Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
U of U Sports
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

» E-mail Matt Piper

» E-mail Kyle Goon

» Subscribe (RSS)

Utes beat Wazzu, but it could be close

Picking the Utes to win today, but it could be closer than a lot of people think since the Utes have several key players banged up including running back Kelvin York, offensive lineman Sam Brenner and corner Ryan Lacy. Offensive lineman Jeremiah Tofaeono, who missed the Cal game with a foot injury, is the only player the Utes have announced won’t play.

The good news is Washington State’s defense has improved, but still isn’t to the point where it can beat the Utes in my opinion.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Cougars are giving up 436.8 yards a game and 29.6 points a game.

Ok, here are the keys for a Utah win:

1. Have some offensive linemen step up. With Tofaeono out and Sam Brenner questionable, the Utes are going to need Miles Mason to continue playing well and Percy Taumoelau, who started earlier this season then was moved to a backup role behind Jeremiah Poutasi at right tackle, to play well.

Kudos to the way Vyncent Jones has played. He suffered an injury earlier this season then stepped into the left guard spot in Tofaeono’s absence. The Utes will call on the junior to keep the line together today.

WSU is very good at getting to the quarterback, averaging 2.63 sacks a game to rank 23rd nationally. The guy the Utes must be concerned with is linebacker Travis Long, who is averaging 0.94 sacks a game for the Cougars.

2. Get John White going early. The ankle sprain that York suffered last week has put a sprain on Utah’s plans to split carries between the two backs. As Whittingham said earlier this week, the Utes know White can carry the ball 30-plus times. He is a back who benefits from a lot of carries too.

The Utes have got to find a way to get him going and put together some nice long, clock-eating drives to keep WSU’s offense off the field.

3. Be disciplined in the defense. The Utes have done a better job lately in not giving up as many big passing plays as they did earlier in the season. They’ve got to continue that trend today. The guy to watch is Moe Lee, who struggled earlier this year but could be called upon more today depending on Lacy’s status.

4. Get to the quarterbacks. The Cougars give up 4.25 sacks a game, the worst average in the country. Utah’s Joe Kruger said last week he is finally feeling healthy again, keep an eye on him.

5. Keep the third-down improvement going. With kicker Coleman Petersen struggling, going 3-for-8 this year, the Utes have all but abandoned field goal opportunities. The Utes have got to keep their drives going as they did against Cal when they converted 8-for-13 on third downs. The Utes are 39-for-116 on the year.

- Lya Wodraska

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

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Utah Football Schedule
Utah Basketball Schedule
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.