No. 21 Utah (1-0) at BYU (1-0)
- Kickoff: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. MDT
- Venue: LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470 capacity)
- Surface: Grass
- TV: ESPN (Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore commentating, Alex Chappell on sideline)
- Livestream: WatchESPN
- Radio: ESPN 700 AM (Utah) / KSL 1160 AM (BYU)
- Series: According to Utah, the Utes lead 62-34-4. According to BYU, the Utes lead 59-31-4.
- Weather: Scattered thunderstorms with temperatures in the high 60s at kickoff.
For BYU … It’s the rivalry game, so the stakes for both teams are big, with both sides wanting to win the last matchup between the two schools until 2024. BYU is looking to stop Utah’s win streak at nine and win the rivalry game for the first time since 2009.
For Utah … Utah can do what neither team has been able to do throughout the 101-game series — extend a winning streak to 10 in a row.
For BYU … BYU defeated Arizona 24-16 to open the season with new quarterback Jaren Hall. The Cougars have lost to the Utes nine consecutive times.
For Utah … Utah beat Weber State 40-17 to start the year with new quarterback Charlie Brewer. The Utes have beat the Cougars nine straight times.
THE CRYSTAL BALL
BYU will win if … The Cougars don’t turn the ball over and create a few turnovers of their own. Time and time again during Utah’s nine-game win streak, BYU’s turnovers have been momentum shifters and are often the difference in the game. Quarterback Jaren Hall will also need to have a good game against Utah’s defense. If the Cougars take care of the ball and force a Utah turnover, BYU has a shot at ending the streak.
Utah will win if … Utah wins the turnover battle. When that happens, recent history shows that the Utes are in a good position to win the game.
BYU has turned the ball over twice as much as Utah during the past nine games. Nine of those turnovers went for touchdowns by Utah’s defense, per BYU radio broadcaster Greg Wrubell. A Utah turnover, especially for a touchdown, can shift momentum and take the air out of the LaVell Edwards Stadium crowd.
Over nine straight losses to Utah, BYU has more than twice as many turnovers as the Utes.— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) September 8, 2021
TOs during streak
Of BYU's 29 turnovers, nine were defensive touchdowns by Utah.
Of Utah's 14 turnovers, zero were defensive touchdowns by BYU.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jaren Hall, QB, BYU: Utah’s defense should be among the best that Hall and the Cougars face this year. How will the sophomore quarterback and the Cougars respond to the Utes’ defense? Hall looked solid against Arizona, going 18-for-28 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Utah will have to watch for Hall to take off running as well — the dual-threat quarterback is a threat in the run game.
Wide receiver Gunner Romney is doubtful for the game, but watch for Hall’s favorite target against Arizona, Neil Pau’u (126 receiving yards and two touchdowns). Puka Nacua and Samson Nacua — Washington and Utah transfers, respectively — should also be making their BYU debuts on Saturday.
Utah’s run defense could make life difficult for the Cougars’ running backs, so Hall will need to be at the top of his game on Saturday against Devin Lloyd, Clark Phillips III and the rest of the Utes’ defense.
BYU running back Tyler Allgeier vs. Utah’s run defense: Utah’s vaunted run defense, which allowed Weber State to rush for just 57 yards last week, will get tested by Cougar running back Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier was named to the preseason Doak Walker Award watchlist, the award which is given to the best running back in college football.
Last season, Allgeier rushed for 1,130 yards and 13 touchdowns on 150 carries. He’s a big part of the Cougars’ offense. BYU will certainly try to establish the run early, but Utah’s defense will make that tough. Mika Tafua is the Utes’ star on the line, and linebackers Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell are good at stopping the run. It should be a good matchup.
“He’s very mobile. They move the launch points a lot with him. There’s not a lot of drop-back passing. It’s play-action boots and getting outside the pocket. He’s a guy that’s got good speed. His mobility is really good. He did a nice job managing the game for them on Saturday.”
— Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham on BYU quarterback Jaren Hall
“We are looking forward to the game this Saturday. We feel really good about it coming off that win last weekend. We’ve moved on and we will find ways to learn from the mistakes we made and improve. We are looking forward to facing a ranked team here this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to the game and I know the players are, too. We didn’t get the game last year, so we’re excited.”
— BYU head coach Kalani Sitake on preparing for Utah
Utah visits San Diego State on Sept. 18; BYU hosts Arizona State on Sept. 18.
Sept. 2 — Utah 40, Weber State 17
Sept. 11 — at BYU (8:15 p.m., ESPN)
Sept. 18 — at San Diego State (5 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sept. 25 — Washington State
Oct. 2 — BYE
Oct. 9 — at USC
Oct. 16 — Arizona State
Oct. 23 — at Oregon State
Oct. 30 — UCLA
Nov. 5 — at Stanford (8:30 p.m., FS1)
Nov. 13 — at Arizona
Nov. 20 — Oregon
Nov. 26 — Colorado
All times MDT
Sept. 4 — BYU 24, Arizona 16
Sept. 11 — vs. Utah (8:15 p.m., ESPN)
Sept. 18 — vs. Arizona State (8:15 p.m., ESPN)
Sept. 25 — vs. USF
Oct. 1 — at Utah State (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Oct. 9 — vs. Boise State
Oct. 16 — at Baylor
Oct. 23 — at Washington State
Oct. 30 — vs. Virginia
Nov. 6 — vs. Idaho State (1 p.m., BYUtv)
Nov. 13 — BYE
Nov. 20 — at Georgia Southern (2 p.m., TV TBD)
Nov. 27 — at USC
All times MDT