The Utes get to travel to LA to play a Trojans team on Saturday that lost 14-10 at Notre Dame last week -- and BYU will welcome Boise State, a team the Cougars have never beaten in three tries, to Provo this evening.
Talk about paradoxes: the Trojans couldn't score a point in the second half last week against Notre Dame, and now they're going to want to put up gobs of points on a reeling Utah Utes squad.
On the flip side, the BYU Cougars gave up more points in the first half against Houston than in any first half of a BYU game all year -- and now Boise State's coming to town?
Something has to give this week, and that's the patience of Kyle Whittingham and Bronco. The Utes will face one of the best front sevens in the country in USC and the Cougars will take on Bronco Nation.
First to Utah: Everybody knows what happened last week. The Utes traveled to Arizona and laid a big, fat egg, getting little production from their passing game -- and next to nothing from their running attack in a 35-24 loss. The Ute defense let Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey run wherever and over whomever he wanted, and Utah's normally reliable kicker missed two critical field goals.
Utah (4-3) is now in some trouble if it doesn't win at USC because some tough opponents are coming up -- and the Utes need six wins to get to a bowl game.
You could ask how strong are said Utah opponents, and I would tell you the next two are at Arizona State (who's nationally ranked) and also at Oregon (No. 3 in nation) -- before the Utes travel to Wazzu and host Colorado.
And before you say well, hey, Wazzu, or Washington State, is easy let me remind you who the Wazzu Cougs beat: USC. OK, enough said on that one.
As for Colorado, yeah, the Utes should beat the Buffs -- but remember what happened two years ago? That's right; Utah walked in all high and mighty thinking they were going to beat Colorado, go 9-3, win the Pac-12 South and possibly go to the Rose Bowl -- and the Utes lost.
Hello, Sun Bowl, presented by Brut/Faberge, the cologne brand your dad wore 30 years ago. Ah, the smell of bowl victory - and sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh accents.
As for BYU, the Cougars down south did plenty of scoring last Saturday -- but they also let the other team (Houston) do plenty of scoring in a 47-46 BYU win that saw more lead changes than the number of plays BYU ran.
OK, that might be a stretch because the Cougars tied an NCAA record with 115 offensive plays in one game -- but it felt like I literally spent 115 hours watching that game.
The speed with which BYU ran plays is not only ridiculous it just tells you that one of these days, maybe this week, their eagerness will come back to bite them in their Nike Huggies. Don't believe me? Just look at Boise's offensive efficiency of late because it's ridiculous, too.
The only thing BYU has going for them this Friday is that the game is at home, and Boise State is not the Boise State BCS-buster of old that scored 60 by halftime -- and then scored 40 against Oklahoma in a bowl game.
Those Broncos are not these Broncos.They're only scoring a little under 40 points a game.
These Broncos are also going through some changes at quarterback -- and did lose two games this season, one handily at Washington, the other just barely at Fresno State, which is a team built like Houston. But those are not recent games.
Both Boise losses came against teams with tons of athletes who could spread the ball around -- and that's exactly what BYU will have to do to be victorious: Ride the road-weary legs and newly found arm of Taysom Hill, with a little Jamaal Williams for good measure.
But Boise smacked Utah State around pretty good, too -- the only common opponent the two teams share this season. When you compare the two games, the Aggies barely got over 300 yards total offense against the Broncos front seven -- and got almost 400 against the Cougars.
And last year, remember this: Boise beat BYU 7-6. Just don't expect a low scoring game this year; it appears that the two teams have figured out how to play offense, averaging 40 and 36 points respectively over the past three games.
Here's how the Believer and Non-Believer see things working out this weekend. Click on the photos...