Utah's Kyle Whittingham and Kalani Sitake will have solid strategy for dealing with Hill's read-option plays and the rest of BYU's run-oriented scheme. Whittingham may not have enjoyed playing Air Force, but he beat the Falcons in seven of the last eight meetings in the Mountain West as a defensive coordinator or head coach.
That's basically what BYU's offense has become, and Whittingham will have ways to stop it.
On the other side, BYU will miss suspended linebacker Spencer Hadley. The Cougars will struggle to cover tight ends Jake Murphy and Westlee Tonga, and quarterback Travis Wilson and his receivers will exploit BYU's unproven cornerbacks.
Picking the Utes to win is a function of one of my basic beliefs, built on this phrase: "Until proven otherwise …"
In other words, why should 2013 by any different than the last three years or most of the last 11 years? Only via occasional heroic plays at the end have the Cougars won in that period. This is the 20th anniversary of the famous 34-31 game in Provo that reconfigured the rivalry. But Saturday's score will duplicate last September's outcome: Utah 24, BYU 21.