Brian Johnson and the football team play at BYU on Saturday.
Nov. 19, 2007
> Utah (8-3, 5-2 MWC) finishes regular season play this Saturday against No. 23 Brigham Young (8-2, 6-0 MWC) in Provo, Utah. Kickoff is at noon in Lavell Edwards Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on CSTV and VERSUS, and regionally on The Mtn.
> Utah has won seven straight games and eight of its last nine.
> Quarterback Brian Johnson is 7-0 since returning to the starting lineup from an injury.
> Utah is 1-0 against ranked teams this year, beating No. 11 UCLA 44-6 on Sept. 15. UCLA is also Utah and BYU's only common non-conference foe this season. The Bruins beat the Cougars 27-17 on Sept. 8.
> Utah is waiting to hear the site of its fifth-straight bowl game. The Utes have won their past six postseason games dating back to 1999, which ranks as the second-longest current bowl win streak in the nation. Teams to fall to the Utes during the streak: Fresno State (1999), USC (2001), Southern Miss (2003), Pittsburgh (2005, 2004 season), Georgia Tech (2005) and Tulsa (2006).
> Third-year head coach Kyle Whittingham has tied his season win record of eight. Whittingham, who has produced a winning record every year, went 8-5 last season after going 7-5 in 2005.
> Utah leads the all-time series with BYU 52-32-4 (including a 3-3 record when BYU was known as BY Academy). Utah has won four of the last five, and the last two games in Provo. See page 2 for complete details on the series.
> Utah ranks No. 3 in the nation in pass efficiency defense (94.4), No. 5 in scoring defense (15.5) and No. 11 in pass defense (180.7). In addition, the Utes rank No. 6 nationally in opponent third down conversion percentage (28.8%) and are tied for No. 9 in sacks (35). The Utes lead the MWC in all of those categories.
Utah won the battle of seven-win teams, 28-10 over New Mexico, on the strength of a defense that recorded three quarters of shutout ball. New Mexico scored all 10 of its points in the third quarter to cut the lead to 14-10 before the Utes slammed the end zone door again. A pair of defensive linemen even teamed up to score Utah's final touchdown and put the game away. Paul Kruger sacked Lobo QB Donovan Porterie and forced a fumble, which Koa Misi scooped up and carried untouched for a 28-yard touchdown. Steve Tate led the defense with 10 tackles, and both Sean Smith and Brice McCain tied the school single game record for pass breakups with four apiece. Leading the offense were Darrell Mack (77 yards rushing, 1 TD) and Bradon Godfrey (77 yards receiving, 1 TD). Brian Johnson passed for 165 yards and a touchdown.
Kyle Whittingham is 23-13 in his third year as Utah's head coach and has won seven or more games all three years. He is 2-0 in bowl games with wins over Georgia Tech (2005) and Tulsa (2006). This is Whittngham's 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.