Three Storylines That Could Determine Winner Of Utah/Washington State Game

Dec 18, 2020, 6:49 PM
Ty Jordan - Utah Utes - Oregon State Beavers...
Utah Utes running back Ty Jordan (22) runs with the ball as Utah and Oregon State play a college football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football will host the Washington State Cougars in their final game of the 2020 season.

On Friday morning, Utah announced that regardless of the outcome against Washington State, they will not be playing in a bowl game.

The Pac-12 made a mandate that in order for a team within the conference to be considered bowl eligible, they had to have a .500 record.

With all that the team has gone through in the last six months, for them to decline a bowl game is understandable.

For the final time in 2020, here is the three storylines that could determine the winner of Utah/Washington State on Saturday, December 19.

Feed Brant Kuithe

Through four games this season, Brant Kuithe has had 22 touches. The junior has three carries for 17 yards along with 19 receptions for 175 yards.

The dynamic tight end has gotten involved early in games but is not consistently involved.

Utah can’t let such a dynamic play maker not get targeted early and often.

Shut Down Wazzu’s Running Attack

Washington State has three players that could give Utah problems on the ground but with how dominant the Utes are in stopping the run, it might determine the outcome of this game.

Deon McIntosh is Wazzu’s leading rusher with 304 yards and 2 touchdowns in three games. All-Pac-12 running back Max Borghi is expected to make his season debut on Saturday after missing time due to injury.

Last season, Borghi had 817 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, while catching 86 passes for 597 yards and 5 TD’s.

Finally, quarterback Jayden de Laura is a threat on the ground. He has 23 carries on the ground and one rushing TD this season.

Consistent Offensive Production

In the season opener against USC, Utah struggled all game long offensively and struggled with turnovers. Then versus Washington, Utah’s offensive was very productive in the first half but didn’t do anything in the second half.

Against Oregon State, Utah’s offense stalled in the fourth quarter and was very vanilla down the stretch but was able to get the win. Last week versus Colorado, the Utes were not productive in the first half after scoring a TD on their first drive but exploded for 28 straight points in the second half.

If Utah’s offense can be productive like they were against Colorado, through four quarters against Washington State, the Utes should pick up a win.

Utah and Washington State will kickoff at 11:30 a.m. MST on FS1.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for 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/Washington State Game