So here is a brief overview of the current NCAA standings for both teams.
First, for the Utes:
Rushing - 183.25 yards per game, 3.8 yards per attempt, which is 29th in the country.
Passing - 171 yards per game, 9.91 yards per attempt, which is 95th in the country.
Total Offense - 354.25 yards per game, which is 75th in the country.
Rushing Defense - 130.3 yards per game, 3.75 yards per attempt, which is 50th in the country.
Passing Defense - 234.5 passing yards per game, 7.63 yards per completion, 76th in the country.
Total Defense - 364.75 yards per game, which is 65th in the country.
Now for the Ducks:
Rushing - 155.4 yards per game, 3.5 yards per carry, which is 57th in the country.
Passing - 293 yards per game, 14.5 yards per attempt, which is 20th in the country.
Total Offense - 448.4 yards per game, which is 19th in the country.
Rushing Defense - 59.2 yards per game, 2.18 yards per carry, which is 6th in the country.
Passing Defense - 270 yards per game, 6.49 yards per game, which is 103rd in the country.
Total Defense - 329.2 yards per game, which is 46th in the country.
So what does all of this mean? Probably not much, but it is something to go on, at least for now. Digging a little deeper and looking at turnovers, the Utes are plus seven on the year and the Ducks minus three. For the Utes to win this game this trend must continue. Last week alone Oregon had seven interceptions! I know that is not going to happen two weeks in a row, but it does show the Ducks are vulnerable under pressure.
Blitzes have seemed to cause the Ducks quarterbacks some problems; so look for more of that from the Utes on Friday night.
The other area that I find interesting in all of this is Oregon's ability to stop the run. They shut Michigan down, and I mean shut them down. If the Ducks do one thing, it is bring the pressure and stack the line of scrimmage. Now of course Utah's spread offense will not allow that to the same extent a conventional offense like Michigan's will, but you can bet to see the Ducks really line up and get after both tailback Brandon Warfield and quarterback Alex Smith with blitzes all night long. It is simply the Ducks' style.
Still, if the Utes can win the turnover battle they will have a great chance to win this game.