Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — We've been waiting all summer for one of the most anticipated college football seasons ever in the state of Utah. So after an entertaining opening week of college football, what did we learn?
— BYU is not going to win a national championship or go to a BCS game and Utah isn't going to win a Pac-12 championship. However, both the Cougars and Utes will be better than many of their downhearted fans are believing after less-than-stellar performances by both in victories last week.
— The Utah State Aggies just can't win the big games can they? After dominating defending national champion Auburn for most of three hours, they just couldn't put the hammer down in what was a disappointing loss for most folks around here and a devastating one for Aggie loyalists.
— Neither can Weber State. Just two years after blowing a game at Colorado State in the final minutes, the Wildcats couldn't hang on against another Mountain West team late Saturday night, losing to Wyoming 35-32. The Wildcats allowed a 4th-and-11 first down on the winning drive with 33 seconds left and the winning touchdown with just 22 seconds left.
— On the other hand, BYU does know how to win big games. The Cougars looked buried, with everything going against them, down 13-0 early in the fourth quarter, only to score twice and win by one point thanks to a huge defensive play. Looking at the stats, they probably deserved to win, which didn't work out for the Aggies and Wildcats, who both dominated the stats in their games but still lost.
— Aggie freshman Chuckie Keeton is the best college quarterback in the state. At least he was Saturday. Wow did you see this kid play? Here he was, a true freshman, who was playing high school ball in Houston a year ago at this time, going against the defending national champions in front of 85,000 fans and playing with amazing poise. All he did was pass for 213 yards on 21 of 30 without an interception and score twice on the ground himself..
— Coach Gary Andersen and the Aggies need to be as bold on defense as they are on offense. The Ags had the guts to go for it three times on 4th down, which led directly to three touchdowns. However, in the final three minutes when Auburn marched right down the field for two scores, it appeared the Aggies weren't playing their normal defense in favor of the dreaded prevent defense.
— Utah's Jordan Wynn is either still injured or he forgot how to throw the ball during his time off. He is supposedly 100 percent, but his mechanics were way off last Thursday, even coach Kyle Whittingham said that, and at times it looked like he was throwing a shot put rather than a football. Even one of his touchdown passes fluttered in like a wounded duck. Also, if your coach is questioning the mechanics of a junior quarterback who has started the previous two seasons, you have to wonder what's going on.
— Give Southern Utah coach Ed Lamb some props, even though his team came up a point short at South Dakota State Saturday. The T-Birds rallied from a 29-7 deficit with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, but after scoring with two seconds left to get within 29-28, the T-Birds went for two points and failed. Lamb might have been remembering a game two years earlier when under the same scenario, he opted to kick, only to have it miss. This time he still lost by one, but went home knowing he went for the win.
— The Pac-12 may not be all that its cracked up to be this year. Let's see, Oregon lost to LSU, UCLA was beaten by Houston, Oregon State was shocked by Sacramento State and Colorado lost to Hawaii. Then there was USC, which held on for dear life to beat a mediocre Minnesota team, while Washington barely beat Eastern Washington 30-27 after getting outgained 504 yards to 250.
— San Jose State, which plays at BYU on Oct. 8 and at Utah State on Nov. 12, may just be the worst team in college football. The Spartans were ransacked by Stanford 57-3 Saturday and are coming off back-to-back seasons of 2-10 and 1-12.
— Boise State, may be one of the best teams in college football, again, this season. The Broncos handled Georgia with little problem Saturday night and with a non-league slate of Toledo, Tulsa, Fresno State and Nevada coming up, plus a Mountain West Conference schedule without BYU and Utah, the Broncos could have clear sailing to the BCS National Championship game.
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