Utah Utes football notebook: Utes won't be overlooking the Aztecs
"We want to finish out the season — these last two games — tough," said junior linebacker Chaz Walker. "We look at it as a one-game season right now. We've got to go one game at a time and get back on that winning track."
Utah is on a two-game slide following an 8-0 start to the season. Tonight's game at Qualcomm Stadium is an opportunity, not necessarily a golden one, to restore the Utes' swagger and confidence.
Walker, who leads the team with 85 tackles, understands the challenges the Aztecs present on offense.
"They're a good, balanced team," he said. "As long as we do our job, we should be able to do OK."
The Utes will be multi-tasking because of SDSU's ability to run and pass the ball effectively.
Freshman Ronnie Hillman enters the game with 1,098 yards rushing.
"He's a very talented back. He's got speed and power. He's very patient and explosive," Walker said. "We've just got to do our job and run to the ball. As long as the defense runs to the ball, that will take care of some of those little mistakes that might happen."
SDSU's passing attack is headlined by junior Ryan Lindley, who has thrown for 2,688 yards this season.
"He's a good quarterback. I would say, probably, up there with Andy Dalton," Walker noted. "We're just going to have to stay sound and perform our scheme like we need to and make plays."
Senior wide receivers Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson have combined for 1,822 yards and 95 catches.
LOCAL PRODUCTS: Lindley offered a perspective from the other side about Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn, who played his high school ball at nearby Oceanside High School.
"Being from San Diego, I've met him a couple of times. He's a good player and he's had some success at Utah," Lindley said. "So he's done a good job. He throws a really good deep ball and they have some guys that he can get the ball to."
EXTRA POINTS: Utah has won four straight games against San Diego State to take a 16-12-1 lead in the series. ... This is the Pac-12 bound Utes' final Mountain West Conference road game. ... Former Ute star Eric Weddle of the San Diego Chargers is expected to be on the sidelines for the second straight week. The Chargers had a bye when Utah played at Notre Dame. This time around, San Diego hosts Denver on Monday night.
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