Utah Offensive Preview

Utah's offense is not explosive by any means, but there is certainly some talent Arizona needs to be aware of. Read on to see what that talent is and more.

Arizona’s defense has certainly faced more dynamic offenses than Utah, but the Utes get the job done with a solid running game and ball control.

Junior Travis Wilson will get the call at quarterback. The 6-foot-7, 233-pound signal caller is a bit like Washington’s Cyler Miles in how they are used.

Wilson has completed 59 percent of his passes on the season for 1,558 yards to go along with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Utah does not ask him to do a lot and it is unlikely that he is going to go out of his way to stretch the field, but Wilson does not make a lot of mistakes. He also has the ability to run a bit, but is unlikely to go on the ground too much with the fear of him being hit.

Wilson’s spreads the ball out a ton, but there are probably two guys that are better receivers than the rest.

Junior Kenneth Scott has 33 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns. His best game of the season may have been last week against Stanford when he caught four passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in overtime.

The second target that Wilson will look to is Devontae Booker, who has 30 catches for 252 yards and two touchdowns. A closer look reveals that 17 of those receptions and 151 of those yards have come in the last two weeks.

Senior Kaelin Clay is the best playmaker of the bunch, but only has 25 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Clay has five catches and 152 yards against Oregon, but is going to be remembered for dropping a sure touchdown at the goal line in a premature celebration.

The strength of Utah’s offense is really on the ground with the 5-foot-11, 203-pound Booker. He has 218 carries for 1,160 yards and eight touchdowns on the season and had a stretch earlier this season in which he ran for at least 100 yards in five straight games.

In the past few games, Booker has struggled some with the opposing defenses keying in on the run and forcing the Utah passing game to be win it on offense.

Still, Booker is going to get as many touches as he can handle, especially if the weather is bad and Utah has to abandon the passing game.

Utah’s offensive line is easily among the biggest that Arizona is going to see all season and it’s a nasty unit. There’s only one player that is below 300 pounds and it isn’t by much, which is why the Utes have no problem relying on controlling the game offensively.

Players to Watch:

#80, TE Westlee Tonga: Arizona is always going to be susceptible to a good tight end and Tonga is one of them. He has 22 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns and it would not be a surprise to see Utah go to him early.

#23, RB Devontae Booker: This goes without saying. Booker is among the better running backs Arizona has seen this season and it is going to have to contain him in order to win this game.

#8 Kaelin Clay: Clay is a playmaker and although he might be inconsistent, Arizona will need to keep close tabs on him. Utah’s offense isn’t great, but it also isn't incapable of making a big play.

Keys to the Game:

Contain the run: Stopping Booker will be nearly impossible, but Arizona needs to stop giving up big runs. If it can contain Booker and make him truly earn his yards, Arizona’s chances of winning will increase dramatically.

Limit the penalties: Utah’s offense doesn’t need any help in a game where offense is going to be hard earned by both teams. Arizona has been pretty good in this area and needs to continue on Saturday.

Be aggressive: Arizona’s defense has been at its best when it is aggressive with the blitz. Travis Wilson is decent, but it makes sense for Arizona to try to get to him early in order to get him rattled.


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