Utes ready for Pac-12 opener

Utes ready for Pac-12 opener

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - The Utes have never won a Pac-12 opener before, but hope to reverse that trend Saturday against Oregon State.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Even with BYU looming in two weeks, there is no way the Utes football team is overlooking Oregon State this Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The Utes have never won a Pac-12 opener, but with two wins to start the year, they're hoping that streak is coming to an end.

"It would be great to get started on the right foot," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "That's something we haven't done in the first two years of conference. We're going to prepare and hopefully have a great week of practice. Right now we've got a little bit of momentum on our side."

The Utes have a tremendous amount of offensive momentum on their side. After putting up 30 points in the season opener against Utah State, the Utes scored 70 against Weber State, the most points scored in 40 years.

"We feel really confident," said Travis Wilson, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more against the Wildcats. "We made some really big plays. Our offensive line, running backs and wide receivers did a great job, and together we've been a complete unit."

But the competition gets tougher against Oregon State this Saturday. The Beavers, who easily handled the Utes last season in Corvallis 21-7, lost their first game of the year to FCS opponent Eastern Washington before responding with a victory over Hawaii.

"Just a couple of games is really not enough to get a good feel or a good barometer on what you're opponent has got," said Whittingham. "We're going to use last year's game as a blue print as well."

"They are going to be a lot tougher than the team we faced last Saturday," said Wilson. "But we can't take it any more different than just our next game. They're a good team, and we're going to have to play our best to beat them."

Unlike last season, the Utes have shown a propensity for the big play. Utah put up 628 yards of total offense last week. The 70 points was the most points scored in 40 years. 

"When we make plays like that, our offensive coordinators say, 'OK, let's keep going with it,'" said wide receiver Dres Anderson, who had a career-high 103 yards and a touchdown. "We're just getting a lot more opportunities at big plays."

With five of its first six games at home, the Utes know they need to take advantage of this stretch of their schedule.

"We're going to take this home field advantage and run with it," said Anderson. "We love playing at home. The crowd is great, our fans are great, so it's good to play at home."

The Utes and Beavers kick off at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night.
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