File under: sports/football
CSU – Quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt passed for more than 300 yards for the third time last week with 323. Wide receiver David Anderson leads the MWC with 502 yards receiving, and Chris Pittman is third in catches with 19. Sophomores Matt Bartz and Brandon Alconcel will have to fill the huge void left by the injury to tight end Joel Dressen. CSU’s offensive line gave up three sacks last week, the first time they had given up more than one. They should be bolstered by the return of center Mark Dryer, who could see time at guard or center.
Utah – Junior Brett Elliott won a three man battle to win the starting quarterback job, but broke his left wrist in the final play against Texas A&M. Sophomore Alex Smith won his starting debut 31-24 against California Sept. 11. Smith went 18 of 27 for 136 yards in the win. Utah’s offensive line has not allowed a sack this season.
CSU – The Rams had their worst day rushing since Oct. 7, 2000, against Miami (Ohio) with 39 yards net. Senior Rahsaan Sanders had minus two yards, and junior Marcus Houston had 30 yards. However, the Rams are still averaging more than 169 yards rushing per game and have a dangerous runner under center in Van Pelt. Dryer’s return should also help the running game.
Utah – Utes running back Brandon Warfield is second in the MWC with 448 yards rushing in three games. The senior has six career 100-yard rushing games. Smith is also an effective runner on the option. Starting left tackle Jesse Boone is out to injury.
Advantage – Utes
CSU – The Rams defense gave up more than 40 points for the second time this season against Miami (Ohio). The defense could not stop the run or the pass, giving up 330 yards passing and 206 yards rushing. Backup linebacker/nickel back Jahmal Hall is out but backup defensive end Luke Adkins should return. Linebacker Eric Pauly is leading the Rams with 36 tackles.
Utah – The Utes defense is somewhat vulnerable, giving up 363.3 yards per game this season. They have been more successful defending the pass giving up 223.7 yards per game. All-conference defensive end Jason Kaufusi is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Advantage – Even
CSU – Return man Dexter Wynn did not get much of a chance to return punts last week, but he remains a huge threat for the Rams on both kicks and punts. David Anderson also has proven to be a solid kickoff return man. Punter/kicker Jeff Babcock has been up and down kicking field goals, hitting four of seven attempts this year. He is having a solid year punting, averaging 42.8 yards per punt.
Utah – Kicker Bryan Borreson has made three of four field goal attempts this season. Punter Matt Kovacevich has had a great season, averaging 40.3 yards a punt and three punts inside the 20.
Advantage – Rams.