Friday, October 10, 2008

Utes take advantage of Thursday game

By Richard Anderson

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham isn’t a huge fan of Thursday night games -- his team has two on the 2008 schedule. One positive, though, is the extra days rest or preparation you get for the next week.

Whittingham said they got a little of both accomplished last weekend after the 31-28 win over Oregon State, and in preparing for the Cowboys Saturday in Laramie.

“We gave the team Saturday and Sunday off, so they get a little more rest,” Whittingham said. “The coaches get a jump start on the next opponent. It's a little more front-end loaded than a typical week.”

The Utes are wary of the Cowboys despite Wyoming’s recent struggles offensively. Whittingham said you can go back to the last time they played in Laramie -- two years ago - as an example. Wyoming belted his Utes, 31-15.

“I'm sure they will be fired up. They whacked us two years ago up there. I'm positive we will get their best shot,” Whittingham said. “They just lost to New Mexico on the road. It's their homecoming, so I'm sure they will be excited to get back to Laramie and have another opportunity.”

Whittingham said the Utes, who are ranked sixth in the country in rushing yards allowed, said you have to look at the Cowboy running back tandem of Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon first.

“Their running backs are very good,” Whittingham said. “They are the strength of their offense. Moore is gaining well over five yards a carry and Seldon is a tough, bigger back. Those guys run very hard. They are a little unsettled at quarterback. That is one of the biggest situations that they need to overcome. Their offense doesn't change much despite that.”

Overall, Whittingham likes where his team, 2-0 in Mountain West Conference play and 6-0 overall, is at in the midpoint of the season.

“We like the wins and finding ways to win in close situations,” he said. “I like our mentality and work ethic and how the team takes things week-to-week. The defense has done some very good things. There is still a lot to work on and by no means do we have everything figured out, but I am pleased with where we are.

“One week at a time. It's supposed to be cold up in Laramie. We have to get ourselves ready. We have conference play from here on out and have our work cut out for us.”

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