Utah Football: Utes to Face Montana State in the 2011 Season-Opener

Neil GoslinContributor IIIAugust 18, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 13: Sealver Siliga #98 and Star Lotulelei #92 of the Utah Utes stop Jonas Gray #25 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 13, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Utah 28-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So, is this even going to be a game? That’s what most people are wondering.

If the Utah Utes really belong in the Pac-12, this shouldn’t be much of a contest—right? If USC were to face Montana State, it would be almost laughable.

It's hard to fault Kyle Whittingham for scheduling the game, however.

In my book it’s a smart move. You need a patsy before a big game, right?

The problem is, Montana State is not a patsy. I don’t expect Utah to lose the game, but if they do, Ute fans are in serious trouble.

According to NFLDraftScout.com, Montana State QB Denarius McGhee is ranked 53 out of 110 QBs to watch. That isn’t an overly impressive bit of information in itself, but the fact that he is on there at all—and as a sophomore—is impressive.

According to team stats, McGhee has 3,163 yards passing in 12 games with 227 completions, 23 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

So, the Bobcats can move the ball.

The Utes have Jordan Wynn, who was born and bred to run Norm Chow's pro-style offense. Even the casual Ute fan should have read by now that Wynn is very comfortable with what Chow is throwing at him.

After his surgery and recovery, Wynn has been restricted to 100 throws per practice, and he has been limited in what he has been allowed to do. Unfortunately, according to Lya Wodraska of the Salt Lake Tribune, Wynn is now sick with the flu; his backup, Jon Hays, has been taking more snaps. The Utah practices have also been much more effective on the defensive side of the ball.

Whittingham has less than two weeks to get his men ready, and Ute fans may be in for a surprise when the Bobcats roll into town. If Utah can’t generate more offensive production than Denarius McGhee and his men, it’s going to be a rough start to a long Pac-12 season. Right after Utah faces the Bobcats, they go to the Coliseum at USC.