First look: Hoping to rebound, Washington State travels to Salt Lake
What is it? Washington State (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12) will travel to Salt Lake City for the third year in a row to play their first street game of the season, a conference match against Utah (1-2, 0.). -0). It will be homecoming for the Utes.
Where is it? Rice Eccles Stadium, east of downtown Salt Lake City.
When is it? Kick-off is scheduled for Saturday, 11:30 a.m. PDT.
Where can i watch it? Pac-12 Network will broadcast the broadcast, as will the Pac-12 Now app.
Who is preferred? The Utes opened as a 14-point favorite.
How have you been doing last week? The WSU suffered a staggering breakdown, losing a 14 point lead in the second quarter and giving 45 unanswered points to Southern Cal’s visit with a 45-14 loss. Utah lost to San Diego State in a 33:31 triple overtime thriller. The Utes bounced back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter in San Diego and sent the game into overtime, scoring a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining. The teams exchanged points in the first extra time and both missed field goals in the second. In triple overtime – which now includes alternating two-point attempts – SDSU converted to a Philly Special and Utah was unable to complete an open passing game.
Why the WSU will win: The Utes might feel a little exhausted after losing emotional games for consecutive weeks. Two Saturdays ago, Utah passed a decision to BYU for the first time in 12 years. Last weekend, San Diego State beat the Utes in triple overtime. It’s not that the Cougars are jumping on their side with panache, but it could be a good chance to jump on Utah. The Utes’ frantic defense got off to an unusually porous start to the year, allowing for 161.7 yards per game (ninth in the Pac-12). The WSU are in the league’s midfield in both passing and running, but when their offense is at their best, the two phases alternate in unpredictable ways with quarterback Jayden de Laura at the helm. Cougar running back Max Borghi has been successful against the Utes throughout his career. He has amassed 256 yards in three games before scrimmage.
Why Utah Wins: Utah likely has better defense than WSU an offensive, especially if the Cougars de Laura don’t start as quarterback. The runner-up sustained a leg injury against USC and his status for Saturday is uncertain. Utah ranks ninth nationally in pass defense, allowing only 135.3 yards per game. The Utes don’t disclose who they’ll be starting quarterback, but it looks like it was the Texas mobile transfer Cam Rising, stepping in with relief and sparking Utah at an up-pace almost to a win from behind Style. His # 1 target, the Britain Covey junior speedster, set the Cougars on fire for 134 yards and a score on six receptions last year. The Utes return nine of eleven starters from the defense that the WSU hidden in the second half of the 2020 game. Utah usually puts up one of the best defenses in the Pac-12. This year they have one of the best linebacking duos in the nation with Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell. “They are considered a defensive team but they don’t mind being explosive and scoring points on the board,” said Rolovich. Utah is also bringing back all five offensive linemen who paved the way for 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns against the Cougs last year. The Utes averaged 5.2 yards per carry this year. Utah has three receivers at over 100 yards each, and each of them stands over 6-foot-2. The WSU had problems with longer pass catchers this year. In total, the Utes bring back 19 of 22 starters. The WSU was blown out of Salt Lake City in the following years. The guests have already got off to a troubling start to this season.
What happened last time WSU and Utah are 9-9 in the all-time series and 4-4 since the Utes joined the Pac-12 in 2011. Similar to their loss to USC last weekend, the Cougars broke in their 2020 final in Salt . together Lake, pocketed 38 unanswered points in the second half and lost 45-28. WSU led 28-7 in the middle of the third quarter, but the Cougs made four late turnovers and the Utes offense came to life.
Things to know1. The Utes dedicate their 2021 season to Ty Jordan, who died of an accidental shootout in December. The running back from Texas was named Newcomer of the Year at the Pac-12 Conference the day before his death. A freshman in 2020, Jordan emerged as a budding FBS star. He ran for 597 yards and six touchdowns at 83 carries (averaging 7.2 yards per try) – and added 126 yards – in five games. Each Utes player wears a helmet sticker with the letters “LLTJ” – Long Live Ty Jordan.
2. In coach Kyle Whittingham’s 16 full seasons in Utah, the Utes have only recorded two campaigns losing – they went 5-7 in 2012 and ’13. Whittingham is the third longest active coach in the FBS, behind Kirk Ferentz of Iowa (23rd year) and Gary Patterson (22nd year) of Texas Christian. Whittingham was Utes’ assistant from 1994 to 2004. He was training in Utah when the program took place in the Western Athletic Conference (1994-98), Mountain West (1999-2010), and Pac-12 (2011-present). Since joining the Pac-12, Whittinghams Utes have set a 76-46 record (45-41 in league games) and stand 5-2 in bowl games. Whittingham’s utes are 11-3 overall in bowl games. “He did a really good job with this program in transitioning to the Pac-12,” said Rolovich. “He has a reputation for being physical and tough, but they also have some explosive playmakers on the offensive.”
3. Some Utes players have ties to the Palouse. Freshman linebacker Lolani Langi enrolled at WSU this spring and participated in the camp before stepping onto the transfer portal and landing in Utah. Andrew Mata’afa, a sophomore linebacker, is the cousin of Cougar Great Hercules Mata’afa. Jonah Elliss, another freshman linebacker from Utah, played his prep ball at Moscow High and was considered the best HS recruit in Idaho according to 247Sports.com. His father, Luther Elliss – the Idaho Defensive Line Coach – was an All-American Utes Defensive Tackle in the 1990s before embarking on a 10-year NFL career. Four Cougars are from Utah: quarterback Cammon Cooper, edge rusher Lawrence Falatea, and backup guards Rodrick Tialavea and Christian Hilborn. All of them are from the metropolitan area of Salt Lake City. WSU strength and conditioning trainer Junior Salt started for Utah from 2013 to 2014.
4th This is the sixth WSU / Utah match in Salt Lake City in the last seven years. The Cougs’ last win in Utah came in 2017 when Hercules Mata’afa led a defensive gem with a 33:25 win.