It's the Battle of the Brothers, Utah versus Utah State, Friday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah State will be looking to knock off the No. 24 ranked Utes, and no doubt this is one of the biggest games of the season for our friends in Logan. To avoid the upset, Utah has to follow these keys.
Take Care of the Ball
Probably one of the most obvious keys you can have when trying to predict a game is who ever wins the turnover battle wins the game. Well, I'd say that's especially true when you are trying to avoid an upset. Utah won the turnover battle against Michigan, and to keep USU from having a chance, they need to hold onto the ball. Chuckie Keeton is a dynamic player and can hurt the Utes, so the Utah offense can't give him multiple opportunities to do so, especially on a short field.
Win 3rd down
Utah was only 3/13 on 3rd down versus the Wolverines, that's a trend that can't continue throughout the season. In the 2013 games against the Aggies, the Utes were able to kill the clock with a very effective 4 minute offense to end the game. In order to do that, they needed to pick up important 3rd downs. Utah will need to keep drives alive, to help eliminate any confidence by USU, because one of the most discouraging things is not being able to get the other team off the field.
No stupid penalties
Against Michigan, the Utes extended a couple drives for the Wolverines by some pointless personal foul penalties. To keep the theme of the keys above, the Utes can't help the Aggies with the upset. Just like winning 3rd down and taking care of the ball, the Utes can't help the Aggies extend drives by committing stupid personal fouls. On the other side of the ball, the Utes can't kill their own drives with procedural penalties or holding calls.
Utah is a more talented team than Utah State. Utah is also the home team, so it's a very simple formula to win. Take care of the basics, and Utah should win the game.