Utah Utes season preview


Previewing the 2014 season for the Utah Utes:

2013 record: 5-7, 2-7 Pac-12

Final grade for 2013: C-minus

Key returnees: QB Travis Wilson, WR Dres Anderson, WR Kenneth Scott, RB Bubba Poole, DL Nate Orchard, DB Eric Rowe.

Key losses: LB Trevor Reilly, DT Tenny Palepoi, S Michael Walker, WR Sean Fitzgerald, RB Kelvin York.

Projected win percentage (ESPN.com Stats & Information): .421

Chances to win the conference (ESPN.com Stats & Information): 0.2 percent

Instant impact newcomer: ATH Tavarius Williams

Most important game: Sept. 27 versus Washington State

Biggest question mark: Utah hasn't had the same QB start and finish the season since 2008. Can Wilson do it this season for the Utes?

Best-case scenario for 2014: 7-5 with a home upset and a bowl bid

Worst-case scenario for 2014: 5-7 with a ton of close, heartbreaking losses

Over-under win total (Bovada): 4.5

Upset special: The Oregon Ducks visit Utah on Nov. 8. If Orchard can disrupt Marcus Mariota and the Ducks' OL like he did against Stanford last year, maybe the Utes can get a similar result.

They said it: "Well, we're not used to not playing bowl games. We were close last year. Nobody cares about being close. ... So it's very important for us to get back on track and play ourselves into a bowl game." -- Utah coach Kyle Whittingham