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PROVO — It's game week in Utah and Nebraska, and that means predictions will be flying fast-and-furious as kickoff between the Cougars and Huskers draws closer to Saturday at 1:30 p.m. MDT.
For writers and reporters in Husker Country, the latest news of suspensions, injuries and a new coaching staff have them tentative attaching a favorite tag to the local team. On the other side, Taysom Hill continues to draw reviews across the country, and an Idaho prep defensive end lights up an opponent en route to Provo.
Nebraskans pick Cougars
A lot of prognosticators and college football experts, with Las Vegas sports bettors included, will try to pick the winner of the BYU-Nebraska season opener before Saturday afternoon. All of them are educated guessers, at best.
But the staff at Lincoln's Daily Nebraskan was 3-of-5 one direction — and it wasn't the hometown Huskers.
Three of the Nebraskan's top sports staff picked BYU to beat Nebraska, including the newspaper's sports editor and football beat writer. Each of the student journalists picked a close game, within a touchdown or less. But a new head coach and offensive system don't have the locals overly confident heading into Saturday's matchup.
Hill, Cougars lead independents
Speaking of media from Husker Country, the Lincoln Journal-Star previewed the independents of college football over the weekend — and BYU's Taysom Hill is at the top of the list.
Hill is listed as one of four "players to watch" in the newspaper's special section, which includes looks at BYU, Notre Dame and Army.
Tim Gray of the Journal Star writes that Hill "was a Heisman candidate before breaking his leg after leading the Cougars to a 4-0 record and a No. 18 ranking" in the section.
Fighting Irish quarterback Malik Zaire is also among the group, as is Army linebacker Jeremy Timpf.
The Cougars' Sept. 19 game at UCLA is also one of three "games to watch" in the preview section, which does not include BYU's season opener in Lincoln. The newspaper also suggests Texas-Notre Dame on Sept. 5 and USC-Notre Dame on Oct. 17.
From the recruiting trail
For the BYU fans who follow recruiting and want to see some future Cougars, Idaho State Journal prep sports writer Madison Guernsey offers a glimpse into defensive lineman Wayne Kirby, who has already committed to BYU.
Kirby laid a big hit during a game underneath the lights Friday night, and he'll be expected to bring plenty of that to Provo in the upcoming years.
Watch No. 71. He's going to BYU. Wayne Kirby with the big hit #IDPREPShttps://t.co/ldcGjnEs4v — Madison Guernsey (@MGuernsey_ISJ) August 30, 2015