Game Preview: Utah vs Weber State

Taking a look at the matchup between the Utes and Wildcats

When Utah has the ball

After facing a tough defense in Utah State, things will go much easier on Saturday afternoon when Weber State roles into town. Coming off a victory this last week over the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, Weber State struggled containing the Lumberjacks' offense, allowing them to rack up 564 yards and 40 points. Bad news for the Wildcats, things get much more difficult on Saturday when they face the Utes.

Travis Wilson had a pretty decent game against Utah State throwing for just over 300 yards and a couple TD's to go with it. Now, on Saturday when you substitute Weber State's defense in instead of Utah State's, Wilson could be in for one heck of a game. He will have more time to sit back and go through his progressions, more receivers and tight ends open downfield taking advantage of the large amount of mismatches which they will have, and will have backs that will be provided with massive holes to run through to keep the defense honest. Combine all of those things that will be apparent Saturday afternoon and we may be in for quite the performance from Wilson.

Whether the Utes choose to run the ball or pass the ball, they should be very successful as they have the advantage at every position group against the Wildcats. If the Utes do what they're supposed to do, not make stupid decisions, and not overlook this Weber State team (which I am confident Whitt will not let happen), the game should be over by the half, as the backups begin to come in during the third quarter and finish the game. With all due respect, if the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin can put up 564 yards against this Wildcats' defense, there is no reason the Utes shouldn't put up 500-600 themselves, regardless of how much playing time the backups get.

Thing to keep an eye on, which receivers step up in the absence of Kenneth Scott. Will Anthony Denham's game roll over from last week and have another good outing this week? Will Sean Fitzgerald step up again and help fill the void of K. Scott? Or will another receiver make a name for himself and prove that he's the man for the job? Whoever it may be, Saturday is a great time to do so, as the coaches should dig deep into the depth chart and allow each of the receivers an opportunity to show what they can do on gameday. Another thing to keep an eye on, Andy Phillips. While Phillips had just about as good of a game as you can have last week against the Aggies (3-for-3 on FG's and kicking a successful onside kick), I want to see if Andy can continue right from where he left off and have another great game on Saturday. Having a good kicker is one of the most underrated weapons in football today. If Phillips can prove to be that next Louie Sakoda that people are already claiming him to be, Andy will be one of the Utes' most powerful weapons these next four seasons, as a made field goal here and there can change the output of a game drastically.

When Weber State Has the Ball

Last week against Stephen F. Austin, Weber State's offense scored 37 points but also got help from their special teams and defense who put up an additional 13 points, in what was a high scoring 50 - 40 win for the Wildcats. When the Wildcats are on offense, they are going to look to establish the run early, as they rushed for over 300 yards last week while passing for an additional 169 yards. Weber State will run the ball by commitee as they like to spread out carries between three players. Bo Bolen (5'9-200) and Josh Booker (6'0-205) are the two feature backs that will get the bulk of the carries, but look for true freshman Zach Smith (6'0-190) to be the Wildcat's change of pace, and big play back. Bolen and Booker carried the ball 20 and 17 times respectively, and averaging 4.2 and 4.5 yards per carry. Smith only carried the ball 8 times, but was very effective in his runs as he totaled up the most rushing yards of any Wildcat, with 91 yards and a touchdown.

When Weber State isn't running the ball, they'll look to senior QB Jordan Adamczyk as well as freshman Austin Chipoletti to air it out for the Wildcats. This is Adamczyk's first year starting for the Wildcats and it appears that he may have suffered from some first game jitters as he statistically didn't have the greatest game against SFA; throwing for 118 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and only completing 48% of passes. Chipoletti also saw action in their first game as he complete 2 of 3 pass for 1 TD, but also threw an interception. Look for Adamczyk to also have a presence in the Wildcat's run game on Saturday, as he carried the ball 6 times for 31 yards against SFA. As for the players that will be catching the passes, look for it to be more of one man show amongst the receivers for the Wildcats. Erik Walker is the go to receiver for the offense, as he had 7 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown last week against SFA. Walker is small, as he's listed at 5'10-170lbs, but is very quick and will rely on his abilities to make a defender miss after catching the ball. Runningback Zach Smith was the second leading receiver for the Wildcats against SFA, as he had 2 catches for 17 total yards.

It's safe to say that the strength of this Wildcat offense is the run game, but look for them to try and capitalize on play action passes to try and keep the Utah defense from keying too much on the run game. If Weber State can establish the run early and then use play action passes to get Walker and their talented group of runninbacks in space, they may be able to have some success against the Utah defense who mightily struggled in the secondary against Utah State.

Utah Will Win If......
Gorringe-They focus on the game itself. They're the vastly superior team and will win, unless they decide that they think they can just show up and go through the motions.
Karren- I don't show up and infect the entire team with some sort of disease.
Olson- they show up. If they don't do anything stupid and just go out there and stick to their gameplan, they will come out victorios. Utah wins big.
Swinney- It shows up. No FCS letdown for the Utes. You can already put this in the win column.

Predictions
Gorringe – Utah 55 Weber State 13
Karren – Utah 43 Weber State 13
Olson – Utah 41 Weber State 14
Swinney – Utah 45 Weber State 7

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