5 reasons BYU will beat Utah in the 2012 Rivalry Game

Published: Friday, Sept. 14 2012 7:40 p.m. MDT

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Bronco Mendenhall's 2012 defense is the most talented he has ever had. The 3-4 scheme puts great emphasis on the gap integrity of the defensive line. The foursome of Eathyn Manumaleuna, Russell Tialeava, Ian Dulan, and Romney Fuga are about as stout as it gets. The big boys eat up space and allow the talented BYU linebackers to fill the gaps and make plays in the backfield.

The Cougar defense has allowed just 1.8 yards per rush after the first two games of the season. Look for this to continue on Saturday at Rice-Eccles. John White IV is a terrific back, but the Utah offensive line has been less than imposing. The Utes are in the bottom third nationally in yards per carry. And this after two games against teams from non-automatic qualifying conferences.

Utah will struggle to establish the rushing attack and first-year offensive coordinator Brian Johnson will be forced to rely on either Jon Hays or Travis Wilson to beat the BYU secondary through the air. The 2012 version of the BYU defense has been much more aggressive and if the Utes become one-dimensional, look out. Kyle Van Noy and Ezekiel Ansah could very well be in the backfield on a consistent basis.
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