9 Line Prediction! Holy War Edition!

Sept. 8, 2012; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall talks on his radio set during the third quarter against the Weber State Wildcats at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

It is that day we have all been waiting for! (Actually, just me, but, yeah!!!) The Holy War is upon us. Here are my 9 totally made-up/true Vegas-style lines for Saturday's showdown

Let's Go!

1. Combined Personal Foul Penalties: 3.5 - What good would a Holy War be if it didn't have some straight up jihad? Emotions will be high, lines will be crossed, and flags will be thrown. I was going to use my Haters Gonna Hate, P12 Refs Gonna OFFICIATE tag here but it turns out the crew is a mix of other Western conference officials. Fine. OVER

2. Shots of Crazy Ute Lady: 1.5 - For over 3 years I worked deep in the heart of Utedom (West Valley City). One day, while heading to lunch, I saw a car pull up with U flags on each of the windows. A lady hopped out of the vehicle, dressed head-to-toe in Utah gear. It was July. It was Crazy Ute Lady. And it was glorious. UNDER

3. BYU fans destroyed by Ute cheerleaders: 0.5 - Remember this? http://youtu.be/Q3PmgNj0D3g?t=17s Legend has it that when Zoobs gather, wearing skittle colored t-shirts in preparation for GameDay, they speak of this event with a certain hush, and promise one another it will never be repeated. UNDER

4. U's flashed at the camera: 7 - If the Pac12 had a hand gesture, the line would be [enter Rice-Eccles paid attendance] OVER

5. Total Utah Rushing Yards: 145 - The BYU front seven is nasty and ready to prove it on Saturday. John White IV is a terrific back, but the Utah offensive line has been spotty at best. BYU will plug the running lanes up front, force Hayes/Wilson to become one-dimensional. Kyle Van Noy and Co will have a big day. UNDER

6. BYU Turnovers - 1.5 -- BYU's second half play calling will be as conservative as a Utah County housewife's political persuasion. BYU is not going to repeat 2011's performance, are they? Wait, I don't remember BYU playing Utah last year. /Ute fan sends me gif of Jake Heaps Olympic floor routine. Oh, yeah. UNDER

7. Times my Dad Will Ponder Burning his University of Utah degree if BYU loses: 1,392,394 - PUSH

8. Total Points Scored: 46.5 - It seems that if a narrative has been set in stone, the waters of reality wash it away rather quickly. Remember how the Auburn-Oregon BCS National Championship Game was supposed to be a shootout? Or most recently, the shootout that was expected in the Washington State-BYU opener? This time, I think the narrative holds. Both defenses are just too stout for the scoreboard to be lit up too much. UNDER

9. Line: BYU (-3.5) - The Holy War has been the home to exciting finishes for much of the past two decades. The Utes are 6-2 against-the-spread in their last eight games against the Cougars. BYU has not played a complete 60 minutes against Utah since 1996. That is a long, long time. All the pieces are in place for BYU to break that streak.The defenses are both going to finish in the Top 30 by year's end. Look for BYU's play calling to be more and more conservative as the game progresses. While Jon Hays is serviceable and Travis Wilson will be a star, the Utes just won't be able to be consistent on Saturday. Gotta feel for Brian Johnson, who's first two meaningful games were opposite Gary Anderson and Bronco Mendenhall. Yikes. Johnson will be a good play caller but that is a baptism by fire. BYU puts this one away late. Above all, I believe in Riley Nelson. COVER BYU 23 Utah 13


LAST WEEK: 4-5

THIS SEASON: 9-9

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