Took long enough, but the bye week is officially over and the Utes begin their final stretch run of the 2007 season. Saturday marks the first time in nearly a month Utah will play a home game. Wyoming, a team that hasn't won in Salt Lake City since 1999, is struggling and the Utes will look to continue their misery, while also extending their season high five game winning streak. But for that to happen, these questions will need to be answered.
Will Utah be rusty?
The Utes had the week off, how will that play into their game? The break very well could have given Brian Johnson even more time to heal, while also reenergizing Utah. But it also could be counterproductive, since Utah was streaking lately and the break might cool them off. While Wyoming appears to be a bad team, they are still very capable of defeating the Utes -- or at least giving them a game.
For Utah to succeed Saturday, they can't allow rust to set in and they will need to come out firing early. Not only to show Wyoming that they mean business, but to continue the progress of jumping on opponents early, which we've seen throughout this five game winning streak. That happens and the break will probably prove to be an asset, rather than a problem.
Will Wyoming be pissed?
They had a complete meltdown against San Diego State and that might be enough to spark some type of fight in them. If that happens, they could take their aggravation out on the Utes. And while this does seem unlikely, you never want to underestimate the Cowboys. They've played Utah tough in the past and should be ready to play. With that said, it'll take a really bad effort from Utah to give Wyoming any chance in this game.
What will the revenge factor be?
I don't think any of us have forgotten the game last year. The embarrassment in Laramie killed any title hopes and left a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans that stuck with them the rest of the season. Now Utah has a chance to play the revenge card and win their sixth straight, while also ensuring the team of its fifth consecutive bowl game. Because of what happened last year, I hope Utah comes to not only play, but pound the hell of the Cowboys. I'm not a big Wyoming fan and annihilating them would leave me with an ear-to-ear grin.
This should be a good game early with Utah blowing it open in the second half. In fact, I expect a result much like what happened in 2005. Getting to 7-3 won't be entirely easy, but the Cowboys are wounded, lifeless and Utah seems to be rolling right now. That is not a good combo from the Hoth Boys and one that I think results in a big Utah victory.