Utah vs Wyoming- Position Breakdowns

Who has the edge at each position? InsideTheUtes breaks it all down...

The matchups:

Quarterback
Jordan Wynn vs. Austyn Carta-Samuels
Wynn has his best career day against Iowa State and seems to be heading towards elite qb status. Carta-Samuels hasn't had the year that many expected and missed last week with an injury. This might surprise some people, but I'm going with the throwing and upside of Wynn over the dual-threat of Carta-Samuels. Advantage: Utah

Running Back
Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide vs. Alvester Alexander
Asiata and Wide put up pretty good numbers against Iowa State. I'd like to see what their numbers would look like if they each played the entire game instead of getting pulled mid-blowout. Alexander is the starter for the team that averages the least rushing yards per game in the country. Enough said. Advantage: Utah

Wide Receiver
Jereme Brooks , Luke Matthews, Shaky Smithson and DeVonte Christopher vs. David Leonard, Zac Bolger, Mazi Ogbonna, and Chris McNeill
Leonard had over 70 catches in 2009, but has dropped of this year to only 22. Bolger is a deep threat, but no one else has done much this year. Christopher had another huge game last week while Shaky and Matthews pitched in. Jereme Brooks was not the go to receiver last week, but wasn't need as the Utes rolled up over 350 yards through the air. Advantage: Utah

Tight End/Fullback
Kendrick Moeia vs. Bryson Studnicka
Studnicka has one of the best last names in the country. He's a former linebacker who loves to hit. Moeai had his best game this year last week and could be primed for another one this week. His downfield blocking is much improved. Advantage: Even

Left Tackle
John Cullen vs. Clayton Kirven
Kirven has 28 career starts and is a big kid at 6'6' and 305 lbs. He's arguably the Cowboys' top offensive lineman and a very good pass blocker. Cullen hasn't been the Utes' best lineman this season, but on that line, that really doesn't mean much. He's still been very good and kept opposing defensive ends away from Jordan Wynn and Terrance Cain in not allowing a sack this year. Advantage: Even

Left Guard
Caleb Schlauderaff vs. Sam Sterner
Sterner is a four year starter with 42 career starts under his belt. Similar to Schlauderaff, he's a very good run blocker and might be the best left guard the Utes have faced so far. Caleb added to his pancake totals with a big game against Iowa State and his holding down his spot as the best left guard in the conference. Advantage: Utah

Center
Zane Taylor vs. Nick Carlson
Carlson has 14 career starts, but mostly at guard. He's a young kid with a bright future. Taylor is hands down the best center in the Mountain West and is pushing for All American honors. He's the captain of one of the best lines in the country. Advantage: Utah

Right Guard
Tevita Stevens vs. Jack Tennant
Tennant has three career starts, but has been a role player during his career in Laramie. Stevens had very good game last week against Iowa State and may have been the best lineman. He's turning out to be a special player. Advantage: Utah

Right Tackle
Tony Bergstrom vs. Josh Leonard
Leonard is a youngster without a lot of experience under his belt. He's going to have his hands full with Junior Tui'one from the outset. Bergstrom is the lost leader of the Utes offensive line and is having an All Conference year at right tackle. If it weren't for Taylor and Schlauderaff, he'd be the star of the line. Advantage: Utah

Defensive Ends
Junior Tui'one and Christian Cox vs. Josh Biezuns and Gabe Knapton
Biezuns is a versatile kid who is playing his third different position in three years. He's got good speed off of the edge in passing situations, but doesn't have a sack yet this year. Knapton led all MWC lineman in tackles in 2009. While not much of a threat to get to the quarterback, he's racked up a ton of tackles for loss on the year. Tui'one and Cox are still struggling to get sacks. It's starting to become a glaring weakness. While both have been great in run support, the sacks need to come soon. Advantage: Utah

Defensive Tackle
Sealver Siliga and Dave Kruger vs. Patrick Mertens and Mike Purcell
Mertens might be the skinniest defensive tackle in the country at 6'5" and 269 lbs. He's only a redshirt freshman and doesn't figure to do much against the Utes. Purcell is another youngster who is only a sophomore, but has been able to get a few tackles for loss and pressure on the quarterback this year with consistency. Siliga and Kruger continue to make their case as the best defensive tackle tandem in the conference. They could have a big day against a Wyoming team that can't run the ball. Advantage: Utah

Linebackers
Chad Manis, Matt Martinez, Chaz Walker vs. Ghaali Muhammad, Brian Hendricks, and Devyn Harris
Muhammad is only a sophomore, but is making his case as one of the best linebackers in the conference. He's currently third in the conference with almost 10 tackles per game. Hendricks was a first team preseason All Mountain West linebacker and a second teamer in 2009. Had the NCAA single game high of 23 tackles in one game in 2009 against Air Force. Redshirt freshman Harris beat out a senior for the starting outside linebacker spot. He's still learning on the go, but should be a good one in years to come. Manis, Martinez, and Walker haven't had to do much the past few weeks and have been pulled midway through games to let youngsters get more time. Manis and Martinez were particularly impressive last week for arguably the best linebacking trio in the conference. Advantage: Utah

Cornerback
Brandon Burton and Lamar Chapman vs. Marcell Gipson and Tashaun Gipson
The Gipson brothers are both good players and veterans, but can't hold a candle to Brandon Burton and the ever-improving Lamar Chapman. Burton had his first pick of the year last week and should be an All American. Advantage: Utah

Safety
Justin Taplin-Ross and Brian Blechen vs. Chris Prosinski and Shamiel Gary
Prosinski is a veteran and one of the best safeties in the Mountain West. Gary is 12th in the nation in tackles, but that's mostly a product of being on the field so much. Taplin-Ross had his first interception of the year last week and Blechen continues to be stout in both run support and is getting better in passing situations with each game. Advantage: Even

Kicker
Joe Phillips vs. Ian Watts
Watts is a former walk-on and is perfect on the year, but has only two field goal attempts. Phillips kicked 4 field goals last week and is still perfect on the year. He's the best kicker in the conference. Advantage: Utah

Punter
Sean Sellwood vs Austin McCoy
Sellwood may have met his equal in McCoy who is averaging over 45 yards per punt. Sellwood is bombing the ball repeatedly, but isn't getting enough punts with the Utes scoring at will the last three weeks. Advantage: Even

Kick/Punt Returner
Shaky Smithson and Reggie Dunn vs. David Leonard and Zach Bulger
Leonard and Bulger are average punt and kick returners, but they can't compete with what Utah throws out there. The Utes are leading the country in kick returner average are third in punt returns. It doesn't get much better than that. Advantage: Utah

Totals- Utah 13 Wyoming 0 Even 4

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