It's just two weeks away. I've been thinking about this game for weeks. I will present my thoughts on this game. I encourage your thoughts on this game though. I'm looking for several predictions. Not just my own. I'm curious about what you guys think will happen.
My analysis and prediction: This game looks like it's going to be very interesting. In the previous year, Utah's defense struggled to defend the outside run, which I felt was the key factor in the embarrassing 55-28 defeat. However, Utah appears to have probably fixed that problem. Unlike last year, I see no evidence of Utah having trouble against outside runs. They seem to be fine in that area. Which doesn't surprise me since they've been working on it since last year. That being said, Utah hasn't really been tested against an offense that likes to use outside runs. They will be tested on that against Air Force this week. Now, I know that last year's team did fine against Air Force's option. The only problem? They weren't consistent in defending those types of plays. I will say though, when Utah stopped Pitt's running back, which is one of the best running backs in the country, I was very impressed. This Utah team has more experience on defense than they did last year. Kyle Whittingham seems confident in it. The offense is as explosive as ever. Jordan Wynn was fine against TCU last year and I don't expect this year to be different. Now, TCU looks about as good as they were last year. They have pretty much the same guys. But there is ONE difference. No Jerry Hughes...this is a big deal. Because quarterbacks now have more time to throw the ball against TCU due to the absence of Jerry Hughes...as I noticed in TCU's game against Oregon State. So in conclusion, I think Utah has an edge. Because I believe Jordan Wynn will have more time to throw than Andy Dalton. And as far as the running game goes, Utah's running game should be as effective or ineffective as TCU's. However, if Utah doesn't take good care of the football, TCU will probably Win. Shaky Smithson can't have a Pittsburgh game. Blocked punts MUST NOT HAPPEN. And I'm a little concerned about blocked punts, because even though very few if any have happened since the Pitt game, there have been close calls. TCU's special teams will be faster than any other special teams unit Utah has seen this year. They need to make sure they get off their punts FAST. If Utah does that and holds on to the ball...I smell another 12-0 regular season.