CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Easy stinging from a loss to an neatly-liked rival, Utah is attend on the road this weekend to face one more broken-down conference foe with an unbeaten story and heaps to construct from a have over the Utes.
Coach Kyle Whittingham’s Utes (1-1) are liable to falling into an early-season hole when they consult with impressive San Diego Command (2-0) for his or her final nonconference sport Saturday.
Utah left within the attend of its annual meeting with the Aztecs bigger than a decade ago when it moved to the Pac-12, but a 26-17 loss final week to BYU has left Whittingham’s team wanting a have over one more broken-down Mountain West rival to e-book clear of consecutive 1-2 begins for the first time in his largely worthwhile tenure.
“This week, the leaders wish to step up where leadership is obligatory,” Whittingham said. “When the leadership comes to the forefront is while it’s doubtless you’ll presumably even beget gotten adversity and tense times. You don’t desire a bunch of leadership when the total lot goes great. We desire a bunch of leaders to step up this week, and my bet is that they’ll acknowledge.”
While Utah is liable to an limitless stumble, San Diego Command is on the verge of a step up. The Aztecs drilled Arizona 38-14 final week to salvage off to a 2-0 originate for a third consecutive season, and a have over the Utes would assign them within the dialog for a national ranking.
What’s more, the Aztecs are 6-2 against Pac-12 groups over the past six seasons, posting the nation’s simplest nonconference story against the West Hover’s high conference.
Aztecs coach Brady Hoke knows his team will wish to play a lot better than it did against the rebuilding Wildcats to knock off one more Pac-12 program.
“Our improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 used to be appropriate, no longer great,” Hoke said. “We’ve bought to play better across the board. We know we are able to’t beget eight penalties. That’s no longer excellent football. Quite lots of fundamentals we would like to correct across the board.”
San Diego Command shall be without starting quarterback Jordon Brookshire after he effort his foot final week against Arizona. Hoke in general offers no knowledge on injuries, but Brookshire didn’t be conscious Monday or Tuesday.
Brookshire is composed listed atop the Aztecs’ depth chart at quarterback, but if he can’t play, Lucas Johnson will step in. Johnson looked as if it might well possibly presumably presumably be within the lead to have the starting job someday of tumble camp, but Brookshire bought past him leisurely within the system.
Each Brookshire and Johnson are athletic quarterbacks who present a running menace to the Utes’ protection. Johnson has been saved off the sphere by injuries for quite lots of his Aztecs occupation.
San Diego Command has rushed for 519 yards in its two games this season, and Utah has given up 144 yards per sport on the bottom up to now. Whittingham realizes his protection must ramp up its toughness to dangle with one more sturdy opponent, but he also pointed to Utah’s failure to salvage a sack or a takeaway against BYU as most important concerns to be remedied.
Each colleges must beget a resounding fan turnout at Dignity Health Sports activities Park, the home stadium of the LA Galaxy. The Aztecs are in their 2nd season on the Los Angeles Chargers’ broken-down home field whereas San Diego Command’s unusual stadium in Mission Valley is underneath constructing.
“It might well presumably presumably be great if we also can salvage Aztec Nation there” for the supreme-profile nonconference sport on their time desk, Hoke said. “Expectantly to black it out and salvage them up there, that is liable to be a bunch of fun for our guys.”
Whittingham is hoping for a wholesome contingent of Utah followers from the college’s mountainous Los Angeles-place of living alumni unpleasant.
“If the Chargers can play there, I order we are able to play there,” Whittingham said of the unparalleled setting. “I don’t beget any worries.”
These colleges haven’t met since 2010, the Utes’ final season within the Mountain West sooner than they joined the Pac-12. Utah went 5-1 against the Aztecs someday of the first six years of Whittingham’s head coaching tenure, winning the final 5 straight.
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