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Coming off a 31-27 comeback win over USC, the Utes (4-0) have offered evidence that their offense has some ammunition for a shootout if need be.
All the better, since the next opponent is averaging more than 45 points per contest.
No. 18 Utah is preparing for its first Pac-12 road game on Saturday against Cal, which again features a high-tempo, high-scoring offense that hasn't skipped a beat after losing the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in the spring.
Quarterback Davis Webb leads the FBS in touchdowns (18), receiver Chad Hansen leads in receptions (50), and for the second straight year, the Golden Bears pose a threat to a yet undefeated season for Utah.
"Very prolific on offense, leading our conference in total offense," he said "We've got our work cut out for us on defense to try to slow them down."
The Utes boast the No. 13 pass efficiency defense in the country (99.06), and last year frustrated then-quarterback Jared Goff into five picks in a nationally televised College GameDay win.
Senior cornerback Dominique Hatfield said he looked forward to seeing Cal's high-throw attempt offense, between 60 and 70 balls in the air, and was expecting to see 20 attempts his way.
"I like my chances," he said. "I'll say that."
Utah is still "hopeful" that all-Pac-12 defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei can play this week after the junior was injured in the first half against USC. Even if Lotulelei isn't ready to play in Berkeley on Saturday, Hatfield said with another week of preparation, healthy tackles Filipo Mokofisi and Pasoni Tasini will be better prepared to play without him.
But the Utes are at a season-high confidence level in the offense, thanks to a three-touchdown game by quarterback Troy Williams, who threw a game-winning score to Tim Patrick last Friday.
Williams got the game ball after leading three second-half touchdown drives. Whittingham said Williams' progression a third of the way through the season has been one of the program's biggest developments.
"We've had awesome leadership at quarterback in the past," Whittingham said. "But for Troy to become the leader and demonstrated that in such a short period of time really speaks to his maturity, how he handles himself, and how his teammates feel about him."
In a surprising turn, Utah has out-thrown its opponents in each of its first four games. While it may not repeat the feat against throw-happy Cal, the Golden Bears' defense appears ripe for the picking: It has allowed more than 42 points per game falling 51-41 to Arizona State this weekend on the road after allowing 41 second-half points.
But Williams said the Utes don't want to be baited into a shootout. They'll hope to dictate their own tempo, rather than get caught up in Cal's high-octane pacing.
" We feel like our style fits us," he said. "Whenever we feel the need to go no huddle, we'll implement that. We do it here and there, every now and then, but for the most part we like to huddle, substitute and make sure everybody knows what they're doing. I feel like it's been pretty effective so far."
No. 18 Utah at Cal
P Saturday, 4 p.m. MDT TV • Pac-12 Network