No. 19 Utah (8-3, 7-1 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (4-7, 3-5 Pac-12)
- Kickoff: Friday, 2 p.m. MST
- Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium (51,444 capacity)
- TV: Fox
- Livestream: FoxSports.com
- Radio: ESPN 700 AM
- Series: Tied 32-32-3
- Weather: Cloudy with temperatures in the high 40s at kickoff.
For Colorado: The Buffaloes are coming off of a 20-17 win against Washington.
For Utah: The Utes coming off of a win against then-No. 3 Oregon, which clinched the Pac-12 South title.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Colorado enters the game as the worst offense in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes are gaining just 267.5 yards of offense per game.
Of that, 135.5 yards per game come through air, worst in the Pac-12, and Colorado gains 131.9 per game on the ground, fourth-worst in the conference.
Quarterback Brendon Lewis has completed 60% of his passes this season for 1,456 total yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. His completion percentage and total yards thrown are second-worst among Pac-12 quarterbacks.
However, Lewis does not throw many interceptions, with his last pick coming on Oct. 23 against Cal.
Colorado’s offensive line has allowed Lewis to be sacked 27 times, the most in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes fired offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue on Oct. 25.
Utah’s defense has an opportunity to pad its stats when the Buffaloes come to town.
Jarek Broussard, RB, Colorado
Broussard was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year last season. This year, he’s rushed for 661 yards and just two touchdowns, in part because of the Buffaloes’ poor offensive line play.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back has excellent vision and is a threat to break off a long run, however.
Utah’s first priority on Friday will be stopping Broussard and the Colorado run game and force Lewis to throw the ball.
“It’s important that we take first things first and don’t get ahead of ourselves. Regardless of the situation, we can’t sit here and worry about who might and might not play in a couple weeks. That’s not the point of emphasis and the focus. The focus is the Colorado Buffaloes and they are playing good football. They beat Washington the other day and so we have to turn all of our attention, all of our focus and all our effort to the Colorado Buffs – which we will.”
— Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham on Colorado
“Utah has gotten better every week of the season. They had some struggles early on and I think it was right around week six or seven they started to really click. Defensively they are playing as good as they’ve played all season. They are very stingy on that side of the ball. They’re confident and it is a great system on defense.
— Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell on Utah, per BuffStampede.com
Utah travels to the Pac-12 championship on Dec. 3; Colorado’s season will be over.
Sept. 2 — Utah 40, Weber State 17
Sept. 11 — BYU 26, Utah 17
Sept. 18 — San Diego State 33, Utah 31 (3OT)
Sept. 25 — Utah 24, Washington State 13
Oct. 9 — Utah 42, USC 26
Oct. 16 — Utah 35, Arizona State 21
Oct. 23 — Oregon State 42, Utah 34
Oct. 30 — Utah 44, UCLA 24
Nov. 5 — Utah 52, Stanford 7
Nov. 13 — Utah 38, Arizona 29
Nov. 20 — Utah 38, Oregon 7
Nov. 26 — Colorado (2 p.m., FOX)
Dec. 3 — Pac-12 Championship Game (6 p.m., ABC)
All times MT