Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah to Face Oregon State in Annual Blackout Game

Brian Blechen led Utah against Cal with 10 tackles.

Brian Blechen led Utah against Cal with 10 tackles.

Oct. 24, 2011

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TWO MINUTE DRILL

> Utah (3-4, 0-4 Pac-12) hosts Oregon State (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12) on Saturday, Oct. 29 in the annual Blackout game. Kickoff is 5 p.m. MT in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The game will be televised locally on KJZZ, as well as on ROOT Sports NW. There will be a live video stream on UtahUtes.com. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com), SIRIUS (113) and XM (191).

> Utah and OSU have played two common opponents this season in Brigham Young and Arizona State. Utah went 1-1, beating BYU (54-10 in Provo) and losing to ASU (35-14 in SLC). The Beavers were 0-2, losing to BYU (38-28 in Corvallis) and to ASU (35-20 in Tempe).

> Utah went 3-0 in non-conference play, beating Montana State, BYU and Pitt, but is still looking for its first Pac-12 win.

> Saturday's game is the fourth-annual Blackout game. The Utes will wear black uniforms and fans are encouraged to wear black attire.

> Utah is 2-1 in Blackout games, with wins over TCU in 2008 and Wyoming in 2009, and a loss to TCU in 2010.

> The last time these teams played, the No. 15-ranked Utes made a late comeback to knock off an Oregon State team that had upset No. 1 USC the previous week. All-American Louie Sakoda kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired in a 31-28 Ute win on Oct. 2, 2008 in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

> Oregon State leads the series 9-5-1, but Utah has won three of the last four including the last two in Salt Lake City (1992 and 2008). Oregon State leads 4-3 in Salt Lake City. For complete series information, see page 2.

> The last time the Utes lost their first four conference games was in 2002 as members of the Mountain West Conference. Utah won its final three games that season.

DEFENSIVE DIAMONDS

One of the best teams in the nation against the run, Utah ranks third in the Pac-12 and 15th nationally in rushing defense (99.4), holding four of its seven opponents under 100 ground yards: BYU (11 yards), Pittsburgh (70 yards), Arizona State (74 yards), Montana State (75 yards) ... Utah held Pitt's Ray Graham, the nation's second-leading rusher, to 46 yards--103 yards below his average coming into the game ... Utah is second in the Pac-12 in turnovers gained (16) and red zone defense (16-for-21, 76.2%), and is tied for second in interceptions (7) and opponent fourth-down conversions (4-of-11, 36.4%) ... The Utes rank third in the Pac-12 in several defensive categories: total defense (334.6/27th NCAA), scoring defense (22.4), pass efficiency defense (120.8), opponent first downs (132) ... Utah ranks 29th in the NCAA (tied for fifth in the Pac-12) in sacks per game (2.43).

CONNECTIONS

Ute receiver Reggie Dunn originally signed with Oregon State out of high school. He later signed with Utah out of Compton Community College ... Dave and Joe Kruger's father Paul played for Oregon State, lettering in 1986 and '87 ... Brian Johnson, the quarterback who engineered Utah's dramatic come-from-behind 31-28 win over the Beavers in the 2008 Sugar Bowl season, is now in his second year as Utah's quarterback coach.

INSIDE THE HUDDLE

Griff Robles has officially moved back to quarterback, ending (at least for this season) his status as a linebacker. Walk-on true freshman Adam Shulz has changed his jersey number to 8 from No. 12, which he shared with Robles ... After last week's knee injury to senior linebacker Boo Andersen, Utah has now lost five key players to season-ending injuries: starting quarterback Jordan Wynn (shoulder), starting punt returner Charles Henderson (knee), co-starting fullback/tight end Dallin Rogers (knee), co-starting safety Keith McGill (shoulder) and frequently-used backup LB Andersen ... Wynn and McGill both had surgery last week and Rogers will have surgery today (Oct. 24) ... Utah hopes to have leading receiver DeVonte Christopher (ankle) back in the lineup for OSU. Questionable for Saturday is starting free safety Eric Rowe (knee) ... Utah has played five true freshmen this season: safety Eric Rowe, defensive end Nate Fakahafua, running back Harvey Langi, receiver/punt returner Henderson and receiver Quinton Pedroza.

OUTSIDE THE LINES

The Ute Walk begins at 2:30 p.m. on the corner of Guardsman Way and 500 South ... There will be a pre-game trick-or-treat zone in the south plaza of Rice-Eccles Stadium, where costumes are encouraged. Fans with the best black costumes in the trick-or-treat zone will be recognized at halftime. Members of Utah's athletic teams will be in the trick-or-treat zone signing autographs.

U-TWEETS

The Utes have sold out nine straight games, dating back to the 2010 season opener against Pitt; however tickets remain for this Saturday's game after OSU returned 700 tickets last week. Tickets may be purchased by calling 801-581-UTIX, online at UtahUtes.com and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office.

LAST WEEK

Utah's offensive struggles continued in San Francisco, where the Utes lost 34-10 to California. All of Utah's points came in the fourth quarter on a 36-yard Coleman Petersen field goal and a 14-yard run by John White. The Utes earned just 11 first downs (two in the first half) and committed four turnovers--one an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Even with White's 14-yard TD run, Utah finished with just 13 rushing yards. Brian Blechen had 10 tackles (2.0 for a loss) and Chaz Walker added eight tackles for the defense, which spent 35 minutes on the field. Trevor Reilly and Joe Kruger each had a sack.
 

 

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