Sept. 1, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
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Utah (1-0, 0-0 MWC) plays its first road game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 6 in College Station, Texas, against Texas A&M (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) ... Kick-off time is 7:00 p.m. CDT (6:00 p.m. MDT) at Kyle Field ... Utah opened its season last Thursday with a 40-20 trouncing of Utah State ... Texas A&M beat Arkansas State, 26-11, in its opener last Saturday ... Both Utah and A&M received votes in this week's USA Today-ESPN poll. The Aggies also received votes in the AP poll ... The Utah-Texas A&M game will be televised live back to Salt Lake City on KJZZ-14 ... It will also be broadcast on KALL 700 (AM) radio and over the Internet (www.KALL700.com).
First-year Ute Head Coach Urban Meyer
is 3-0 against the Big 12 as a head coach. He went 1-0 against Kansas and 2-0 against Missouri in his two years at Bowling Green (2001-02).
is 1-0 at Utah and 18-6 in his third year as a head coach. Widely considered one of the up-and-comers in the college coaching ranks, Meyer, 39, was hired by Utah on Dec. 12, 2002 after leading Bowling Green to a two-year record of 17-6. At BGSU, Meyer went 5-0 against BCS teams, including two wins over ranked opponents, and his team cracked the AP Top 20 after starting the 2002 season with eight straight wins. Named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year as a first-year head coach in 2001, Meyer went 8-3 and 9-3 in his two years at BG. His previous coaching stops included assistantships at Ohio State (graduate assistant), Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame. Meyer is 0-0 against Texas A&M.
MEYER ON AFM "HOT LIST"
American Football Monthly, a football coaching trade magazine, has named Utah's Urban Meyer
to its "Hot List" of 2003 NCAA football coaches. Meyer joins 12 other Division I head or assistant coaches on AFM's annual "Hot List," which touts its predictions as, "the guys that could become the next generation of football coaching legends." Also named to the 2003 AFM "Hot List" were Dan Hawkins (Boise State), Gary Pinkel (Missouri), Gary Patterson (TCU), Jim Leavitt (South Florida), Junes Jones (Hawaii), Tyrone Nix (Southern Mississippi), Norm Chow (USC), Randy Shannon (Miami), Bob Elliott (Kansas State), Les Miles (Oklahoma State), Darrell Dickey (North Texas) and Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State).
A BALANCING ACT
In his two years as head coach at Bowling Green, Urban Meyer
established one of the most prolific, and balanced, offenses in the nation. Bowling Green was the only team in the nation last year to average at least 215.0 yards in both rushing (219.1 ypg) and passing (229.8 ypg). His first game at Utah also produced balanced results: The Utes rushed for 202 yards and passed for 180 yards in their opener against Utah State.
RED HOT IN THE RED ZONE
Last year as BGSU's head coach, Urban Meyer's
offense led the nation in red zone production, scoring on 61 of 63 (96.8%) trips inside the 20, including 52 touchdowns. In his first game as Utah's coach, his team scored on all six trips inside the red zone, with four touchdowns and two field goals.
WARFIELD IS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Running back Brandon Warfield
, whose 173-yard rushing game against Utah State last Thursday propelled the Utes to a 40-20 victory, has been named the Mountain West Conference co-offensive player of the week. Warfield also scored a touchdown and averaged 5.2 yards per carry in the win, while racking up the most yards by a MWC player last week. He rushed for 121 yards in the first half against the Aggies and accounted for 85 percent of Utah's 202 total rushing yards. It marked the third straight 100-yard game for Warfield, dating back to last season. The conference award was the second for Warfield, who also was named the league's best offensive player against Wyoming last year.
Utah is 0-1 against the Aggies of Texas A&M, losing the only previous game, 20-7, back in 1936. That game was played in Salt Lake City.
UTAH VS. THE BIG 12
Utah has played 10 of the Big 12 schools and is 27-47-3 all-time against them. Utah's won-loss breakdown against those schools follows: Colorado 24-30-3, Iowa State 0-4, Kansas 2-2, Missouri 1-1, Nebraska 0-4, Oklahoma 0-1, Oklahoma State 0-1, Texas 0-1, Texas A&M 0-1, Texas Tech 0-2.
Utah has two players from the state of Texas on its roster: running back Brandon Warfield
(Crockett/Kilgore JC) and offensive lineman Thomas Herrion
(Ft. Worth/Kilgore JC). Warfield was second-team all-Mountain West Conference in 2002 and is a 2003 preseason all-conference pick. Herrion is one of the league's top offensive guards ... Utah was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason media poll ... Utah's all-time record is 537-401-31. The Utes are 336-167-16 at home, 18-10 in Rice-Eccles Stadium (1998-on), 190-220-13 in road games and 11-14-2 in games played at neutral sites.
RUNNING BACK NOTEBOOK
> Senior running back Brandon Warfield
(5-10, 214) was named the Mountain West Conference co-Offensive Player of the Week after a 33-carry, 173-yard game against Utah State on Aug. 28. He averaged 5.2 yards per rush and scored 1 TD.
> Warfield's 173 yards against USU last week was his fifth career 100-yard game and his third straight dating back to last year. (Warfield averaged 127.0 ypg in the last seven games of 2002).
> Warfield was selected by the league's media as a preseason all-conference running back. He made the second team last year after coming out of a planned redshirt year to replace the injured Marty Johnson.
> Marty Johnson (5-11, 240, Sr.) is listed as questionable to play this week due to a lingering foot injury. Johnson missed most of preseason camp and the first game with the injury. Before a season-ending knee injury last year, Johnson led the NCAA in rushing after two games, averaging 202.5 yards per game.
> Warfield and Johnson are two of the best running backs in the nation. When Johnson returns to action, he will be listed as the co-starter with Warfield.
> Junior Brett Elliott
(6-3, 211) and sophomore Alex Smith
(6-4, 202) both played well against Utah State. Elliott started and was 11-19 for 94 yards and 1 TD. Smith played part of the third and most of the fourth quarters, completing 5-7 passes for 86 yards and 2 TDs.
> The quarterback depth chart has firmed up with Elliott No. 1, Smith No. 2 and senior Lance Rice (6-2, 208) No. 3. Elliott, who started the last six games of 2002, is 4-3 as the starter.
> Rice has played in the most games of the three (22) and started three games as a freshman, all 12 games in 2001 and the first five games of 2002. He is 12-8 as the starter.
> In his first game as a Ute, Paris Warren
caught 7 passes for 103 yards and a 30-yard touchdown.
> Senior Larry Miles got the first start of his career and caught the game's first touchdown pass (also a first for the second-year JC transfer).
DEFENSIVE LINE NOTEBOOK
> All-conference senior defensive end Jason Kaufusi
(6-3, 250) is doubtful to play again this week. Kaufusi, a two-time first-team all-conference defender and a unanimous preseason all-conference pick, has not practiced since undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in July.
> Replacing an NFL nose guard (Lauvale Sape) was a tall order for the defense, but the position shined in the season-opener. First-year starter Steve Fifita had a tackle for loss and 2 pass breakups, and backup Tevita Kemoeatu (6-2, 294, Jr.) recorded 2 tackles for loss. Fifita saw playing time as a backup last year, but Kemoeatu played only sparingly in one game (vs. Indiana).
> Tackle Sione Pouha (6-3, 314, Jr.) led the line with 5 tackles (1 TFL) vs. USU.
> Middle linebacker Ray Holdcraft
(5-11, 248, Sr.) led all Ute tacklers vs. USU with 8 total tackles (5 solo). He also had a pass breakup.
> Part-time starter Zach Tune (6-3, 238, Jr.) will play against A&M after serving a one-game suspension last week.
> Junior corner Bo Nagahi
came off the bench to collect 5 tackles and a sack against Utah State.
> Senior strong safety Dave Revill
, a preseason all-conference pick and Utah's top tackler in 2002, chipped in 4 tackles in the first game.
> Redshirt freshman corner Shaun Harper got his first NCAA start and had 4 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against USU.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTEBOOK
> Bryan Borreson
was 2-2 in field goal attempts (24 and 36 yards) and 4-5 in PATs vs. USU. He kicked off 7 times and had 2 touchbacks.
> Utah kicked off 9 total times (once each by newcomers Matt Kovacevich and Dennis Pawelek) and had 2 touchbacks.
"Kyle Field is one of the three or four most difficult places to play a football game. The pageantry, the crowd and the weather all work in their (A&M's) favor. We're not used to that humidity. They are a talented and extremely fast team. I think they are a great defensive team that is getting used to a new system on offense. They have two talented, athletic quarterbacks and good receivers.
"We need to get some starters back to be able to compete with these guys. We had only three returning starters on offense and defense last week and we don't have enough depth to play with Texas A&M unless we are at full strength. Our lack of game experience showed up at times in the first game, but our mistakes were not due to a lack of effort. Our guys played hard."