Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting To Know The Utah Utes

The Utah Utes (2-0) will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on the Michigan Wolverines (2-1) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2).

Both teams last met in 2008 at Michigan Stadium, where Utah used a 25-23 victory over Michigan to kick start its magical season where it ended with a victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Times have changed as the Utes moved from the Mountain West Conference to the more prestigious Pac-12 in 2011, while the Wolverines have stayed in the Big Ten, where it has expanded from 11 to 14 teams over the last the three seasons.

Utah comes into this weekend's game with a 3-0 overall record and will rely heavily on quarterback Travis Wilson. The junior leads the Pac-12 in the quarterback rating category with an average of 213.9. On the season, Wilson has completed 24 of 38 passes for 446 yards, six touchdown passes and zero interceptions. His biggest accomplishment might be one of five Pac-12 quarterback who has yet to throw an interception this season, but it is more about having a second chance to play after suffering a concussion against Arizona State on Nov. 9, 2013.

Wilson was not allowed to participate in any contact on the field until June when he was cleared to resume physical activities with the team. Since resuming full contact drills, Wilson has made the most of a second chance, averaging 11.7 yards per attempt.

DeVontae Booker is the Utes' leading rusher with 146 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns on the ground. Booker averages 7.2 yards per run, which is a team-high.

Junior wide receiver Kenneth Scott leads Utah in receptions with ten to go along with 134 yards and three touchdowns. Another receiver to watch out for is senior Dres Anderson, who leads the team in yards with 195 along with two touchdowns.

Senior tight end Kaelin Clay leads the way as he has caught four balls for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive end Nate Orchard, defensive back Eric Rowe and linebacker Jared Norris lead the Utes in tackles with 14 each.

On special teams, placekicker Andy Phillips is 1-for-1 on the season as he made a 47-yard field goal against Fresno State on Sept. 6. Phillips is also 16-of-16 on the year in extra point attempts.

2014 Utah Football Schedule:

Aug. 28: vs. Idaho State (W, 56-14)

Sept. 6 vs. Fresno State (W, 59-27)

Sept. 20 at Michigan

Sept. 27 vs. Washington State

Oct. 4 at UCLA

Oct. 16 at Oregon State

Oct. 25 vs. USC

Nov. 1 at Arizona State

Nov. 8 vs. Oregon

Nov. 15 at Stanford

Nov. 22 vs. Arizona

Nov. 29 at Colorado

Social Media:

Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.