The Utes are up in Beaver country tonight to try and take another step to bowl eligibility. The 4-1 Utes are looking to go over .500 in conference play for the first time as a member of the Pac-12. The Utes are also trying to keep their road success going as well, after beating both Michigan and UCLA on the road.
This will likely be Kendal Thompson's first start at quarterback, after taking over for Travis Wilson almost two weeks ago. Thompson kept the Utes ahead of the chains all night against the Bruins in UCLA. The one-two punch of Thompson with Devontae Booker proved to be a lethal combination last time out. The Utes will be looking for more consistency and play making out of their deep group of wide receivers, after a couple weeks of struggling.
The Beavers are also 4-1, but are really still trying to find themselves, especially with Brandin Cooks now in the NFL. Offensively, the Beavers are ranked below the Utes in the Pac-12, but have a great QB in Sean Mannion. Mannion has proven hard to get to for Utah in the past, and is really good at getting the ball out fast. The Beavers do struggle in 3rd down efficiency, at about 32%, something the Utes need to capitalize on. They bring in a nice defense, that is good against the pass.
However, something the Utes need to focus on, at least according to the following stat, is picking up that first 1st down of a drive…
When Utah picks up the initial first down of a drive, it scores 59.5 percent of the time, second-best rate in Pac-12 behind Oregon.— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) October 14, 2014
This is the second of three straight late 8pm MT start times for Utah football. If you're not in Reser Stadium cheering on the Utes, hang out with us and chat about the game!