Washington travels to Salt Lake to play Utah in their first Pac 12 home game. This is a historical game for the Ute program.
They want to make sure the stands are filled with the most rabid and supportive of Ute followers so they designated it as their annual homecoming game.
The Huskies are definitely going to be playing against a team with a high level of emotion at kickoff. The key in this type of game is to come out and score first which invariably takes the crowd out of the game.
That hasn't worked too well the previous couple of games whether it was at home or on the road. The Huskies yielded two early and improbably long TD passes against Nebraska and Cal which gave those schools an early lead and momentum.
Continuing that type of trend against Utes on the road is a recipe for disaster. Utah thrashed BYU 54-10 two weeks ago in Provo. They were only ahead 14-10 at intermission but scored 40 of 47 unanswered points in the second half aided by seven BYU turnovers..
Defensively the Utes enter the game as the nation's co-leaders in fumble recoveries with eight. They top the Pac-12 in turnovers caused (12) and turnover margin (3.00), and are tied for the lead in red zone defense (50 percent). Obviously this is a defense that lives and thrives on the turnover.
QB Jordan Wynn leads the Ute offense. He has been described as a smart guy and capable leader whose arm strength hasn't fully recovered since having shoulder surgery last winter.
Wynn passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns against BYU. WR Dres Anderson and TE Jake Murphy who could miss this game are Wynn's favorite targets. RB John White rushed for 174 yards (165 in the second half) and three touchdowns is a tough kid to bring down in the red zone.
Utah and Washington haven't played each other since 1979 and the Utes have never beaten the Huskies.
Washington is the only former Pac 10 team that the Utes haven't beaten.
The Huskies have never played in Salt Lake City.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is 6-0 coming off of bye weeks.
Utah has won 10 straight games coming off bye weeks
Utah's opponents were called for 51 false starts in games at Rice-Eccles Stadium last season. That gives you a good idea of how much noise they can generate in that stadium.
The last team that they lost to after a bye week was BYU which happened to be quarterbacked that year by UW head coach Steve Sarkisian.
The Utes lead the Pac-12 in pass efficiency defense with a 114.7 rating.
Right tackle Tony Bergstrom and tight end Jake Murphy, who suffered knee injuries against BYU, are questionable for Saturday's game.
Utah held BYU to eleven total rushing yards.
Cort Dennison is the only player on the Washington roster from Utah.
UW DE Hau'oli Jamora will miss the rest of the 2011 season after tearing his ACL against Cal. CB Gregory Ducre who left the Cal game with a concussion is expected to play. TB Johri Fogerson is questionable with a knee contusion. LB John Timu is questionable with a sore neck.
Kickoff is set for 4:00 PM Seattle time and the game will be broadcast on ROOT NW.