Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Opens Second Half of Season Against Cal

Derrick Shelby earned national player of the week honors for his performance against Pitt.

Derrick Shelby earned national player of the week honors for his performance against Pitt.

Oct. 17, 2011

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TWO MINUTE DRILL

> Utah (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) returns to Pac-12 Conference play this Saturday, playing California (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) in San Francisco. Kickoff in AT&T Park is 4 p.m. PT (5 p.m. MT). The game will be televised locally on KJZZ, as well as on Comcast SportsNet-Bay Area. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com).

> Utah finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 3-0 record with last week's 26-14 win at Pitt. The Utes improved to 9-0 all-time against the Big East and 3-0 vs. Pitt with the win.

> Cal is playing all of its home games outside of Berkeley this season in San Francisco's AT&T Park while Memorial Stadium undergoes an extensive renovation and retrofit. Prior to this season, Cal played every home game since 1923 (88 years) in Memorial Stadium.

> Utah is 1-0 at AT&T Park, beating No. 24 Georgia Tech 38-10 in the 2005 Emerald Bowl when the stadium was known as SBC Park.

> Cal leads the series 4-3, though Utah has won two straight and three of the last four. Most recently, Utah beat the Bears 37-27 in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl behind an MVP performance by then-true freshman QB Jordan Wynn. Wynn will miss this season's rematch due to a season-ending shoulder injury. Complete series information is in the boxed inset on page 2.

> Utah and Cal have played two common foes this season with both losing to USC and Washington. Utah lost 23-14 to USC and 31-14 to Washington, while Cal lost 30-9 to USC and 31-23 to Washington.

> Senior defensive end Derrick Shelby was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after leading Utah with seven tackles (6 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a fourth-quarter interception that he returned 21 yards for the game-clinching touchdown in Utah's 26-14 win at Pitt on Oct. 15. He also earned an ESPN helmet sticker. He becomes just the second Ute ever to win a Walter Camp weekly national award, joining Eric Weddle, who won one on Sept. 24, 2006 (vs. San Diego State).

DEFENSIVE DIAMONDS

One of the best teams in the nation against the run, Utah ranks second in the Pac-12 and 13th nationally in rushing defense (94.5), holding four of its six opponents under 100 ground yards: BYU (11 yards), Pittsburgh (70 yards), Arizona State (74 yards), Montana State (75 yards) ... Last week, Utah held Pitt's Ray Graham, then the nation's second-leading rusher, to 46 yards--103 yards below his average coming into the game ... The Utes rank second in the Pac-12 in these categories: total defense (326.3/25th nationally), scoring defense (20.5/28th nationally), pass efficiency defense (116.8), interceptions (7), turnovers gained (16/T-13th nationally), red zone defense (11-for-15, 73%/T- 20th nationally) ... Utah is tied for the Pac-12 lead and tied for ninth nationally in fumbles recovered (9) ... Utah is third in the Pac-12 in pass defense (231.8), opponent fourth-down conversions (4-for-11, 36.4%) and turnover margin (tied, 0.50).

INSIDE THE HUDDLE

Defensive end Derrick Shelby and placekicker Coleman Petersen were both honored as Bank of the West Pac-12 Players of the Week on Oct. 17. Shelby becomes Utah's second defensive honoree, joining Trevor Reilly (Sept. 17), while Petersen wins Utah's first special teams award ... Utah has lost four players to season-ending injuries: starting quarterback Jordan Wynn (shoulder), starting punt returner Charles Henderson (knee), co-starting fullback/tight end Dallin Rogers (knee) and co-starting safety Keith McGill (shoulder). McGill will have surgery Thursday. Wynn and Henderson are eligible for redshirt seasons ... Players who missed last week's game at Pitt and remain questionable for this week are starting receiver DeVonte Christopher (ankle), running back Tauni Vakapuna (ankle) and linebacker Jacoby Hale (concussion) ... Seeing his first action as a Ute last week against Pitt was true freshman receiver Quinton Pedroza. Utah has played five true freshmen this season: safety Eric Rowe, defensive end Nate Fakahafua, running back Harvey Langi, receiver/punt returner Henderson and Pedroza.

OUTSIDE THE LINES

Utah sold out its 3,000-seat allotment to this week's game at Cal prior to the start of the season ... Eight Utah football players were named to the Phil Steele Midseason all-Pac-12 team, including first-team defensive selections Chaz Walker and Trevor Reilly. Named to the second team was offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom, while offensive guard Sam Brenner, receiver DeVonte Christopher, running back John White, linebacker Brian Blechen and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei all made the third team.

U-TWEETS

Utah has 32 players from California on its roster ... Utah scored 14 points in all three of its losses (USC, Washington and Arizona State) ... The defense has scored three touchdowns, including two by DE Derrick Shelby on an interception and a fumble recovery, and one by LB V.J. Fehoko (fumble recovery) ... The Utes are off to their first 0-3 conference start since 2002, when they were members of the Mountain West Conference.

LAST WEEK

Utah's defense pitched a shutout, with Pitt's only points coming on special teams, and Coleman Petersen booted four field goals in a 26-14 Ute win in Pittsburgh. Derrick Shelby led a defense that held the Panthers to 120 total yards with a team-high seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and an interception that he returned 21 yards for a touchdown. Utah held the nation's second-leading rusher (Ray Graham) to just 46 yards. Brian Blechen had six tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss and Conroy Black made an interception and a pass breakup. Coleman's 4-of-4 field goal day included a career-long 45-yarder that gave Utah a 19-14 fourth-quarter lead. John White rushed for 171 yards on 36 carries and Luke Matthews caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Jon Hays.
 

 

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