Earlier I posted a breakdown of the Utah Utes. Here are three games from their schedule I am ready to see today.
Ignoring last years blow out win by Utah, I think this is a great rivalry and will miss it when they stop playing it in a few years. Even though I have no allegiance to either team, I always tuned in for the game. We have been treated to quite a few good ones recently.
In 2010 Utah held on for a one point win. In 2009 BYU won by three in overtime. Utah had another blow out win in 2008 but lost by only seven in 2007. In fact, over the last 15 games, the final score was decided by a touchdown or less in 12 of them.
That’s the kind of stuff that makes a good rivalry.
In the last five years the home team is 4-1. Last years game in Provo was that loss. This years game is at Rice-Eccles and Utah has been really good there under Wittingham.
This used to be a conference game when the two teams were in the Mountain West, but now it is a non-conference game for Utah of the Pac-12. BYU is independent so it helps fill the schedule.
Last year, Utah lost in what can only be describe as a wacky finish. Going for a game tying field goal at the end of regulation, the kick was blocked and picked up by a USC defender and returned for a touchdown.
This was in Utah’s first ever Pac-12 conference game and it was at the Coliseum. For this years game, Utah now has a year of experience in the Pac-12 and will be playing at the friendly confines of Rice-Eccles stadium.
In my opinion, Utah will be better this year than last year. There were a lot of questions as to just how well they would fit in to the Pac-12. The initial part of the transition is over but there is still work to be done. Recruiting in the first year moved up a notch. Level of play still needs to step up and be more consistent.
These two have only met a two times in the BCS era and are 1-1 with Utah winning the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl.
Utah is more experienced at nearly every position on the field. They had a strong run game, a solid run defense. The pass defense gave up yards but also led the conference in interceptions. They will need all this and probably more to keep this game competitive. Thing is, I think they can.
The south division has pretty much been dubbed USC’s to lose. I think Utah is that team that could sneak in and take the division if they do slip.
I will be honest I had to convince myself a little bit that I wanted to see this. But after I did think about it, I do.
I have been all about wanting to see rematch games that ended in overtime last season. I saw no reason to change that here. Especially the way it happened.
Washington State was able to send the game into over time by scoring the last 10 points of regulation. In the first series Utah intercepted the ball and after doing very little with it, they were still able to kick the game winning field goal.
The game was played in Pullman with wind and snow having an impact on the offenses. This year the game is Salt Lake City in early November so the weather could very well be the same.
Washington State will be coming in with their new offense under head coach Mike Leach. Utah, if healthy, will have Wynn at quarterback after he missed last years game.
All this stuff makes me real curious as to just how this one will play out.
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