Utah (8-3, 5-2) at BYU (8-2, 6-0)
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Radio: 700AM, 1160AM, 102.7FMTV: The mtn./CSTV
While the road team has had success in this rivalry over the past decade and a half, Utah has been particularly dominant in Provo. Since the Cougars beat the Utes 48-17 in then-Cougar Stadium in 1991, BYU has just one victory over the Utes on its home field, a 24-21 comeback win in 2001. Cougar losses to the Utes came in 1993 (34-31), 1995 (34-17), 1997 (20-14), 1999 (20-17), 2003 (3-0) and 2005 (41-34, OT).
UTAH RUNNING GAME vs. BYU RUN DEFENSE: The Cougars are one of the best teams in the country at defending the run, giving up just 92.2 yards per game. BYU has held some pretty good running backs to fewer than 100 yards, including New Mexico's Rodney Ferguson (87 yards), UNLV's Frank Summers (50) and Colorado State's Gartrell Johnson (72). In fact, no back has surpassed the century mark against BYU this year. Enter Utah's Darrell Mack, who has six 100-yard rushing games. His ascent to the top of the MWC rushing leaders list has coincided with Utah's rebound from a 1-3 start, and it stands to reason that if Mack and a physical offensive line can produce yards on the ground, the Utes will have an excellent chance to win. BYU will also have to contend with Utah's misdirection plays and the emphasis on involving receivers Marquis Wilson, Elijah Wesson and Jereme Brooks in the run game.EDGE: Even
UTAH PLAYER TO WATCH
Elijah Wesson, WR
The sophomore has 11 carries over the past three games, including five against New Mexico. He ran for 34 yards on four carries against Colorado State.Caleb Schlauderauf, LG The 6-foot-5, 300-pound freshman has started five of the last six games for an offensive line that has continued to get better throughout the year.
BYU PLAYER TO WATCH
Eathyn Manumaleuna, NT
The true freshman out of Timpview High was forced into a starting role in fall camp and has been solid all season. He has three tackles for loss.Kelly Poppinga, MLB BYU's leading tackler (82 total, seven for loss) is part of a talented linebacking corps that has helped keep opposing running backs in check.
PERFORMANCES TO REMEMBER
Utah's Eddie Johnson helped the Utes take out years of frustration on BYU in a 57-28 win in 1988. The senior scored four touchdowns, ran for 117 yards and added 91 receiving yards. Following the game, he told the crowd, "This is Utah's town now. No more BYU."