Football coaches preach until they're red in the face that the combination of solid offense, defense and special teams is the key to winning games, and the numbers prove it.
Four weeks into the 2001 season there are 12 undefeated teams and 12 winless teams. The undefeated teams, naturally, are right at the top of the list in points scored and points allowed, while those yet to win a game are at the bottom end — the last eight are winless.
"We talk about how you can win a game 7-3 or 35-31," Brighton coach Tom Cushing said. "There are things an offense can do to make the defense look strong and things a defense can do to make an offense look strong."
The Bengals (4-0), the No. 2 team in Class 5A, are fourth on the list in point differential as they allow 7.25 points per game and score 35.75 for a winning difference of 28.50 points a game. They have scored a special teams or defensive touchdown in each game.
Alta, also 4-0, leads the state by scoring 49 points a game and allowed 12.33. Six of the first seven teams are undefeated.
Each one of the first five teams have scored in some way other than offensively, and when they didn't the defense held their opponent to seven points or less.
Alta had a field goal and two fumble recoveries in one game and an interception return in another, and the one game it didn't, the Hawks won 19-7.
Incidentally, Taylorsville is the lowest ranked unbeaten team at No. 33 with 22.5 a game and surrender 15.75, while Kanab, at No. 74, is the highest winless team by scoring 10.33 and allowing 22 points. Juan Diego (No. 25) is the highest team with one win.
Union is the only team that is even — 15 and 15. Orem and Bear River are the only teams with one loss to allow more points than they score.
NO. 200? Cyprus coach Sonny Sudbury can collect his 200th career victory Friday in the Pirates' homecoming meeting with Bountiful.
WINLESS BATTLES: Either Payson or Springville can get into the win column when the two schools play each other in the only game pitting winless teams. The Red Devils lead the season series 45-29-7.
PICK THE WINNERS: Think you know your stuff? Log on to www.deseretnews.com/preps and try your hand with prep Grid Picks. Weekly winners receive $50 and a T-shirts and runners-up also win a T-shirt.
UNDEFEATED BATTLE: Altamont (3-0) hosts Parowan (3-0) in the only meeting between undefeated teams. An Altamont win would give the Longhorns their best start since 1976.
PREPS ON THE WEB: Can't wait for the nightly scores? Log on to www.deseretnews.com/preps and see the scores as soon as the Deseret News receives the information from the coaches. While there, check out the your favorite high school's own Web page complete with comprehensive standings, schedules, results and leaders. Also, Deseret News photographers take more pictures at games than could ever appear in the paper. Check out the photo galleries where additional photos can be viewed and purchased.