Big game of the season to this point in the biggest venue in all of College Football for the Utes on Saturday as they play the Michigan Wolverines. This will be Utah’s 3rd trip to Ann Arbor and the “Big House”. In 2002 it was a 10-7 loss to Michigan and in 2008 it was a 25-23 win over the Big Blue.
Their last match up against Michigan came during the turbulent Rich Rod Era and the loss to Utah in the 2008 opener was the beginning of the end of Rodriguez at Michigan. Saturday Utah will see another Michigan Head Coach in some trouble. Brady Hoke is in year number four at Michigan and Big Blue Nation is restless, because they’ve seen Hoke go from 11 wins in year 1 to 8 wins in year 2 to 7 wins in year 3. Then 2 weeks ago in South Bend, Michigan was shut out 31-0. It was the first time in that long and storied rivalry that the Wolverines had been shut out.
The Wolverines enter Saturday with some injury questions to key starters, including their most dangerous offensive weapon and Biletnikoff Award nominee Devin Funchess, who missed last Saturday’s game and remains questionable with a leg injury.
Utah comes to Big 10 country in good shape coming off their bye week. Both Junior Salt and Kaelin Clay are expected to play on Saturday and Utah fans will get their first look at Miami transfer LB Gionni Paul, who will start at Middle Linebacker against Michigan.
Weather conditions for Saturday are expected to be 74 degrees and a 60% percent chance for rain at kickoff. So with that said here are my 3 Keys for tomorrow’s big match up…
1. Stop the RUN!–It sounds simple but against this particular Michigan team it’s the truth. The Wolverines are 3rd in the Big 10 and 29th in the NCAA after 3 games at 242 yards/game. Lead back Derek Green has 332 yards and 2 100 yard rushing efforts in their first 3 games. While QB Devin Gardner ranks #1 in Passing Efficiency at Michigan, he’s wildly erratic through 3 games, with 3 interceptions and 1 fumble. Plus Michigan may be missing it’s #1 receiving target, Devin Funchess. Stop the run and take your chances with the Wolverines passing game.
2. A Need for Speed-The last few years Utah hasn’t found itself at an advantage when it came to team speed. After 4 years of recruiting Pac 12 caliber talent, that advantage is beginning to turn. Saturday against Michigan Utah should have a big advantage in edge speed, especially in Wide Receiver vs. Secondary match ups. Dave Christensen and his ability to exploit Anderson, Scott, Clay and Tonga against a beat up Michigan Secondary could be the big difference in this game.
3. Special Teams-Yet another area where Utah could have a decided advantage in Saturday’s match up. I don’t think many, if any, teams in College Football have a better punter/kicker combination that Kyle Whittingham does. Hackett and Phillips are game changers, plus the addition of a healthy Kaelin Clay makes the kick and return game major threats. Michigan is average at best in their kicking game. Matt Wile the place kicker is just 3-6 on the season on field goals, while punter Will Hagerup averages 43 yards per punt. The one bright spot in the Michigan special teams is return man Dennis Norfleet, who ranks 2nd in Big Blue history in kick returns. Utah’s ability to control field position with special teams should be a major advantage Saturday.
My Prediction: Utah 31 Michigan 21
Ute Game Day on ESPN 700 starts at 9am Saturday with Sean O’Connell and John Pease. Join Me, Frank Dolce and Bo Nagahi from the Big House at 11:30 on ESPN 700. Go Utes!
Major League Baseball will be heading into the final week of the regular season after this weekend’s games are played.
One series to pay attention to this weekend will be played in Kansas City as the Kansas City Royals host the Detroit Tigers. The 3-game series gets underway tonight at 6:00 PM with the Tigers leading the American League Central by a half game. The division could look a lot different come Monday after the three games are played.
Justin Verlander (13-12, 4.81 ERA) will be on the mound tonight for the Tigers while Jason Vargas (11-9, 3.41 ERA) will get the start for the Royals. This is an important series for the Royals as they are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 1985 when they won the World Series beating the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The Royals currently have the top Wild Card spot in the American League as they lead the Oakland A’s by a half game, but only lead the Seattle Mariners by a game and a half.
Game two the series will be played on Saturday at 11:05 AM as Max Scherzer (16-5, 3.26 ERA) of the Tigers will face James Shields (14-7, 3.15 ERA) of the Royals. The series finale will have Jeremy Guthrie (11-11, 4.35 ERA) of Kansas City going up Rick Porcello (15-11, 3.19 ERA) of the Tigers on Sunday at 12:10 PM.
The Royals have a great chance to make the playoffs this year, but they have to keep winning games and can’t worry about what the teams behind or around them are doing.
Real Salt Lake returns home on Friday, when it hosts Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m. MT. Friday’s match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
Friday’s match will be vital for Real Salt Lake’s chances in the Supporters’ Shield race with only six games remaining in the MLS regular season for the Utah club. The Claret-and-Cobalt currently sits third in the Western Conference and fourth in the league with a 12-6-10 record and total of 46 points. Seattle Sounders FC has already clinched a playoff berth as it sits atop the league with 54 points and a 17-7-3 record. LA Galaxy are close behind with 51 points and D.C. United sit a point above RSL with 47.
Real Salt Lake enters Friday’s match coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss at Seattle on Sept. 12. RSL MF Javier Morales scored the opening goal to give the Claret-and-Cobalt a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute. Seattle was able to equalize eight minutes later with a golazo from Sounders MF Lamar Neagle and then grab a 2-1 lead through FW Obafemi Martins right before halftime. RSL FW Joao Plata pulled the Claret-and-Cobalt even 2-2 in the 50th minute for his 12th goal of the year, but RSL was later dealt a severe blow when DF Nat Borchers was shown a straight red card in the 68th minute, reducing the squad to 10 men. RSL couldn’t weather the storm at the end, conceding a heartbreaking stoppage time goal scored by Seattle MF Andy Rose to fall 3-2 on the road.
Real Salt Lake will be looking for a clean sweep of Colorado in its third and final regular season match on Friday. The Claret-and-Cobalt took home the Rocky Mountain Cup in their last meeting, a 1-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Aug. 2. RSL defeated the Rapids 2-1 in their first encounter of the year on May 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Claret-and-Cobalt has now won the RMC seven times in the past eight years.
Real Salt Lake leads Colorado Rapids in regular season matchups, posting an 11-10-9 all-time record against the Rocky Mountain rival. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 8-3-4 at home against Colorado, outscoring the Rapids 19-10 in Utah.
Friday could provide the opportunity for RSL FW Alvaro Saborio to continue his success against Colorado. The Costa Rican international is RSL’s all-time leading goal scorer against the Rapids with six goals and one assist in 10 appearances against the Rocky Mountain rival. Saborio made his return from injury in RSL’s 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Sept. 6, subbing on in the 76th minute and heading home the game-winner just 14 seconds after stepping on to the pitch. RSL’s all-time leading goal scorer also made a substitute appearance last Friday in Seattle, entering the match in the 68th minute.
Real Salt Lake will be without veteran defender Nat Borchers after the center back received a red card in RSL’s loss at Seattle. Claret-and-Cobalt DF Carlos Salcedo will most likely fill in for the suspended Borchers. The Mexican U-21 international has made six appearances this year, two of which were starts.
Colorado enters Friday’s match coming off a 2-2 draw with Portland Timbers on Sept. 13 that ended their seven-game losing streak. The Rapids have gone 0-5-1 since RSL’s 1-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Aug. 2.
Real Salt Lake will hit the road after Friday’s contest, as it heads north of the border to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 5:00 p.m. MT. The RSL-Vancouver contest will be broadcast on CW30, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Colorado Rapids
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium
TV: NBC Sports Network
English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 7:00 p.m. MT)
Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM
Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates
Game Guide for Friday’s RSL-COL Match Now Available Online
Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Friday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact PR Coordinator Jane Sexton in the RSL Communications Department via email at email@example.com.
Real Salt Lake v. Colorado Rapids
Friday, Sept. 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT – 8:00 p.m. MT
RSL History v. Colorado
Friday’s matchup will be the third and final regular season meeting between RSL and Colorado Rapids. The Claret-and-Cobalt took home the Rocky Mountain Cup in their last meeting, a 1-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Aug. 2. RSL defeated the Rapids 2-1 in their first encounter of the year on May 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Claret-and-Cobalt has now won the RMC seven times in the past eight years.
Real Salt Lake now leads Colorado Rapids in regular season matchups, posting an 11-10-9 all-time record against the Rocky Mountain rival. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 8-3-4 at home against Colorado, outscoring the Rapids 19-10 in Utah.
Real Salt Lake and Rio Tinto Stadium yesterday unveiled details surrounding the installation of the venue’s premium new Daktronics video board, which will be operational for the club’s 2015 season. Click here to view video and still renderings of how the Rio Tinto Stadium south end will appear.
The gigantic, fully high-definition board more than triples the video surface area of the current north end screen, and will provide nearly 4,200 square feet of 13HD pixel resolution, the largest board in Major League Soccer use. The San Jose Earthquakes’ board in their new stadium opening in 2015 will have a 2,880 square-foot board, while Sporting Kansas City’s home utilizes a 2,040 square-foot screen.
“As I’ve toured various stadiums during my time as an owner, I’ve made a list of things I wanted to provide our fans at Rio Tinto Stadium,” said Dell Loy Hansen, excited about the new possibility of watch parties for road games and in-house entertainment elements during RSL games. “When I saw the Daktronics board at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, I said ‘We want THAT.’ In addition to the wi-fi capability that continues to be such a huge hit with our fans, I know that this giant video board – in full HD – will enhance the experience that everyone who visits Rio Tinto Stadium enjoys.”
Daktronics, Inc., the world’s industry leader in designing and manufacturing electronic scoreboards, programmable display systems and large screen video displays, begins installation at Rio Tinto Stadium in mid-September and expects to complete the project by early December. None of the seating areas or concession and operations functionalities in the Stadium’s south end will be affected by the process.
“This addition to the display system at Rio Tinto Stadium will greatly enhance the venue, cementing its status as an incredible destination in Major League Soccer,” said Reece Kurtenbach, president and CEO of Daktronics. “We are glad to continue our partnership with Real Salt Lake to help them provide a memorable fan experience and engage their sponsors in new and innovative ways.”
Real Salt Lake has enjoyed a pronounced home-field advantage since building its permanent home in Sandy, boasting a 75-14-24 mark on Utah soil since the beginning of 2008. RSL also owns the longest active playoff streak in MLS, currently at six seasons (projected for a seventh this Fall), and is just three wins and four points away from a league-record fifth consecutive campaign of 15 wins and 50 points entering Friday’s visit by Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids. RSL aims for the rare three-game / nine-point sweep by hosting the Rapids (8:00 p.m. MT on NBC Sports Network) in what is expected to be the club’s 12th consecutive sellout, its 14th in 16 games this season and its 18th capacity crowd in its last 23 games going back to 2013.
If you are one of the nearly 13,000 current RSL season ticket holders, you are NOW able to secure your 2015 package; please contact your Fan Relations coordinator at (801) 727-2702. As always, active holders in good standing will have first rights to purchase extra season seats, upgrade to new available locations within Rio Tinto Stadium and purchase seats to MLS Cup Playoff matches or for the new USL PRO team, which begins in 2015. In order to guarantee your current seating location for 2015, you must renew by the October 31st deadline; also, flexible payment plans are once again available for current season ticket members.
The general public sale for 2015 season tickets will begin on November 1. The Rio Tinto Stadium box office is open Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 .pm.; more information can be found online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or via the Fan Relations Hotline at 801-727-2702.
The Major League Baseball Playoffs are less then two weeks away and some of the races still need to be decided.
The American League Central race is still tight as the Detroit Tigers (84-68) lead the Kansas City Royals (83-68) by a half game. The Tigers have lost 2 games in a row while the Royals are 4-6 in their last 10. The Tigers and Royals begin a 3-game series in Kansas City on Friday with both teams wanting a sweep to give them a little bit of breathing room in their division.
The National League has two divisions up for grabs as the St. Louis Cardinals (84-68) lead the Pittsburgh Pirates (81-70) by two and a half games. The Pirates are wrapping up a 3-game series with the Boston Red Sox tonight in which the Pirates have won the first two games. The Cardinals finish up their 3-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers tonight before beginning a 3-game series with the Cincinnati Reds this weekend which wraps up on Sunday with Sunday Night Baseball. You will be able to hear that game on ESPN 700 at 6:00 PM.
The National League West Division has the Los Angeles Dodgers (86-66) leading the San Francisco Giants (84-68) by two games with 10 games to go for both teams. The Dodgers are in Chicago tonight as they are beginning a 4-game series with the Cubs, while the Giants have a 3-game set with the San Diego Padres beginning on Friday. The Dodgers and Giants will play a 3-game series in L.A. beginning Monday night.
The American League Wild Card chase will most likely coming down to the final games of the season as the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s (83-68) both have a 2 game advantage over the Seattle Mariners and a 5-game lead over the Cleveland Indians.
The National League Wild Card standing have the Giants and Pirates leading the way with the Milwaukee Brewers (79-73) two and a half games out and the Atlanta Braves (76-76) five and a half games out of the second Wild Card spot.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have clinched the American League West and the Baltimore Orioles own the East. In the National League, the Washington Nationals are the East Division champions.
This is a fun time in Major League Baseball as division leaders and the Wild Card standings are constantly changing. Tomorrow could be different, that is why the games are played.
SAN FRANCISCO–The 2015 Pac-12 football schedule was revealed tonight in a live telecast on the Pac-12 Networks and Utah will kick off the season with non-conference games against Michigan, Utah State and Fresno State before heading into its nine-game conference schedule.
Michigan makes its first visit to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 3. A home game against Utah State (Sept. 12) and a game at Fresno State (Sept. 19) will precede Utah’s Pac-12 opener at Oregon on Sept. 26.
Back on Utah’s schedule will be Pac-12 North Division foes California (Oct. 10) and Washington (Nov. 7), while Stanford and Washington State drop off.
In addition to Cal on Oct. 10, Utah’s 2015 Pac-12 home slate includes dates with Arizona State (Oct. 17), Oregon State (Oct. 31), UCLA (Nov. 21) and Colorado (Nov. 28).
The Pac-12 Football Championship game will be played on either Friday, December 4 or Saturday, December 5.
2015 Utah Football Schedule
Sept. 3 (Thu.) Michigan Salt Lake City
Sept. 12 Utah State Salt Lake City
Sept. 19 at Fresno State Fresno, Calif.
Sept. 26 at Oregon* Eugene, Ore.
Oct. 3 bye
Oct. 10 California* (hc) Salt Lake City
Oct. 17 Arizona State* Salt Lake City
Oct. 24 at USC* Los Angeles
Oct. 31 Oregon State* Salt Lake City
Nov. 7 at Washington* Seattle
Nov. 14 at Arizona* Tucson, Ariz.
Nov. 21 UCLA* Salt Lake City
Nov. 28 Colorado* Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY (September 15, 2014) – The Utah Jazz announced today the radio and television broadcast schedule for the team’s 2014-15 season. Entering its 26th consecutive season airing Jazz games, ROOT SPORTS, the Jazz’s official television partner, will televise all 82 regular season contests as well as four preseason games. The Zone Sports Network (1280 AM/960 AM/97.5 FM), the exclusive radio home of the Jazz, will broadcast the preseason and regular season schedule in its entirety. The first preseason broadcast for both TV and radio will be Oct. 7 vs. Portland, while the regular season opener tips off on Oct. 29 vs. Houston.
“ROOT SPORTS and The Zone are the definitive broadcast sources for every home and away regular season game, bringing high-quality game coverage and insightful analysis to Jazz fans,” said Randy Rigby, Utah Jazz president. “We welcome back the familiar and professional voices of our veteran television and radio broadcasters to tell the stories of this young, exciting Jazz team during the 2014-15 season.”
All telecasts on ROOT SPORTS will be distributed in high definition (HD), and this will be the third straight season that ROOT SPORTS will broadcast every regular season Jazz game. In addition to the 82 regular season games, the four preseason telecasts will include Oct. 7 vs. Portland Trail Blazers, Oct. 13 vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Oct. 17 at Los Angeles Clippers and Oct. 19 at Los Angeles Lakers.
“With exciting young talent and a new coaching staff, this is a team to watch,” said David Woodman, ROOT SPORTS Rocky Mountain general manager. “We’re looking forward to bringing fans throughout the region a great season of Jazz basketball on ROOT SPORTS.”
Emmy Award-winning play-by-play broadcaster Craig Bolerjack begins his 10th year as the television voice of the Jazz. For the fifth consecutive season, Bolerjack will team up with analyst and former Jazzman Matt Harpring for the majority of the ROOT SPORTS telecasts. Harpring played 12 NBA seasons, including eight with the Jazz (2002-10), and is entering his fifth season as the TV analyst for the Jazz. Ron Boone will return to the Jazz for his 27th season with the franchise and continue to appear on telecasts for select games, while Steve Brown will once again serve as the sideline reporter on the home broadcasts.
All telecasts on ROOT SPORTS will feature a 30-minute pre- and postgame show, along with a halftime show. Host Alema Harrington will be joined by former Jazzman Thurl Bailey, longtime Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson, and Boone.
Utah Jazz games are available on ROOT SPORTS in both the Rocky Mountain and Northwest regions, including Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and portions of Nevada. Games are also available out of market via a subscription to NBA League Pass.
This season marks the Jazz’s third on The Zone Sports Network, which will broadcast games on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, and also simulcast on 960 AM in Utah County and the Jazz Radio Network.
Veteran broadcaster David Locke enters his sixth season as the radio voice of the Jazz while Ron Boone will team with Locke for the fifth straight season as the radio analyst. Former University of Utah star Britton Johnsen will join Spence Checketts, Tony Parks and Jake Scott to host the Jazz pregame, halftime and postgame radio shows.
The 2014-15 season will also mark the fifth straight year the Jazz will carry a Spanish radio broadcast. Play-by-play man Nelson Moran will team with analyst Isidro Lopez to call the action on 1600 AM (KTUB), while Nicole Hernandez will once again serve as the courtside reporter for home broadcasts.
Real Salt Lake fell to the first-place Seattle Sounders on Friday night at Century Link Field by a score of 3-2.
Seattle’s Andy Rose scored the game-winning goal in the last moments of stoppage time against a 10-man RSL team.
RSL defender Nat Borchers received a red card and was ejected in the 69th minute.
Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales struck first by scoring in the 30th minute. Seattle responded by scoring two of their own with a deep strike from Lamar Neagle in the 38th minute, and by Obafemi Martins in the 43rd minute. After the half, Joao Plata tied the game at 2-2 for Real Salt Lake in the 50th minute.
Nick Rimando recorded 6 saves for RSL, compared to 1 save for the Sounders’ Stefan Frei.
In addition to Borchers’ red card, Chris Wingert received a yellow card in the 71st minute. Seattle’s Neagle also received a yellow card.
RSL remains third in the Western Conference standings, while Seattle’s 3 points tonight increases their first-place lead to 4 points.
BYU defeats Houston 33-25 in its 2014 home opener at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars improve to 3-0 on the season and 541-393-26 all time. The Cougars are 2-0 all-time against Houston 1-0 and at home. BYU is 3-0 for the third time in the past 20 years.
BYU led 23-15 after two quarters of play. When leading at halftime, the Cougars are 3-0 this season and 69-8 under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. When leading after three quarters, BYU is 72-4 in the Mendenhall era.
The first points of the game came from a safety scored by the defense. The last time BYU recorded a safety was in a 37-10 victory over Middle Tennessee in 2013. The Cougars have won nine straight games when they are the first team to score. In the Mendenhall era, BYU is 64-8 in those games.
Tonight marks the first time this season BYU has had a 100-yard rusher and the first time it has had two 100-yard rushers. Quarterback Taysom Hill rushed for 160 yards and running back Jamaal Williams rushed for 139 yards.
BYU lost the turnover battle but won the game, 33-25. In 2013, the Cougars went 2-0 when its opponent had more turnovers.
Eleven different receivers caught a pass for BYU, the most since 2012, when 11 receivers caught passes against Weber State.
BYU’s last scoring drive in the third quarter was the longest drive of the season at 6:15.
For the third straight week, the Cougars held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing. BYU allowed just 10 rushing yards, the least amount allowed by BYU since Washington State rushed for -5 yards in the 2012 season opener.
Senior quarterback Christian Stewart and senior linebacker Michael Alisa carried the team and special teams flags, respectively. Former wide receiver Michael Reed (2004-08) carried the alumni flag.
Official attendance for the game was 57,630.
Junior quarterback Taysom Hill eclipsed the 4,000 passing yard mark (4,052) with his 200-yard performance. He also passed the 2,000 rushing yard mark (2,036) with his 160 rushing yards on the night. He is one of 14 FBS quarterbacks to reach that mark in their junior season, including Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow and Robert Griffin III.
Hill recorded two games last season with 200+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards (Houston, Washington). It is his eighth career game with 100+ rushing yards.
He passed Riley Nelson (4,032) for No. 16 on BYU’s all-time quarterback passing yard list as well as Brian McKenzie (1,954) on the all-time rushing yards list.
Hill scored one rushing touchdown to bring his season total to six, the most by any FBS player to date. It is his fifth consecutive game with at least one rushing touchdown.
Senior wide receiver Jordan Leslie increased his streak to 31 consecutive games with at least one reception. He finished with a team-high six catches for 79 yards, including a long of 35.
Junior wide receiver Mitch Mathews scored his second touchdown of the year and his sixth of his career. The Cougars are 4-0 when Mathews records a touchdown.
Junior running back Jamaal Williams scored the first two touchdowns of the season, bringing his career total to 22. Tonight marks his ninth game with 100 or more rushing yards.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall Overall thoughts on game: “I’m glad that we continued to battle, continued to fight. We had some offensivemomentum in the first half, and we moved it when we needed to. Overall, it was a hard fought win. There’s plenty to work on, but a lot of things that I was pleased with.”
Discussing the run game: “Today, that’s what it took to win. I would love to be able to distribute the ball through the air a bit more like we did in the first half – more like what we did against Texas. We became a little bit heavy that way, but the game kind of dictated that as well. One thing that was positive was that they had 66 plays when the ball was on theground, they didn’t get it as much and the clock kept running. They’re a dangerous team and so that was part of what we were trying to do.”
On last year’s game: “The game a year ago was much like this. It looked like we were going to pull awayand then there was an interception for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown. I’m not saying that it was a self-fulfilling prophecy but those guys are hard to shake. They just find a way to keep plowing back, to their credit.”
On Houston coming back: “I think us jumping out to the lead and then some of the early lack of success they had with the safety lent itself to why they started scoring when they needed points.”
On penalties: “We’re playing really hard. We’re playing really physical. We’re winning; we’re making plays. A coach always thinks you can improve. I’m just going to enjoy thewin. Once I see the film – I think they were mostly aggression penalties. We had one with a defensive player after a third down stop that hurt us, so at some point we’ve got to get those raked in at a higher level.”
“I feel like we played really well. We started slacking off throughout the game. We just have to keep our physicality and keep going at them. They made adjustments, and we adjusted late so they kept getting those dump offs, but other than that I feel like we did well.”
“When they pass the ball 1,000 times they’re going to complete some, but I felt we did pretty well. They were a good test for us because they have good receivers.”
“I think we made a good statement, but it wasn’t our best game. We didn’t play up to our potential at all.”
Editor’s note: This piece is written by Dan Clayton, Salt City Hoops contributor, as part of the partnership between Salt City Hoops, the ESPN Truehoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz, and ESPN700. Read more coverage of the Utah Jazz at SaltCityHoops.com.
In a gym some 5,000 miles away from Salt Lake City, a Jazz reserve was the talk of the basketball community on Wednesday.
The FIBA World Cup marches on, with medals being handed out on Sunday. Four Jazz players — or players whose NBA rights are held by the Jazz — are involved, so we’re going to take a look at the good and bad each guy has shown, and where that leaves the big picture discussion on each.
And we’ll start with an in-depth analysis and video of the guy Fran Fraschilla called “my MVP” of the quarterfinal upset over Spain.
The line: 4.1 points & 5.1 rebounds, with 2 games to go.
The good: Gobert was a defensive force against the tournament co-favorites, drawing effusive praise from Fraschilla. There are many good reasons for the coach-turned-commentator to gush. He has been a lot more engaged, he has grabbed a rebound for every three minutes played, and he’s running the floor.
He’s been a lot more calculating about his off-ball movement — diving into the slot especially.
But the real reason he’s been so impressive is defense. He had stretches where he completely dictated that end of the floor, including the stretch run on Wednesday.
He swats a ball away, then on the ensuing inbound he helps, gets back, boxes out and draws a foul.
He plays solid position D, denying the baseline and then when Gasol turns to go middle he blocks it.
This time Gasol tries to drive but Gobert cuts him off. Gasol tries to go right through him and gets stripped.
Another play where he make a deflection at the rim, followed by Fran gushing a bit more.
Spain’s elite offense came to a screeching halt, largely because of Gobert. It was a memorable defensive showing in one of the biggest FIBA upsets in recent memory.
The bad: Gobert still has his raw moments, even on defense. Here are a couple of almost back-to-back plays where he gets pulled far from the lane on pick-and-roll coverage and can’t get back. Teams consciously try to get him in the P&R. Sometimes he can let the guard through and stay home — or even better, help and then get back (as above) — but not always. The best way to neutralize Gobert defensively is to force him to help hard 25 feet from the hoop and hope he can’t recover and/or doesn’t have help behind him.
And of course, he’s offensively still progressing. This is true of his own game outside the immediate basket area, but even his screening and passing. When you screen, you’re supposed to be as square as possible; Gobert often looks more like a parallelogram on his screens, leaning hard to one side. Luckily, he’s learned to hold the position for a beat so he’s getting fewer illegal screen calls. As far as his passing game, we’re talking about a guy who had seven assists all last season. In Spain, he literally has had moments when he awkwardly knocked himself over trying to find a passing angle, or times when he should pass out of the trap but instead takes an uncomfortable sideways shot.
The big picture: Any way you cut it, it’s been a summer of progress for Gobert, who will have no difficulty claiming an important spot in the rotation if he proffers the kind of game-changing defense we’ve seen in stretches at FIBA, especially the fourth quarter vs. Spain.
Let’s also take a quicker look at the Jazz’s other three World Cup participants.
The line: 2.7 pts & 2 ast.
The good: You’ve heard plenty of analysis of Exum’s WC showing, no doubt. He showed that elite quickness, as well as a point guard mentality. Whenever he got to the middle of the floor on offense he was always looking to pass first. But probably the most impressive thing was his pestering defense. He really got “up and under” some guys, to steal a Jerry Sloan term.
The bad: The biggest complaints — rightfully so — had to do with his lack of movement on offense and his overall passiveness. I wasn’t completely excited by Australia’s offensive creativity, so maybe his role was to stand weakside and watch… but I doubt it. I kept waiting to see him get more involved, but I think he’s young enough and rusty enough that he was waiting for an invitation to have an impact on the game.
The big picture: I get the sentiment that, if he’s truly a future star in the making, he should have been less invisible with the Boomers. But I also think it’s wrong to set arbitrary prerequisites on him. I am guilty of this, too. In last week’s post, I stated that I’d be a little worried if he didn’t have a rookie year at least in a Tim Hardaway Jr. range (2-3 WS). Since then, I’ve realized how silly that is. Do you know how many eventual All-Stars and even Hall-of-Famers started out with less than that? Kobe’s rookie WS was 1.8. Dirk’s was 0.8. Isiah Thomas was 2.3. We’re talking about Finals MVP-caliber players here. Karl Malone put up 1.9 WS in his rookie season. All that’s to say history isn’t as demanding on rookie Exum; he can start modestly and still have a chance at greatness, the precedent says. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes some pretty quick improvements in a couple of areas once he’s working out with the Jazz.
The line: 7.6 pts, 2.3 ast.
The good: Neto had two stellar games where it was easy to find things to like, including a can’t-miss offensive zone against Argentina that helped the Brazilians put their neighbors away. Even when he’s not scoring like crazy, he has good control of the game, never looking outmatched or out of place. He understands spacing, so his off-ball movement helps preserve options for the team system, though sometimes subtly. He also knows how to get separation on his shots, and creates the right angles with good use of screens and side-to-side movement (he especially likes to step right-to-left into his jumper).
The bad: Not to be a wet blanket, but the Argentina game was an outlier and Neto was mostly fairly quiet, at least statistically. In group play, he had three straight games with just a bucket per outing until he got extra burn against a pretty bad Egyptian team and exploded for 14 & 10. His defense wasn’t perfect. He is solidly built, so he doesn’t give up ground easily, but he doesn’t always stay in front, nor does he become the defensive pest that Exum was at times. He got hung up on some screens, and other times, he tried to jump the screen early and got punished.
The big picture : Neto’s future role with the Jazz depends greatly on how the next few months develop, especially with regard to Exum and Trey Burke. If the Jazz decide those guys are the point tandem they’re going to ride into contention, then Neto might be more of a trade asset than a basketball asset. Then there’s the very related question of how Alec Burks fits in with that duo, and whether they have a positional preference as to how they deploy Gordon Hayward. Either way, Neto caught some attention this month.
The line: 10 pts, 7.2 reb, 2.5 ast.
The good: There were stretches — like the fourth quarter against France — where the offense almost entirely ran through him for long periods of time, and usually with positive results because of his touch and passing. It’s amazing how many of Croatia’s plays began with a Tomic screen-roll at angle left. He also defended solidly. He’s so big that he’s hard for post players to move around, and his length clearly frustrates drivers.
The bad: Tomic didn’t look particularly quick on either end. Even his really nice moves kind of seemed like they were in slow motion. He also rarely gets any sort of elevation. For a 7’2″ guy, he plays almost entirely under the rim. He’s a crafty finisher so he makes due, but you have to wonder how he’d compete athletically with NBA bigs.
The big picture: With his heady play and great hands, Tomic showed exactly why some think he projects to be a decent third of fourth big in the NBA. But there’s no clear sign as to whether he and Jazz are in each other’s mutual future. Still, every good showing by Tomic at the very least increases the asset value of his draft rights.
PCMR says agreement also includes retention of employees in their current roles
"The sale positions Powdr well for future growth, and we’re excited to explore new lifestyle and mountain sports opportunities," said John Cumming, CEO of Powdr in a news release. "We’re happy that the community now has long-term certainty and we trust Vail will responsibly carry forward the legacy of PCMR and be a champion for the Park City community."
Vail says the acquisition "settles all litigation", and ends a dispute between Talisker Land Holdings and Powdr Corp. which put the operation of the resort in question for the last few years. "Selling was the last thing we wanted to do, and while we believe the law around this issue should be changed, a protracted legal battle is not in line with our core value to be good stewards of the resort communities in which we operate," said John Cumming, CEO of Powdr. "A sale was the only way to provide long-term certainty for PCMR employees and the Park City community. My family and I are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play a role in making PCMR what it is today, and we deeply appreciate the dedicated employees and all of the people who have supported us over the years."
Real Salt Lake will head to the Pacific Northwest on Friday, taking on first-place Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field at 8:30 p.m. MT. Friday’s match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
Friday’s match will be imperative for Real Salt Lake’s chances in the Supporters’ Shield race with only seven games remaining in the MLS regular season. The Claret-and-Cobalt currently sits third in the Western Conference and fourth in the league with a 12-5-10 record and total of 46 points. Seattle sits atop the table with 51 points and a 16-7-3 record, with LA Galaxy close behind with 50 points and D.C. United a point above RSL with 47.
Real Salt Lake enters Friday’s match coming off a 2-1 win over FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday. Claret-and-Cobalt FW Robbie Findley gave the home side the lead in the 31st minute for his first goal of the year. Dallas went on to equalize in the second half off a fantastic free kick taken by FCD MF Michel in the 62nd minute. RSL was not to be outdone though as FW Alvaro Saborio headed home the game-winner in the 77th minute just 14 seconds after entering the match. The appearance marked his first since fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot at the end of May while with the Costa Rican National Team. The night also marked the MLS debut of newly signed FW Sebastian Jaime, who subbed on the 67th minute. The Argentine was acquired from Chilean Primera División club Unión Española at the start of August.
Friday’s matchup will be the third and final regular season meeting between RSL and Seattle. The two clubs have split the series 1-1-0, with each side claiming a win at home. The Sounders downed RSL 4-0 in their first meeting on May 31 at CenturyLink Field to end the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 12-game unbeaten start to the season. Real Salt Lake was able to enact revenge in the second encounter, topping the Cascadia club 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 16 behind goals from FW Joao Plata and MF Luke Mulholland.
For the first time this year, Real Salt Lake will have a full arsenal of healthy forwards available for Friday’s match. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s attack has become even more dangerous with the return of Saborio – RSL’s all-time leading goal scorer – and the acquisition of Argentine striker Jaime. Real Salt Lake’s 2014 leading goal scorer Joao Plata will be back from international duty with Ecuador and will be available for selection. The slew of healthy forwards couldn’t have come at a better time for RSL as it faces tough Western Conference competition to close out the regular season.
The Claret-and-Cobalt have had mixed results when in Seattle, posting a 2-3-2 regular season record at CenturyLink Field. RSL and Seattle met in the MLS Cup Playoffs in back-to-back years in 2011 and 2012. RSL took the series in 2011, defeating the Sounders 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium and going through on aggregate after suffering a 2-0 defeat at CenturyLink Field. In 2012, Seattle managed to bounce the Claret-and-Cobalt from the playoffs with a scoreless draw in Washington and a 1-0 victory in Utah. Real Salt Lake is 7-7-5 against Seattle all-time across all competitions, including MLS Cup Playoff and U.S. Open Cup play. CenturyLink Field is also the site of RSL’s greatest triumph; the Claret-and-Cobalt took home MLS Cup by beating LA Galaxy in a penalty kick shootout at the Seattle facility in 2009.
Seattle enters Friday’s match on a hot streak, winning its last three matches and going unbeaten in its last four. The Sounders most recently downed Chivas USA 4-2 on the road on Wednesday, Sept. 3. The Cascadia club will have a short turnaround after Friday’s match, as it takes on Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup final on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
Real Salt Lake will return home after Friday’s contest in Washington, playing host to Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Colorado Rapids on Friday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 p.m. MT. The RSL-Colorado contest will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network and locally on ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM. Tickets to the match can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at http://www.realsaltlake.com/tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders FC
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. MT at Seattle Sounders FC
TV: NBC Sports Network
English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 7:30 p.m. MT)
Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM
Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates
Game Guide for Friday’s RSL-SEA Match Now Available Online
Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Friday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact PR Coordinator Jane Sexton in the RSL Communications Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Friday’s RSL-SEA matchup
Satellite Coordinates for Friday’s RSL-SEA Match
Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders FC
Friday, Sept. 12 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA – 8:30 p.m. MT
RSL History v. Seattle
Real Salt Lake and Seattle have met twice before this year, with each side claiming a win at home. The Sounders downed RSL 4-0 in their first meeting on May 31 at CenturyLink Field to end the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 12-game unbeaten start to the season. Real Salt Lake was able to enact revenge in the second encounter, topping the Cascadia club 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 16 behind goals from FW Joao Plata and MF Luke Mulholland.
The Claret-and-Cobalt have had mixed results when in Seattle, posting a 2-3-2 regular season record at CenturyLink Field. Real Salt Lake is 7-7-5 against Seattle all-time across all competitions, including MLS Cup Playoff and U.S. Open Cup play.
Fans can tune in for live coverage on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which can be found on Sirius XM 143, 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and BYUcougars.com. IMG’s radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. MDT.
BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 6 p.m. MDT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game.
Houston (1-1) at No. 25 BYU (2-0)
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 at 7:01 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Last meeting: The blue Cougars and red Cougars met for the first time in 2013, when Taysom Hill pulled off a last-minute touchdown pass to Skyler Ridley to claim a BYU victory 47-46.
BYU vs. AAC: The Cougars are a combined 17-2 against American Athletic Conference opponents. BYU defeated AAC opponent UConn in the 2014 season opener, taking down the Huskies 35-10 on the road.
Run, Taysom, run: Junior quarterback Taysom Hill led BYU to a 41-7 victory against Texas with three rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. Hill leaped over a Longhorn DB on his way to a 30-yard touchdown run, his first of the game, launching a 28-0 scoring streak in the third quarter. Hill was named FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row.
Making history: Hill is one of eight players in the NCAA history to ever throw for 400 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game which was against Houston in 2013. He finished with 417 passing yards (4 TDs) and 128 rushing yards.
10 seasons: Bronco Mendenhall began his 10th season as head coach of the Cougars with the season opener at UConn. Mendenhall has an 84-34 record entering his 10th year. BYU ranks 12th in total wins during his tenure.
Well, really I don’t think anybody on the team is satisfied. Like I said, we want to be undefeated. That’s only one win. That only counts as one, even though we might think it counts as three because it’s such a big win against such a great team, but it only counts as one. We have to get ready for the next team and can’t be too satisfied.
Houston’s good. They had a little hiccup against UTSA, but they came out strong the next week. Their defense is going to be good. Of course their offense is going to be good, they always put up big points. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.
I went against Houston a lot when I was at UTEP. You know they like to go fast-paced and stuff like that. It’s going to be a fun game. Both offenses are going fast-paced. So, don’t miss it.
On Houston defense:
Especially with Taysom (Hill), we’re expecting them to go man, cover-1, maybe cover-3, to stop him from running. Like we’ve said before, he’s so athletic, if he gets loose, there’s no catching him. We expect them to try to stop the run, try to stop Taysom. That’s a lot of pressure on us, we have to make plays.
On being recruited by Houston:
Yes, they actually offered me. I chose not to go there just because it was too close to home. I kind of wanted to get away. They’re a great school and it was a hard decision not to choose there.
On BYU fans:
I love it. Seeing the fans at the away games, I can just imagine what a home game is going to be like. It’s just fun. They’re so passionate. This team it’s just–we’re a band of brothers. I said that when I first got here, but now that I’ve been here for a while, I’ve been able to witness and see how we are on the field, we really are a band of brothers.
I don’t think we have any fans in the world like BYU fans. I just can’t wait for a home game. I know it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be fun.
On Taysom’s running:
He’s athletic. He’s the man. He can run any time he wants to. That really puts a lot of pressure on the defense. It forces them to put eight in the box and man up. As a receiver, that’s what you want, you want man coverage. That’s kind of what you dream for, us being the bomb squad, we expect to make plays.
I didn’t play in last year’s game because of a concussion. What I saw on the field, they made a big special teams play which kind of got them back in the game and they made a long throw that really got them back in the game.
They’re a good team. They’re capable and they have a lot of good athletes.
Last year he kept plays alive and he keeps eyes down field. He’s a guy that can definitely hurt you if your eyes are wrong. Especially in the secondary, we need to stay straight on our keys and we need to be disciplined
On home opener:
It’s really exciting. Definitely coming off of two away games, where it’s a long distance away and we still have a good turnout for those games, but it’s going to be fun getting back into our stadium in front of our home crowd.
The natural tendency would be to try to feel good a little bit longer than we have time for. As you all know yesterday was ‘Wednesday’, today’s ‘Thursday’ and tomorrow is the day before the game. So it’s hard even though we’ve done it a lot of times, it’s hard to get used to it still. Bumps and bruises have to heal faster. Good performances have to be forgotten as well as some that could be improved have to be forgotten. A lot at stake, but I would say so far, so good in the two days we’ve had on the field.
On the BYU running game:
Having Jamaal (Williams) and Adam (Hine) back there really helped. As the game went on, we didn’t slow down. When you consider now Algie (Brown) and Paul (Lasike) as well, it’s a nice stable of backs to have. It’s more than two deep, so you end up almost being three deep with different combinations which is really helpful in keeping the workload as much as possible off Taysom, even though he’s really dynamic with the ball. We’re throwing it better, so that helps too.
On bumps and bruises:
They’re there. Normally it’s a walk-through on Monday rather than a Wednesday’s practice for that very reason. So, they just are what they are. So I don’t think there is anything game limiting in addition to what you already know. Hopefully we’ll be as healthy as possible by the time we play.
On Houston’s film–what do you see?
Same as a year ago. Really good schemes and good players. They’re doing a really nice job.
On BYU defensive performances:
Really good. 17 points in two games. If that keeps up, we’ll have a good chance at every game that we play.
On keeping a strong defense:
It’s just the system. For nine years we averaged in the top 20 in scoring throughout that entire time and so really, it’s just replacing parts now. We have good leadership with our defensive staff.
Utah State football scored 27-straight points spanning the second and third quarter to pull away from a 6-6 tie and open up a 33-6 lead en route to a 40-20 win against Idaho State Saturday night at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
Utah State leveled their season record at 1-1 on the young season, while Idaho State fell to 0-2, with both losses to Utah teams after a 56-14 loss at Utah last week. USU improves to 15-2 all-time against ISU, winning the last four meetings, as well as moving to 12-1 in games at Logan.
Utah State finished with 427 yards of total offense with 311 rushing and 116 passing, posting season-highs for total offense and rushing. Idaho State ended the night with 408 yards of total offense, with 307 through the air and 101 rushing.
Senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for 116 yards on 13-of-30 passing, while rushing for a team-high 74 yards on eight carries with a 10-yard scoring scamper. Junior running back Rashad Hall rushed for a career-best 69 yards on 11 carries with a 5-yard touchdown run that was USU’s first touchdown of the night and started the Aggies’ 27-straight scoring spurt. Senior running back Joe Hill also ran for 69 yards on 15 carries with a 1-yard score to open USU’s third-quarter scoring. Sophomore running back Kennedy Williams also got in on the career-high rushing outing with 43 yards on two carries, boosted by a career-long 34 rush.
Sophomore wide receiver JoJo Natson led Utah State’s receiving corps with 59 yards on six catches, adding a 29-yard rush that would have been a touchdown but was called back due to a penalty. Natson did find the end zone on a 52-yard punt return, darting around ISU defenders then through a huge hole created by a convoy of blockers to payturf.
The Aggie defense was led by sophomore safety Devin Centers and junior linebacker LT Filiaga with 10 tackles apiece, with Centers posting one sack, while Filiaga was in on half of a tackle for loss. Freshman cornerback Jalen Davis snared two interceptions, including returning one 44 yards for a touchdown. Senior safety Brian Suite also added an interception, as the Aggie defense snared three interceptions off ISU quarterback Justin Arias as well as sacking him once.
Arias ended 23-of-47 passing for 307 yards with two touchdowns. KW Williams snared four catches for 109 yards with one score, while Broc Malcom added one touchdown catch as part of his three receptions for 59 yards. Madison Mangum had a team-high six catches for 82 yards. Xavier Finney finished with 88 yards on the ground with 23 carries.
Mario Jenkins led the Bengal defense with 16 tackles, while Tyler Kuder adding 11 and Cody Sorensen notched 10 stops. Jenkins had the lone interception for ISU.
Utah State took the opening kickoff and marched down the field to the ISU 37 before the drive thwarted and the Aggies attempted a field goal. Sophomore Jake Thompson came on to attempt a 54-yard field goal, but it was partially blocked by ISU’s Hayden Stout and didn’t reach the uprights.
Davis ended the Bengals’ ensuing possession with his first interception, setting up the Aggies at the ISU 22. USU couldn’t move the chains and settled for a 31-yard field goal by senior placekicker Nick Diaz for a 3-0 lead at the 10:13 mark of the first quarter.
Diaz later drilled a 24-yarder with 1:16 to go in the first frame for a 6-0 Aggie advantage, which was the score at the end of the quarter.
Idaho State opened the second quarter with a 21-yard field goal from Zak Johnson at the 13:39 mark, and later evened the score at 6-all with another Johnson upright split, this time from 49-yards out with 9:59 to go in the half.
Hall broke up the field goal party with his 5-yard scoring scamper with 2:33 left in the second quarter and Diaz hit the PAT for a 13-6 USU lead. The score stayed that way for just over a minute, as the Aggie defense limited the Bengals to a three-and-out, then Natson took the ISU punt and returned it 52-yards for his third career punt return for a touchdown. Diaz split the uprights for a 20-6 USU lead that the Aggies took into halftime.
Suite snared his interception on ISU’s opening possession of the second half, giving USU the ball at the Bengal 17. Three plays later Hill darted around the right side and dove into the end zone, putting the Aggies ahead 26-6 as Diaz’ PAT bounced off the upright.
ISU’s ensuing possession lasted all of two plays as Davis snared an Arias pass, and took it 44-yards to the house on the pick-six. Diaz connected on the PAT for a 33-6 Aggie advantage with 12:09 to go on the third-quarter clock.
The Bengals scored their first touchdown of the night on a 42-yard pass play from Arias to Malcom and Johnson’s extra point made it 33-13 at the 6:27 point of the third stanza.
Keeton’s 10-yard scamper capped the Aggies’ scoring for the night and Diaz hit the PAT for their 40th point of the game with 4:03 left.
ISU ended the game’s scoring with a 52-yard scoring pass, catch and run from Arias to Williams with 2:35 left and USU ran out the clock to seal its first victory of the season.
Utah State will remain home next weekend as it hosts its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221).
Utah State football season and single-game tickets are available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during its office hours 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. Season tickets can also be purchased online at www.UtahStateAggies.com, the official website of USU Athletics and clicking on the “Ticket Office” tab.
Fans can also follow the Aggie football program on twitter @USUFootball, on Facebook at Utah State Football or on instagram at @usufootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at @USUAthletics, on facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on instagram at @USUAthletics.
AUSTIN, Texas – Quarterback Taysom Hill‘s three rushing touchdowns led BYU football to a 41-7 domination of revenge-thirsty Texas on the Longhorns’ home field Saturday.
Hill made sure to remind the Longhorns of his 2013 performance by rushing for 99 yards and passing for 181 yards.
“Once it became really clear what Texas’ plan was defensively–which was a very strong plan–and we were able to identify what they were doing, it was apparent that Taysom on a few different types of looks could carry the ball more,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “So we targeted him to do that. We already know what kind of capable runner he is. Schematically we made some adjustments to make sure that could happen.”
Senior transfer Jordan Leslie led the receivers with seven receptions for 85 yards. Jamaal Williams rushed for 89 yards on 19 carries, while Adam Hine rushed for 29 yards and two touchdowns.
Dallin Leavitt led the Cougars with seven tackles, followed by Robertson Daniel and Zac Stout with six tackles apiece. The defense held Texas to 2.1 yards per carry and a total of 82 rushing yards on 35 carries. Hill and Williams both out-rushed the entire Texas team.
“Going all the way back to Monday and the first look we had at this opponent, we thought we matched up really well,” Mendenhall said. “We thought we had a great chance to have a good win, and we thought we had a really good chance to win convincingly.”
Up 6-0 at halftime, Cougar offense turned the tide to start the second half and scored touchdowns on four consecutive drives. Hill completed the first drive with a 30-yard touchdown run after hurdling a Longhorn defender on the 5-yard line. After the defense forced a quick three and out, an acrobatic catch by Leslie set up a 16-yard touchdown run by Hine.
BYU’s defense forced another quick three-and-out, and Mitchell Juergens returned the ensuing punt to the Texas 29-yard line. The short field set up a quick scoring drive for the Cougars, as Hill rushed for his second touchdown from a couple yards out. The Cougars proved they were not done on the subsequent kickoff, with Michael Alisa forcing a fumble that was recovered by Harvey Jackson on the Texas 24-yard line. Hill recorded his third rushing touchdown of the game from a yard out with just under six minutes left in the quarter.
“It was a great third quarter because of both sides,” Mendenhall said. “Not only did we make a few key corrections offensively, but we created some turnovers that had short fields. So with the combination of playing good defense and taking the ball away, and then the adjustments we made offensively, it really came together nicely.”
The offense hit its first snag of the half in the fourth quarter when Hill lost a fumble at midfield, but the defense recovered momentum when Alisa intercepted Tyrone Swoopes and returned it 30 yards into Texas territory. Hine took advantage, scoring his second touchdown of the game from eight yards out. The interception was Alisa’s first, which brought BYU’s streak of consecutive games with an interception to 12 to tie the longest streak in Mendenhall’s tenure.
The first quarter brought a defensive struggle, as BYU was the only team to score on a 21-yard field goal from Trevor Samson. Williams set up the field goal with a 31-yard rush to the Texas 16-yard line.
The Cougar defense showed physical dominance throughout the first half, forcing two punts and a missed field goal. In his first start, Texas quarterback Swoopes completed his first seven pass attempts for 72 yards, but BYU’s rush defense only allowed 21 yards on the ground.
Defense continued to be the theme in the second quarter, with Daniel stripping the ball from a Texas receiver and recovering the ball on the 50. The Cougar offense couldn’t capitalize on the turnover and was forced to punt the ball back to Texas. On the first play of Texas’ next drive, linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere forced another fumble, recovered again by Daniel at the Texas 23-yard line. Samson connected on a 29-yard field goal to take the score to 6-0.
BYU is now 4-1 against Texas and returns to Provo for its first home game of the season against Houston Thursday at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN and the Cougar IMG Sports Network.
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