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GAME PREVIEW: (21) Utah vs. San Diego State

GAME PREVIEW: (21) Utah vs. San Diego State

Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The #21 Utah Utes (8-2, 5-1 MWC) will try to rebound from one of the toughest losses in recent history this Saturday against the San Diego State Aztecs (4-6, 2-4 MWC).

TCU put up 55 points on the Utah defense, exploding for almost 350 rushing yards. Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham said at his Monday press conference, "All we can do is learn from it, put it behind us and move on."

Utah moves on to face an upstart San Diego State team that is 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs still have much to play for with two more games in the season. If they can get both of those wins (@ Utah, @UNLV), they would become bowl eligible.

San Diego State employs a familiar face to head up the defense, former Head Coach at New Mexico Rocky Long. Kyle Whittingham said, "This week is similar to our defensive preparation for Air Force, but only with the offense going against the 3-3-5 scheme of the Aztecs." Long has brought the same scheme and has better athletes to run that scheme.

Offensively the Aztecs like to throw the ball around as they run a spread offense. New Head Coach Brady Hoke (former Ball State Head Coach) prefers to throw the ball and they do it well. They are ranked 2nd in the Mountain West Conference and 29th in the country in passing offense.

Utah insists that they are not looking ahead to next week's rivalry game with BYU, but if they are they could be in for a fight up on the hill Saturday night. This is the quintessential trap game.

\#21 Utah (8-2)
SDSU (4-6)
Passing Offense
\#52 NCAA 223.9 YPG
\#29 NCAA 261.5 YPG
Rushing Offense
\#39 NCAA 174.7 YPG
\#114 NCAA 78.1 YPG
Total Offense
\#50 NCAA 398.6 YPG
\#91 NCAA 339.6 YPG
Scoring Offense
\#48 NCAA 29.0 PPG
\#74 NCAA 24.9 PPG
Rush Defense
\#70 NCAA 151.0 YPG
\#90 NCAA 167.4 YPG
Pass Defense
\#14 NCAA 173.3 YPG
\#55 NCAA 212.2 YPG
Total Defense
\#29 NCAA 324.3 YPG
\#77 NCAA 379.6 YPG
Scoring Defense
\#24 NCAA 20.3 PPG
\#94 NCAA 30.0 PPG
Turnover Margin
\#51 NCAA +.20 TPG
\#104 NCAA -.80 TPG
Special Teams
Field Goals Punting
Last year in San Diego, Brian Johnson threw five touchdown passes, Freddie Brown had a career-high 110 receiving yards and two TDs, and Deshawn Richard scored back-to-back touchdowns on interception returns to lead Utah to a 63-14 victory over San Diego State. Utah, which clinched a share of the conference title with the win, recorded 520 yards of total offense, converted on 13-of-14 third downs and never punted. Louie Sakoda tied the school record by making nine extra point kicks and was one of the only starters still playing in the fourth quarter. The rout began early when Stevenson Sylvester forced a fumble on SDSU's first drive and Koa Misi recovered. Johnson then marched the Utes 53 yards and found Colt Sampson in the end zone for his first of five first-half touchdowns.

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