Go Utes!
Go Utes!
No. 22 Utes To Play Utah State Saturday

The Utes will tackle Utah State in Logan on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The Utes will tackle Utah State in Logan on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Sept. 8, 2008


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> No. 22 Utah (2-0, 1-0 MWC) plays Utah State (0-2, 0-0 WAC) in Logan on Saturday. Game time is 6 p.m. MT in Romney Stadium. The game will be televised locally on KJZZ and will also be available on ESPN GamePlan. Radio is KALL 700 AM (kall700sports.com).

> Utah is ranked No. 22 this week in both the AP and USA Today Coaches' polls. Utah's position did not change in the AP poll from a week ago, but the Utes moved up a place in the coaches' poll. For more information on Utah's all-time poll appearances, see page 15 of this release.

> The Utah-Utah State rivalry is the 12th-oldest in the nation at 107 games. Utah has won the last 10 games against USU (since losing in back-to-back seasons from 1996-97)--a streak that includes the last five games in Logan. For more on the series, see the boxed inset on page 2.

> This Saturday's game marks Utah's last trip to Logan until 2012. The instate rivals agreed to suspend their annual series in 2010-11 to allow Utah room on its 2010 schedule to play at Notre Dame.

> The Utes have more wins against BCS schools since 2000 (14) than any other non-BCS team. Utah is 11-4 against BCS schools since 2003.


A 21-point third quarter boosted Utah to a 42-21 victory over UNLV before the third-largest home crowd in Utah history (45,587). UNLV scored on its first possession of the game and led until Brian Johnson's 56-yard, second-quarter touchdown run. UNLV struck again to take a 14-7 lead, only to see Matt Asiata tie things up with his first career touchdown. The second half was all Utah--and including Asiata's second-quarter TD run--the Utes scored 35 unanswered points before UNLV would find the end zone again late in the game. Johnson passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards and a score. Stevenson Sylvester had nine tackles (1.5 for loss), and Koa Misi had six tackles, a sack, 1.5 TFL and a forced fumble for a Utah defense that held UNLV to just nine rushing yards in the second half.


Fourth-year Utah head coach, Kyle Whittingham is 26-14 overall and 3-0 in bowl games. He is 5-3 against BCS schools. Including 11 years as a Ute assistant, he has participated in more wins than anyone in Utah football history. Since he joined the staff in 1994, Utah has won 67-percent of its games (112-55). Utah has played in nine bowl games during Whittingham's tenure - winning eight. Prior to becoming Utah's head coach in 2005, he spent one season as the defensive line coach and 10 years as the defensive coordinator.


Single-game tickets remain for Utah's home games with Weber State, TCU, Oregon State and Colorado State. The BYU-Utah game is sold out. Tickets maybe be purchased by phone (801-581-UTIX), online (www.utahutes.com) and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office.


The Utes have lost their starting nose tackle to a broken bone in each of the first two games. Out for 6-8 weeks is Kenape Eliapo (left foot), while game two starter Lei Talamaivao (right fibula) is out for the season. Other injured players out for a lengthy period are tight end Brad Clifford (hip, 6-8 weeks) and receiver Zach Wade (knee, indefinite). Doubtful for Saturday's game is starting left tackle Zane Beadles (knee) and backup quarterback Corbin Louks (shoulder). Starting free safety Robert Johnson (hamstring) is probable ... Replacing Talamaivao against UNLV was senior Aaron Tonga and true freshman Sealver Siliga. Siliga will back up tackle Greg Newman this week, while another true freshman--Dave Kruger--is in this week's two deep at nose tackle behind Tonga ... Redshirt freshman defensive end Derrick Shelby saw the first action of his career against UNLV, entering the game on occasions when Utah used three ends and one tackle ... Getting their first career start against UNLV were true freshman offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom and senior free safety Terrell Cole.



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