The Utah Utes host ESPN’s College Game Day this week in a battle against the undefeated and fourth ranked, Washington Huskies. This game could prove to be the most pivotal in the season for the Utes if they are able to get it done. Here are three keys to beating Washington.
1. Control Washington’s offense
One of the greatest pieces to the Huskies success thus far in the season is their ability to control the game through the air. Washington’s sophomore quarterback and current Heisman contender, Jake Browning, is one of the most efficient passers in college football with a 67 percent completion rating and 26 touchdowns under his belt. The Utes have struggled continuously in the secondary and particularly last week’s game against UCLA showcased this weakness. Utah allowed UCLA’s backup quarterback, Mike Fafaul, to put the ball in the air 71 times, 40 of which he completed for 464 yards. To win the game Utah has to stop the air raid and place enough pressure to limit the attempts allowed by the quarterback.
2. Make it personal on the field
In his first season with Utah, transfer quarterback, Troy Williams has proved that he can win games the Utes have struggled with in the past. With Williams at the helm, Utah swept both of the southern California teams and knocked off Arizona, the lone team in the PAC 12 that the Utes had never been able to beat. With some great wins under his belt, Williams is primed to be able to get the job done but this Washington game is a different story. If you are a Utes fan at all, then you know the story about the quarterback’s history with Washington. Williams has an opportunity this week to play the game of his life and show the Huskies and their head coach, former Boise State leader, Chris Peterson just what he missed out on.
3. Feed the Williams
This week the Utes are facing the leading defense in the PAC 12 in the Washington Huskies. If the Huskie’s have one Achilles heel on defense it is against the running game where they sit in the middle of PAC. Fortunately, running the football has been working well over the past few weeks for the Utes with running back, Joe Williams putting in work on the field for the Utes and setting a single game school record against UCLA. If the running back is able to find the gaps he could prove to be a real threat and uncontrollable for the Huskies.
The Utah versus Washington matchup could prove to be a true battle with both teams pulling out all of the stops. If Utah can win this one at home it could lead to higher ground for the Utes. A win this week potentially leads to winning the southern division in the PAC 12 which means this may not be the only time they face the Huskies this season.