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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Keys for the Utes vs. USC

No surprise here, going with USC to win tonight's game. USC just has too many weapons and the Utes have too much inexperience in key spots for me to go with the Utes. So what do the Utes have to beat the Trojans?

Here are a few keys to the game -

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Get a fast start. Utah has struggled in the first quarter this year and the Utes can't afford to get behind against an explosive team like USC. Best way to start would be with a nice long drive that gets John White going early. The more the Utes can keep the ball in his hands the less USC will have it.

Create some turnovers. The Utes have just two interceptions and have recovered four fumbles. With Brian Blechen back, perhaps the Utah defense can get an interception or two and give the offense good field position.

Get Kenneth Scott involved in the game. At 6-3, 202-pounds, Scott looks like a Pac-12 receiver. He has a big, physical body and good hands. The Utes can't just depend on DeVonte Christopher and Dres Anderson for big plays, it's time Scott was more involved.

Prey on the center. We still aren't sure whether USC center Khaled Holmes is going to play due to an ankle injury. Even if he does it's doubtful he'll be 100 percent. This could be the game in which Utah's Star Lotulelei can make the biggest difference, particularly if Holmes is out.

Get some pressure from the outside. The Utes are experimenting with V.J. Fehoko at defensive end with the hopes the former linebacker can help get pressure on the quarterback. Trevor Reilly has quickness too and needs to be a disruptor so USC quarterback Matt Barkley can't get comfortable. If he does, the Utes could be in for another blowout.

- Lya Wodraska



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