Utah also led the nation in sacks last year as late as Week 11. They were expected to add significantly to their total against WSU but were held without a single sack that day and lost.
Utah finished second in the nation last year in sacks.
And they went 5-7.
So while Utah's sacks number has and will continue to get significant ink in the media, there's not always such a direct correlation to winning.
That doesn't mean Oregon State is looking the other way when it comes to Utah's ability to generate heat on the quarterback.
In advance of a critical game for the Beavers (4-1, 1-1), assistant coach Mike Cavanaugh has been tinkering with his offensive line.
Tackles Gavin Andrews and Sean Harlow have switched spots on the offensive line in practice.
Andrews is now at right tackle with Harlow protecting Sean Mannion's blind side, though there's no guarantee that's how they'll line up in the game.
Cavanaugh told the Oregonian the move was made in part to try and ease the strain on Andrews' sprained left ankle - there's less pressure put on the ankle playing the opposite side.
Utah's Kyle Whittingham has declined to name a starting quarterback between Kendal Thompson and Travis Wilson, though most expect it to be Thompson after he provided the winning spark in Utah's upset over UCLA. "That's the plan going forward (that everyone will find out on Thursday,) said Whittingham on a conference call. "It's not a huge strategic move, but why tip your hand if you don't have to, and we don't have to. It's not like the NFL where you have to declare what's going on."
Whittingham implied that Utah is going to send his defense full tilt after Sean Mannion. "Sean does a nice job getting the ball out of his hands quick and making quick decisions, and hasn't been sacked excessively this year, but you do approach it differently when you have a guy who is not a true dual threat. The running element is not as prevalent with Mannion as it is with (UCLA's Brett) Hundley and some of the other guys. You do approach that a little bit differently," he said.
OSU vs. Utah: About those sacks ...
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