. Kiu died last week, and I don’t want to think about it.

But … I don’t have to.

And here’s why: With so many factors being so close on both sides, the outcome of this game is going to be determined by non-tangible things, emotional things, things that many technical types might think are incapable of intruding onto the playing field. Things like … oh, I dunno … the effects of a three-year losing skid, and the fact that the Utes have essentially snubbed the Cougars by refusing to play them over the next couple of seasons, implying their priorities have changed. That last one’s a dangerous jab into the face of a century-old rival.

Load on top of that stupid stuff, non-X-and-O’s stuff such as baptismal videos and Utah fans ratting out a BYU starting linebacker — a star senior defender beloved by his teammates — for having participated in activities at a Vegas club that are outside the parameters of the school’s Honor Code. Stuff like the Ute fans suddenly doing the SEC thing and becoming their brother’s keeper.

Man for man, BYU may not be as athletically talented as Utah, but anyone who doesn’t think the Cougars are going to be out-of-their-minds up for this game doesn’t understand the psyche of young football players or the role that kind of motivation can play in the outcome of a big game.

story continues below
story continues below

On account of that notable stupid stuff, BYU wins, 27-23

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.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.