California Listed As Utah’s Trap Game
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As national college football experts start dissecting the upcoming 2019 season, ESPN.com listed the “trap games” for each of their Top 25 teams.
They put the Utes at No. 16 in the country and are one of the five Pac-12 teams included on the list. Their trap game, according to ESPN is California on October 26 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
It’s Utah’s eighth game of the season and their fifth conference game.
Oregon is the highest ranked team in the conference at No. 10, followed by Washington at No. 15, Utah at No. 16, Stanford at No. 17 and Washington State at No. 19.
First Time Seeing Cal In Two Years
The Pac-12 has 9 conference games each year. Which means that every two years, Utah won’t see two conference teams. The last two seasons, Cal was one of those schools as well as Oregon State.
Utah won’t play Stanford or Oregon this season or next.
The Utes will play their second straight home game when they face the Golden Bears in October, with the first game being against Arizona State.
ESPN’s Edward Aschoff said this about Utah’s trap game with California:
“It can be tough to label conference opponents as trap opponents, but that Cal game on Oct. 26 could be a tricky one for the Utes. Utah will challenge for the top spot in the Pac-12 North and will have a tough game against Arizona State the week before Cal and an even tougher game at Washington the week after. Cal isn’t a top team in the league, and it would be natural for the Utes to overlook the Bears.”
Cal will battle the Utes the week after a home contest with Oregon State. Last season, they finished with a 7-6 overall record and a 4-5 mark in the conference. They lost to TCU in the Cheez-It Bowl, 10-7.
All-time, Utah has a 5-6 record against Cal and have won two of the last three games. Since joining the Pac-12, each team has won twice. Utah lost by five points in their last meeting in 2016 when the Utes were ranked No. 18 in the country.
BYU Is Washington’s Trap Game
Washington was the second highest ranked Pac-12 school on ESPN’s list. The defending Pac-12 champions have reloaded after losing starting quarterback Jake Browning, running back Myles Gaskin and most to their defense. They signed a Top 15 recruiting class that includes Orem High School star wide receiver Puka Nacua.
Aschoff mentioned Washington’s rebuilding defense as a reason for BYU being the trap game for the Huskies.
“When you’re in rebuilding mode on defense, road games can always be tricky. So if you’re the Huskies, don’t sleep on the Sept. 21 trip to BYU. It comes a week before the USC game, and the Cougars will be playing with a major sense of urgency after last year’s 7-6 season. BYU also returns 14 starters, including eight on offense.”
BYU and Washington will face each other on September 21 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. The Huskies will be coming off of three straight home games to start the season against Eastern Washington, California and Hawaii.
The Huskies beat the Cougars in their meeting last season in Seattle, 35-7. They are 6-4 all-time against the Cougars and have won the last two games.