Sept. 22, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
Note: The complete release can be found as a PDF on this page. Utah (2-1, 0-0 MWC) returns to action this Saturday after an open week ... It's the conference opener for the Utes, who will play defending Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State (2-2, 0-0 MWC) in a 4:30 p.m. (MDT) game in Ft. Collins (Hughes Stadium) ... Utah's last game was on Sept. 11, a 31-24 win over California ... The Utah-CSU game will be televised live back to the Salt Lake City market on KJZZ-14 ... It will also be broadcast on KALL 700 (AM) radio and over the Internet (www.KALL700.com).
Utah head coach Urban Meyer
was the receivers coach at Colorado State from 1990-95, serving under Earle Bruce from 1990-92 and current CSU head coach Sonny Lubick from 1993-95. Utah won four of the six games when Meyer was a Ram assistant, including its most recent win in Ft. Collins in 1994. Ute receivers coach Billy Gonzales
played for the Rams from 1989-93.
Utah and Colorado State have both played California this year and both MWC schools won. Utah beat the Bears 31-24 in Salt Lake City on Sept. 11 and CSU took a 23-21 decision in Berkeley on Sept. 6.
is 2-1 at Utah and 19-7 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 Colorado State.
LAST UTE ACTION
First-time starter Alex Smith
played like a veteran in directing Utah to a 31-24 win over California on Sept. 11 before the largest crowd ever to watch a football game in Salt Lake City (46,768) and a national ESPN television audience. Smith, a sophomore, completed 18 of 27 passes for 136 yards and also rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown. Running back Brandon Warfield
contributed 94 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the game-winner-a 14-yard sprint with 1:06 left in the game. Utah jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead only to see Cal charge back in the third quarter and go ahead 24-21. But Bryan Borreson's
35-yard field goal tied the score and Warfield put Utah ahead for good in a 10-point Utah fourth quarter. Dave Revill
led the defense with 11 tackles and Morgan Scalley
had 7 tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.
The fourth longest series in Utah history (71 games) was put on hold from 1996-98 when Utah and CSU were members of the Western Athletic Conference and played in different divisions. Colorado State has won the four games since then and has a five-game win streak going (1995, 1999-2002). Utah leads 48-21-2 overall and 20-13 in Ft. Collins.
UTAH VS. THE MWC
Although the Mountain West Conference is only in its sixth year, Utah has a long football history against the other seven members, all of whom formerly belonged to the WAC. Utah's overall record against MWC teams is 192-121-10. Here's how Utah has fared against its MWC rivals: Air Force 6-13, Brigham Young 49-31-4, Colorado State 48-21-2, New Mexico 28-14-2, San Diego State 10-11-1, UNLV 7-1 and Wyoming 44-30-1.
RED HOT ZONE
Known for his red zone production in his previous head coaching job, Urban Meyer
has not disappointed as Utah's coach. Utah is 14-17 (82%) inside the red zone, with 11 touchdowns and 3 field goals. Last year, Meyer coached the most productive red zone team in the nation in Bowling Green, which scored on 61 of 63 (96.8%) trips inside the 20, including 52 touchdowns.
BY THE NUMBERS
Utah is the most efficient offensive team in the league: Although the Utes rank in the middle of the conference in total offense (377.7 ypg), they are second in scoring at 32.3 points per game ... Utah's best offensive quarter is the fourth (42 points). Its best defensive quarter is the first (14 points) ... Utah has converted on 75% of its fourth down attempts (9-12), while holding its foes to a 20% (1-5) success rate ... Utah has won the time of possession battle in all three games and has held the ball a total of 43 minutes more than its opponents.
The crowd of 46,768 in attendance in Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Utah-California game on Sept. 11 broke the previous record of 45,634 set against BYU in 1998 in the stadium's first year ... Utah is 0-1 on the road this year, with a 28-26 loss to Texas A&M on Sept. 6 ... Utah was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason media poll ... Utah's all-time record is 538-402-31. The Utes are 337-167-16 at home, 19-10 in Rice-Eccles Stadium (1998-on), 190-221-13 in road games and 11-14-2 in games played at neutral sites.
THIS GAME LAST YEAR
Utah charged back from a 14-point first half deficit but couldn't catch Colorado State in a 28-20 loss in Salt Lake City on Oct. 19, despite getting to the 7-yard line with a minute left. The stat sheet told a deceiving tale of Ute dominance: Utah gained 481 total yards to just 252 for Colorado State and Ute running back Brandon Warfield
(111 yards) stole the show from CSU star Cecil Sapp (71 yards). In his second start, Brett Elliott
threw for 265 yards and rushed for 2 touchdowns.
"Some teams use bye weeks to get healthy and clean up problem areas. We went to work on CSU. They are a team where you need all the preparation time you can get. I was very surprised about what happened last week (a 41-21 loss to Miami of Ohio) and it concerns me because I know that staff and very rarely will CSU lose twice in a row. The bye came at a good time for us because that was a very tough two weeks we just went through, playing against Texas A&M and Cal."