CB Chidobe Awuzie (USA Today)

Looking at the matchups between Utah and Colorado

Utah will take on one of the nation's top defenses

Utah Quarterbacks and Wide Receiver vs Colorado Secondary

The Utah passing game looked pretty good for the second week in a row, but wasn't really able to find the big play that they've been accustomed to outside of Moeia's late touchdown. Troy Williams is now averaging 220 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on the season. His yards per game on the ground are now at 20.6. Tim Patrick has been steady the past few weeks since returning to full strength. He now has 38 catches on the year and 5 touchdown. Cory Butler-Byrd needs the ball in his hands more. He's averaging 10.35 yards per touch on the year rushing and catching the ball.  Raelon Singleton is up to 25 catches as the third option and Siaosi Wilson looks like option number four with14  catches in 2016. Where have you gone T-Boney?

While the other defensive units for Colorado are good, the secondary is their strength, and might be the best in the conference. Senior Chidobe Awuzie is an all american candidate at corner with great size at 6' 205 pounds. Only 1 pick on the year, but he does have 7 passes defended. Teams rarely throw his way. Senior Akhello Witherspoon has a ridiculous 13 passes defended on the season. He's also very big for a corner at 6-3, 195. Senior Tedric Thompson leads the safety spot and is fouth on the team with 51 tackles to go along with his 5 interceptions and 10 passes defended. Junior Afolabi Laguda rounds out the group with 52 tackles. Colorado gives up only 198.8 yards per game through the air. They're tremendous.

Edge: Colorado

Utah Running Backs and Tight Ends vs Colorado Linebackers

The running game keeps dominating at Utah with Joe Williams having gone over 1,000 yards on the season despite missing 4 games. He's going to be an all conference back, and with Zack Moss and Troy McCormick behind him, the Utes have plenty of depth. They're averaging 213 yards per game on the ground. Evan Moeia and Harrison Handey found themselves are bigger parts of the offensive attack last week. It helps when Handley is healthy. They've combined for 31 catches and 2 touchdowns on the season.

Colorado doesn't have any stars at linebacker, but they've got a lot of good players. This group gives up only 131 yards per game on the ground and are led by senior inside linebacker Kenneth Olugbode with 81 tackles and 2 interceptions. Sophomore Ricky Gamboa is next to him and is second on the team with 55 tackles. Sophomore NJ Falo and Jimmie Gilbert man the outside backer spots. Gilbert has a team leading 10 sacks for loss while Falo has 1.5 sacks in a part time role. At 3.9 yards per rush given up, these guys are good.

Edge: Even

Utah Offensive Line vs Colorado Defensive Line

The Utah offensive line was solid last week against Oregon, but not spectacular. They'll be facing arguably their toughest challlenge of the season in Colorado's senior-heavy and uber-productive front 7. The Utes are fairly healthy on the line and this might be the time to get Lo Falemaka some of those center reps, especially if he's going to be the guy taking over next season. Utah has been pretty productive in limiting sacks and opening things up in the run game. If they can keep the penalties in line, it'll go a long ways towards helping win the contest.

With a 3 man front, the Buffs have a good amount of beef on their defensive line. Jordan Carrell is a 6-3, 300 pound senior with 5 sacks on the season and lines up as an end. Josh Tupuo is the big man in the middle at 6-3, 325. He's a senior with 35 tackles and 3 tackles for loss. Samson Kafovalu is another senior at 6-5, 275 pounds who has racked up 39 tackles. Statistically, these guys produce pretty well for a 3 man front, but they excel most at setting things up for the linebackers. As a team Colorado has 30 sacks.

Edge: Even


Ute Zone Top Stories