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Utah football vs. Arizona: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score, line

Pac-12 opener for both teams

Chase Hansen #22 of the Utah Utes gestures to the Utes fans in the first half against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Chase Hansen #22 of the Utah Utes gestures to the Utes fans in the first half against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

TUCSON – The Pac-12 Conference’s most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks will duel in the desert on Friday, when No. 21 Utah visits Arizona.

The game also will serve as the Pac-12 opener for both teams, who just completed winning non-conference seasons.

Utah sophomore Tyler Huntley is second in the conference and 10th nationally in total offense at 360 yards per game and has accounted for eight total touchdowns, including a team-high three via the rush. Arizona junior Brandon Dawkins, meanwhile, leads all Pac-12 quarterbacks with 83.7 rushing yards per contest and has accounted for nine total TDs, including five on the ground.

Overall, the Wildcats rank sixth nationally with 328 rushing yards per contest while Utah counters with the nation’s second-stingiest rushing defense to date at 49.3 yards. “(Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez) has a great grasp of offensive scheme,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said during his news conference on Monday. “

He knows exactly what he wants to do, and it starts with the run game with those guys. They run the read zone as well as anyone in the country, and they have a quarterback who is an exceptional runner. … That’s going to be job No. 1 for us this week, like it is every week.”

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1. LINE: Utah -3

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ABOUT UTAH (3-0): The Utes are coming off their fifth straight undefeated non-conference season and are now looking to win their Pac-12 opener for the third straight campaign. Wide receiver Darren Carrington II, a transfer from Oregon, has struck up an immediate bond with Huntley as they’ve hooked up 26 times for 409 yards and four TDs so far. On the other side of the ball, linebacker Sunia Tauteoli (team-high 18 tackles) and safety Chase Hansen (14) lead a unit which is tops in the conference in total defense (246 yards) and turnovers forced (nine), including six interceptions.

ABOUT ARIZONA (2-1): The Wildcats bounced back from a 19-16 loss to Houston with a 63-16 rout of host UTEP last week as Dawkins threw for three touchdowns and added three more on the ground while rolling up 288 yards of total offense. Senior Nick Wilson (63 yards per game) and redshirt freshman J.J. Taylor (62) form a potent 1-2 punch in the backfield while tight end Bryce Wolma (11 receptions, 79 yards, one touchdown) and slot receiver Shun Brown (eight, 126, one) are the leading pass-catchers. Linebacker Tony Fields II is the leading tackler (17) on a defense that is allowing 387.7 yards but has forced seven turnovers.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Arizona holds a 4-2 series edge since Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011, but the Utes posted a 36-23 win last season in Salt Lake City.

2. Hansen missed last week’s triumph over San Jose State with an undisclosed injury, and his status for Friday’s contest likely won’t be known until just before kickoff.

3. Utah has a decided edge in the kicking game, with Matt Gay a perfect 11-for-11 on both field-goal and extra-point attempts so far, while 2016 Ray Guy Award winner Mitch Wishnowsky ranks fifth nationally in net yardage (45.4).