No. 14 Utah Has Chance To Exact Revenge On SDSU
SALT LAKE CITY- Number 14 Utah has a lot of places they can pull frustration from and use it in revenge against SDSU Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Coming up a total of six points short against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and Florida to open the season at the Swamp are two areas of contention. Another is simply remembering that the Aztecs got the better of them a season before in triple overtime.
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Whatever the case, Utah has a prime opportunity to make a big statement 8 pm MT on ESPN2. No, San Diego State is not the flashiest of programs at the moment, but the Utes have been considered one of the better teams in 2022 and winning with some pizzazz against a good, but not great team would go a long way to cementing that.
Taking A Closer Look At SDSU
Last season the Aztecs under head coach Brady Hoke went 12-2 and fell just shy of being Mountain West Conference Champions to Utah State. SDSU finished ranked #25 in the AP Poll while beating up on UTSA in the Frisco Bowl.
This season has been a mixed bag early on for the Aztecs. They lost their season opener to Arizona, 38-20, but bounced back last week with a beatdown of Idaho State, 38-7. Now they are starring down the barrel at the Utes whom they walked away from victorious in 2021.
Quarterback Braxton Burmeister has accounted for 20 completed passes so far in 2022 for 159 yards passing. He also has two touchdowns to one interception with a completion rate of 55.6%. So far the Aztecs have not been too much of a threat to pass which means most of Utah’s focus should be going toward SDSU’s run game.
Burmeister has contributed a little to San Diego State’s ground attack with 18 carries for 100 yards this year while averaging 5.6-yards per carry. The Aztec’s primary ball carriers however, are running backs Jaylon Armstead, Jordan Byrd, and Chance Bell. It’s very likely that Bell will be out this week which means more of the burden will fall upon Byrd and Armstead against Utah’s defense.
So far this season, Armstead has 10 carries for 129-yards and averages 12.9 yards per carry. He has yet to score a touchdown. Byrd has been responsible for 70 carries for 80-yards, averaging 11.4 yards per carry and has one touchdown.
While San Diego State is not a huge threat in the throw-game, they do have a leading receiver that fans should be aware of. Tyrell Shavers doesn’t have the biggest numbers (five receptions for 46 yards), but he makes his touches count with two touchdowns to his name.
Defensively, SDSU’s leading tackler is safety Patrick McMorris. In the first two games of the 2022 season, McMorris has racked up 16 total tackles and one pass defended. The Reese’s Senior Bowl announced early Friday that their “Matchup Of The Week” is between McMorris and Utah’s tight end duo in Brant Kuithe and Dalton Kincaid.
👀Make sure to watch the #GoAztecs vs #GoUtes game this weekend. Featuring @AztecFB DB @McmorrisPatrick matching up against @Utah_Football TE duo @Brantkuithe14 and @_DaltonKincaid.
📺: @ESPN 2
🕰: 10:00pm ET pic.twitter.com/CHZHvE8TbD
— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) September 16, 2022
Right behind McMorris in tackles is linebacker Michael Shawcroft with 15 total, one sack, and one pass defended. Cornerback Noah Tumblin is the Aztec’s lone player with an interception so far in the young season.
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