Utah Hopes to Steal One From Broncos

Boise State hopes to end the 2010 season on a winning note when they take on #19 Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl tomorrow night. The two teams kick it off at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

Just as the Utah basketball team stole a victory away from Boise State in the final minutes last week, the Ute football team is hoping to do the same in the Las Vegas Bowl tomorrow night.

It so happens that Utah has the perfect recipe, as cooked up by Nevada on Thanksgiving weekend. Stay within three touchdowns at halftime, come out of the locker room focused, and capitalize on a few officials' calls or Bronco mistakes, and trust that Boise State can't play four full quarters of hard-nosed football.

Keep in mind that strategy has not worked often in three seasons (Boise State has lost twice in that span), but Utah also tried to play mind games at a pre-bowl dinner the other night. If #15 Nevada can make Boise State look bad, #19 Utah definitely can. Utah will try to leave the Mountain West Conference on a good note--the Utes leave for the Pac-10 next season.

The game is ironic in a couple of ways. First, Boise State and Utah were to be conference rivals, seeing as the Broncos were invited earlier this year to be in the Mountain West. But just months after Boise State was accepted, Utah announced it was leaving the conference for the Pac-10 and was cancelling the remaining three games of a four-game series between the two schools. And now here the two teams are forced to face either other in a bowl game.

Second, Las Vegas was chosen as the site of a bowl game partially because of "good weather". While fans and players will be breaking out the rain gear in Las Vegas after the weatherman's forecast of a 100% chance of rain, fans in Boise will be basking in glorious sunshine.

Utah features a strong defensive front that will challenge Boise State's offensive line. The blocking schemes and technique will be critical to keeping the Utes off of quarterback Kellen Moore and establishing a running game. Things might be just as tough for the Bronco defense that could not find a way to stop Nevada in the second half. Utah is hoping Boise State will be just as worn out tomorrow night as they were in their only loss.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow night.

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