In college football, winning isn't the only factor. Who you beat, and how, is a vital part of moving up the rankings and getting into a good bowl game. So each week during the 2012 season, we'll take a look at how Utah's past and future opponents performed.
Aug. 30: Northern Colorado W, 41-0
Sept. 7: at Utah State L, 27-20 OT
Sept. 15: BYU, W, 24-21
Sept. 22: at Arizona State, L, 37-7
Oct. 4: USC, L, 38-28
Oct. 13: at UCLA, L, 21-14
Oct. 20: at Oregon State, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 27: Cal TBA
Nov. 3: Washington State TBA
Nov. 10: at Washington TBA
Nov. 17: Arizona TBA
Nov. 23: at Colorado 1 p.m. (FOX/FX)
Last week: Lost at Cal Poly, 56-28
No denying it's been a rough season for the Bears, whose lone win came against mighty Colorado Mesa. But there's not much shame in this loss at Cal Poly, who is undefeated and in the Big Sky driver's seat.
Sorry! No highlights!
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at Idaho State
Last week: Won at San Jose State, 49-27
The Utah State Aggie defense lived up to its reputation against the rush — they allowed only four yards on the ground and sacked SJSU QB David Fales 13 times. They did, however, allow 467 yards through the air — by far the most passing yards they've allowed this season. USU's offense, however, was nigh indefensible. USU QB Chuckie Keeton threw for 273 yards, threw 3 TDs (0 INTs), and rushed for a fourth TD. Kerwynn Williams scored 3 TDs rushing and tallied up 176 yards, averaging 11.7 per play. Perhaps the Aggie defense allowed so many passing yards because the offense scored so quickly and so often that the defense never got a chance to rest.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at home vs. New Mexico State
Last week: Lost at home to No. 10 Oregon State, 42-24
In what was expected to be a defensive struggle, the Cougars got lit up by the Beavers and backup quarterback Cody Vaz. And BYU's offense, led by new-old starter Riley Nelson, couldn't keep pace. The Cougars have an even bigger task ahead in South Bend this week.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at No. 7 Notre Dame
Last week: Won at Colorado, 51-17
After a shaky first half that saw the Sun Devils clinging to a 20-17 lead in Boulder, kick returner Rashad Ross took the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, and ASU never looked back. Quarterback Taylor Kelly threw for 308 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Next up: Thursday, Oct. 18 vs. No. 3 Oregon
Last week: Won at Washington, 24-14
After an early-season loss to Stanford, the Trojans have gotten back on the winning track with consecutive victories over Cal, Utah and Washington, the latter two on the road. They may not be as mighty as in past seasons, but SC should win their next two games to set up a titanic clash with Oregon.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. Colorado
Last week: Won vs. Utah, 21-14
After getting unexpectedly shelled against Cal in Berkeley, the Bruins were able to hold off the Utes at the Rose Bowl. After giving up a special teams touchdown early in the game, UCLA shut down new Ute quarterback Travis Wilson. (Former starter Jon Hays threw the Utes' only touchdown pass.) The Bruins now have a bye before heading to the desert to face Arizona State.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 27 at Arizona State
Last week: Won at BYU, 42-24
Most of the lingering questions as to whether backup Cody Vaz would be able to lead the Beavers after Sean Mannion went down with an injury were answered against BYU. The Cougar defense allowed more than twice as many offensive yards against the Beavers than what they've averaged this season so far. They also allowed Oregon St. to rush for more than 100 yards, only the third time that's happened this season for the Cougar defense. After the game, the Beavers stopped by In-N-Out burger to celebrate—something that is becoming a regular post-game ritual for them.
Next up: Saturday Oct. 20 at home vs. Utah (ESPN 2, 8:30 p.m. MST)
Last week: Won at Washington State, 31-17
There may be more fight in the Bears than we thought. They looked thoroughly unimpressive in consecutive losses to Ohio State, USC and Arizona State...but on second thought, those all might just be really good teams. Beating Wazzu doesn't prove much, so the real test will come this week when Cal hosts No. 20 Stanford in the traditional yearly "Big Game."
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. No. 20 Stanford
Last week: Lost at home to Cal, 31-17
First-year coach Mike Leach's campaign continued to take on water last weekend, and the Cougars' offense continued their struggles. Starting QB Connor Halliday was subbed out for good partway through the first quarter after throwing two INTs, giving him five picks in his last 29 pass attempts. Backup Jeff Tuel couldn't rally his offense for a comeback win, and the Cougar defense never had a real chance to get at Cal's QB. Good thing they have a bye week to get ready for their next shellacking...er, opponent — Stanford.
Next up: Bye
Last week: Lost to USC, 24-14
It's hard to figure these Huskies out. They got destroyed by LSU, looked impressive in upsetting Stanford, lost to Oregon in the blowout, then played the Trojans close (but not close enough). Still, making it through that stretch at 3-3 isn't too bad. They should do better against an easier second-half schedule.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at Arizona
Last week: Bye
The Wildcats had last week off to stew over their 54-48 overtime loss at Stanford the week before. In his first year with the Wildcats, coach Rich Rodriguez has a powerful passing attack led by quarterback Matt Scott, who already has over 2000 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. But that won't make much difference if the defense can't stop anybody.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. Washington
Last week: Lost vs. Arizona State, 51-17
There was a bright glimmer of hope for a moment, when the Buffs beat Washington State on Sept. 22. Since then, though, Colorado has suffered blowout losses to UCLA and Arizona State. And with road games at USC and Oregon coming up, there's no relief in sight.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at No. 10 USC