While Heaps is an established passer, BYU's ground game is also a concern. The Cougars are averaging 172.8 yards per game rushing.
Utah counters with the nation's 10th-best defense against the run. The Utes are allowing just 107.7 yards per game.
"We've played pretty good run defense this year and the running game has really been a strong suit for them," Whittingham said. "So that should be an interesting matchup."
Storylines, as usual, are plentiful whenever BYU and Utah square off.
Eleven of the past 13 meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less.
"I think the players, coaches and entire state knows how much fun the game can be and what the anticipation is to play a BYU-Utah game," Mendenhall said.
The only blowouts in recent years came in the Utes' Bowl Championship Series seasons in 2004 and 2008.
"We're looking forward to the game this week," Whittingham said. "There are no conference championship implications or anything of that nature, but it's still rivalry week and it will be an intense game — what we expect, as always."
Utes, Cougars on the air
BYU (6-5, 5-2 MWC) at Utah (9-2, 6-1)
Today, 1:30 p.m.; Rice-Eccles Stadium
TV: The mtn., CBS C
Radio: 700 AM, 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
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