Sunday, October 28, 2007

Utah Football is on Fire, climbing the Mountain

Since the last blog about University of Utah football, the Utes have followed a huge 27-20 win over TCU in Fort Worth with a blowout of Colorado State 27-3, setting their record at a respectable 6-3 and setting the stage for a big November in which Utah could possibly find themselves in the thick of the Mountain West Conference race.
Against TCU, the defense gave up just 13 points to strong running back Aaron Brown and the Horned Frog offense, while the Ute offense did enough, behind Darrell Mack' 100 yards. The offense particularly came through in the first half and fourth quarter, to buoy the 'D.' The defense, however, helped themselves out when defensive end Martail Burnett returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
The Utes intercepted Frog quarterback Andy Dalton four times, with a fifth taken away by a horrible pass-interference call.
Utah then followed up the big win with a 24-point stomping of Colorado State yesterday. The Utes had two 100-yard rushers in Mack (142 on 20 carries) and junior Ray Stowers (123 on 11). Brian Johnson went 13-20 for 130 yards, marking his third straight so-so game following a fantastic performance on ESPN against Louisville.
However, it didn't matter as the defense was dominant, holding the Rams to 2-13 on third-down conversions and 0-4 on fourth-down attempts. Utah most likely faced longtime Rams coach Sonny Lubick for the last time, who is contemplating retirement.
Now, the fun is set following a bye next Saturday. The Utes are set to make a push for the title with games all in the state of Utah, with home games against Wyoming (5-3) and New Mexico (6-2), who is second in the conference and one game ahead of the Utes. If Utah can get the job done as they have the last five weeks in those games, then the stakes may be pretty high in the showdown in Provo.
Utah's five-game winning streak has not only awarded them bowl-eligibility and a rise in the conference rankings, but in the national hierchy as well. Following the Utes' loss to Air Force, they were at #89 out of 120 on the rankings. However, after beating UCLA 44-6, they jumped to 78th before falling clear back to 94th after the embarrassing defeat to UNLV. However, with the winning streak, the Utes are up to #46, just nine spots behind BYU and are in good position to go to a bowl game.

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