Utah has looked solid in the first two games of the season, getting their vengeance against Utah State and beating up on Weber State, but the real test begins this week. Utah faces off against its first Pac-12 opponent of the season, Oregon State, which was one of many victims to FBS teams in week one, but handled Hawaii last week 33-14. Here’s a position-by-position look at this week’s matchup and which team will have the edge heading into Saturday’s game:
Travis Wilson looked like the real deal last week against Weber State, carving up the Wildcats’ secondary for 264 yards and three touchdowns on 16 of 19 completions in the first half. He added 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, impressive efficieny even against a lower tier team. So far this season, Wilson is a 66 percent passer with over 560 yards through the air and five touchdowns.
There was some debate heading into the season for Oregon State as to who would run the offense, senior Cody Vaz or junior Sean Mannion, but Mannion has undoubtedly seized the job. He had 372 passing yards and four touchdowns against Hawaii and led the Beavers to 508 yards of total offense. Mannion has nearly 800 yards passing through two games and is an incredible 79 percent passer with seven touchdowns.
Utah suddenly has a bevy of options in the backfield to tote the ball. Kelvin York, the incumbent starter, rumbled for a 24 yard score in the second quarter against Weber State, but junior Lucky Radley stated his case to take a few more carries from York moving forward. Radley had 13 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns against the Wildcats and to this point in the season, five different backs have had at least 10 carries for the Utes.
Oregon State has struggled so far this season in the running game despite high expectations for the tandem of Storm Woods and Terron Ward. The Beavers managed only 57 yards on 33 attempts against Hawaii, while no Oregon State back has had over 75 rushing yards in two games this season. Woods has scored twice, but is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry while Ward is even further behind at 2.8 yards per carry.
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