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BYU vs. Utah: Breaking down the matchups when BYU has the ball

By Brandon Gurney and Dan Sorensen

Published: Thursday, Sept. 19 2013 1:20 p.m. MDT

Free safety Eric Rowe will be another key player to watch for the Utes. Rowe has been solid but unspectacular this season. He’s often in the right spot at the right time, but has been inconsistent in his ability to finish the big play, especially interceptions. Utah needs Rowe to be a complete playmaker against both the run and the pass if it wants to win on Saturday.

Outlook: (Gurney)

Hill should improve on his 33 percent passing, and should have a lot of opportunities to beat Utah deep, assuming he'll see a lot of zero and one cover situations. He's yet to show he can take advantage of aggressive coverages, but should have prime opportunity to do so against Utah.

Look for Cody Hoffman to be the beneficiary of Utah's aggressive coverages along with Mathews, who is my sleeper in this game. Hoffman is obviously capable, but it's time for Mathews to show the same great playmaking ability he's shown in most practice sessions.

Simply stated, Hill and his receivers must make Utah respect the pass. If they do so, it will go a long way in boosting BYU's chances of winning the game.

Outlook (Sorensen):

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill hasn’t shown any kind of consistency as a passer this season. Although he’s capable of the big play, and will likely make a few against the Utah secondary, Utah should be able to keep him in check. If Utah can keep Hill from completing long passes, and keep his completion percentage below 50 percent, the Utes will have a great opportunity to win the game. The Utah secondary is capable of accomplishing both tasks, but will need to play much better than it did last week against Oregon State to succeed.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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