Morning links: BYU, Utah football predictions; Donovan Mitchell projected as best rookie shooting guard

Morning links: BYU, Utah football predictions; Donovan Mitchell projected as best rookie shooting guard

The national picks are in for some of the biggest games in college football this weekend, and not a single writer from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report or CBS Sports picked BYU to win over Wisconsin.

Speaking of the matchup, ESPN’s Mitch Sherman predicted the Badgers would win, 28-20, saying, “BYU continues its annual tradition of loading up on power programs in September. Losses to LSU and Utah ought to embolden the Cougars, but Wisconsin freshman running back Jonathan Taylor will extend his early season success in Provo.”

Eric Single was one of seven SI staffers to pick the Badgers saying, “With quarterback Tanner Mangum hobbled by an ankle injury, it’s hard to see the BYU offense having enough firepower to match dynamic freshman running back Jonathan Taylor and the rest of the Badgers’ ground game.”

Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon also gave the edge to Wisconsin, 27-16, saying, “Wisconsin back Bradrick Shaw is uncertain for Saturday, but Jonathan Taylor and Chris James filled in effectively once. If Shaw is out again, the duo will help the Badgers control the clock. Otherwise, the Badgers will have a three-headed monster.”

Kenyon also predicted the scores of the Utah State-Wake Forest game and the matchup between Utah and San Jose State.

He predicts the Aggies will fall 27-23, saying, “This is an intriguing matchup between a dual-threat quarterback, Utah State’s Kent Myers, and a stout defense. But the difference will be Wake Forest’s offense, which is benefiting from the best September of John Wolford’s four-year starting career.”

As for the Utes, he has them coming out on top 38-13.

“Since taking a 16-point lead on USF in the season opener, San Jose State has been outscored 98-6 by Power Five opponents,” wrote Kenyon. “Balanced offenses present a major problem for the Spartans, and Utah — while not dynamic — has a respectable attack. It may take the Utes a couple of quarters to create separation, but they will eventually.”

Pete Fiutak of College Football News also gave his prediction for the Utes and Spartans as well as a preview of the game.

Speaking of why the Utes will win, he wrote, “San Jose State will throw passes, and Utah will pick them off.”

Fiutak continued, “The Spartans have given away four in the first three games and is among the worst teams in the nation in turnover margin. They don’t go on long marches, the defense has a hard time getting off the field, and those interceptions – Utah’s secondary is good at attacking the ball.”

He predicts a 34-10 Utah win.

Other links

And finally…

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report projected the top rookie at every position for the 2017-18 NBA season and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz was the top shooting guard.

“With a tremendous mix of strength, length and athleticism, Mitchell offers both offensive firepower and defensive pressure,” Wasserman wrote. “He’s going to force Jazz coach Quin Snyder to play him, even if it means moving Rodney Hood to the 3 and other wings up to the 4.”

After talking about his growth at Louisville during his sophomore campaign, Wasserman continued, “He brings a different element of explosiveness and intensity than any of Utah’s guards, something that should help him earn minutes, even through inevitable stretches of streaky offense and decision-making.”

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Published at Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:02:00 +0000