Louie Sakoda and the Utes host San Diego State this Saturday.
Oct. 8, 2007
> Utah (3-3, 0-2 MWC) hosts San Diego State (2-3, 1-0 MWC) on Saturday, Oct. 13. Game time is 1 p.m. MT in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The game will not be televised locally. It will be televised back to San Diego (Channel 4).
> Utah finished its non-conference slate at 3-1. Wins came over No. 11 UCLA (44-6), Utah State (34-18) and Louisville (44-35). The lone non-conference loss was in the season opener to Oregon State (24-7).
> With its 44-35 victory over Louisville last week, Utah improved to 6-0 all-time against the Big East and 3-0 against Louisville.
> The rivalry with San Diego State has been Utah's most evenly matched MWC competition. The Utes pulled ahead 13-12-1 with last year's victory in San Diego. More series information can be found on page 2.
> For the second time this season and the fifth time in his career, Louie Sakoda was named MWC Special Teams Player of the Week. Sakoda connected on a 46-yard field goal with 1:13 remaining to secure the 44-35 victory at Louisville and made 5-of-6 extra-point attempts. He also averaged 42.4 yards on five punts, and downed one inside the 20.
> Utah suffered its fourth season-ending injury to a starter against Louisville last week. Senior linebacker Kyle Brady, Utah's second-leading tackler, tore his Achilles tendon. He is scheduled for Oct. 8 surgery. For more on Utah's injury losses, see Starting Over.
> Utah is still looking for its first conference win of the season. The Utes are 0-2 to open league play for the first time since 2002, when they lost their first four MWC games.
Brian Johnson and Darrell Mack put on a dazzling offensive show to lead Utah to a 44-35 shootout win over Louisville in a nationally televised ESPN game. In his best outing since injuring his knee in November of 2005, Johnson completed 24-of-31 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown. Mack rushed for a career-high 163 yards - the most by a Ute since 2003 - and three touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Utah held Louisville's high-octane offense to one touchdown in the first half while taking a led 27-7 lead. But the Cardinals quadrupled their yardage in the second half and closed to within six points (41-35) at the 3:33 mark. Louie Sakoda's 46-yard field goal made it a two-possession game with a minute remaining and Louisville ran out of time on the Utah 30-yard line. Steve Tate had nine tackles and Gabe Long contributed two tackles for loss and two pass breakups to lead the defense, which lost starting linebacker Kyle Brady for the season to a torn Achilles.
Kyle Whittingham is 18-13 in his third year as Utah's head coach and a perfect 2-0 in bowl games. This is his 14th season on the Ute staff: He spent 11 years as an assistant coach (defensive line coach in 2004 and defensive coordinator from 1995-2004), before accepting the head job on Dec. 8, 2004. A month after his appointment, he served as the co-head coach in Utah's 35-7 Fiesta Bowl victory over Pittsburgh - capping a 12-0 season. Whittingham's first game as the head coach was on Sept. 2, 2005 -a 27-24 win over Arizona. As a head or assistant coach, Whittingham has taken part in 101 victories and 51 losses at Utah.
INSIDE THE HUDDLE
Utah has 38 tackles for a loss of 151 yards this year, which already ranks 15th and 10th, respectively, in the school's single-season record book ... After allowing 10 sacks in the first three games, the Utes allowed just one in each of the last three games for a total of 13 ... Zeke Tuinei-Wily, a DL-turned -OL-turned-DL, is now on the disabled list with mono. He is out indefinitely ... Eight true freshmen have played for the Utes this season: Nai Fotu, Dallin Rogers, Lei Talamaivao, Eddie Wide, Jereme Brooks, Jamel King, Justin Taplin-Ross and Corbin Louks.