Oct. 3, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -
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A few notes on this week's Utah-Colorado State football game follow. For the complete release, please choose the PDF document.
> Utah (3-2, 1-1 MWC) renews its quest for a third-consecutive Mountain West Conference championship, Saturday, Oct. 8 against Colorado State (2-2, 1-0 MWC) in Ft. Collins, Colo. ... Kickoff is 4:30 p.m. MT on Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium ... The game will be televised live back to Salt Lake City on KJZZ.
The Utes have won 17 of their last 19 conference games, dating back to the final three games of 2002. Utah had won 10 straight MWC games before opening the 2005 season with an overtime loss to TCU. The Utes bounced back a week later with a win over Air Force to even their league record at 1-1.
> The Utes are looking for their first road win of the year. They are currently 0-2 outside of Rice-Eccles Stadium, with losses to TCU (23-20 in overtime) and North Carolina (31-17).
> Utah needs a win this Saturday to avoid its first losing streak in three years. The Utes haven't suffered back-to-back losses since losing six straight in 2002.
> Utah and CSU are 5-5 in their last 10 meetings. For more details on one of the most entertaining conference match-ups of late, see page 2 of this release.
Utah fumbled away the chance to beat North Carolina, losing 31-17 in a mistake-filled afternoon. The Utes turned the ball over five times and were slapped with 12 penalties--one that negated an interception for a touchdown. Quarterback Brian Johnson
epitomized Utah's day. Johnson threw for 211 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for a career-high 98 yards and another score. But he also threw and interception and had two of Utah's three fourth-quarter fumbles. Utah's defense allowed just one touchdown and a field goal in the first half, despite being pinned inside its 30 five times (the first UNC touchdown came on the game's opening kickoff). But in the third quarter, a roughing the passer penalty overruled Eric Weddle's
interception for a touchdown and gave the ball, and the momentum, back to UNC. The Tarheels scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and three fumbles prevented the Utes from gaining ground. Weddle led Utah with a career-high 12 tackles (3 for a loss).
(3-2) made history in his first game as head coach when he helped Utah break a 75-year-old school win streak record with a victory over Arizona. He and his team extended the record streak to 18 games a week later against Utah State. Named head coach on Dec. 8, 2004, Whittingham has been a member of the Ute staff since 1994, when he coached the defensive line for Utah's 10-2 Freedom Bowl champion team. He was promoted to defensive coordinator a year later--a position he held until his promotion to head coach. In his 11 years as a Ute assistant, the program compiled an 86-41 record and played in six bowl games (winning five). He served as co-head coach at the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, helping to lead Utah to a 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh. The Ute defense recorded 14 top-20 statistical rankings during Whittingham's 10 years as the coordinator. Utah led the league in scoring defense in four of the last six years (placing second the other two).
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
Some of Utah's most exciting--and significant--games in the last decade have come against Colorado State in Ft. Collins. In 1994, both teams were undefeated and ranked in the top 20 when they met. After a 9-7 first-half Utah lead, the No. 18 Utes and No. 12 Rams piled up 60 points to finish the game: a contest that featured a safety, five blocked kicks and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. With under a minute remaining and trailing 38-31, the Rams were stopped on the Utah 12-yard line when safety Harold Lusk intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards to secure a 45-31 victory for Utah. In 2001, it was Utah making the errors. The Utes missed an 18-yard field goal, dropped a pass in the end zone and lost a fumble on the CSU 1-yard line in a 19-17 loss. In 2003, Utah's MWC title drive began with a thrilling 28-21 win over defending champ CSU. Colorado State had tied the game at 21-21 in the fourth quarter and was driving for the game-winner when Dave Revill
forced a fumble on the Utah 21-yard line with 1:33 remaining. Arnold Parker
grabbed the ball and raced 80 yards for the winning touchdown. In the six games played between last year's 63-31 blowout win, and the 45-31 U. victory in 1994, the point differential between these two teams was not much more than a field goal (3.7 point average).
This Saturday's game at Colorado State is the third road game in four weeks for the Utes ... The next victory away from Rice-Eccles Stadium will mark Utah's 200th road win ... Utah is 0-2 on natural grass ... Utah has scored 77% (103-of-133) of its points in the second and third quarters. Both Utah and its foes have scored just 14 points, apiece, in the first quarter. Utah's worst offensive (13 points) and defensive (35 points) quarter is the fourth ... Utah is converting 35% of its third down attempts (27-of-78). Opponents have converted 39% of their third down tries (28-of-72) ... Utah and its foes have each scored 15 touchdowns, but the Utes have a 7-3 edge in field goals made.