When playing a FCS team, pretty much everything has to be taken with a grain of salt - yes, even some of those improbable defeats. You just can't expect much to be solved against these teams. It's why, when you get down to it, they're the worst possible games on the schedule. Sure, they might give a team a live scrimmage, but is it worth the potential loss? I'm guessing Oregon State and Kansas State and Connecticut are all answering that question with an emphatic no.
I would too.
If you win, everyone expects it ... but if you lose, well then you're the butt of the national media. It's the proverbial lose-lose.
So, I don't anticipate much from this weekend. I expect a win, and it better happen, but even if the Utes look flawless, at the end of the day, it still came against a FCS program that won all of two games last year.
But that doesn't mean it's all fruitless. Certainly we'll be looking at some type of success to gauge this very premature season. If this game comes down to the final minutes, like last week's game against USU, I'm guessing most fans would be thoroughly disappointed. In that regard, I'm hoping for wall-to-wall domination.
I'd like for the Utes to be up by three-plus touchdowns entering the half. That happened last year against Northern Colorado, though all 21 first-half points came in the second quarter, but that wasn't the case in 2011 and 2008, when Utah only led 24-7 at the half against Montana State and Weber State respectively.
I'd like to see the Utes break 50, but I doubt that'll happen with how conservative Utah has proven to be under Whittingham. That's fine, though - as it's something I've never really expected. Still, it'd be nice, since Whittingham's Utes have only scored 50+ eight times ... and four of those games came in the 2010 season. In just two years at Utah, Meyer's Utes scored 50 or more four times. So, definitely the contrast.
Beyond just general optics, I'd also like to see Travis Wilson continue his success, more utilization of the tight ends, a bit more consistent running game (especially if Kelvin York starts this weekend), along with a solid defensive effort that stifles a Wildcat offense that did manage 50 points last week.
Most importantly, I just want a clean game with no injuries.
Then maybe we can start talking about Oregon State.