AP
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (11) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)

Athlon Sports contributor Mitch Harper took a deep dive into the Cougars’ upcoming contest against the UMass Minutemen Tuesday.

Among the many things he detailed were his ‘Three things to watch’ on Saturday, namely BYU seeking revenge, UMass wide receiver Andy Isabella and the fact that both teams are squarely in the hunt for bowl eligibility.

Of the revenge factor, Harper noted, “last year’s loss to the Minutemen in Provo spelled the end of the Ty Detmer era as offensive coordinator of the Cougars. The 16-10 setback on BYU's Senior Day gave UMass its first FBS road win as an FBS Independent. Last year’s game had no spirit and no fight on the sidelines from the home team. This year's Cougars are improved but they have to finish games to get wins.”

Finally, when it comes to bowl eligibility, it all comes down to this weekend for BYU.

“The Cougars have New Mexico State the week after at home,” said Harper. “BYU doesn’t want to be forced into a must-win situation against rival Utah to end the regular season. BYU has lost seven in a row to the Utes, so this game against UMass is of the utmost importance if the Cougars want to get back to the postseason.”

First Four

Ahead of the many season opener’s that were a part of Tuesday night’s college basketball festivities — Duke beat Kentucky by how much again?— SB Nation’s Chris Dobbertean did a little preseason bracketology, an educated guess if you will at what the NCAA tournament field will look like come March.

The projected No. 1 seeds are no surprise, as Dobbertean believes Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and Gonzaga will each snag a coveted top seed come season’s end.f

The Bulldogs were a bit of a surprise pick, if you can call them that, with Dobbertean noting “the Bulldogs are the most controversial choice here, thanks to the ankle injury that will keep forward Killian Tillie out for Gonzaga’s entire—hefty—non-conference slate. But I suspect the Zags still have enough depth to pick up some quality wins before West Coast Conference play begins in January.”

As for the Cougars? Pencil them in as the No. 11 seed in the South Region, that is if they can defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide in one of the ‘First Four’ bouts.

Dobbertean has BYU as one of his final four teams in the tourney, along with Nebraska, Illinois State and Alabama.

Notably, that is if Dobbertean is proven to be the Nostradamus of the 2018-19 college basketball season, Utah is one of the first four teams out of the tourney, along with Louisville, Houston and St. Johns.

Other links

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The next Maryland football coach should be Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper (Washington Post)

Four BYU corners look to fill the void left by injured Wilcox (247Sports)

BYU’s ESPN FPI updated game by game projections: UMass Week (247Sports)

And finally…

Cougar Countdown box drops have become a time honored tradition and the rules are rather simple.

On Wednesday night, drops occured at The Shops at Riverwoods in Provo and in Pleasant Grove.

Needless to say, the respective winners were more than a little pleased.