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For Utah to win . . .

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Offense: Offensively, the Utes should have been one of the most explosive in the WAC. Instead, it ranks only fifth.

Constant personnel injuries on the left side of the line led to lost confidence for the quarterback. Ankle injuries plaguing receiver Daniel Jones and running backs Chris Fuamtau-Ma'afala and Juan Johnson through the midseason meant Utah had only one weapon, receiver Kevin Dyson, and that meant heavy coverage.But last Saturday, everyone was healthy, and the surprise start for freshman quarterback Darnell Arceneaux laced the team with an energy and emotion it hasn't had all season. It also gave the Utes another bullet. Defenses can't simply sit back and cover all the outlets because Arceneaux with take off with great speed. He gained 63 yards last Saturday, many on designed plays like the quarterback draw.

BYU has had the week to prepare for his sprintouts, but as long as he makes good decisions as he did last week, he still adds an element of excitement and an extra coverage assignment to every play.

Defense: Utah's strength all season. It's not the flashy type. It has seven interceptions, none for score, and five fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown (Clarence Lawson went 63 yards to score last week against Rice). But it is fourth in the WAC in rush defense (last year's weakness) and scoring defense, sixth in pass defense and sixth in total defense.

Lawson made a hard hit for a minus-2-yard run on a Rice third-and-9 on the Owls' first drive of last Saturday's game, and that seemed to set the tone for the entire game. The Utes were more aggressive than they've been all season, and with two fumble recoveries leading to 14 second-half points, the defense was the most opportunistic it's been all season.

Linebacker Phil Glover, with the speed of a wide receiver and 238 pounds of hit, leads U. tacklers with 85, but strong safety Robert Love is just one back. The really good part is that right tackle Mike Thomas and noseguard Pene Talamaivao are third and fourth, meaning many plays are stopped at the line of scrimmage. No Ute is in the WAC top 20 because it's really a team defense.

Special teams: Punter Chris Hunter (43.1 yards per kick) is getting stronger each week, and punt coverage has been outstanding, allowing only 125 return yards in 10 games. Kevin Dyson has 224 punt-return yards to rank second in the WAC and No. 20 in the NCAA.

Place-kicking is more difficult to judge. Tommy Truhe ranks second in the league and 24th in the NCAA with 1.2 field goals a game (12-for-18), and he was perfect last week. He's 23-for-27 on PATs. He's had a couple of games with multiple FG/PAT misses, but not all were the kicker's fault.