Utah at Arizona- Position Battles

Who has the edge at each position? Inside The Utes breaks it all down...

Utah Quarterback
Jon Hays vs Nick Foles
Hays did exactly what he needed to do against Oregon State and Utah won. He managed the game, didn't really turn the ball over (I still blame the fumble on John White) and didn't make any questionable decision. Hays still isn't going to beat anyone, but he didn't beat himself, and that's all Utah can ask for at this point. Arizona has a poor defense, so Hays might be able to break 100 yards passing this week. If Foles was playing for a team with a better coaching staff and a better group of players around him, he'd be a Heisman contender. He has all the tools and will be playing on Sunday next season. The big QB has sliced and diced defenses all season long, only to be let down by a poor defense. Foles is completing 70% of his passes for 366 yards per game and 20 touchdowns. He has been picked 8 times. He's one of the top 10 QBs in the country, stuck on a mediocre team.
Advantage: Arizona

Running Back
John White vs Keola Antolin/Ka'deem Carey
White's pattern of on one week and off the next continued with the big game against Oregon State where he went for over 200 yards. White was dominant, and now faces an Arizona team that is giving up 174 yards per game on the ground. He should be disappointed if he doesn't get to at least 100 yards this week. Antolin is a short back, similar to White with a little bit more bulk to him. He's been consistent in his four years in Tucson putting up comparable numbers each season. This year he's going for close to 50 yards per game on just under 10 carries per, with 3 touchdowns. Carey is averaging just over 34 yards on about 8 carries per game with 4 touchdowns on the season.
Advantage: Utah

Wide Receiver
DeVonte Christopher, Reggie Dunn, and Dres Anderson vs Juron Criner, Gino Crump, David Roberts, David Douglas
If Utah can't throw the ball, their receivers have the make the most of their opportunities when they actually do decide to put it up. Christopher returned from injury last week and caught 1 ball for a touchdown, but was largely ineffective. Dunn continues to be more of a threat in the run game on the end around, while Anderson had a great touchdown catch last week, but was mostly absent for much of the game. The Arizona secondary is not very good and the Utes need to test them more often than they did last week against OSU. The Arizona receiving crew might be the best in the conference and have put up tremendous numbers to this point in the season. Criner is the leader, a senior with tremendous size who could own many school receiving records before he's done. He has 47 catches for 559 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season. Crump isn't too far behind at 45 catches for 442 yards and a touchdown. He also has good size at 6-2, 210 pounds. Roberts has 33 catches on the year for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns while Douglas has 36 catches for 374 yards. Suffice to say, this group is explosive. Dan Buckner, who leads the team in receiving yards, is out with a separated shoulder, which could limit some of their big play ability.
Advantage: Arizona

Tight End
Jake Murphy and Kendrick Moeia vs Jack Baucus
Murphy has 5 catches on the year for 64 yards on the season with a touchdown. Moeia has 8 grabs for 37 yards.Baucus is yet to haul in a reception this season as Arizona shies away from throwing to tight ends in their four receiver sets.
Advantage: Utah

Left Tackle
John Cullen vs Mickey Baucus
Cullen had a great game against Oregon, often opening up big holes for John White and getting down the field to block. Much improved over his recent performances. Baucus is a big kid at 6-8, 303 pounds and will only get bigger as he's only a freshman. On a line of youngsters, he may have the most upside.
Advantage: Utah

Left Guard
Miles Mason vs Carter Lees/Chris Putton
Mason had arguably his best game against Oregon State since the opener, creating big holes for John White who was finding a lot of success going to his left. If Mason can continue the solid play he showed last week, the Utes will be in great shape. Putton and Lees have alternated as starters the past three weeks. Lees is a 6-5, 320 pound redshirt freshman while Putton is a sophomore who played in five games in 2010.
Advantage: Utah

Tevita Stevens vs Kyle Quinn
Stevens bounced back from his worst game ever against Cal to put together a strong performance against Oregon State. Watching his leadership between plays is encouraging. Quinn is in his first year as a starter, but did appear in 12 games last season. He's a junior and considered the veteran on the line.
Advantage: Utah

Right Guard
Sam Brenner vs Trace Biskin
Brenner opened up holes for John White against Oregon State, which isn't much different than he's been doing all year as Utah's most consistent linemen. Biskin is a junior who is in his first year as a starter. He's taken over for an injured Shane Zink who is out with foot issues.
Advantage: Utah

Right Tackle
Tony Bergstrom vs Fabbians Ebbele
Bergstrom had a solid bounceback game against Oregon State. He's a senior and the leader of the offense as a three year starter. Ebelle is a redshirt freshman who won the job in the spring and has started all 8 games this season. He has tremendous size at 6-8, 305 pounds.
Advantage: Utah

Defensive End
Derrick Shelby and Joe Kruger vs C.J. Parish and Mohammed Usman
Shelby has been a force the past couple of weeks picking up sacks and putting pressure on QBs left and right. He's tallied 4 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and interception, 5 pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Kruger has been improved in recent weeks as well and new recorded 2 sacks and 3.5 losses. Parish has 4 tackles for loss on the year and 2 sacks while Mohammed has 1 tackle for loss and 1 sack. They're both seniors.
Advantage: Even

Defensive Tackle
Star Lotulei and Tevita Finau/Dave Kruger vs Justin Washington and Sione Tuihalamaka
Star is facing double teams consistently now, which is opening things up for the other guys, and they're delivering. Finau had his first three sacks of the season last week against Oregon State, while Kruger has 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Washington missed a few games earlier in the year with a leg injury, but is now back. He's a sophomore with 2 tackles for loss on the year. Tuihalamaka is also a sophomore who has started 7 games this season.
Advantage: Utah

Trevor Reilly, Matt Martinez, and Chaz Walker vs Paul Vassallo, Derek Earls, and Tra'Mayne Bondurant
The Utah linebackers shut down Oregon State and their running game on Saturday and will look to do so again against Arizona. Walker still leads the team in tackles with 69 while Martinez has pitched in 45. Reilly has 27 tackles to go along with 9 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. The workman-like group continues to get it done on the field despite physical shortcomings. Bondurant is the third different player to get a start the linebacker/nickleback spot. He's a true freshman who's still learning the ropes. Vassalo is a senior that leads the team in tackles with 53 while Earls is another senior who has 45 tack'es with five tackles for loss.
Advantage: Utah

Ryan Lacy/Mo Lee and Conroy Black vs Shaquille Richardson and Trevin Wade
Black, Lee, and Lacy all played very well against Oregon State, not giving their receivers much space down the field and coming up with picks by Lee and Lacy. They'll really be tested this week by Foles and Criner, who together, form arguably the top pass-catch duo in the conference. Foles doesn't make many mistakes and is very accurate. If the Utah corners aren't blanketing their receivers, they'll get burned. The Arizona corners have really had an up and down year with a big play followed by head scratching play as opponents are throwing for over 290 yards a game against the Wildcats. Richardson is an elite talent and has been starting since last year as a true freshman. He has 3 interceptions and 3 pass breakups on the year. Wade is a senior with good size who has two picks and 8 breakups on the season.
Advantage: Utah

Eric Rowe and Brian Blechen vs Robert Golden and Marquis Flowers
Blechen and Rowe were very good against Oregon State, but will now face arguably their toughest test of the season in Nick Foles and the Arizona passing attack. Foles is pinpoint accurate and his receivers run good routes. If Rowe and Blechen take bad angles to the ball, Arizona will be able to capitalize with a few big plays. There is no room for error with Foles. Golden is a senior with 34 starts under his belt who is one of the best safeties in the conference. The leader of the defense, he has an interception and 2 tackles for loss. Flowers was a highly rated prospect who is now a sophomore. He's second on the team in tackles with 48 and has 1 interception.
Advantage: Even

Coleman Peterson vs John Bonano
Peterson is 11 of 13 this year with a long of 48. Bonanao has solved the Arizona kicking problems making all five field goals and 9 PATs. The other two kickers were 2 for 6 on field goals and 13 of 18 on extra points before Bonano took the job.
Advantage: Utah

Sean Sellwood vs Kyle Dugandzic
Sellwood is averaging 42.7 yards per punt with a long 57. Dugandzic is averaging an absurd 46 yards per punt with a long of 64.
Advantage: Arizona

Punt Returns
Griff McNabb vs Richard Morrison
McNabb is averaging 4.7.2 yards per return with a long of 19. Morrison is averaging 5.5 per return with a long of 15.
Advantage: Even

Kick Returns
Reggie Dunn and Quinton Pedroza vs Garic Wharton and KaDeem Carey
Dunn is averaging 24.9 yards per return with a long of 45. Pedroza is still looking for his first chance. Carey and Wharton are now averaging 22 yards per return with a long of 39 by Caret and a long of 44 by Wharton.
Advantage: Even

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