Oct. 29, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY--
> Utah (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12) hosts Washington State (2-6, 0-5 Pac-12) on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1:00 p.m. MDT in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Networks. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and SIRIUS/XM (139/204).
> Utah snapped a four-game Pac-12 Conference losing streak last week with its 49-27 win over Cal. A year ago, the Utes also started 0-4 in Pac-12 play before winning four straight games and five of their last six (including a Sun Bowl victory over Georgia Tech).
> Utah's first Pac-12 win both this season and last came in the annual blackout game. This season's blackout opponent was Cal while last year's was Oregon State. The Utes are now 4-1 all-time in blackout games.
> Utah must win three of its final four games to become bowl eligible for a 10th-straight year. The Utes are 8-1 in bowl games since 2003 and seven of those wins came with Kyle Whittingham as the head coach (including a 2005 Fiesta Bowl win as the co-head coach).
> Utah leads the series with Washington State 6-5. The visitor has typically held the upper hand in this series: WSU is 3-2 in Salt Lake City and Utah leads 4-1 in Pullman, including last year's overtime win in the Palouse.
> WSU's last visit to Rice-Eccles Stadium was in 2000--a 38-21 Cougar victory. Utah's last win over WSU in Salt Lake City was in 1985 (44-37). See page 2 for complete series notes.
> WSU has returned some of its allotted tickets for Saturday's game, and as of Monday morning, 500 were available for purchase. Call 801-581-UTIX or order at www.utahutes.com or the Rice-Eccles box office.
> The Utes have sold out 16 straight games in Rice-Eccles Stadium since 2010.
> Whittingham is 1-0 against Washington State with a 30-27 overtime victory last year in Pullman.
Utah leads the nation in fumbles returned for touchdowns (4) and ranks second in forced fumbles (16) #utes ... Utah leads the nation in kickoff returns (30.71 average), although leader Reggie Dunn
does not have enough returns to be ranked #utes ... Utah leads the Pac-12 in average time of possession (32:38) #utes ... Utah is 23rd in the NCAA and third in the Pac-12 in rushing defense (118.75) #utes ... Utah is 34th in the NCAA and third in the Pac-12 in total defense (346.38) #utes ... Utah is fourth in the Pac-12 in pass defense (227.6) #utes ... Utah is third in the Pac-12 in opponent first downs (18.4) #utes.
Utah senior Reggie Dunn
was named the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week after his two 100-yard kickoff returns helped Utah to a 49-27 victory over California last Saturday. Dunn tied the NCAA record for kick return touchdowns in a game and set the NCAA record for kick return average in a game (74.0), returning three kicks for 222 yards. He tied the school record for 100-yard kickoff returns in a season (2) and set school records for kickoff return touchdowns in a game and 100-yard kick returns in a career (3). It is the first Pac-12 player of the week honor for Dunn and the second by a Ute this season. Punter Tom Hackett
was cited on Sept. 17.
While the NCAA does not keep records for most 100-yard kickoff returns, a national email survey of FCS schools conducted by the Utah sports information department has not uncovered any other instance in which a player had two 100-yard kickoff returns in a game, which Reggie Dunn
did last week against Cal ... Utah scored 14 points in each of its first three quarters against Cal last week--the first time this season that the Utes have scored multiple touchdowns in back-to-back quarters ... Utah's most productive scoring quarter is the second (59 points), its biggest point advantage has come in the third (48-17) and its worst quarter is the first (trail 65-42) ... Utah has attempted just two field goals in the last five games and has not made a field goal since the third game of the season against BYU.
IN THE HUDDLE
Utah is 10-0 when John White
rushes for 100 yards, something he has done twice this season (vs. Northern Colorado and Cal). He had eight 100-yard games a year ago as a junior college transfer ... Senior defensive tackle Star Lotulelei
has been named one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation's Defensive Player of the Year. Three finalists for the award will be announced on November 19 ... Sophomore tight end Jake Murphy
is Utah's leading receiver with 26 catches for 276 yards. The last time a tight end led Utah in receiving in a season was Dennis Smith
back in 1989 ... Utah has started three different quarterbacks this season: junior Jordan Wynn
in the first two games, senior Jon Hays
in the next three games and true freshman Travis Wilson
in the last three ... Four true freshmen have played in and started at least one game for Utah this season: Wilson, linebacker Reshawn Hooker
, offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi
and punter Tom Hackett
... 17 players have caught passes for Utah this season, including QB Wilson, and four players have completed passes (Wilson, Wynn, Jon Hays
and DeVonte Christopher
OUTSIDE THE LINES
Saturday marks the annual Salute America game. Military representatives from all five branches will be carrying their service flags and wearing their colors for the Ute Walk (which starts at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of Guardsman Way and 500 South), team introductions, and a special halftime band performance. A joint color guard will present the colors during the national anthem and a moment of silence will be observed to honor all service members, past and present ... The Kyle Whittingham
Show is Wednesday at 6 pm at Harmon's City Creek and is free to the public. Radio is ESPN700 AM an ESPN700sports.com.