Preview: No. 7 Utah vs. Arizona
No. 7 Utah (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) at Arizona (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12)
Where: Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona
When: Saturday, November 23at 8 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Play-by-Play: Cory Provus
Analyst: Petros Papadakis
Sideline Reporter: Shane Vereen
Radio: ESPN 700
Play-by-Play: Bill Riley
Analyst: Scott Mitchell
Sideline Reporter: Tom Hackett
Betting Line: Utah (-22.5) — Over/Under = 57
Series History: 23-19-2, Utah. The Utes are currently riding a three-game winning streak in the series, including last season’s 42-10 victory in which Huntley threw, ran and caught a touchdown pass. Running back Zack Moss for 68 yards and a score while wide receiver Demari Simpkins finished with three catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. But the last time the Utes were taken down by Arizona, they were in exactly a similar scenario — and that ended in a 37-30 2OT loss. Has Utah learned its lesson from last time?
Utah Storyline: A win over Arizona and a loss by No. 23 USC will put the Utes into the Pac-12 championship game agiant No. 6 Oregon. But if the opposite happens, then the Trojans will advance to the championship game and Utah will more than likely find itself in the Alamo Bowl. Also, the #HuntleyforHeisman campaign is off to a strong start marketing wise, but is Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley ready to seize the opportunity against the nation’s second-worst pass defense? Utah should win this game handily, but anything crazy can happen down in the desert at night
Arizona Storyline: Arizona and quarterback Khalil Tate have underwhelmed this season and now the Wildcats find themselves just trying to make a bowl game. The Wildcats has even played freshman quarterback Grant Gunnell quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, trying to break their five-game losing streak after beginning the season 4-1. Arizona is playing for the chance to make a bowl game, and a loss to the Utes will negate that possibility.
Utah Players to Watch: QB Tyler Huntley; S Julian Blackmon; TE Brant Kuithe; S Terrell Burgess
Arizona Players to Watch: QB Khalil Tate; WR Jamarye Joiner; RB JJ Taylor; LB Colin Schooler
Matchup to Watch: Utah Pass Offense vs. Arizona Pass Defense
Weather Forecast: 58 degrees and mostly cloudy at kickoff. Zero-percent chance of rain with 49-percent humidity. Winds expected at 4 mph ESE.
Prediction: Yes, theoretically this can be a trap game as Utah’s focus appears to be on getting quarterback Tyler Huntley into the Heisman discussion, and possibly scoreboard watching of the No. 23 USC-UCLA matchup. And it’s always known that playing in the desert, at night and in November is always tough to do — Utah found this out the hard way four years ago. But this Utes team is not the same one from four years ago, and Huntley, along with running back Zack Moss lead an offense that drubbed UCLA 49-3 last week. And if all else fails, the Utes have proved it’s nearly impossible to score on them. … So no late game magic or close calls will be heard in this one.
UTAH 38 — Arizona 13