Utah Utes football: Utes expected better things from season
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah tackles leader Trevor Reilly isn't sugarcoating the current state of affairs. Entering Saturday's game against eighth-ranked Oregon State, the Utes are 2-4 overall. The record includes an 0-3 mark in Pac-12 play, linked together in succession.
"We expected better things," said Reilly, who described the situation as "no good" and "no fun."
Expectations were high. Utah was picked to finish second behind league favorite USC in the Pac-12 South preseason media poll.
Now, the Utes have a battle on their hands just to become bowl-eligible. They'll need four wins in a remaining schedule that includes home games against California (Oct. 27), Washington State (Nov. 3) and Arizona (Nov. 17), as well as road dates at Oregon State, Washington (Nov. 10) and Colorado (Nov. 23).
Although the circumstances are challenging, Reilly noted that there's nothing the Utes can do to alter the situation.
It is what it is.
"We've just got to go forward," Reilly said. "We need a big win this week. It would be a huge statement win for us."
Utah's defense, he added, needs to make the move from playing "good" at UCLA to "great" at Oregon State. The Utes put on quite a defensive performance in last year's 27-8 win over the Beavers at Rice-Eccles Stadium. They recorded six sacks and forced four turnovers in leading the program to its inaugural Pac-12 victory.
"Hopefully, this week we'll walk in there against one of the top offenses in the country and play great defense like we did against them last year," Reilly said.
CONFIDENT IN CORVALLIS: Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut last Saturday against BYU. The junior, who earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after leading the Beavers to a 42-24 victory, knows he won't be an unknown commodity to the Utes.
"They have the film now, so they won't be surprised by anything," Vaz told the Corvallis Gazette-Times. "We just have to do the same thing offensively, and that's execute. If we do that, we can move the ball on any defense."
EXTRA POINTS: Quarterback Travis Wilson is the fourth true freshman to start for the Utes this season. Punter Tom Hackett, linebacker Reshawn Hooker and offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi are the others. … Utah's last victory at Oregon State was a 22-10 decision in 1991. … The Utes will stay in Eugene, Ore., on Friday night and bus to Corvallis on Saturday. … The "Blackout Game" against Cal on Oct. 27 will start at 7:45 p.m. and be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: DirkFacer
- AP source: Irving, Barnes finish US Olympic...
- Federer out to turn around frustrating season...
- With 1-0 loss to Colombia, US finishes 4th in...
- Ipsen, Hixon get Olympic 3-meter spots,...
- National champion Sam Mikulak leads US men's...
- Past few days 'difficult' for former...
- Defending champ Serena Williams at Wimbledon...
- Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as...
- Never on Sunday: BYU won't compete on... 168
- Kalani Sitake on BYU-Utah rivalry: 'I... 74
- Sitake not intimidated by BYU's arduous... 59
- Dick Harmon: 1996 Cotton Bowl champion... 47
- Morning Links: BYU basketball fans... 43
- Morning links: Colin Cowherd compares... 34
- Utah Jazz plan to be 'active' during... 24
- Sitake making transition from longtime... 20