Darrell Mack and the Utah football team host New Mexico this Saturday.
Nov. 12, 2007
> Utah (7-3, 4-2 MWC) plays its last home game of the season Saturday against New Mexico (7-3, 4-2 MWC). Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. in Rice-Eccles Stadium. It will be the final home game for 17 Ute seniors (see Inside the Huddle for more). The game will be televised on The Mtn. Tickets for the game may be purchased at www.Utahutes.com, at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office and by calling 801-581-UTIX.
> Utah has won its last six games and seven of its last eight.
> Utah is assured of its fifth-straight winning season and third under head coach Kyle Whittingham.
> Quarterback Brian Johnson is 6-0 since returning to the starting lineup from an injury.
> The Utes have not allowed a touchdown for the last 10 quarters and have pitched straight seven quarters of shutout ball. The most recent opponent scores were a fourth-quarter field goal by TCU and a first quarter field goal by Colorado State. Utah shut out Wyoming, 50-0, last week.
> All-America place kicking and punting candidate Louie Sakoda is a Ray Guy top-10 finalist for the second straight year and one of 20 Lou Groza Award semifinalists. The Ray Guy Award goes to the nation's top punter, while Lou Groza honors the top kicker. See page 4 for more information.
> Since 2000, New Mexico is the only MWC team to record a winning record (5-2) against the Utes. Utah is 33-17 against the other seven league teams during that span. Utah's last home win against the Lobos was in 2001. See page 2 for more series information.
Utah came off a bye week to demolish Wyoming, 50-0. Utah's defense was phenomenal, forcing five turnovers and getting six sacks while holding the Cowboys to a paltry 122 yards of total offense. Gabe Long had three sacks and forced a fumble, while Steve Tate and Justin Jones both contributed interceptions. The offense took advantage of great field position all night, especially during a 40-point first half. Utah punched out 505 yards of total offense against a Wyoming team that entered the game ranked No. 6 in the nation in total defense. Darrell Mack rushed for 97 yards to lead a 278-yard rushing effort and Derrek Richards had 86 receiving yards. Brian Johnson completed 17-of-29 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown, with his only mistake a first-half interception when going for the end zone. Louie Sakoda made all three field goal attempts, averaged 49.8 yards on five punts and set up a touchdown by completing a 41-yard pass play on a fake punt.
Kyle Whittingham is 22-13 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.
INSIDE THE HUDDLE
Seventeen Ute seniors will make their final Rice-Eccles Stadium appearances this Saturday: Jason Boone, Kyle Brady, Martail Burnett, Tommy Grady, Kyle Gunther, Brian Hernandez, Joe Jiannoni, Gabe Long, Malakai Mokofisi, Loma Olevao, Darryl Poston, Alex Puccinelli, Derrek Richards, Matt Sims, Casey Sutera, Steve Tate and Ryan Taylor ... Starting tight end Matt Sims injured his knee during the bye week and sat out of Utah's win over Wyoming. Sims is doubtful for Saturday's game. In his absence, Colt Sampson and Dallin Rogers both started against Wyoming ... Questionable for Saturday is OL Corey Seiuli (hamstring) ... 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.