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Week 6 MWC Football Preview: The Early Games

Two early games this week one on Thursday and one on Friday.

Thursday 10/2

(2-2) #15 (5-0)

Rice-Eccles 7PM MT TV: Radio: KALL 700 Sports

This game just got a lot interesting with Oregon State taking it to then #1 USC at home last Thursday. Do not let the 0-2 start for the Beavers fool anyone, Oregon State is a notorious late bloomer. Oregon State has gone 15-3 the last two years in games in October and later.

This game is much bigger in terms of the BCS and strength of schedule if Utah can beat the team that just beat the number one ranked team. Utah has revenge on their mind because last year these two teams played on opening weekend and lost quarterback Brian Johnson for a few weeks and running back Matt Asiata for the year.

On the year Oregon State has yet to win a road game after losing at Stanford and at Penn State in September. Both schools have similar national rankings in their statistics, with the one big difference being that Utah scores 10 more points per game at 38 compared to Oregon State. The big challenge for Utah will be trying to slow down true freshman Jacquizz Rodgers who ran all over USC with 186 yards and two touchdowns. This back is small, but very speedy and Oregon State just ran him right up the gut of USC and utilized his speed in the screen game along with other players.

Utah may be fine in defending the run, because they gave up only 50 yards to an Air Force team that was averaging around 300 per game, two weeks back. They focus must be on Rodgers to slow him down this game.

Utah just needs to keep getting everyone involved in this game and wear down the Oregon State front seven that has only been together for four games this year. Quarterback Brian Johnson will need to be a threat in the running game to keep the Beavers defense from focusing in on one player or type of play.

It is shown that Oregon State is vulnerable to a spread passing attack and a no huddle, look for Utah to emulate what USC did in the second half offensively.

Two side notes about the game as of October 1st the spread has Utah favored by 10.5, Vegas is rarely wrong but that seems a little bit high to me.

Also, Coach Whittingham has had good success a year after a team has beaten his Utes. Every team that has beaten Whittingham he has beaten them the year after; that list includes TCU, UCLA, San Diego State, UNLV, Colorado State, Air Force, and Wyoming. The only schools to defeat Whittingham two years in a row are BYU and New Mexico.

Final Score: Utah 31 Oregon State 20

Here is Coach Whittinghams weekly press conference going over this weeks game.

Friday 10/3

#7 (4-0) (1-3)

Romney Stadium 6PM MT TV: BYU TV Radio: KSL Sports Radio

It is a wonder ESPN did not pick up this game nationally for its Friday night game, because WAC schools do play a few weekday games plus the game is not even offered on ESPNs pay per view package. Luckily though if you have DirecTv or Dish the game is shown on BYU TV, for DirecTv it is channel 374 and on Dish it is on 9403.

On to the game, well we all know that BYU is an overwhelming favorite in this game, and Romney Stadium will be filled with a lot of BYU fans. Also, Utah State fans will be bringing out the boos since they feel BYU stole star recruit quarterback Riley Nielson as he is currently serving his LDS mission. Riley played his freshman season at Utah State and played quite well before leaving.

The big question will be how many points BYU can score, and if they can coninue their scoreless streak which is currently at two games by outscoring opponents 103-0. BYU will most likely do what they wish against BYU with Max Hall throwing at least 2 touchdowns maybe three and then the backups will be in sometime during the third quarter.

For BYU to keep up in the polls BYU will need to give up no more then 17 points and win by at least three touchdowns.

Final Score: BYU 41 Utah State 3