The Washington State Cougars put together a full game for the first time all season and they look to make it finally take a conference game this weekend against the Utah Utes, who got their first conference win last week against California.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at noon.
TV Coverage: Pac-12 Networks (National and all regional networks)
Internet Coverage: Video.Pac-12.com (With participating TV Package)
School: University of Utah, Pac-12 Conference, Official Athletics Site.
Season: The season so far has been a disappointment, to say the least, for the Utes. The year started with an easy win over FCS Northern Colorado 41-0. The next week the Utes were upset when they lost the Beehive Boot to their rivals, the Utah State Aggies, for the first time since 1997 27-20. They followed this with another rivalry game, this time a win in dramatic fashion, over the BYU Cougars. Following two false finishes and three field rushes from the MUSS, Utah walked out with the Holy War victory. That BYU win was the last win in quite some time. They started conference play with a blowout 37-7 loss at Arizona State, a closer 38-28 loss to USC, a 21-14 loss at UCLA, and a 21-7 loss at Oregon State. Last week, they were able to rebound with a big conference win, their first of the season, against California 49-27.
Coverage: SB Nation's Utah Utes blog Block U
Head Coach: Kyle Whittingham, 67-30 record in his eighth season as Utah head coach
Coordinators: Brian Johnson (Offensive) and Kalani Fifita Sitake (Defensive)
Key Offensive Players: Travis Wilson, QB: Following the Utah State game, where starter Jordan Wynn injured his shoulder for the fourth time and retired from football, Wilson, the freshman, competed with Jon Hayes for the starting job. Hayes started three games before Wilson took over the job. Wilson has completed 62 of 95 passes this season for 646 yards, 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
John White, RB: A second team all Pac-12 player last year, his first at Utah after transferring from Junior College, White broke the Utah single season record for rushing yards with 1,519. This season the official Utah site calls him a "Heisman candidate". With 131 rushes, 518 yards and 3 touchdowns this season while battling an ankle injury, he's my pick to take home the trophy.
Key Defensive Players: Star Lotulelei, DT: The only 1st team all Pac-12 player on Phil Steele's list, the senior Lotulelei is almost guaranteed to be on of the top picks in the NFL draft next year (CBS Sports lists him as the third overall prospect). So far this year, Lotulelei has 8 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.
Trevor Reilly, LB: Also ranked on the Phil Steele list, as a second team line backer, the Junior Reilly has worked his way up from being a walk on to being the team leader in tackles so far this season with 45. He make my own person watchlist for rocking a goatee that is a completely different color than his hair.