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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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Utah's Whittingham likes what he sees in Oregon State's defense

The Utah Utes are impressed with the way Oregon State plays as a team rather than having one or two individuals who stand out.

Nevertheless, there are two in particular the Utes have to worry about Saturday.

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Senior corner Jordan Poyer leads the nation with five interceptions while defensive end Scott Crichton leads the nation averaging 1.6 sacks a game.

The Utes' offensive line has improved and didn't give up a sack against USC and just two to UCLA, but Chriton will definitely test the Utes' new-found strength.

As for Poyer, who was named the national defensive player of the week after he had four tackles and three interceptions against Washington State, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham gushed about the defender this week.

"I have an affinity for great corner play and he is a great corner there is no doubt about it, he is the whole package," he said. "He has size, 6-feet, 190-pounds and he is tough and has great ball skills. He may be the best corner in the country."

The Utes have added to their 2013 recruiting class with the commitment of Dominque Hatfield, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound receiver out of Crenshaw H.S. in Los Angeles.

Hatfield committed even though he has yet to visit the Utes. He plans to attend the Utah-Cal game next week.

"I felt really comfortable with the coaches, all of them, so I wanted to go ahead and commit," he said. "I'm a Ute. I'm excited."

Hatfield can play both corner and receiver but was recruited as a receiver, which suits him just fine.

"I would have been Ok with either," he said. "But I like having the ball in my hands."

Hatfield said he is still keeping his options open, with San Jose State and UCLA among other programs on his radar.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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