Nov. 8, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY -
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For the complete Utah football release, please download the PDF file. Some brief notes follow.
> No. 7/8 ranked Utah (9-0, 5-0 MWC) makes its final road trip this week, traveling to Laramie, Wyo., for a game with Wyoming (6-3, 3-2). Game time is 5:00 p.m. MST. The Utah-Wyoming will be televised regionally by ABC.
> Utah's 9-0 start is the best in school history, breaking the previous record of 8-0 set in 1930 and 1994.
> Utah is ranked No. 7 by the Associated Press and No. 8 ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll for the second straight week. Utah's No. 7 A.P. ranking ties its best ever (set last week). The Utes are ranked No. 8 in the coaches poll for the third time (last week and twice in 1994).
> After two weeks at No. 6, Utah dropped to No. 7 behind Texas in the Bowl Championship Series standings released Nov. 8. The Utes held steady at Nos. 7-8 in the A.P. and coaches polls, but its No. 8 computer ranking marked a two-place drop.
The 2004 Utes currently own the second-longest win streak in school history at 13, dating back to a Nov. 1 triple-overtime win over Air Force last season. Utah's last loss was to New Mexico on Oct. 25, 2004. The school record is 16 straight wins from 1928-30. Utah's current 13-game win streak ranks as the third-longest in the nation behind Boise State (19) and USC (18).
Utah junior quarterback Alex Smith
(6-4, 212), who last week received official notification from the Heisman Trophy Trust that he is a Heisman candidate, leads the nation this week in points responsible for (21.33) and pass efficiency (179.8). Smith, who has steered Utah to the best start and the best national rankings in school history, leads Heisman quarterback contenders Jason White of Oklahoma, Matt Leinart of USC and Jason Campbell of Auburn in virtually every major category: total touchdowns (32), fewest interceptions (2), passing yards (2,196) and yards per game (244.0), total offense (292.8 ypg) and completion percentage (66.4%). He is second in passing touchdowns (24). Also a fine runner, he is averaging nearly 50 yards per game rushing and has scored eight rushing touchdowns.
The Utes have now been ranked in the Top-25 for 11 straight weeks in the A.P. and 12 straight weeks in the coaches poll, which ties the school record from 1994 for both consecutive weeks and most total weeks in the two polls. The 2004 Utes are ranked in the top 10 in both polls for a fourth-straight week--a school first.
BACK TO BACK
If the Utes win this Saturday in Wyoming, they will clinch at least a share of the conference title. Utah is the defending Mountain West Conference champion, having won the league outright last year. The Utes have won back-to-back league titles three times in their history, but not since they competed in the Skyline Conference, when they were league champs from 1951-53. Utah won three straight Big Seven Conference titles from 1940-42 and captured six straight Rocky Mountain championships from 1928-33. During their stint as a Western Athletic Conference member (1962-98), the Utes never repeated as league champs, winning two total titles.