BY HUGH BROWN
The University of Utah has a tough draw in the first round of the DI-A playoffs.
The Utes will face St. Mary’s College, a team that handed them a 41-10 defeat in January and Utah must play the Gaels on their home field in California this coming weekend.
St. Mary’s is ranked second in DI-A and have a victory over Cal-Berkeley among their nine wins (their two loses came to BYU and the University of British Columbia).
The Utes appear to be playing at a different level than they were at the start of the year, however. The forwards have been asserting themselves in both set play and the loose, and the backs have gained needed experience playing as a unit.
The fact that the Utes lost to Cal by one point on a last-second penalty kick, while St. Mary’s defeated the Golden Bears by two points, indicates a much closer match this time around.
In other first round DI-A matches on May 5: UCLA will travel to Provo to take on BYU; Life University will host Penn State, and Arkansas State will play at Army.
Three teams (BYU, Life, and Army) are undefeated this year, although Army has won a number of close matches.
Life is expected to be the team that will give BYU their biggest challenge. The winner of the Utah-St. Mary’s game will play the winner of the Army-Arkansas State match the following week.
GREAT RUGBY IN SLC ON MAY 18-19
A reminder to all rugby fans — on May 18-19 Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy will hot the national high school single school and club championships, as well as the men’s DI-A, DI-AA, and DII college championships, will take place.