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Utah Visits Oregon St. In Thursday Night Showdown

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Oregon St. had hoped the return of Isaac Seumalo by now would be the ticket to a win against Utah. With Seumalo out probably for the season, who will step up to make the difference tonight?
Oregon St. had hoped the return of Isaac Seumalo by now would be the ticket to a win against Utah. With Seumalo out probably for the season, who will step up to make the difference tonight?

#20 Utah (4-1, 1-1) at Oregon St. (4-1, 1-1) / Reser Stadium / 7 PM PDT / FX2 & Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM

Game Notes / Utah Game Notes

Oregon St. returns home to host 20th ranked Utah in a Thursday night showdown to kick off another weekend of Pac-12 and NCAA College football.

The game was originally planned to be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1, but a conflict with coverage of Major League Baseball playoffs has resulted in the game being moved to Fox Sports 2. As this channel is widely unavailable outside the satellite distribution world, the game will also be streamed on the Pac-12 National, Mountain, Oregon, and Arizona channels where available. (Pac-12 Washington and both California Pac-12 channels will carry the UW-UCLA soccer game originally scheduled for Pac-12 coverage, and then join this game somewhere in progress.)

Several local channels in both the Oregon and Salt Lake City markets will also carry the game. (Full details here.)

Both teams come into what has become a pretty competitive rivalry coming off a bye week following close conference road wins in their last outings. Utah survived 2 missed chances at what would have been game winning field goals at the end of the game to hang on to a 30-28 win over then 8th ranked UCLA in the Rose Bowl, while Oregon St. rebuffed the Buffs' final drive in Boulder to pull out a 36-31 win over Colorado.

It's the 19th meeting in the series, which dates to 1931, with Oregon St. holding an 11-6 edge, with 1 tie. The Beavers have a 2 game winning streak in the series, including last year's 51-48 overtime victory, Oregon St.'s first win in Salt Lake City since 1968.

Oregon St. snatched victory at about midnight, after almost 4 hours of back and forth football, , when Sean Mannion got a pass to clear a Utah defender's finger tips by a fraction of an inch, and to Brandin Cooks, waiting in the end zone. This after the Beavers had converted a 4th and 9, and went on to the score that sent the game into overtime, answering a go ahead score by Utah's Travis Wilson.

Whether Wilson will start, or even play, tonight, we don't know, as Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham has announced that it will be a game time decision announcement as to whether its Wilson, or transfer Kendall Thompson, who came on in relief of Wilson in the UCLA win, will take the first snap.

Prior to Oregon St.'s wins the last 2 years, Utah had taken 2 in a row, including the controversial 31-28 win in 2008 that was the closed call the Utes had in their perfect season, and 4 of 5. The Beavers have won 5 of 7 meetings in Corvallis, and only lost once, in 1991.

This year, Utah's defense leads the country in quarterback sacks, entering the game with 28 already, and the Utes and Beavers are the next top 2 defenses in the Pac-12 behind Stanford. Utah is a 2 1/2 point favorite, and it will be interesting to see if the trend of the road team winning all the conference games the last 2 weeks with only 1 exception, Washington St. at Stanford last Friday night, continues.

The game also marks the return to Reser of Utah running backs coach Dennis Erickson, who coached the Beavers from 1999 through 2002.

BuildingTheDam will be at the game, and back long after midnight, with coverage and analysis.