Darrell Mack and the Utah football team play at TCU this Thursday.
Oct. 15, 2007
> Utah (4-3, 1-2 MWC) plays TCU (4-3, 1-2 MWC) this Thursday in a nationally-televised game in Fort Worth, Texas. Game time is 7 p.m. Central Time (6 p.m. MT). VERSUS will televise the game live from Amon G. Carter Stadium. The game will also be broadcast nationally on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Channel 123) as well as on KALL 700 AM in Utah.
> Utah is on a three-game win streak and coming off its first conference win of the season, 23-7 over San Diego State last Saturday.
> The last time the Utes played TCU in Fort Worth was on Sept. 15, 2005, when they saw their school-record 18-game winning streak snapped in overtime, 23-20. Brian Johnson scored to put the Utes up 17-7 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, but TCU tied the game with 10 straight points. Neither team scored in the fourth to send the game into overtime. Utah settled for a field goal and TCU won on a 4-yard touchdown pass.
> Utah has nine Texas players on its roster, including starting QB Brian Johnson (Baytown/Robert E. Lee HS), OL Robert Conley (LaMarque) and DB Brice McCain (Terrell). Other native Texans include Jereme Brooks (League City/Clear Creek HS), Brandon Burton (Houston/Clear Creek HS), Joe Dale (Irving/Nimitz HS), Louis Finner (Plano/East HS), Justin Jones (Marshall) and Derrick Shelby (Houston/Hightower HS).
> The Utes are 2-0 this season in nationally-televised games - scoring 44 points each time. Utah beat then No. 11 UCLA (44-6 on VERSUS) and Louisville (44-35 on ESPN). After Thursday, the Utes will make two more national television appearances: Nov. 10 vs. Wyoming (CSTV) and Nov. 24 at Brigham Young (CSTV and VERSUS).
> In Utah's four wins, the Utes have out-rushed their opponent by an average of 202-71 yards per game. In the three losses, Utah has been out-rushed by an average of 257-65 yards per game.
Utah's offense came alive in the second half for a 23-7 win over San Diego State. The Utes accumulated 514 yards of total offense - 373 in the second half - while holding the Aztecs to just 211 total yards. The Utes held a slim 9-7 lead in the first half after turning the ball over on the SDSU 2-yard line and settling for a short field goal on their first two possessions. Louie Sakoda scored all of Utah's first half points, making field goals of 32, 51 (a career long) and 27 yards. San Diego State led briefly, 7-6, before Sakoda's 27-yard boot with 0:05 left in the half put the Utes up for good. Darrell Mack rushed for 131 yards - including an 80-yard first quarter - and caught six balls for 45 yards and a touchdown. Brian Johnson completed 22-of-29 passes for 220 yards and Corbin Louks threw a touchdown pass on his only attempt. The defense pitched a shutout after SDSU's lone score in the second quarter, with Sean Smith providing a key interception - his fourth of the year. Stevenson Sylvester led all tacklers with eight and Nai Fotu had a sack, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
Kyle Whittingham is 19-13 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 is 4-0 when Darrell Mack rushes for 100 yards ... True freshman Nai Fotu has moved from defensive end to linebacker and saw his first action there last Saturday against San Diego State. Fotu, who has played on special teams in every game, now has a specific package designed for him at stud linebacker ... 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.
OUTSIDE THE LINES
Utah is 3-1 all-time in games televised by VERSUS ... Utah plays back-to-back road games for the only time this season, facing TCU this Thursday and Colorado State the following week in Fort Collins ... Utah's three-game win streak is tied for the longest in Kyle Whittingham's head coaching career. The Utes strung together three wins last year against UNLV, CSU and Air Force.