Utah will bid goodbye to the bye Saturday while the Y. says hi to its last bye. Weber's off to the Big Buy in Wyoming, having sold its soul upfor the Cowboys' dough. Southern Utah's having a Doe Day of its own, and Utah State's hoping the way home from San Jose is paved with raisins.
Translation:UTEP (3-4 overall, 1-3 WAC) at Utah (2-4, 0-3), noon - Utah Coach Ron McBride spent much of his team's only bye week seeking knowledge in California, checking out what former San Jose State Coach Claude Gilbert might think of the Ute offense and then roaming around watching other games and practices.
Sometimes, says McBride, the answers are staring you in the face, but it takes an outsider to see them.
The outsider said that when things don't add up, subtract. "We saw some things we'll take out of our offense," McBride said Tuesday at the weekly Big 5 media huddle.
The Utes will spend the rest of this week working on fundamentals and execution in hopes of breaking that four-game losing streak. This will be Utah's fourth Western Athletic Conference game, and if they don't win, they can't possibly finish above .500. It's Utah's homecoming.
BYU (5-1, 3-0) at bye - The Cougars' second bye in two weeks probably isn't as welcome as the last since they're coming off that 52-9 victory over Colorado State and would like to keep rolling. The week off will, however, allow some players to heal. Those who are hurt, said sports information director Ralph Zobell, probably couldn't play if there was a game this week.
Weber State (4-3 overall, 3-3 in Big Sky) at Wyoming (7-0, 4-0 WAC), noon MDT - The Wildcats offered themselves up for this payoff game last spring when the athletic budget went critical. Some day, says Coach Dave Arslanian, he'd like to have a program that could compete year in and year out with a Wyoming, but this Cowboy club is unbeaten and ranked 17th in Division I-A. Weber is 1-22 against I-A schools.
"Our 18th ranking (in Division I-AA last week) was a fleeting one," says Arslanian, who lost 39-37 to Montana in Wildcat Stadium Saturday. "Our objective is to get it back - but I don't suspect we'll get it back this week."
Weber is No. 1 in I-AA total offense (520.4 yards per game) and passing offense (352.4), and quarterback Jamie Martin is the division's leader in total offense (348.6).
St. Mary's (Calif.)(4-2) at Southern Utah State (4-3, 2-1 Western Football Conference), 1 p.m. - After a 34-24 WFC loss last week to Cal-Northridge, the T-Birds are alone in second place. The Gaels are a nonleague opponent coming off a 45-25 loss to Sonoma State two weeks ago.
Last week was homecoming. This week is "Doe Bowl '90" - deer-hunt widows' day at the ballpark. Fashion show and finger sandwiches before the game, says Coach Jack Bishop.
Bishop hopes there's more T-Bird emotion for this one. Last week's game was a big-top matchup, "but it didn't feel like either team played with the intensity you would expect of a championship-caliber game," Bishop says. "We have just got to rebound."
SUSC lost starting running back Steve Hutchings to a knee injury in Saturday's third quarter (he had carried 15 times for 138 yards in the game), and he's gone for the season, having had surgery Monday.
Utah State (1-3-1, 1-0-1 Big West) at San Jose State (4-2-1, 3-0), 7 p.m. MDT - There are three unbeaten teams left in the Big West, and these are two of them, which makes this an early battle for all the raisins - the league's title team goes to the California Raisin Bowl.
San Jose State is the clear favorite here. The Spartans lost to Washington by three, to California by one and beat Stanford and tied Louisville, even if their Big West opponents so far have been lower-echelon teams.
But Aggie Coach Chuck Shelton says, "It's a good time for us. Our kids believe they have a shot at the Big West championship."
That's because they finally put things together in a 24-24 tie at Fresno last week. Fresno's two-time defending league champion and had won 17 straight conference games and 20 straight games at home. "The best we've ever played in (Shelton's) five years, our best all-around game," Shelton said of the Fresno effort.
To beat the Spartans, he says, "We have to play much better than at Fresno and (we need) San Jose to not play up to its ability."