GAME PREVIEW: BYU, Utah State and Utah
Fans of local college football have their plates full this weekend, as Utah State faces off against BYU and the Utes take on Stanford.
King of Utah
When trying to crown a champion of Utah, the winner of the Utah State-BYU game still has to answer to the Utes who play #14 Stanford Saturday night at 8:30 PM.
A convincing win over Stanford could give the Utes some hope to stay relevant in the PAC 12 and to potentially turn things around for the team’s lackluster offense.
A tale of two offenses: BYU & Utah State
BYU is heading into week 5 after suffering a loss against Washington, last week. Washington quarterback, Jake Browning, threw 23 complete passes on 25 attempts against the Cougar’s defense, which could prove disastrous for the Cougars this week as Utah State’s quarterback Jordan Love has also performed well, going 26/38 against the Air Force defense for 356 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Utah State enters the game with three impressive, high-scoring wins and one heartbreaking loss against Michigan State. The Aggies have scored 26 touchdowns so far, ranking 4th overall in scoring offense among teams this year, while BYU has only scored 13 touchdowns this year, ranking 114th overall.
Under head coach Matt Wells, Utah State also presents a strong performance in 3rd down conversions ranking 24th overall, converting almost 47% of the time. Whereas, BYU converts on third down about 38% of the time.
A turning point for the Utes?
Utah faces an enormous challenge on the road against #14 Stanford. This game could be a signature win for the Utes or a painful continuation of an underwhelming season. Junior quarterback Tyler Huntley is still the starting quarterback, despite the fact that he has only four passing touchdowns to make up for his two interceptions.
Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello has eleven passing touchdowns so far this season, quickly approaching his 2017 total of 14 passing touchdowns. Stanford, unlike Utah, has a plethora of dependable wide receivers who can share the ball.
Utah’s total defense allows only 4.03 yards per play, earning Utah’s defense a coveted spot as 5th overall. Like years past, Utah’s defense is keeping the team in the game when the offense is being characteristically unproductive.
The Utes defense is facing a team that is ranked 55th overall in passing offense, which should be a relief to Utah’s defense after facing the #1 overall passing offense in Washington State last week.
Utah State travels south to play BYU Friday night at 7 PM and the game can be heard on 102.7 FM / 1160 AM and on the KSL app, or watched on ESPN2 at 7:00 PM Friday.
The Utah-Stanford game seen on ESPN at 8:30 on Saturday.