Oct. 22, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY--
> After a two-week road stretch, Utah (2-5, 0-4 Pac-12) returns to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 27 to host California (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) starting at 7:45 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks and will be aired regionally on Pac-12 Mountain (Comcast channel 37/757 and Dish channel 413) and Pac-12 Bay Area. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and SIRIUS/XM (92/192).
> The last time Cal played in Salt Lake City was in 2003, when the biggest crowd in Rice-Eccles Stadium history (46,768) saw quarterback Alex Smith beat the Bears in his starting debut. Smith is now the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and was the first player selected in the 2005 NFL draft.
> Saturday's game is the fifth-annual blackout game. The Utes will wear black uniforms and fans are encouraged to wear black attire.
> Utah is 3-1 in blackout games, with wins over TCU in 2008, Wyoming in 2009 and Oregon State in 2011, and a loss to TCU in 2010.
> Kyle Whittingham is 1-1 against Cal, with a win in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl and a loss last season in their first contest as Pac-12 opponents.
> For the second-straight season, Utah is off to an 0-4 start in Pac-12 play. Last year, the Utes bounced back to win four straight games and five of their last six (including a Sun Bowl victory over Georgia Tech).
> Utah must win four of its final five games to become bowl eligible for a 10th-straight year. The Utes are 8-1 in bowl games since 2003 and seven of those wins came with Whittingham as the head coach (including a 2005 Fiesta Bowl win as the co-head coach with Urban Meyer).
> In celebration of David W. Pershing's appointment as the 15th President of the University of Utah, Director of Athletics Dr. Chris Hill will present him with a red jersey at halftime. Pershing will be formally inaugurated Thursday, Oct. 25.
ON THE DEFENSE
Utah leads the nation with 13 forced fumbles and is tied for the lead in fumbles returned for touchdowns with three. The Utes have forced 21 fumbles total ... Utah's best conference ranking is in total defense (332.86), where the Utes are second in the Pac-12 (29th in the country) ... Utah's best national ranking is in rushing defense (113.86), where the Utes are 22nd nationally (fourth in the Pac-12) ... Utah is third in the conference in pass defense (219.0).
IN THE HUDDLE
Sophomore tight end Jake Murphy
is Utah's leading receiver with 22 catches for 239 yards. The last time a tight end led Utah in receiving in a season was Dennis Smith
back in 1989 ... Junior safety Quade Chappuis
, who played in five games--starting the first four--is out for the season with a shoulder injury ... Charles Henderson
has switched from receiver to safety and now wears jersey No. 3 ... Utah has started three different quarterbacks this season: junior Jordan Wynn
in the first two games, senior Jon Hays
in the next three games and true freshman Travis Wilson
in the last two ... Four true freshmen have played in and started at least one game for Utah this season: Wilson, linebacker Reshawn Hooker
, offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi
and punter Tom Hackett
... 17 players have caught passes for Utah this season, including QB Wilson, and four players have completed passes (Wilson, Wynn, Jon Hays
and DeVonte Christopher
Utah held Oregon State to 52 yards rushing, the second time this year that the Utes have held a team under 100 yards rushing ... Utah's most productive scoring quarter is the second (45 points), its biggest point advantage has come in the third (34-10) and its worst quarter is the first, when the Utes have been outscored 62-28 ... Utah has attempted just two field goals in the last four games and has not made a field goal since the third game of the season against BYU ... Dating back to last season, Utah is 9-0 when John White
rushes for 100 yards, something he has done just once this season (vs. Northern Colorado).
OUTSIDE THE LINES
Participants for a halftime Halloween costume contest for children age 12 and under will be selected at the Ute Walk, which starts at 5:45 p.m. on the corner of Guardsman Way and 500 South ... The Varsity Club will hold its eighth-annual reunion this Saturday. Around 400 former student-athletes are expected to attend the event, which will also feature a tailgate party and pre-game introductions ... 2011-12 senior softball player Generra Nielson will be honored as the Occie Evans Award winner during a break. The award has been presented annually since 1978 to the outstanding senior Utah woman athlete from a team sport ... It is Parent and Family weekend on campus.
Visiting teams have returned several hundred tickets for Utah's last 3 home games, including 100 for the Cal game. Prices start at $50 #utes ... The Utes have sold out 15-straight games in Rice-Eccles Stadium, including every game since 2010 #utes ... The Kyle Whittingham
Show is Wednesday at 6 pm at Harmon's City Creek and is free to the public. #utes.