With the 2011 college football season in full swing, schools around the state are looking to build up momentum and confidence as they head into conference play. With some teams playing in new conferences, and others looking to beat familiar foes, this year is already off to a wild start.
Brigham Young University: The Cougars have not had the start that they’d hoped for as their first season as an independent. They squeaked by in week one with a win over Ole Miss, but have since dropped two straight to Texas and Utah. Their loss to Utah was a painful one for Cougar fans. BYU turned the ball over seven times, and they gave up 54 points to their rivals.
The Cougar offense led by Quarterback Jake Heaps has had difficulties scoring the ball. The Cougars’ total of 16 points in their loss to Texas in week two is the most points they’ve put up in a game this season. BYU will need to put points on the board if they want to please the crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday as they welcome in the University of Central Florida.
Dixie State College: The Red Storm finally entered the win column last week with a huge victory in front of the home crowd. Dixie State stormed all over Simon Fraser University with a 42-7 victory. Quarterback Cody Stevenson was efficient in the win, throwing 17-of-24 for 211 yards and three touchdowns. The offense was led by Jesse Ence who had 76 rushing yards, 79 receiving yards, and one touchdown in each facet.
Dixie State plays ifs fourth straight game at Hansen Stadium this week as they welcome in 2-1 Western Oregon University.
Southern Utah University: The Thunderbirds are off to the start they hoped for. Despite a bitter week one loss at South Dakota State, when SUU fell by one point, the T-Birds have pulled off two straight home wins. Last week the T-birds hosted the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio in front of a full house. Behind a high-powered offensive output, SUU rolled to the 45-22 victory. Their 2-1 start is their best start under head coach Ed Lamb, and also matches their best start since 2006.
SUU has a real opportunity to turn some heads this week as they travel down I-15 to face the UNLV Rebels. UNLV has had a tough, but slow start. With a record of 1-2, and road losses to Wisconsin, and Washington State, the Rebels rebounded last week with a home victory against Hawaii. Saturday’s showdown is an opportunity for SUU to add a big name to their victory list.
University of Utah: The Utes pulled out a landslide victory last week against their archrival BYU. But more importantly, they rebounded in a big way after their loss to USC in their Pac-12 debut. The Ute defense forced the Cougars into 7 turnovers, and the offense put 54 points on the board. This win is sure to be a confidence boost for the Utes as they prepare for more Pac-12 action.
Utah has the week off before welcoming in 2-1 Washington University on October 1.
Utah State University: Coming off a bye week, the Aggies will look to continue their impressive start against Colorado State. The Aggies nearly pulled off the biggest upset of week one against the defending national champion Auburn Tigers. They were able to get the victory in week two against Weber State.
The 2-1 Rams of CSU will be welcomed into Logan for the Aggies’ homecoming game.
Weber State University: The Wildcats rebounded in week three to get their first victory of the season against Sacramento State. Weber State will look to make it two in a row this week against Northern Colorado on the road in Greeley.