CRIMSON CORNER

Three Storylines That Could Determine Winner Of Utah/Colorado Game

Dec 8, 2020, 2:32 PM
Utah Football celebrates at Rice Eccles Stadium...
Utah players begin warmups as they prepare to play Oregon State in a college football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football will go for their second straight win of the 2020 season when they face the undefeated Colorado Buffaloes in a Friday night clash.

The Utes are coming off of a 30-24 win over Oregon State at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 5. Colorado recently beat Arizona 24-13.

Since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, Utah is 7-2 against Colorado and 3-1 at Folsom Field. The Utes have won three straight games in this series. They beat CU last season at Rice-Eccles Stadium 45-15 on Senior Night.

Here is the Crimson Corner’s three storylines that could determine the winner of Utah/Colorado.

Stop Colorado’s Rushing Attack

Buffaloes running back Jarek Broussard is the Pac-12’s leading rusher with 733 yards in four games. He also has 3 rushing touchdowns. In their win over Arizona, Broussard ran for 301 yards on 25 carries. The sophomore is averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

Quarterback Sam Noyer is the third leading rusher in the conference among quarterbacks with 179 yards. He leads the Pac-12 signal callers with 5 rushing touchdowns. Noyer threw for 92 yards and two interceptions in their win over Arizona. He also ran for 68 yards on six attempts for one touchdown.

On the flip side, Utah’s defense is allowing 350.7 total yards per game, which is good for second in the conference. The Utes lead the Pac-12, allowing just 104.7 rushing yards per game. In this matchup, something has to give.

Control Line Of Scrimmage

On offense, Utah is averaging 185 rushing yards per game (5th in Pac-12) and just 363 total yards per game (11th in Pac-12). The Utes were able to get 229 rushing yards in their win over Oregon State, compared to Colorado’s 407 yards on the ground last week.

Utah’s offensive line has improved in each of their last three games but still have yet to put together a dominant performance through four quarters. This will be a test for them as Colorado’s defense has allowed an average of 148 rushing yards per game this season, which is fourth best in the Pac-12.

Continue To Get Kuithe, Covey Involved

After catching four passes in each of Utah’s first two games, Kuithe hauled in 8 receptions against Oregon State. His involvement within the offense is critical to Utah’s success.

Britain Covey missed the season opener against USC with a hamstring injury and was limited to special teams and a few offensive snaps versus Washington. He was back to full strength in the Oregon State game and it showed with 4 receptions for 54 yards and one touchdown. Covey also returned a punt for a 64-yard touchdown. Utah needs to feed him the ball in creative ways to throw off Colorado’s defense.

Kickoff between the Utes and Buffs on Friday, December 11 will be at 7:30 p.m. MST at Folsom Field. The game will be televised on FS1.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Three Storylines That Could Determine Winner Of Utah/Colorado Game