Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Football Hosts USC Thursday in ESPN Game

DT Star Lotulelei will lead the Utes into action against USC Thursday.

DT Star Lotulelei will lead the Utes into action against USC Thursday.

Oct. 1, 2012

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> The Utes (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12) host No. 13/12 USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12 on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. MDT in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and SIRIUS/XM (85).

> Both Utah and USC are coming off bye weeks.

> The game is sold out with the exception of standing room tickets that are available only to University of Utah students.

> Kyle Whittingham is 8-8 as a head coach against teams ranked in the A.P. Top 25 and 1-0 this season (vs. then No. 25 Brigham Young on Sept. 15).

> Utah and USC have not played in Salt Lake City in 95 years. The Trojans last came to town in 1917, when they beat Utah 51-0.

> A year ago, Utah lost to USC in its Pac-12 debut, 23-14 in the Coliseum. Trailing 17-14 with 11 seconds left in regulation, Utah had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Coleman Petersen's 41-yard field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. More on the series on page 2.

> Whittingham is 6-1 coming off regular-season byes, with his only loss coming last season against Washington. Whittingham's post-bye victories came over Wyoming (2005, 2007), Colorado State (2006, 2009), New Mexico (2008) and Iowa State (2010).

> Utah's record in Thursday games is 53-25-5 and the Utes have won eight straight since losing on a Thursday at Oregon State in 2007. The Trojans are 22-10-3 all-time in Thursday games.

> USC has claimed 11 national championships, while Utah's best national finish was No. 2 (A.P.) in 2008. The Utes finished No. 4 in the A.P. poll in 2004.

> Utah has made 10 bowl appearances since 2000, going 9-1 with a 2-0 record in BCS bowl games. Utah is one of just three teams to win six bowl games in the last seven years (with Florida and TCU).


Utah's defense was down two starters to injury in its last game (a loss at ASU): free safety Eric Rowe and defensive end Joe Kruger. Both are expected back for the USC game ... Making his first start as a Ute vs. ASU was sophomore linebacker Jacoby Hale. Hale and Victor Spikes, who got his first action of the season against ASU, are the new co-starters at rover ... Moving up to second on the running back depth chart after a career game against ASU is junior college transfer Kelvin York ... Redshirt freshman Siaosi Aiono, who played in his first game as a Ute against ASU after an injury to starter Vyncent Jones, will start this week at right guard ... V.J. Fehoko is now in the three deep at both stud linebacker and left end ... Reggie Topps replaces Moe Lee as one starting corner. Ryan Lacy holds down the other corner spot ... Two true freshmen have played for Utah this season: quarterback Travis Wilson and OL Jeremiah Poutasi.


Utah is ranked fourth in the Pac-12 and 27th in the nation in rushing defense (111.25). The Utes are ranked third in the conference in pass defense (218.25) and fourth in total defense (329.5). For complete Utah rankings, see sidebar on page 3 ... Utah's best quarter on both sides of the ball is the third, when the Utes have scored 34 points while allowing just three ... Utah and its opponents are both converting on 31% of their third down attempts and both have 11 sacks ... Dating back to last season, Utah is 9-0 when John White rushes for 100 yards ... 16 players have caught passes for Utah this season ... Utah has earned one Pac-12 Player of the Week honor this fall: freshman punter Tom Hackett (playing in his first American football game) on Sept. 15 against BYU.


The Salt Lake City Air National Guard KC-135 will do a flyover in "Utah Man II" prior to the national anthem ... Utah's ski team will be honored at a quarter break for its second-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships ... Jordan Wynn has been invited by ESPN to participate in two studio shows in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Wynn will do a segment on College Football Daily at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. MT) and will be a guest analyst on The Experts at 2:30 ET (12:30 MT) with Andre Ware, Mike Bellotti, Mark Schlabach and Tom Luginbill. Both shows will be live on ESPNU ... With the USC game already sold out, the Utes have sold out 15-straight games in Rice-Eccles Stadium, including every game since 2010 ... Utah's all-time record after byes (excluding bowls) is 94-37-6 and 77-23-6 in home games. The Utes are 27-8-1 (22-2-1 at home) in October games played after a bye.


Utah is 10-9 in games televised by ESPN #utes ... Utah is 6-5 (3-5 at home) in games played on Oct. 4. This is Utah's first Oct. 4 game in 27 years #utes ... Whittingham is 8-9 all-time vs. Pac-12 schools (4-6 as a member of the Pac-12) #utes ... Utah's 89 wins in the last 10 years ranks 12th in the nation, while USC is third with 101 #utes ... The Kyle Whittingham Coach's Show is Tuesday at 6 pm at Harmon's City Creek. It is free to the public. #utes.



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