Utah Quarterback and Wide Receivers vs Colorado Defensive Backs
This is a pretty lopsided match-up. Travis Wilson has yet to play a good game from start to finish on the road, but you can expect that against Colorado. This team is atrocious. Their passing defense is ranked dead last in pass efficiency. Opposing quarterbacks have an average of a 178.3 QB rating, which to put in perspective would be the best rating in the NCAA by a small margin. Colorado has allowed 38 passing touchdowns while only intercepting 3 passes on the season! Freshman DB Ken Crawley is an incredibly talented football player, but he is young and has been getting light up all season long. If Travis Wilson cannot move the ball at ease with Dres Anderson, Kenneth Scott, DeVonte Christopher, Jake Murphy, and Co. then there is a serious problem. I would not be surprised to see the game wind up like Washington State, where Jon Hays, and Adam Schulz get some action.
Utah Running Backs and Tight ends vs Colorado Linebackers
John White IV is 127 yards away from being the 1st Utah Ute in history to go over 1,000 yards in back to back seasons. Colorado's run defense is as bad as their pass defense! They allow 6 yards a carry and have yielded 25 touchdowns to their opposition. It is a safe bet to think the Wolfman will go off against Colorado, and Karl Williams, Luck Radley, Jarrell Oliver, and Kelvin York may get in on the action as well. Colorado's linebackers are soft and the Utes will look to capitalize on that early and often. Westlee Tonga, David Rolf, and Jake Murphy all have a decent shot of finding the end zone.
Utah Offensive Line vs Colorado Defensive Line
Chidera Uzo-Diribe and Kirk Poston have combined for 11 sacks from the defensive end spot and defensive tackle Will Pericak is a beast. This is the strength of Colorado D's undoubtedly. Chidera has 7 sacks on the year and is a raw athlete that could be trouble for Poutasi. I except Vyncent Jones and Sam Brenner to provide a steady push throughout the day. Tevita Stevens will have a tough assignment going against Pericak who is most likely going to find himself playing on Sunday's. Pericak has forced 4 fumbles on the season and is a disruptive force that never quits. The Utes may receive some aid from a few guys that have been healing up.
Colorado Quarterback and Receivers vs Utah Defensive Backs
Sophomore Nick Hirschman will get the nod for Colorado under center. He hasn't had much playing time attempting only 43 passes on the year with 1 TD and 3 interceptions, but still earns the start due to a serious lack of QB talent on the roster.
Utah defensive backs have to be licking their chops. After a year of near interceptions dropped over and over again, they should have plenty of chances to pick off the youngster Hirschman. Ryan Lacy, Moe Lee, and Reggie Topps have locked up with some of the top receivers in the country and had success. Against a Colorado receiving corps led by Nelson Spruce's 34 grabs, the Utes shouldn't have any trouble holding Colorado under 200 yards passing. If Colorado is going to have success, they'll have to do it b going deep down the field and trying to beat safeties Brian Blechen and Eric Rowe.
Colorado Running Backs and Tight Ends vs Utah Linebackers
The linebackers regressed last week, but a lot of that came because of the speed and talent of the Arizona running game. Utah looked slow and missed way too many tackles against the Wildcats. Colorado won't have that kind of success and may have issues going over 50 yards on the ground with starting running back Christian Powell out with an injury. In steps freshman Donta Abron and sophomore Tony Jones. Both are smaller backs at 5-10 190 pounds, and 5-7 190 pounds respectively. Combined they are averaging 46 yards per game with 3 touchdowns on the year. Jones has shown to be a reliable option catching the ball with 23 grabs in 2012.
Tigth end Nick Kasa is fourth ont eh team with 20 catches, but leads with 3 receiving touchdowns to go along with his impressive average of 17 yards per catch. The Utes have had trouble with big tight ends down the middle, and this may be an area that Colorado tries to exploit.
Colorado Offensive Line vs Utah Defensive Line
The Utah defensive line had what had to be their worst game of the season against Arizona last week. They were gashed by the running backs and QB Matt Scott repeatedly, putting a lot of pressure on the linebackers and safeties to make plays. That won't be the case with Colorado.
This will be the last time we get to see Star Lotulelei in a Ute uniform. The defensive tackle will be a first round draft pick in April and has been one of the best players ever to come through Salt Lake City. Enjoy him while you can and watch him dominate a weak Colorado front five.
The Colorado offensive line is pretty bad. They've given up 49 sacks on the season. Junior left tackle David Bakhtiari is the best of the bunch and an all conference candidate, but outside of him, the Buffs don't have much on the line. With two sophomores on the interior and redshirt freshman Stephen Nembot at right tackle, there's a lot of youth for Utah to take advantage of.
With all of that youth and really a lack of talent, the Utah ends need to have a big game. Joe Kruger, Nate Fakahafua, and Trevor Reilly should all be able to pick up sacks, or at least by highly disruptive in the Colorado backfield.
Unit Matchups: Utah at Colorado
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