Monday, October 1, 2012
First look: Utah
By Garry Paskwietz
Utah's Star Lotulelei, a potential top five pick in the 2013 NFL draft, anchors Utah's defense.
USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) vs. Utah (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12)
Time: Thursday, Oct. 4, 6:00 p.m. PT
Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
Radio: ESPNLA 710
Scouting Utah: Eighth-year head coach Kyle Whittingham’s Utah squad, rested after a bye, is coming off a 37-7 loss at Arizona State in its Pac-12 opener two weeks ago. That came a week after upsetting No. 25 BYU at home, 24-21. Senior QB Jon Hays (40-of-68, 58.8%, 467 yards, four TDs, one interception in 2012) has taken over for junior QB Jordan Wynn (25-of-38 passing, 65.8 completion percentage, 247 yards, two TDs, one interception), who had his second straight season cut short by a shoulder injury (the fourth of his career) when he was injured against Utah State. Hays is 7-4 starting in place of Wynn, who retired after throwing for 4,637 yards and 33 touchdowns. Senior RB John White (65 carries, 233 yards, 3.6 yards per carry, one TD; five receptions for 36 yards) is the top runner, while senior WR DeVonte Christopher (nine receptions, 83 yards, plus four kick returns for 98 yards), sophomore WR Dres Anderson (eight receptions, 116 yards, one TD) and sophomore TE Jake Murphy (nine receptions, 91 yards, 10.1 avg, two TDs) are among the featured pass-catchers.
The Utes' defense, which is tied for 25th in sacks per game (2.8, sixth in Pac-12), is led by senior DT Star Lotulelei (19 tackles, four for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles in 2012), who was an All-Pac-12 first team pick in 2011 when he won the Pac-12’s Morris Trophy. Lotulelei is aided by junior LB Trevor Reilly (25 tackles, four for loss, 2.5 sacks, one fumble recovery) and senior LB Dave Fagergren (23 tackles, one for loss). Senior punter Sean Sellwood (47.8 avg) is second nationally in punting.
-- Courtesy USC sports information