Saturday, Oct. 3

1 p.m. MDT kickoffSite: War Memorial Stadium Laramie, Wyo.

TV: KJZZ, Ch. 14

Radio: K-news AM-570, Utah Sports Network

Keys to victory

COVER FOR GLOVER: Without their biggest-name player - roving linebacker Phil Glover, whose ankle sprain required surgery - the Utes' rush defense that ranks No. 11 in the NCAA could be tested, even though Wyoming hasn't run much in '98. Kautai Olevao will start at rover, with sophomore Wes Tufaga backing him. Neither has Glover's size or speed, and Olevao's move from stud 'backer in the nickel could leave ripples.

DBGBs: Stands for "Defensive Backs need to Get Busy or say Good Bye to Cowboys receivers." Corners Andre Dyson and Teneil Ethridge had their problems covering Boise State receivers, though both have been decent to outstanding in other games. Wyoming receivers will have several inches per man in height advantage. With safety Robert Love likely out, Jamal Allen or Sitivi Laulu will probably see test patterns early from Wyoming.

COME TO ATTENTION: It's time for the Utes to quit blundering and pay attention to what's going on in the game. Utah needs to get its hands (no more fumbles or drops) and its brains (no more false starting, piling on, encroaching, blowing coverages) into play, or it might as well take the rest of the season off, too. It survived three error-filled games and helped beat itself last week, and Wyoming will be more physical than the first four opponents.

The edge

Quarterbacks

Jonathan Crosswhite is second in the WAC pass in efficiency (139.44 rating) and 23rd in the NCAA. His stats include 56 percent completion rate, 5 TDs and 2 interceptions. Yet he seems containable. Wyo soph Jay Stoner is third in the WAC and 27th in the NCAA in efficiency, with identical TDs and picks. Last week: 21-of-29 for 303 yards and 3 TDs. Slight edge: Wyoming

Running backs

UW vet Marques Brigham averages 73.3 ypg, but he got 151 vs. Division I-AA Montana State. Mike Anderson (20th NCAA, 114.3) and Omar Bacon (72.0) meet a tough run defense. Edge: Utah

Receivers

Cowboy TE Julian Hooker is coming off a career game (6 catches, 107 yards, 2 TDs); WR Wendell Montgomery needs 4 yards to make Wyo's top-10 career list (1,566). U. has Jerome Anderson (19 catches, 293 yards), Daniel Jones (15 for 243) and Donny Utu (11 for 143). Edge: Utah

Lines

UW defensive line is vicious; the offensive line's gotten its injured back but it was a preseason question. The Ute D-line is good - better if John Frank plays; the U. O-line's hurting. Edge: Wyoming

Linebackers

Replacing injured Phil Glover is tough, but the Utes are still good here. Wyo MLB Brian Brown is eighth in school career tackles (261). Edge: Even.

Defensive backs

Wyoming veterans held LaTech's Troy Edwards (405 yards receiving vs. Nebraska) to 79 yards. Robbie Duncan topped '97 WAC in deflections. Utes will miss SS Robert Love. Edge: Wyoming

Special teams

Two very good punters - Cowboy Aron Langley was ranked eighth in NCAA last year but struggling in '98. The Utes' Chris Hunter averages 41.6 yards for. UW kicker Aaron Elling is 3-of-3 in field goals and 5-of-6 in PATs;, while the U.'s Ryan Kaneshiro is 3-3 and 15-15. U's Daniel Jones is 24th in the NCAA in punt returns. Edge: Utah

Intangibles

The Utes need to awake after being humbled by Boise State. Cowboys have a nasty home crowd, a more physical team, a healthier team and plans to go bowling. It's Wyo's WAC opener. Edge: Wyoming

UTAH OFFENSE

In spite of all the mistakes Utah has made on offense - four interceptions, four lost fumbles and 18 false starts by the line - the team has some nice numbers.

The Utes rank 24th in the NCAA and second in the WAC in total offense, averaging 420.8 ypg. They're 29th in the NCAA in rushing (214.3), 56th in passing (206.5) and 34th in scoring (30.8).

Jonathan Crosswhite is second in the WAC in pass efficiency with a 139.4 rating, and junior running back Mike Anderson is second in the WAC and 20th in the NCAA in rushing average at 114.3 yards a game, 4.8 a carry, with three touchdowns. Junior Omar Bacon adds 72 yards a game, 6.1 a carry, and has four touchdowns. Receiver Jerome Anderson has moved to third in the WAC with 4.8 catches and 73.3 yards a game, with Daniel Jones averaging 3.8 and 60.8.

UTAH DEFENSE

The defense has some stats of which to be proud, too. It's 11th in the NCAA against the rush (78.0), 42nd in the NCAA and fourth in the WAC in scoring defense (allowing 21.5 points per game), 46th in NCAA against the pass (110.62) and 59th in the NCAA in total defense (allowing 353.0 yards).

Maintaining that efficiency after last week's carnage might be a miracle.

Last week, the defense actually made critical mistakes (piling-on penalty, offside on the 99-yard winning Boise State drive when the Broncos were pinned on their 1-yard line, blown coverages). And it lost LB Phil Glover and SS Robert Love. Love and DE John Frank, who's missed a couple weeks, are likely out this week with knee injuries, and Glover could be lost up to eight weeks. They are the defense's three marquee names.

UTAH SPECIAL TEAMS

It was a shocker last week when Daniel Jones dropped a kickoff deep in Ute territory, allowing Boise State - which scored on its opening drive - to go up 14-0 before Utah's offense touched the ball. But Jones has turned into one of the WAC's best returners of punts and kickoffs, and the kicking game appears solid.

Punter Chris Hunter's average (41.6 yards) isn't startling, but his placements have been superb and his kicks coverable (13 returns averaging 10.8 yards). Utah averages .3 yard more per kickoff return than opponents. And Ryan Kaneshiro is 3-for-3 on field goals, 15-for-15 on PATs.

Utah Utes

Two-deep offense

QB 16 Jonath. Crosswhite 6-2 210 Sr.

15 T.D. Croshaw 6-1 188 So.

RB 24 Omar Bacon 6-1 208 Jr.

22 Mike Anderson 6-2 220 Jr.

SB 25 Donny Utu 6-1 196 Jr.

9 Boo Bendinger 6-0 222 Jr.

WR 80 Daniel Jones 5-11 182 Sr.

18 Chris Christensen 5-11 177 So.

WR 5 Jerome Anderson 5-11 178 Sr.

25 Donny Utu 6-1 196 Jr.

TE 44 Andy Kassotis 6-3 273 Jr.

89 Matt Nickel 6-6 257 So.

LT 74 Devin Grant 6-8 300 Sr.

76 Luis Park 6-2 300 Jr.

LG 50 Sam White 6-3 280 So.

69 Todd Jackson 6-3 311 Sr.

C 55 Darren Walker 6-3 295 Sr.

66 Steve McKane 6-1 244 So.

RG 76 Luis Park 6-2 300 Jr.

69 Todd Jackson 6-3 311 Sr.

RT 58 Josh Cochran 6-5 307 Sr.

61 Kevin Wilson 6-7 306 Fr.

Two-deep defense

E 98 M. Kemoeatu 6-5 276 So.

90 Ed Ta'amu 6-2 280 So.

OE 39 Dicky Purcell 6-1 238 Sr.

60 Chuck Pine 6-2 220 Jr.

RT 99 Mike Thomas 6-1 303 Sr.

75 Rod Talaeai 6-0 258 Jr.

NG 91 Pene Talamaivao 6-4 313 Sr.

75 Richard Seals 6-2 308 Jr.

ROV 43 Kautai Olevao 6-2 240 So.

12 Wes Tufaga 6-0 216 So.

MLB 31 Cyrus Satoafaiga 6-0 261 Sr.

12 Wes Tufaga 6-0 216 So.

SLB 49 Jason Hooks 6-3 262 Sr.

52 Everestt Matagi 6-3 241 Jr.

LCB 21 Andre Dyson 5-10 184 So.

34 David Richards 6-0 187 Sr.

RCB 30 Teneil Ethridge 5-10 188 Jr.

40 Jay Hill 6-1 186 Jr.

SS 35 Robert Love 5-9 203 Sr.

28 Sitivi Laulu 6-0 210 Jr.

FS 10 K. Christianson 6-3 209 So.

28 Jamal Allen 5-11 207 Sr.

Specialists

PK 19 Ryan Kaneshiro 5-6 172 Fr.

P 86 Chris Hunter 6-5 232 Jr.

PR 32 Daniel Jones 5-11 182 Sr.

KR 30 Teneil Ethridge 5-10 188 Jr.

KR 80 Daniel Jones 5-11 182 Sr.

Individual leaders

Passing Cmp.-Att. Yds. TDs Int.

Crosswhite 36-64 485 5 2

Arceneaux 21-38 341 2 2

Rushing No. Yds. Avg. TDs

M. Anderson 96 457 4.8 3

Bacon 47 296 6.1 4

Receiving No. Yds Avg. TDs

J. Anderson 19 293 15.4 1

Jones 15 243 16.2 2

Utu 11 143 13.0 3

Kick returns No. Yds Avg. TDs

Ethridge 2 43 21.5 0

Jones 10 192 19.2 0

Punt returns No. Yds Avg. TDs

Jones 9 115 12.8 0

Scoring TDS PAT FGS PTS

Bacon 4 0 0 24

Kaneshiro 0 15 3 24

M. Anderson 3 0 0 18

Utu 3 0 0 18

Team comparisons

Utah Wyo.

Total offense avg. 420.8 396.3

Total defense avg. 356.00 382.3

Scoring offense avg. 30.8 19.0

Scoring defense avg. 21.5 14.7

Rushing offense avg. 214.3 166.3

Rushing defense avg. 78.0 108.3

Passing offense avg. 206.5230.0

Passing defense avg. 275.0 274.0

Turnover margin -1 +2

Utah's 1998 season

W 20-12 at Utah State (1-0)

W 45-22 Louisville (2-0)

W 30-21 Hawaii (3-0, 1-0)

L 31-28 Boise State (3-1, 1-0)

Oct. 3 at Wyoming 1 p.m.

Oct. 17 Fresno State 1 p.m.

Oct. 24 at San Diego State 6 p.m.

Oct. 31 at San Jose State 6 p.m.

Nov. 7 Texas El Paso 1 p.m.

Nov. 14 at New Mexico 1 p.m.

Nov. 21 Brigham Young 11:30 a.m.

WYOMING OFFENSE

Under second-year coach Dana Dimel, Wyoming has 17 different offensive formations to play around with, using a fullback, A-back, double-tight ends and some option play. Dimel would sometimes like to run more often - Wyoming averages 166.3 yards per game. It has two rushing TDs and averages just 19.0 points a game.

The Cowboys are 37th in the NCAA in passing, averaging 230 yards, with a maturing young quarterback (sophore Jay Stoner) and a receiver (junior Wendell Montgomery) about to join the school's top 10 in career yards. This is the school that produced two-time NCAA season yardage leader Ryan Yarborough (1,512 and 1,351) and two-time NCAA leader in average yards per game Marcus Harris (137.5 and 119.3) in the past six years.

The line is big and physical and getting some injured players back after playing musical positions for awhile.

WYOMING DEFENSE

Like Utah, the Cowboys' real calling card is its defense - big and physical with an exceptional front seven and free safety. They have seven takeaways in three games. The Cowpokes rank 18th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing 14.7 points per game. They're 27th in the NCAA in rushing defense, giving up 108.3 yards a game.

Last week's game - a 31-19 Wyoming victory against Louisiana and the NCAA's No. 2 offense - hurt Wyoming's total-defense numbers with 474 yards allowed. But the Bulldogs were inside the Cowboy 10-yard line eight times and scored only 19 points.

The 'Boys are the best third-down-stopping team in the WAC, allowing conversions only 18.8 percent of the time.

WYOMING SPECIAL TEAMS

The Cowboys rank fourth in WAC net punting, kicking 14 times for 39.4 yards per punt but giving up only four returns for 33 total yards, a net of 37.0. Punter Aron Langley was the No. 8 punter in the NCAA in '97, averaging 45.2 yards per punt; the team ranked No. 2 in NCAA net punting.

The 'Pokes and junior Jon Jennings gain 8.0 yards on punt returns and 18.8 yards per on kickoff returns. Neither are stellar numbers. Placekicker Aaron Elling averages a field goal a game (3-for-3) but has made only 5 of 6 PATs.

Wyoming Cowboys

Two-deep offense

QB 11 Jay Stoner 6-1 206 So.

15 Matt Swanson 6-2 188 Fr.

TB 34 Marques Brigham 5-11 196 Sr.

7 Tim Beasley 5-11 200 Jr.

FB 39 Jared Jamagin 6-1 229 Jr.

32 Darth Tesinsky 6-0 177 Sr.

WR 81 B. Derenoncourt 5-11 165 Sr.

19 Willie King 5-11 162 Jr.

WR 18 Kofi Shuck 6-2 167 Jr.

80 Ryan McClendon 6-0 177 Sr.

TE 6 Julian Hooker 6-4 230 Sr.

86 Kirby Drube 6-6 242 Sr.

LT 72 Nate Selk 6-6 297 Jr.

61 Chris Cichosz 6-4 280 Jr.

LG 67 Dan Delcorio 6-4 290 Jr.

66 Terry Staggs 6-3 311 Sr.

C 54 Scott Allmon 6-4 290 Sr.

73 Brian Johnson 6-3 275 Fr.

RG 51 Jeff Smith 6-4 289 Sr.

70 John Huber 6-6 296 Fr.

RT 61 Chris Chicosz 6-4 280 Jr.

75 Trifon Demos 6-5 296 Jr.

Two-deep defense

DE 33 Pat Hirsch 6-3 235 So.

88 Jerel Haynes 6-1 243 Jr.

DT 93 B. Van Emmerik 6-4 266 Jr.

45 Jon Mathis 6-3 288 Jr.

NG 92 Jeff Boyle 6-1 280 So.

97 Jason Dreessen 6-4 269 Jr.

BAN 17 Adrian Hill 6-2 228 So.

2 P. Chukwurah 6-2 230 So.

SLB 28 Cortney Barnes 6-2 220 So.

37 Jay Wojtkiewicz 6-4 230 Sr.

MLB 13 Brian Brown 5-11 230 Sr.

44 Zach Keiter 5-10 211 Sr.

WLB 40 Kwabena Peprah 5-11 217 So.

38 Herman White 6-0 216 Fr.

FS 3 Al Rich 5-11 190 So.

1 Matt Lehning 6-1 196 Jr.

SS 21 Greg Van Leer 5-11 188 Sr.

20 Trent Gamble 5-10 186 Jr.

CB 27 J.P. Williams 5-9 177 Sr.

9 Adrian Boston 5-9 155 So.

CB 22 Robbie Duncan 5-9 189 Jr.

25 T.W. Steele 5-9 174 Jr.

Specialists

PK 8 Aaron Elling 6-1 180 So.

P 41 Aron Langley 6-0 188 Sr.

PR 4 Jon Jennings 5-8 192 Jr.

KR 81 B. Derenoncourt 5-11 165 Sr.

KR 7 Tim Beasley 5-11 200 Jr.

Individual leaders

Passing Cmp.-Att. Yds. TDs Int.

Stoner 57-91 652 5 2

Swanson 3-5 38 0 00

Rushing No. Yds. Ave. TDs

Brigham 52 220 4.2 2

Beasley 34 154 4.5 0

Stoner 21 57 2.7 0

Receiving No. Yds Ave. TDs

Montgomery 16 205 12.8 0

Shuck 9 81 9.0 1

Hooker 7 116 16.6 3

Beasley 7 54 7.7 0

Kick returns No. Yds. Ave. TDs

Nelson 5 117 23.4 0

Harts 5 79 15.8 0

Punt returns No. Yds Ave. TDs

Fisher 2 11 5.5 0

Smith 5 27 5.4 0

Scoring TDS PAT FGS PTS

Hooker 3 0 0 18

Elling 0 5 3 14

Brigham 2 0 0 12

UW's 1998 season

W 17-9 Montana State (1-0)

L 16-9 at Georgia (1-1)

W 31-19 Louisiana Tech (2-1)

Oct. 3 Utah 1 p.m.

Oct. 10 SMU 1 p.m.

Oct. 17 at UNLV 5 p.m.

Oct. 24 Rice 1 p.m.

Oct. 31 at TCU 1 p.m.

Nov. 7 at Colorado State noon

Nov. 14 Air Force noon

Nov. 21 at Tulsa 1 p.m.

U.-Wyo. series

In a rivalry that started Oct. 31, 1904, the two teams have played 72 times, with Utah owning a 41-28 edge, with one tie. Since the two teams have been members of the WAC, Wyoming leads 19-15. The Cowboys are 18-15 vs. Utah in Laramie. The two teams haven't played since Nov. 4, 1995, when Utah won 30-24 in Laramie.