Mitch Harper and John Coon of Athlon Sports delivered their midseason reviews for the BYU Cougars and Utah Utes.
As part of the reviews, they named the MVP for offense and defense, looked at the best newcomer and the best moment, and then previewed the second half of the season.
For the Cougars, Harper gave his offensive MVP to Tejan Koroma.
"Yes, a center is the MVP for BYU’s offense at the midway point," wrote Harper. "Koroma has been a four-year starter for the Cougars along the offensive front and he’s a captain this year. But still, to have a captain as the most worthy candidate for MVP on offense speaks to how bad things have been on that side of the ball for the Cougars this season."
After awarding his defensive MVP to Fred Warner and looking at the play of Beau Hoge against Utah State as his best moment. He handed his best newcomer to defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga.
"The true freshman nose tackle has been a star for the Cougars," Harper wrote. "Tonga (6-4, 340) has had many around the program buzzing that he could go down as the best defensive tackle to ever come through Provo. He’s that good."
For the Utes, Coon gave his offensive MVP to Tyler Huntley.
"Before being sidelined with a shoulder injury, the sophomore produced 1,174 yards of total offense," Coon explained. "His 73.3 completion percentage (88 of 120) leads the Pac-12, and Huntley has a pair of 300-yard passing games in four starts this season."
As for the best newcomer, Coon gave that to wide receiver Darren Carrington II.
"The Oregon transfer quickly emerged as Utah's top receiver with his ability to stretch the field and reel in all sorts of receptions," wrote Coon. "Carrington ranks in the top 25 nationally in receiving yards (593), receiving yards per game (98.8), receptions (39) and touchdowns (5)."
Carrington was also mentioned by Justin Gaither of SB Nation's House of Sparky as one of three players to watch for the Utes in the matchup with Arizona State on Saturday.2 comments on this story
"As the preferred target for Huntley early on in the season, his numbers have dropped off a little bit since Week 4, but even still, the ASU secondary will have its hands full trying to contain him," Gaither said. "Over his collegiate career, Carrington has faced ASU two times and has a combined 11 receptions for 181 yards and one touchdown. Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will need to make sure his secondary is up to the task or else Williams and Carrington could make them pay."
- Ricky Rubio makes his return to Minnesota
- BYU one of the seven biggest disappointments in college football
- Utah preview for Arizona State
ESPN writer Adam Teicher examined what former Utah signal caller Alex Smith went through on the sidelines in the final minute of the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-30 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.
Smith put up huge numbers in the one-point loss with 342 yards passing and three touchdowns, but had to watch in the final minutes as his defense tried to secure the win.