Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Does Utah State have the best football team in the state?
We’ll find out Friday night.
If the Aggies can knock off BYU in Provo, you’ll have to crown them as the best team in the state. They would be unbeaten against three in-state schools, BYU, Utah and Southern Utah. And they’re certainly better than Weber State, which is off to an awful 0-5 start.
However if BYU wins, then it’s up for conjecture who is best because we’d have one of those unsatisfactory circles with BYU beating Utah State, Utah State defeating Utah and Utah beating BYU.
Then you’d have to judge the top team by how each finishes out the rest of the season. That’s what some people prefer to do anyway, judge the teams on the whole season, but I’ve always thought head-to-head match-ups are the best way to compare teams.
The key to Friday’s game could come down to Utah State’s potent offense vs. BYU’s stout defense. Behind sophomore Chuckie Keeton, the Aggies have been explosive on offense as they were Saturday night against UNLV, when they piled up 559 yards as Keeton passed for 402 yards and four touchdowns.
On the other side, the BYU defense has been outstanding all year and hasn’t given up a touchdown in three games this year, including the last two.
It should be a fun one at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
GETTING THE BOOT: The Beehive Boot may be on the line in Friday night’s game.
What is the Beehive Boot? For those who don’t know, the Beehive Boot used to be kind of a big deal back in the day.
It was established in 1971 to reward the top college football team in Utah. An old pioneer boot was made into a trophy and awarded annually to the best college team in the state.
Utah State dominated early, winning the first four boots before BYU took over and won 15 of next 18. Since 1993, Utah has won the most with 10.
The fact that Utah State hasn’t beaten Utah and BYU in the same year since 1974 makes you wonder if that’s the last time the Aggies have claimed the trophy. However, USU has actually won three times since then, most recently in 2010 when the Aggies defeated BYU. Utah also beat BYU that year, but since the Utes and Aggies didn’t play each other, a vote by media folks gave the Aggies the boot.
OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS: Wow, did you see those scores Saturday?
West Virginia 70-63 over Baylor; Miami Ohio over Akron 56-49; Georgia 51-44 over Tennessee; Purdue 51-41 over Marshall; Fresno State 52-40 over San Diego State; Tulsa 49-42 over UAB; and Texas 41-36 over Oklahoma.
Offense is definitely in this year in college football, except for your occasional 7-6 ballgame.
The most amazing things about Saturday’s scores is that none were overtime games.
Turns out it was the second-highest scoring day in college football history with an average of 60.8 points being scored per game.
TOUGH START: After its loss to Cal Davis Saturday, Weber State became one of seven 0-5 teams in the 121-school FCS Division.
You have to feel for first-year coach Jody Sears. He joined the Wildcats in January as the defensive coordinator for coach John L. Smith, who was making a return to his alma mater after several successful years at major colleges. Then he bailed on the Wildcats, leaving the job for Sears.
Unfortunately it doesn’t get any easier for the Wildcats, who this week play Cal Poly, the only unbeaten team in the 13-team Big Sky.
RYDER CHOKE: Finally a few words about the Ryder Cup, which was played over the weekend.
I’ve said before that the Ryder Cup might be one of the most compelling sports events going, which it certainly was this weekend. Especially on Sunday afternoon with unbelievable bunker shots and putts from all over the place. The drama kept you on the edge of your seat for a couple of hours with ups and downs and every shot making a difference.
It would have been nice to see the United States win for a change — the U.S. had lost six of the previous eight cups — but after taking a supposed insurmountable 10-6 into the final day, the U.S. choked it away and lost 14½-13½
Johnny Miller put it best when he called it a “colossal collapse in Chicago.’’
Perhaps the only thing that made the defeat somewhat palatable for fans of the Americans was that the Europeans, who wore an image of the late Seve Ballesteros on their sleeves, made good on their dedication to the Spanish star, who was a big part of the European success in Ryder Cup play.
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