This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
College football comes a couple of days early this week. The 15th ranked Utah Utes are hosting the Oregon State Beavers, fresh off an upset victory against the then number on USC Trojans.
Through five games the Utes' defense has dominated.
The defense is ranked fifth nationally, allowing only 231.4 total yards-a-game. Even more impressive, the defense is allowing only 60.2 yards a game on the ground. That number also places the Ute defense fifth nationally.
Tonight, those numbers will be tested by the Beavers freshman running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who blasted USC's defense last week for 186 yards. How impressive was that? The Trojans were sixth in the country allowing only 51 yards rushing a game before Rodgers' big night a week ago.
"He's not very tall, but he's fast. He's our focus this week and we need to slow him down a little bit," says Ute head coach Kyle Whittingham. "He's like every good back. When there's nothing there, he gets three yards. That describes this guy to a tee."
Utah linebacker Stevenson Sylvester reiterates Whittingham's observations, "[Rodgers is] small but fast. When you watch him on tape you wouldn't think he was a freshman. He finds the holes and trusts his offensive lineman and that's good."
Rodgers and the Beavers shocked USC a week ago in Corvallis, 27-21. That win evened their record at 2-2. The Utes are coming off a win against Weber State and are looking to go 6-0.