- THIS WEEK'S GAME: USC at Utah, Oct. 4 -- The Trojans are making their first trip to Salt Lake City since 1917, when USC blasted Utah 51-0. The Utes are an impressive 22-2-1 in home games after bye weeks all-time, and are 6-1 under coach Kyle Whittingham following byes. The loss, however, came last year against Washington. The teams have played each other in a pair of bowl games in their histories, with USC winning the 1993 Freedom Bowl 28-21 and the Utes winning the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl 10-6. KEYS TO THE GAME: The Utes need a fast start to get the Rice-Eccles Stadium crowd into the game from the outset and keep the team emotionally charged. If they can control the line of scrimmage early and get the upper hand, they'll be able to withstand a big play by the Trojans and keep the pressure on the USC defense. If the Trojans get a quick score or seize early momentum, the Utes may lack the firepower to rally. - The Sports Xchange
Full DeVonte Christopher News Wire
Though none of them have ever come close to matching the success of former Utes star Steve Smith in the NFL, Utah has consistently sent receivers to league, with four wideouts having been selected since Smith was drafted by the Carolina Panthers No. 74 overall in 2001.
The lean, athletic Christopher has led the Utes in receiving each of the past two seasons and could see his numbers grow significantly in 2012 with starting QB Jordan Wynn returning to health. Christopher caught 42 passes for 663 yards and five touchdowns a season ago for the Utes, including one of the biggest of the season -- a 24-yard catch down the sideline on fourth-and-14 with just 1:32 remaining to put Utah in position to send the Sun Bowl into overtime.
Christopher, who signed with Utah as a quarterback, is still developing as a route-runner and too often allows passes into his pads. However, he has become a more consistent threat over his career, is an experienced kick returner and has the combination of size and speed worthy of late-round consideration.