Sept. 17, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY--
> Utah (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) begins Pac-12 Conference play this Saturday, playing Arizona State (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Tempe, Ariz. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. MST (8 p.m. MDT) in Sun Devil Stadium and will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Network. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and SIRIUS/XM (132/190).
> Utah trails the series with ASU 17-6 and has lost the last eight games, including the last six in Tempe. Until last year, the two teams had not met since 1993. See page 2 for complete series history.
> While Utah has not beaten ASU in Tempe since 1976 when both teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference, the Utes did win the last time they played in Sun Devil Stadium, beating Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.
> With last week's 24-21 win over No. 25 Brigham Young, Kyle Whittingham improves to 8-8 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
> Strong safety Brian Blechen will play for the first time this season after serving a three-game suspension for a violation of team rules. Starters who missed last week's win over BYU but who are expected to play against ASU are running back John White and free safety Eric Rowe.
> Tom Hackett, a freshman punter from Melbourne, Australia, became Utah's first 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Week after last week's win over BYU. Hackett, playing in his first American football game, had all three of his punts downed inside the BYU 10-yard line. Hackett pinned the Cougars on their 5-yard line once and their 8-yard line twice, the last coming before BYU's final possession of the game.
IN THE HUDDLE
Utah has two players from Arizona and both are from the Phoenix area. Senior receiver Luke Matthews
(Phoenix) and freshman offensive lineman J.J. Dielman
(Ahwatukee) both attended Desert Vista High School ... For the second-straight season, Utah has lost starting quarterback Jordan Wynn
to a shoulder injury. Wynn announced his retirement from football on Sept. l0 after suffering the fourth shoulder injury of his career against Utah State on Sept. 7 ... Six Utes made their first career starts against BYU, including three freshmen. Getting their first starts as Utes were true freshman offensive tackle Jeremiah Poutasi
, redshirt freshman running back Jarrell Oliver
, redshirt freshman linebacker LT Filiaga
, junior tight end Westlee Tonga
, senior linebacker Boo Andersen
and sophomore safety Tyron Morris-Edwards
... Utah started two former walk-ons at safety vs. BYU: Morris-Edwards and Quade Chappuis
... Two true freshmen have played for Utah this season: quarterback Travis Wilson
and OL Poutasi.
Jon Hays' first career start came against ASU last year--a 35-14 Utah loss ... Utah has not allowed a point in the third quarter ... The offense's best quarter is the third (34 points) ... Dating back to last season, Utah is 9-0 when John White
rushes for 100 yards ...With White sidelined last week, the Utes netted just 49 yards on the ground, averaging 1.4 yards per carry ... 15 players have caught passes for Utah this season ... The defense has scored two touchdowns this season on an interception return by Joe Kruger
and a fumble return by Moe Lee
OUTSIDE THE LINES
Utah's win over BYU last week was its eighth in the last 11 games and its third-straight victory over the Cougars. The two teams meet in Provo next season before the rivalry takes a two-year hiatus. They will play in Salt Lake City in 2016 ... The Utes have sold out 14-straight games in 45,017-seat Rice-Eccles Stadium, including every game since 2010. Last week's crowd of 45,653 for the BYU game was the sixth-largest in stadium history.
first career win came in Sun Devil Stadium against Pitt as the co-head coach of Utah's 2005 Fiesta Bowl team #utes ... Whittingham is 8-8 all-time vs. Pac-12 schools (4-5 as a member of the Pac-12) #utes ... Utah's 89 wins in the last 10 years is tied for 9th in the nation #utes ... Kyle Whittingham's
Coach's Show on ESPN700 is Wednesday at 6 pm at Harmon's City Creek & is open to the public #utes.
Utah beat No. 25 BYU 24-21 in a wild finish that saw the Cougars get three tries to tie the game after it appeared the game clock had expired. Utah entered the fourth quarter up 24-7 after scoring 17 points in the third quarter on a 48-yard field goal by Coleman Petersen
, a 47-yard fumble return by Moe Lee
and a 39-yard touchdown pass between Jon Hays
and Dres Anderson
. But the Cougars clawed back to within three (24-21). After punting the ball away with a 1:11 in regulation, Utah appeared to win the game when BYU's pass fell incomplete and the game clock expired. But the officials put a 0:01 back on the clock and BYU attempted a 51-yard field goal, which was blocked by Star Lotulelei
. As fans poured on the field, officials called a foul, saying the ball was still live. The Utes were penalized 15 yards for the fan rush and BYU lined up for a 36-yard field goal. The kick hit the left upright and Utah finally escaped with a win.