Positional breakdown

QuarterbacksAnother week, another young quarterback. Hanie has shown some talent, but he will have a hard time staying focused on national TV in a top-10 team’s house. Smith has now officially been recognized as Utah’s first Heisman Trophy candidate, and is continuing to play in the realm of greatness with a 10-1 TD-to-INT ratio.

Running BacksThe Rams haven’t found a good consistent running threat, with Jaunarajs (pronounced YAWN-ur-rice) the only real bright spot. Marcus Houston is probably still in therapy for his fumble in last year’s game. Johnson and Ganther had quiet nights for the Utes last week, with SDSU keying on the run, but are still a reliable one-two punch. Neither has seemed to mind Smith getting all the attention.

ReceiversWhile he isn’t Jeff Webb, Anderson can provide some fireworks. The top four Ram receivers are pretty uniform, all having good yardage and all having two TDs apiece. Savoy and Warren continue to be the best duo in the conference, making mincemeat out of good defenses. Savoy was constantly getting behind the vaunted Aztec defense. Madsen had a tough game last week, having a fumble returned for a touchdown and dropping a key pass, so it will be important for him to bounce back.

O-LineCSU has been having a tough time protecting the QB, giving up 21 sacks. They have also had difficulty opening up holes for the running game (although that might be more of a product of the lack of running back talent). The Utes have held tough, even through the absence of starting right tackle Makai Aalona. An overlooked aspect of Smith’s success has been the ridiculous time in the pocket the O-Line has given him.

D-LineIn what should be good news for the Utah running backs, the CSU line has been terrible at run defense. They have given up 205 yards on the ground per game, allowing even the most average backs to have a career game. Look out for Luke Adkins, who has two forced fumbles and two interceptions. Utah had SDSU QB Kevin O’Connell on the run the entire game, but still has trouble with quick running backs.

LinebackersThe Rams are lead by Jahmal Hall, who has accounted for eight tackles for a loss and 44 tackles overall. CSU is pretty young in this department, with no senior starters. The Ute backers were forced to make too many tackles on the running backs last week, but got in some big hits. Toone, Dodds, and Hackenbruck have been a cohesive unit all year, seemingly always near the ball.

SecondaryLancisero and Stratton anchor the Rams in the backfield, combining for well over 100 tackles. They will need to be on their A-game to stop Utah’s batallion of receivers. Look for them to be tested deep early. Fletcher had a very up and down game for the Utes last week, while having the unenviable task of covering one of the league’s best receivers. Webb burned him a few times, but he also saved at least two touchdowns with last-second breakups. Scalley and Weddle are both healthy, and now just need to improve their timing.

Special TeamsYear in and year out, this is CSU’s specialty. Anderson pulls double duty, giving the Rams yet another dangerous kick returner. Babcock is a very good punter and kicker, always ready for a clutch kick. Carroll eased many a Ute fans’ kicking nightmares last weekend, nailing all three field goal attempts, and continuing to be perfect on PATs. Kovacevich needs to figure out how to kick off deep and straight. The good field position he gives the opposition will catch up with Utah down the road.

CoachingSonny Lubick is one of the greats. If he were in a bigger conference he would be mentioned in the same breath as Bowden and Joe Pa. He’s had a few down years recently, but a team with him on the sideline can never be taken lightly. Meyer has kept the team so focused that interviewing players is like interviewing monks.

Urban MeyerUte Head CoachMeyer likes it when his players give full effort. When they don’t, they pay the consequences. When he first got to Bowling Green, Meyer instituted “Black Wednesday.” He trotted out two big trash cans at either end of the football field, and told the players to start running. They were allowed to stop when they either vomited or had to quit the team. Sixteen-game turnarounds in one season don’t just happen by coincidence, you know.

Sonny LubickRams Head CoachWhile he is in “only” his 12th season in Fort Collins, Colo., it feels like Lubick has been there forever. The Butte, Mont., native has taken the Rams to eight bowl games and six conference titles, en route to compiling a career record of 94-49. Perhaps a hopeful sign for Utah fans pining for Urban’s return is Lubick’s history with lucrative job offers from other universities. He has turned down several high-profile programs, most recently the head job at Oregon State. Perhaps he was touched that CSU named their football field after him. (Not the entire stadium, just the field.)

Ute Roster1 Johnson, Marty RB2 Young, Antonio DB3 Fletcher, Gerald DB3 Johnson, Brian QB4 Wright, Jerome WR5 Warren, Paris WR6 Savoy, Steve WR7 Borreson, Bryan K8 Casteel, Brent RB9 Toone, Spencer LB9 Au, Brigham QB10 Gordon, Stephen DB10 Walker, Justin WR11 Smith, Alex QB11 Casco, Kawika DB12 Punimata, Nuuese DB13 Ganther, Quinton RB14 Brady, Kyle WR14 Madsen, Adam QB15 Rawlings, Brent P15 Poston, Darryl RB16 Oates, Eugene DB16 Nielson, Brady DB17 Sokugawa, Chris QB17 Tagovailoa, Fano QB18 Jacobsen, Chad TE19 Kovacevich, Matt Punter20 Liti, Mike RB21 Harper, Shaun DB22 Nagahi, Bo DB23 Madsen, John WR23 Rockwell, Zach DB24 Harris, Tim DB25 Scalley, Morgan DB26 McEntire, Curtis K26 Stowers, Ray RB27 Unutoa, Dymond DB28 Tate, Steve DB29 Smith, Ryan DB30 Ross, Adarrious DB30 Mokofisi, Malakai DB31 Evans, Casey DB32 Weddle, Eric DB33 Garrigan, Afa DB33 TeGantvoort, Charlie DB34 Iloa, Singa RB35 Mason, Matt DB36 Marold, Zac DB36 Kinsey, Billy RB37 Olevao, Loma LB38 Beck, John LB39 Clark, Jon TE40 Hackenbruck, Tommy LB41 Marshall, Grady LB42 Jiannoni, Joe LB43 Johnson, Joe RB44 Moleni, Pate DE45 Puccinelli, Alex DE46 O’Connell, Sean LB46 Hansen, Justin TE47 Burdette, Blake TE48 Burnett, Martail DE49 Richards, Derrek WR49 Johnson, Brock DB50 Condie, Brock LS51 Preobrazhensky, Dmitry LB53 Williams, Reza DE54 Miller, Taylor LB55 Johnson, Andrew OL55 Ledbetter, Marquess DL56 Sampson, Colt LB57 Beardall, Dan K/P58 Parkhurst, Brady LS59 Carroll, David K60 Apted, Terrence DL61 Tassainer, Jess LB62 Rowley, Butchie LS63 Gunther, Kyle OL65 Hatch, Jeff OL66 Conley, Robert OL67 Paullin, Blake LB68 Kemoeatu, Chris OL69 Boone, Jason OL70 Aalona, Makai OL71 Arquette, Mitch OL72 Voss, Jason OL73 Dahl, Steve OL74 Dirkmaat, David OT75 Pettit, Eric OL76 Soliai, Paul OL78 Tupola, Tavo OL79 Boone, Jesse OL80 Kruger, Paul DL81 Clifford, Brad WR82 Peel, John WR83 Johnson, Jordan WR84 Huff, Thomas WR85 Gueck, Rob WR86 Sorenson, Cody WR87 Moss, Trevor WR88 LaTendresse, Travis WR89 Sonntag, Nik DE90 Pouha, Sione DL91 Fanene, Jonathan DL92 Castaldi, Tony DL93 Dodds, Corey LB94 Fifita, Steve DL96 Kemoeatu, Tevita DL97 Sao, Willie TE98 Talavou, Kelly DL99 Scanlon, Bryce DL99 Afeaki, Kite DL

Ram Roster 1 Cathy, Brandon CB 1 Houston, Marcus RB 2 Hall, Jahmal LB 3 Stratton, Ben 4 Anderson, David WR 5 Davis, Lukas S 5 Johnson III, Gartrell RB 6 Taylor, Landon WR 6 Herbert, Robert CB 7 Walker, Johnny WR 8 Holland, Justin QB8 Kaylor, Jim P 9 Adkins, Luke LB 9 Gregg, Gilbert CB 10 Bryson, Zac QB 11 Flores, Joey S 12 Foster, Daniel CB 12 Hansen, Casey QB 13 Mark, Kevin K/P 14 Babcock, Jeff K/P 15 Farris, Billy QB 16 Hanie, Caleb QB 16 Speer, Chris CB 17 Clark, Robert S 18 Green, Jimmy RB 18 Wise, Shane S 19 Kearney, Joey 19 Marsh, Shane CB 20 Sheahan, Ross S 22 Jaunarajs, Uldis RB 23 Campbell, Ciarre S 23 Wysocki, Michael K 24 Weber, Chase CB 25 Hayward, Adam WR 26 Garcia, Travis S 27 Hill, George WR 27 Foley, David S 28 Levine, Liddon CB 29 Bell, Kyle RB 30 Kochevar, Miles S 31 Mueller, Luke LB 31 Ersland, Ryan WR 32 Lancisero, Adam S 33 Walker, Tristian RB 34 Roberts, Luke WR 35 Robbins, Matt LB 35 Williams, Alphonso WR 36 McGill, Tramell RB 36 Vomhof, Michael LB 37 Smith, Jason K 38 Pauly, Nathan LB 39 Williams, Darryl CB 39 Tolbert, Greg WR 40 Thompson, Kyle LB 41 Myers, Michael S 42 Duckett, Chauncey WR 42 Van Horn, Kyle LB 43 Morse, Zach LB 44 Vomhof, Bob DE 45 Horinek, Jeff LB 46 Witt, John LB 47 LeBlanc, Tim P/HB 49 Nichols, John LB 50 Davis, Chris LB 51 Treacy, John LS 52 Jones, Courtney LB 53 Cook, Andrew LB 53 Redha, Jassem OL 54 Burgess, Ryan OL 54 Jones, Landon LB 57 Hill, Tommie DE 58 Madrid, Joey OL 59 Harrell, Kellar OL.59 Nading, Jesse DE 60 Minary, Hunter LS 61 Martin, Kyle LB 62 Walker, Mitch OL 63 Brisiel, Michael OL 64 Allotta, Nick OL 65 Olech, Steve DL 66 Plunkett, Richie OL 67 Williams, Jerome OL 68 Gury, Dan OL 69 Richards, David LB 70 Parke, Delroy OL 71 Oldenburg, Clint OL 72 Tyler, Justin OL 73 Majcher, Patrick OL 74 Pears, Erik OL 75 Stratton, Dane OL 76 Day, Josh OL 77 Bimper, Albert OL78 Haskell, Jason OL 79 Crews, Dan OL 80 Sperry, Kory TE 81 Dreessen, Joel TE 82 Celestine, Anthony WR 83 Koonce, Joe WR 84 Martindale, Tom TE 85 Osborn, Dustin WR 86 Carter, Terrance DE 86 Morano, Drew WR 87 Morton, Damon WR 88 Alconcel, Brandon TE 89 McPeek, Kevin TE 91 Simon, Jonathon DL 92 Bartz, Matt TE 93 Kiffin, Chris DL 94 Rupp, Matt DE 95 Sandie, Erik DL 96 Kawulok, Chris DE 97 Smith, Blake DL 98 Floyd, Cleodis DL99 Goodpaster, Patrick DE