Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitaki watches the clock in Seattle on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

PROVO — Presuming BYU gets bowl eligible with a win against New Mexico State Saturday, where could the Cougars be headed?

Years ago, BYU was contracted to play in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, but that bowl went out of business not long after the Cougars beat Wyoming there in 2016.

As an independent, BYU is a bowl free agent, and thanks to its partnership with ESPN, the Cougars are guaranteed a bowl berth as long as they become bowl eligible.

Many of the bowl prognosticators are forecasting a BYU-North Texas matchup in the First Responders Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 26.

Here’s a look at the latest bowl projections regarding the Cougars:

Athlon Sports: BYU vs. Tulane in the Frisco Bowl (Dec. 19).

Orlando Sentinel: BYU vs. North Texas in the First Responders Bowl (Dec. 26).

ESPN: BYU vs. North Texas in the First Responders Bowl.

Sporting News: BYU vs. North Texas in the First Responders Bowl.

Sports Illustrated: BYU vs. North Texas in the First Responders Bowl.

Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: BYU vs. Pittsburgh in the Belk Bowl (Dec. 29).

Watchstadium.com: BYU vs. UAB in the First Responders Bowl.

SB Nation: BYU vs. Western Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26).

GETTING EXPERIENCE: Coach Kalani Sitake liked what he saw out of his young players in mop-up time late in the win over UMass last week.

34 comments on this story

“I was really pleased with the young DBs in the game and how they played assignment-sound with great technique,” he said. “I was really happy to see the growth they made even on that last drive. We sacrificed some points, but it was well worth it for some of the experience those guys get on that one drive.”

FOURTEEN TACKLES: Linebackers Sione Takitaki and Isaiah Kaufusi recorded 14 tackles each in the victory against UMass.

To what does Takitaki attribute their success?

“Tons of film and game-planning,” he said. “Then when we got out there, we executed the assignments that were brought up to us Monday through Friday. Isaiah’s a beast.”