No. 12 Utah hits road to play future Big 12 foe in its 1st game against Baylor
No. 12 Utah (1-0) at Baylor (0-1), Saturday, Noon ET (ESPN)
Line: Line: Utah by 7 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
A matchup of future Big 12 foes when Utah plays Baylor for the first time. This game was scheduled eight years ago, long before the latest rounds of conference realignment that resulted in the dismantling of the Pac-12 in a matter of recent weeks. The Utes, who won their league’s championship game each of the past two seasons, are one of four teams moving to the Big 12 next year, but remain focused on their Pac-12 finale. The Bears, Big 12 champions two years ago, were upset at home by Texas State last week and have lost five games in a row.
Baylor’s new offensive line vs. Utah’s defensive front. All five Baylor offensive linemen in the season opener made their first start for the school, though there are some experienced transfers. But the Bears had only 108 yards rushing and 3.4 yards per carry, and their quarterbacks got sacked three times. Utah had several expected defensive line starters unavailable for its opener, but still had five sacks while limiting Florida to 13 yards rushing.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah: Junior safety Cole Bishop is a team captain who had a team-high 11 tackles against Florida, a year after a career-high 12 stops against the Gators. He also had a sack in his 20th career start.
Baylor: Mississippi State transfer QB Sawyer Robertson is in line to get his first college start after the MCL injury starter Blake Shapen sustained in the opener. Robertson played in six games the past two seasons for the Bulldogs without starting. After Shapen got hurt in the Bears’ opener, Robertson completed 6 of 12 passes for 113 yards, but the final two drives ended with an interception and a fumble.
FACTS & FIGURES
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, in his 19th season, is the Pac-12’s longest-tenured coach and the second-longest tenured coach at the same FBS school. … Utah is 30-4 in regular-season non-conference games since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. … Baylor is playing the second of four consecutive home games to open the season, among a school-record eight overall.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll