As many of you have noticed, it is Rivalry Week. BYU will travel north to play Utah this Saturday. We thought it would be appropriate to get some alumni predictions. Fortunately, Charles Abouo, the winningest basketball player in BYU history, and former Ute baller Chris Burgess were willing give their forecast for Saturday night's game.
Last year, when Chris submitted his prediction, he predicted a blowout in Utah's favor (31-10). I thought he was nuts and almost asked him to try again (not really). Then the actual game happened, and it turned out his prediction was a bit on the conservative side. So, uh, he certainly showed me.
Anyway, enjoy these rivalry game predictions from Charles Abouo and Chris Burgess.
Charles Abouo (2008-2012)
I am not a college football expert by any means, but I've had a chance to watch BYU football quite a bit in my 4 years there. I think this is a BYU team that has really improved over the last year. It's been fun to see how great our defense is, and Coach Mendenhall has done a great job as DC. We had a great finish to the season last year, and that momentum has carried into this year. Our returning guys seem to be picking up right where they left off, and the newcomers or (returners with bigger roles) are making huge contributions. I was able to watch the first game of the season and was really impressed with how we played on both sides of the ball. It seems this team plays together and is full of competitors. I think the coaching staff has done a great job with the preparation, heading into this year. We have a competitive group of guys, and I think they have been waiting for this game for quite a while. I don't know much about Utah, They need to bounce back from a tough game in Logan, but I give the cougars the edge in this one. In my opinion, it will be a great game because these teams will not be playing for a while, so I'm eager to watch this one from online from Spain. I think BYU will win this one. I don't know about the score. If I had to choose, I would say 24-14 (BYU).
Chris Burgess (1999-2002)
First, I want to say how sad I am for Jordan Wynn and the way that his playing career has ended. No player deserves to go out that way. On a personal level, although I was able to continue with basketball after college, I feel Jordan's pain to the extent of his collegiate career being cut short. In my 2 seasons at the U, I missed a total of 31 games due to injuries. 23 of those games coming my senior season after I tore my plantar fascia on ABC vs top ranked University of Texas in the Huntsman Center. This injury came early on in the season and ultimately ended my college career. I feel for Jordan and not only want to thank him for what he's done at the U but wish him luck in the next chapter of his life.
Now, I'm feeling a lot of pressure about this year's pick, especially after being the only one to call for the blow-out and Utah holding BYU to 10 points. Having just made the trip up to Cache Valley to see the Utes lose to a tough Utah State team, it's hard to be as confident about a win as I was last year. That said, Utah has to shore up their issues on the O-line, be able to hold onto the ball, and get to Riley Nelson. Being at home is our biggest advantage, and I'm looking for Utah to bounce back and hit BYU in the mouth. 24-17... A Utah Man am I!
PS: I'm not thrilled about Hays and Wilson named listed as co-starters. Pick one.