Ute fans: Don’t miss these season openers

Although Ute fans should be anxious and excited to see Utah take on Arizona in just four days, there are several other season openers U fans should watch.

Fortunately, the Utes play on Friday, so fans can take the time Saturday to enjoy the games, which could include several upsets and set the tone for the remainder of the year.

Here are the games you should keep an eye on:

Boston College at BYU,

1:30 p.m.

If you have extra time and don’t mind being surrounded by thousands of Cougar fans, going to Provo to watch this one may be worth it.

BYU is excited to kickoff a new season under Bronco Mendenhall, and his designation as the new head coach has brought much-needed enthusiasm to Cougar fans, and more importantly to the team.

Boston College is expected to be a contender in its inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference and has received a No. 22 ranking in The Associated Press preseason Top 25.

BYU is looking to turn things around, while Boston College wants to prove it deserves to be ranked and in the ACC.

The Cougars have done well in season openers at home, including last season’s victory over Notre Dame, 2003’s win over Georgia Tech and 2002’s toppling of Syracuse.

They always seem to schedule overrated, major-conference teams to kick-start their seasons, and Boston College fits that description.

Patton’s prediction: Cougars 27, Eagles 21.

Boise St. at Georgia,

3:30 p.m.

The Broncos won all of their regular-season games last year, but lost a 44-40 nail-biter in the Liberty Bowl against Louisville.

They’re returning many of their offensive weapons that averaged 48.9 points per game last season and are looking to be this year’s Utes by earning a BCS berth.

The Bulldogs are going through a bit of a rebuilding year, losing quarterback David Greene, defensive end David Pollack and top receivers Reggie Brown and Fred Gibson.

Georgia still has solid depth overall and is expected to be a tough opponent. Unfortunately, Boise State is antsy for a big win to gain national recognition, and it will be too easy for Georgia to overlook this opener against a WAC opponent.

Patton’s prediction: Broncos 45, Bulldogs 38.

Wyoming at Florida,

4 p.m.

Since departing from the U, Urban Meyer has brought high expectations with him to the swamp, and there is immediate pressure on him to return the Gators to the once-dominating team they were under Steve Spurrier.

Meanwhile, Wyoming is gaining respect and attention from the national media, including a No. 25 ranking from Sports Illustrated.

It is possible that Wyoming could pull off a major upset in this game, raining on Meyer’s debut as Florida’s head coach.

What would make the upset worse is that Wyoming is a Mountain West team and has seen first-hand over the past two seasons the way Meyer runs a team.

It will be exciting and it’s certainly worth watching, but Florida seems prepared to pick apart the Cowboys.

Patton’s prediction: Gators 44, Cowboys 17.

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