This game is a reunion of sorts for former Utah Ute head coach and current Weber State head coach Ron McBride. McBride coached the Utes for twelve years spanning from 1990-2002. His overall record for the Utes was 88-63 and the best season was the 1994 season when Utah won 10 games and finished 8th in the country. Also, McBride can be linked to Urban Meyers success with the way Coach McBride recruited. He will receive a nice welcome at Rice-Eccles before his team takes the field against a superior opponent. Weber State from the Big Sky conference is usually a solid team, but went 5-6 last year.
Offense: Coach McBride is known for smash mouth football, so look for the Wildcats to use their running game agaisnt the weakest part of Utah’s team which is their defensive line. Weber State did score 27 points per game but their defense could not hold up. The main player for the Wildcats is their quarterback which they have two of, first is last years starter Cameron Higgins who threw just under 2,000 yards and then there is Alabama trasnfer Jimmy Barnes who saw limited time partly because he joined the team late last summer. As of now the starter still is Higgins, but there is some pressure from the back up spot.
The running game will be Weber’s best friend and it all starts with Trevyn Smith who ran for 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns. The amazing feat about is that he averaged 5.0 yards per carry which could hurt the Utes if that same type of running attack can be duplicated from last season.
Defense: This is the area of improvement needed for the Wildcats, because last year they gave up 29 per game. Against Utah the team will struggle mightily to keep the game close. The biggest deficiency was the passing game while giving up the big play, which again they will struggle against the Utes.
Early Prediction: There is no reason for Utah to dominate by at least 30 points. This will be a good point in the season to get back ups work and to rest some key players.