Utah's Poinsettia Bowl victory was the third postseason win in three years for head coach Kyle Whittingham.
Jan. 16, 2008
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The Utah football team won nine games in 2007, including its seventh-straight bowl win. After the bowl season ended, the Utes recorded another victory by placing first in the nation in pass efficiency defense with a 96.5 rating.
Utah posted some other impressive national rankings, as well, finishing No. 5 in scoring defense (16.8) and opponent third down conversions (29.6%), No. 11 in pass defense (184.2) and time of possession (31:55), No. 13 in turnover margin (0.85), No. 18 in total defense (328.5), No.19 in punt return average (12.8) and No. 21 in sacks (37).
Utah also had some individuals place high in the national rankings. Derrek Richards led the Mountain West Conference and ranked No. 9 in the nation in punt return average (14.7). Louie Sakoda, a first-team All-America punter (FWAA, CBSSports.com) led the MWC and finished 11th nationally in punting average (44.3). Sakoda, also first-team All-America place-kicker (rivals.com), tied for 27th in the nation in field goals per game (1.46). Darrell Mack finished second in the MWC and 33rd in the nation in rushing, averaging 100.3 yards per game. Mack became just the ninth 1,000 yard rusher in school history and his 1,204 rushing yards ranks third all-time at Utah.