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Game 2: USC vs. Utah

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Utah (1-0) at USC (1-0)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 4:30 p.m. pacific on Versus

Ute to Watch: Sophomore LB Brian Blechen

Blechen.jpgHe was a Freshman All-American at safety, but moved to linebacker this season.  In the opener against Montana St., Blechen made seven tackles and grabbed two interceptions.

Click the link to learn more about the Utes:
fbusc11.pdf

3 Keys

Secondary is Primary

Minnesota did not have the passing attack to test USC's progress at defensive back.  New DB coach Sammy Knight admitted that Utah QB Jordan Wynn is the real deal manning Norm Chow's offense.  If the Trojans' back five hold up, the front four has the talent to dominate the Utes and get to know Wynn.

Out of the Woods

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham will not let Robert Woods beat the Utes by himself.  Unless the sophomore can make 17 more catches against double teams, Matt Barkley will need to find a few more weapons to diversify the offense.  Marc Tyler is back, which could open up play-action.  Freshman WR Marqise Lee is liable to break out at any time, and senior FB Rhett Ellison needs to have more than one catch.

Welcome to the Pac-12

Utah will be a season-long litmus test for how a mid-major fares in a BCS conference.  In only the second game of the season, the Utes depth won't really be tested, but the Trojans should be physically and athletically superior.  If Utah can upset the USC, they have a clear path to the Pac-12 South title thanks to a schedule break (no Oregon or Stanford).  If USC wins, the concerns over last week's ugly win should be alleviated.

Utah beat USC 10-6 in an ugly 2001 Vegas Bowl.
Palmer-Utah.jpg

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