Re-ranking the college football teams: Where do BYU, Utah and USU stand after Week 4?

Published: Monday, Sept. 23 2013 12:50 p.m. MDT

BYU's Taysom Hill is tackled by Utah's Jared Norris as the University of Utah and Brigham Young University play football Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Provo.  
 (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Taysom Hill is tackled by Utah's Jared Norris as the University of Utah and Brigham Young University play football Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Provo. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

What a difference a week can make for college football teams across the country.

While some teams continue to makes great strides, other teams are left looking for answers. USC looks more like the USC of old as its finally found itself a quarterback in Cody Kessler. Meanwhile, Michigan continues to show its flaws for the second week in a row as it avoided yet another upset.

So how did the local in-state teams do?

Every week, USA Today's Paul Myerberg re-ranks all the college football teams. Utah State checks in at No. 55 after losing a close game against USC in The Coliseum.

Utah made one of the biggest moves of the week jumping 13 spots to come in at No. 39 after holding off BYU, 20-13. BYU dropped six spots to come in at No. 40 after its lackluster performance against the Utes on Saturday.

Utah State had a shot on nationally television to make a big splash, but came up short against the Trojans. Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton had his worst game of the season as he completed just 21-of-39 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

Nonetheless, Keeton continues to amaze as he has now thrown for 1,102 yards and 14 touchdowns with just one interception.

Don’t forget Keeton’s rushing ability as he has rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown. Adding it all up, Keeton has combined for more than 1,274 yards and 15 touchdowns. At this pace he is on track to gain over 3,800 yards and 45 touchdowns by season's end. There is a reason why some people have him in the running for the Heisman Trophy, an award given to college football’s most outstanding player.

BYU had another lackluster performance against the Utes as it dropped its fourth consecutive game against the rivals up on the hill. For the game, BYU outgained Utah in total yards with 443 to 402. However, it's what you do with those yards that matters, and BYU did not do itself any favors as it settled for field goals instead of touchdowns.

BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall isn’t throwing in the towel just yet with QB Taysom Hill.

"I thought he gave us a chance right until the end," Mendenhall told the Deseret News. "That's all I can ask from any quarterback. He'll continue to learn and grow as well as our team, but I like him a lot."

If Hill and BYU want to win their remaining games this season they will have to improve the passing game, while establishing a better balance on offense and executing at a higher level.

Utah answered the critics this week as they responded nicely with a win over rival BYU after suffering a heartbreaking 51-48 overtime loss against Oregon State two weeks ago.

Quarterback Travis Wilson enjoyed his first start in the rivalry.

"It feels amazing," he told the Deseret News. "I don't think I've ever had a win like this. It truly feels amazing."

So how does BYU’s defense compare to the other teams the Utes have faced to this point?

"BYU is definitely the toughest defense we played so far," Wilson told the Deseret News. "It was really important we had a good day.

With the win, the Utes move to 3-1 on the season as they head back into Pac-12 play looking to make a bowl game this year. After a bye week this week, the Utes will host No. 13 UCLA Oct. 3.

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