Rivals BYU and Utah looking for more offense in showdown

BY foxsports • September 9, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) There were plenty of points left on the field when Utah and BYU earned season-opening wins last week and both coaching staffs want to see that corrected this time around.

Only one will be satisfied after the two rivals meet on Saturday.

BYU pulled off an 18-16 win over Arizona and things don't get any easier this week. The Utes were the lone Power 5 team in the country to pitch a shutout last week and they bring a defensive line that should be among the best in the country.

''There were a few missed assignments and a few dropped balls and stuff like that that killed drives where we really could have shifted the momentum,'' BYU quarterback Taysom Hill said. ''There were a few penalties that caused the same thing, that killed drives and if we don't have those mistakes it wouldn't have been close. I think those are the things that offensively we need to clean up.''

Hill threw for 202 yards and a touchdown in his first game back from a season-ending foot injury.

Utah also struggled to finish drives in a 24-0 win against Southern Utah. The Utes missed a field goal at the end of a 12-play drive and lost a fumble that killed an eight-play drive on the verge of the red zone. They were also eight of 17 on third down conversions.

Utah Quarterback Troy Williams threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns in his first start after transferring from Santa Monica College.

''We want to make a statement this year,'' Williams said. ''Knowing we were last in the Pac-12 last year passing the ball, so we want to make a huge statement this year and show everybody we have the guys that can do it and we're going to continue to put the ball in the air and make plays. A lot more execution. Try to score more points, for sure. Finish our drives. That's the main point.''

Things to watch when Utah hosts BYU:

HELP WANTED: The BYU receivers have to provide some help for Hill and running back Jamaal Williams, who ran for 162 yards against Arizona. BYU has waited for 6-foot-6 speedster Nick Kurtz to shine since he arrived in 2014. This would be a good week for him, Jonah Trinnaman, Colby Pearson, Mitchell Juergens and Moroni Laulu-Pututau to have a big night. The Utes have a veteran secondary highlighted by first-team All-Pac-12 safety Marcus Williams.

RUNNING UTES: Joe Williams is the starter, but that may not last long. Williams was considered the heir apparent to Devontae Booker, but he was unspectacular after Booker was hurt in 2015 and the senior managed just 49 yards and a fumble on 12 attempts against Southern Utah. Troy McCormick could steal the job with a second consecutive strong outing.

ENCORE: Defensive improvements have been expected since BYU hired defensive-minded coach Kalani Sitake, but the season opener exceeded those expectations. The Cougars held coach Rich Rodriguez's offense to just 16 points and 328 yards.

''You give up 120-something (rushing) yards to Arizona and you're doing backflips,'' BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki said. ''I've been on teams where we've given up 300-plus against those guys. Definitely pleased with the way that they played.''

LAST TIME: The two teams took two years off from playing in the regular season to the dismay of fans. They met, however, in the Las Vegas Bowl at the end of last season and the Utes held on for a 35-28 win after jumping out to a 35-0 lead. Utah has won five straight against BYU.

AVAILABILITY UPDATE: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said cornerback Dominique Hatfield, who missed last game with a leg injury, was ''progressing,'' but didn't confirm if he would play.


AP college football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org


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