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NCAA Football Utah Utes

5 Must-Watch Utah Football Games in 2014

Top 5 Must-Watch Utah Football Games

Utah Utes Travis Wilson 2014 Football Schedule Pac-12
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

With Travis Wilson cleared medically, JC-transfer DeVontae Booker expected to ignite the run game, a talented crop of wideouts and defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake's ability to keep the defensive front seven strong, the University of Utah looks to improve dramatically in 2014. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult schedules in the nation will make it hard for the Utes to end their bowl drought. Here are five must-watch games.

5. Utah Utes @ Michigan Wolverines, September 20

Michigan Wolverines Devin Gardner Utah Utes Pac-12 2014 Schedule
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Utah Utes @ Michigan Wolverines, September 20

Michigan Wolverines Devin Gardner Utah Utes Pac-12 2014 Schedule
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Though coming off a couple of disappointing seasons, Devin Gardner and the Wolverines will be a measuring stick game for the Utes in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines linebacking crew and D-line will provide a test for Utah RBs DeVontae Booker and Bubba Poole. Gardner will be a preview of the caliber of signal callers the Utes will face in conference play.

4. Utah Utes @ Colorado Buffaloes, November 29

Juda Parker Colorado Buffs Utah Utes 2014 Schedule Pac-12
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

4. Utah Utes @ Colorado Buffaloes, November 29

Juda Parker Colorado Buffs Utah Utes 2014 Schedule Pac-12
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry week! For thousands of years the Ute tribe hunted the mighty Buffalo, a struggle that continues to this day on the gridiron. So perhaps this is overstating things, but with Utah and BYU taking a break from their Holy War, maybe the Utah/Colorado contest gets a bump. DT Juda Parker will be formidable up front.

3. Utah Utes @ Oregon State Beavers, October 16

Sean Mannion Oregon State Beavers Utah Utes 2014 Pac-12 Schedule
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

3. Utah Utes @ Oregon State Beavers, October 16

Sean Mannion Oregon State Beavers Utah Utes 2014 Pac-12 Schedule
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Beavers prevailed in OT with a 51-48 victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium that was the very definition of a shootout. This loss may have been the most painful of the season for the Utes. They'll need to do a better job of containing OSU quarterback Sean Mannion if they're hoping for revenge this year in Corvallis.

2. Utah Utes @ Stanford Cardinal, November 15

Stanford Cardinal David Shaw Kevin Hogan Utah Utes Pac-12 Schedule
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Utah Utes @ Stanford Cardinal, November 15

Stanford Cardinal David Shaw Kevin Hogan Utah Utes Pac-12 Schedule
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The highlight of the season (and perhaps of their entire tenure in the PAC-12) for the Utes was undoubtedly their home victory against the Stanford Cardinal. Despite the talent Coach David Shaw has it his disposal, the Utes match up well with Stanford. Can Utah take their miracle show on the road?

1. Oregon Ducks @ Utah Utes, November 8

Oregon Ducks Marcus Mariota Heisman Utah Utes Pac-12 2014
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oregon Ducks @ Utah Utes, November 8

Oregon Ducks Marcus Mariota Heisman Utah Utes Pac-12 2014
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of miracle wins, it would definitely classify as such if the Utes could fell the mighty Oregon Ducks and their Heisman-caliber QB Marcus Mariota. Utah does get Oregon at home, but it remains one of the most difficult matchups of the campaign for coach Kyle Whittingham and crew.

Ryan Aston covers the Utah Jazz for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @MrMaryKateOlsen or add him to your network on Google.