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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Utah's Quarterback #3 Jordan Wynn throws a pass during football practice Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.

Northern Colorado (0-0) at Utah (0-0)



Thursday, 5:15 p.m.; Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,017); FieldTurf, Salt Lake City

TV: Pac-12 (Comcast: Ch. 37)

Radio: 700AM

Weather: Partly cloudy, 92 degrees.

The stakes

For Northern Colorado ... The Bears are playing for their first victory since 2010. They went 0-11 last season, going winless in their inaugural campaign under head coach Earnest Collins Jr.

For Utah ... The Utes are looking for their fifth consecutive season-opening victory. They're also seeking to get back on the winning track at home after losing last year's finale to Colorado, 17-14.

The trends

For Northern Colorado ... The Bears were projected to finish last in the Big Sky Conference by both the coaches and media in the league's preseason polls. Northern Colorado is 0-2 vs. Utah.

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For Utah ... The Utes were picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South behind USC in the conference's preseason media poll. They're 66-25 overall under head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Player to watch

Jordan Wynn, Utah: All eyes will be on the junior quarterback as he sees his first action since a season-ending shoulder injury against Washington on Oct. 1. How durable will Wynn be this time around?

Key matchup

Utah offense vs. Northern Colorado defense: Since the Bears gave up 438.2 yards per game last season, the Utes could get off to a roaring start under new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson.

Injury report

Northern Colorado: None.

Utah: Defensive lineman Junior Salt is out for the season with a broken foot.

Related coverage:

Jordan Wynn back at head of Utah offense after shoulder surgery

Utes preparing for football, not Northern Colorado

Utes expect to face a more balanced Bear attack in season-opener

View from the Booth: Utes looking good as season opens