Little Bro: If BYU can hold to my three vital keys to success for this season, this game could provide a great outcome for the Cougars. That is in no way an indictment of Nebraska, but a hearty endorsement of Taysom Hill and BYU. Add on top of that Nebraska changing systems and coaches, and that sounds a lot like a great time for BYU to pull of a win.
BYU has veteran leadership within each offensive position group, which is pivotal in big games. While defensively the secondary has question marks, the linebackers look stout. Something to keep an eye on; special teams could play a huge role in this game as the battle for field position is always central to victories.
I have confidence the BYU offense can outscore the Nebraska offense, and therefore walk away with a victory. Taysom Hill returns to his previous form, throwing for 250+ yards and running for 75+ yards. He’ll account for 3 TD’s one way or the other and the offense starts off well to begin 2015.
BYU 37, Nebraska 27
The first key in this game will be BYU’s pass defense. Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong is no superstart, but he’s no slouch either. And the Cornhuskers’ receiving corps is capable of breaking open big plays. If the BYU players can execute Bronco Mendenhall’s bend-don’t-break philosophy in the defensive secondary and stand stout against the run, then I think the Cougars can walk away from Lincoln with a W.
The next things to watch are penalties. BYU gave up an ungodly amount of yards in penalties last year, including 15 penalties for 150 yards in their opener last year. Bronco emphasized discipline in fall camp this year, so I expect an improvement there.
Finally, I think the team that wins the turnover battle will win the game. BYU will miss Jamaal Williams in this regard, who has a staggering 492 carries with only one lost fumble (which was only arguably attributable to him). The committee of running backs will have to concentrate on ball security, Tejon Koroma will have to be on his snapping game, and Taysom Hill will have to be smart and accurate.
Given that Nebraska will have more growing pains under a new coaching regime, I think Nebraska makes more mistakes and BYU comes out on top.
BYU 31, Nebraska 19