Tuesday, October 4, 2022
HomeSportsUtah football: Which teams are on track for another Pac-12 title?

Utah football: Which teams are on track for another Pac-12 title?

With the 2022 season just weeks away, it’s officially time for No. 13 Utah State to begin its search repeat as Pac-12 champions.

Utes (2-1), who swept them first Pac-12 title last year, visit Arizona State on Saturday (8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN) for the conference opener. This is the first of nine consecutive championship games.

“That’s why we’re here,” the coach said Kyle Whittingham“to try to win the Pac-12.”

The race will be a little different this season.

For starters, there is a changing the format of the championship game. Last summer, the league announced that when it comes to crowning a champion, divisions no longer matter. The Pac-12 Championship Game will feature the two teams with the highest conference winning percentages instead of the two division winners.

“Our goal is to place our top two teams in our Pac-12 Football Championship, which we believe will give our conference the best opportunity to optimize for CFP invitations and ultimately win national championships,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Klyavkov.

The Pac-12 Championship will be held on December 2 in Las Vegas.

And there are a lot of new coaches and new players in the league that have made an immediate impact.

Utah certainly has a target on its back entering conference play. The Utahns say they are embracing that role, explaining that they are “attacking” the title, not “defending” it.

“We are definitely the trailblazers this season because we are predicted to win and we are the defending champions. This has never happened in the entire history of this program,” he said wide receiver Devaughn Vele. “We’ve had years where we’ve been favored to be a championship team, but we’ve never won before. We never had such a target on our back.

“We have always been a respected team, but we were not feared. That’s one thing we talked about during the offseason, that we have to be a team to be feared, not just respected,” Vehle added. “Everybody respects the Utah football program. They’ve seen it on big stages. They saw it in the Rose Bowl, winning the Pac-12 Championship and all the adversity we went through. People respect us now. But now we want to take it to a new level where people fear us.”

The race for the 2022 Pac-12 crown is expected to be very competitive.

Less than a month into the season, four Pac-12 teams are ranked — No. 7 USC, No. 13 Utah, No. 15 Oregon and No. 18 Washington.

The Huskies defeated then-No. 11 Michigan State 39-28, and the Ducks knocked off then-No. 12 BYU.

“It was a big win for them against a high-ranked Michigan State team,” Whittingham said of Washington. “It was a good weekend overall for the Pac-12. Not everyone got it right, but overall it was a positive weekend for the conference.”

Here’s a look at every Pac-12 team.

No. 7 USK

USC quarterback Caleb Williams passes during the game against Fresno State on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Trojans (3-0), sub first year head coach Lincoln Riley, were explosive on offense with quarterback Caleb Williams; running backs Austin Jones and Travis Dye; and wide receiver Jordan Addison.

USC scored at least 40 points in each of its first three games. Riley’s record as a head coach in September games is 21-1.

The Trojans will get a tough test at Oregon State on Saturday. They visit Utah on October 15th.


No. 13 Utah

The Utes have outscored their opponents 108-14 in their last two games and have given up just 258 yards in their last two contests.

Utah opens conference play Saturday at ASU, which just fired coach Herm Edwards.


#15 Oregon

AP22262001664570.jpg

Oregon quarterback Beau Nix plays against BYU on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. After a rough start to the season, the Knicks and Ducks seem to have found their way.

Andy Nelson, Associated Press

The Ducks defeated BYU 41-20 at home last Saturday, a couple of weeks after getting knocked off by No. 1 Georgia.

First-year coach Dan Lanning physicality and a strong attack seem to be setting in. Quarterback Beau Nix enjoyed a career day against the Cougars with three rushing touchdowns.

Oregon hosts Utah on Nov. 19.


No. 18 Washington

The Huskies are off to a 3-0 start under first-year coach Cullen DeBore, and they clinched the poll with a win over Michigan State.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns against the Spartans.

Washington opens Pac-12 play Saturday at home against Stanford. Utah does not play the Huskies this season.


UCLA

The Bruins (3-0) survived a big scare at home against South Alabama with a 32-31 win.

UCLA is undefeated under the coach Chip Kelly for the first time. The last time this happened was in 2015.

With quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, running back Zach Charbonnet and Jake Bobo, the Bruins have great playmakers.

UCLA visits Colorado on Saturday. The Utahns visit the Bruins on Oct. 8.


Washington State

AP22261239322520.jpg

Washington State coach Jake Dickert, center, and his team sing the school’s fight song after defeating Colorado State on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Pullman, Washington. The first-year Cougars coach is off to an impressive 3-0 start. .

Young Kwak, Associated Press

The Cougars, who beat Colorado State 38-7 last week, are enjoying their first 3-0 start since 2019, and Jake Dickert became the first WSU coach to start his first full season 3- 0 after Mike Price in 1989.

Washington State, which upset Wisconsin on the road on Sept. 10, held each of its first three opponents to 17 points or fewer while quarterback Cam Ward passed for more than 200 yards in each of the first three games.

The Cougars host Oregon this Saturday and Utah on Oct. 27.


State of Oregon

The Beavers are 3-0 for the first time since 2014 with a 68-28 rout of Montana State. That’s the most points OSU has scored in a game since 2012.

Oregon State has gone two games in a row without losing.

The Beavers host USC on Saturday and visit Utah on Oct. 1.


Arizona

AP22261096140447.jpg

Arizona quarterback Jaden De Lora warms up before the game against North Dakota State, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Arizona. Wildcats QB beat Arizona 2-1.

Chris Coduto, Associated Press

The Wildcats (2-1) have already eclipsed their entire win total for the 2021 season when they posted a 1-11 mark. In fact, Arizona had more wins in the first three games than in the previous two seasons combined.

The Wildcats beat North Dakota State 31-28 last week.

Quarterback Jayden de Lora has made a big impact for Arizona. He passed for 229 yards and a touchdown and ran for 50 yards and a TD last week.

The Wildcats visit California on Saturday and Utah on Nov. 5.


California

The Bears (2-1) had chances to beat Notre Dame on the road before losing 24-17. It marked Cal’s 14th straight loss with less than 20 points in a game.

The Bears host Arizona on Saturday.


Stanford

AP22256313260419.jpg

Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee signals to a teammate before snapping the ball during the game against Southern California in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

By Godofredo A. Vasquez, Associated Press

The Cardinal (1-1) are coming off a bye week. Stanford lost a Pac-12 opener at home against USC, 41-28.

Quarterback Tanner McKee completed 42 of 62 passes for 528 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

Stanford visits Washington on Saturday. The Cardinal will travel to Utah on November 12.


State of Arizona

The Sun Devils (1-2) parted ways with Edwards after a horrendous 30-21 loss at home against Eastern Michigan and allowed more than 300 yards passing.

ASU has seen a decline in talent in recent years. He lost quarterback Jayden Daniels and others to the transfer window during the offseason.

Arizona State named Shawn Aguano the program’s interim head football coach for the remainder of the 2022 season. The Sun Devils host Utah on Saturday.


Colorado

There is a lot of speculation as to when the Buffaloes will make a change with their head coach Carl Dorrell.

Things got so bad in Boulder that athletic director Rick George was forced to release a statement Sunday night reaffirming his commitment to Dorrell.

Colorado is 0-3 to start the season and has lost all three games by more than 25 points, including last Saturday’s 49-7 loss at Minnesota.

Buffalo opens the Pac-12 on Saturday at home against UCLA and hosts Utah on Nov. 26.


The cliff is on the air

#13 Utah (2-1) at Arizona State (1-2)

Saturday, 8:30pm MDT

Sun Devil Stadium

television: ESPN

radio: ESPN 700



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Utah football: Which teams are on track for another Pac-12 title?

With the 2022 season just weeks away, it’s officially time for No. 13 Utah State to begin its search repeat as Pac-12 champions.

Utes (2-1), who swept them first Pac-12 title last year, visit Arizona State on Saturday (8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN) for the conference opener. This is the first of nine consecutive championship games.

“That’s why we’re here,” the coach said Kyle Whittingham“to try to win the Pac-12.”

The race will be a little different this season.

For starters, there is a changing the format of the championship game. Last summer, the league announced that when it comes to crowning a champion, divisions no longer matter. The Pac-12 Championship Game will feature the two teams with the highest conference winning percentages instead of the two division winners.

“Our goal is to place our top two teams in our Pac-12 Football Championship, which we believe will give our conference the best opportunity to optimize for CFP invitations and ultimately win national championships,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Klyavkov.

The Pac-12 Championship will be held on December 2 in Las Vegas.

And there are a lot of new coaches and new players in the league that have made an immediate impact.

Utah certainly has a target on its back entering conference play. The Utahns say they are embracing that role, explaining that they are “attacking” the title, not “defending” it.

“We are definitely the trailblazers this season because we are predicted to win and we are the defending champions. This has never happened in the entire history of this program,” he said wide receiver Devaughn Vele. “We’ve had years where we’ve been favored to be a championship team, but we’ve never won before. We never had such a target on our back.

“We have always been a respected team, but we were not feared. That’s one thing we talked about during the offseason, that we have to be a team to be feared, not just respected,” Vehle added. “Everybody respects the Utah football program. They’ve seen it on big stages. They saw it in the Rose Bowl, winning the Pac-12 Championship and all the adversity we went through. People respect us now. But now we want to take it to a new level where people fear us.”

The race for the 2022 Pac-12 crown is expected to be very competitive.

Less than a month into the season, four Pac-12 teams are ranked — No. 7 USC, No. 13 Utah, No. 15 Oregon and No. 18 Washington.

The Huskies defeated then-No. 11 Michigan State 39-28, and the Ducks knocked off then-No. 12 BYU.

“It was a big win for them against a high-ranked Michigan State team,” Whittingham said of Washington. “It was a good weekend overall for the Pac-12. Not everyone got it right, but overall it was a positive weekend for the conference.”

Here’s a look at every Pac-12 team.

No. 7 USK

USC quarterback Caleb Williams passes during the game against Fresno State on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Trojans (3-0), sub first year head coach Lincoln Riley, were explosive on offense with quarterback Caleb Williams; running backs Austin Jones and Travis Dye; and wide receiver Jordan Addison.

USC scored at least 40 points in each of its first three games. Riley’s record as a head coach in September games is 21-1.

The Trojans will get a tough test at Oregon State on Saturday. They visit Utah on October 15th.


No. 13 Utah

The Utes have outscored their opponents 108-14 in their last two games and have given up just 258 yards in their last two contests.

Utah opens conference play Saturday at ASU, which just fired coach Herm Edwards.


#15 Oregon

AP22262001664570.jpg

Oregon quarterback Beau Nix plays against BYU on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. After a rough start to the season, the Knicks and Ducks seem to have found their way.

Andy Nelson, Associated Press

The Ducks defeated BYU 41-20 at home last Saturday, a couple of weeks after getting knocked off by No. 1 Georgia.

First-year coach Dan Lanning physicality and a strong attack seem to be setting in. Quarterback Beau Nix enjoyed a career day against the Cougars with three rushing touchdowns.

Oregon hosts Utah on Nov. 19.


No. 18 Washington

The Huskies are off to a 3-0 start under first-year coach Cullen DeBore, and they clinched the poll with a win over Michigan State.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns against the Spartans.

Washington opens Pac-12 play Saturday at home against Stanford. Utah does not play the Huskies this season.


UCLA

The Bruins (3-0) survived a big scare at home against South Alabama with a 32-31 win.

UCLA is undefeated under the coach Chip Kelly for the first time. The last time this happened was in 2015.

With quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, running back Zach Charbonnet and Jake Bobo, the Bruins have great playmakers.

UCLA visits Colorado on Saturday. The Utahns visit the Bruins on Oct. 8.


Washington State

AP22261239322520.jpg

Washington State coach Jake Dickert, center, and his team sing the school’s fight song after defeating Colorado State on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Pullman, Washington. The first-year Cougars coach is off to an impressive 3-0 start. .

Young Kwak, Associated Press

The Cougars, who beat Colorado State 38-7 last week, are enjoying their first 3-0 start since 2019, and Jake Dickert became the first WSU coach to start his first full season 3- 0 after Mike Price in 1989.

Washington State, which upset Wisconsin on the road on Sept. 10, held each of its first three opponents to 17 points or fewer while quarterback Cam Ward passed for more than 200 yards in each of the first three games.

The Cougars host Oregon this Saturday and Utah on Oct. 27.


State of Oregon

The Beavers are 3-0 for the first time since 2014 with a 68-28 rout of Montana State. That’s the most points OSU has scored in a game since 2012.

Oregon State has gone two games in a row without losing.

The Beavers host USC on Saturday and visit Utah on Oct. 1.


Arizona

AP22261096140447.jpg

Arizona quarterback Jaden De Lora warms up before the game against North Dakota State, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Tucson, Arizona. Wildcats QB beat Arizona 2-1.

Chris Coduto, Associated Press

The Wildcats (2-1) have already eclipsed their entire win total for the 2021 season when they posted a 1-11 mark. In fact, Arizona had more wins in the first three games than in the previous two seasons combined.

The Wildcats beat North Dakota State 31-28 last week.

Quarterback Jayden de Lora has made a big impact for Arizona. He passed for 229 yards and a touchdown and ran for 50 yards and a TD last week.

The Wildcats visit California on Saturday and Utah on Nov. 5.


California

The Bears (2-1) had chances to beat Notre Dame on the road before losing 24-17. It marked Cal’s 14th straight loss with less than 20 points in a game.

The Bears host Arizona on Saturday.


Stanford

AP22256313260419.jpg

Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee signals to a teammate before snapping the ball during the game against Southern California in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

By Godofredo A. Vasquez, Associated Press

The Cardinal (1-1) are coming off a bye week. Stanford lost a Pac-12 opener at home against USC, 41-28.

Quarterback Tanner McKee completed 42 of 62 passes for 528 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

Stanford visits Washington on Saturday. The Cardinal will travel to Utah on November 12.


State of Arizona

The Sun Devils (1-2) parted ways with Edwards after a horrendous 30-21 loss at home against Eastern Michigan and allowed more than 300 yards passing.

ASU has seen a decline in talent in recent years. He lost quarterback Jayden Daniels and others to the transfer window during the offseason.

Arizona State named Shawn Aguano the program’s interim head football coach for the remainder of the 2022 season. The Sun Devils host Utah on Saturday.


Colorado

There is a lot of speculation as to when the Buffaloes will make a change with their head coach Carl Dorrell.

Things got so bad in Boulder that athletic director Rick George was forced to release a statement Sunday night reaffirming his commitment to Dorrell.

Colorado is 0-3 to start the season and has lost all three games by more than 25 points, including last Saturday’s 49-7 loss at Minnesota.

Buffalo opens the Pac-12 on Saturday at home against UCLA and hosts Utah on Nov. 26.


The cliff is on the air

#13 Utah (2-1) at Arizona State (1-2)

Saturday, 8:30pm MDT

Sun Devil Stadium

television: ESPN

radio: ESPN 700



Reported by Source link

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