Utes Hit Road for First Time in 2005 to Face TCU
Utah takes school-record 18-game winning streak into ESPN contest.
Sept. 13, 2005
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> Utah (2-0, 0-0 MWC) and its school-record 18-game win streak face a stiff test this week when the Utes play TCU (1-1, 0-0 MWC), Thursday, Sept. 15 in Fort Worth, Texas ... It is the Mountain West Conference opener for both schools and the fi rst MWC game ever for league newcomer TCU ... Game time is 6:30 p.m. CDT (5:30 p.m. MDT) ... The Utah-TCU game will be televised live nationally by ESPN.
> Utah's current 18-win streak is the second-best in the nation behind USC (23 straight). The Utes have won their last 11 road/neutral games.
> Utah has won its last four ESPN-nationally televised games: vs. alifornia and Oregon in 2003, Texas A&M in 2004 and Arizona in the 2005 season opener. This Thursday's game is one of three ESPN-televised games in four weeks for the 2005 Utes.
> Ute starting quarterback Brian Johnson of Baytown, Texas (Robert E. Lee HS) headlines a quartet of Texans on Utah's roster. The others, whom have played in both games to date and are on the travel roster: offensive lineman Robert Conley (La Marque/La Marque HS), receiver Jordan Johnson (Mesquite/Poteet HS) and defensive back Brice McCain (Terrell/Terrell HS).
Brian Johnson passed for 268 yards and threw two TD passes to John Madsen, and Utah ran its school-record winning streak to 18 straight games with a 31-7 victory over Utah State. Madsen finished with eight catches for 155 yards--a career best.
Quinton Ganther ran for 104 yards in his second 100-yard game of the season and the Utes (2-0) won the in-state rivalry for the eighth straight time. Utah remained unbeaten under new coach Kyle Whittingham and held Utah State to 258 total yards. Utah State drew first blood in the second quarter and led 7-0 through much of the half.
But Johnson led Utah on a 6-play, 79-yard touchdown scoring drive, tying things up on a 2-yard keeper with 3:03 left in the half. He struck again less than two minutes later with a 30-yard TD pass to Madsen, giving Utah a lead it never relinquished. Johnson was brilliant overall, completing 18 of 21 passes for a new school and conference (tie) completion rate of 85.7 percent. The Utes tacked on two more touchdowns and a field goal in the second half.
Utah's 18-game win streak dates back to Nov. 1, 2003, when the Utes beat Air Force in triple overtime. Utah's last loss was on Oct. 25, 2003 to New Mexico. Utah's most recent road loss was on Sept. 6, 2003--28-26 to Texas A&M. Utah's current win streak broke a 75-year-old record of 16 games, set from 1928-1930. The school record for most games without a loss is 24, set from 1927-30, when Utah went 21-0-3. The streak was snapped in the 1931 season opener when Utah fell 7-6 to Washington in Seattle.
Kyle Whittingham (2-0) made history in his first game as a head coach by extending Utah's win streak to a school record 17 with a win over Arizona. He improved that to 18 a week later against Utah State. Named head coach on Dec. 8, 2004, Whittingham has been a member of the Ute staff since 1994, when he coached the defensive line for Utah's 10-2 Freedom Bowl champion team. He was promoted to defensive coordinator a year later--a position he held until his promotion to head coach.
In his 11 years as a Ute assistant, the program compiled an 86-41 record and played in six bowl games (winning fi ve). He served as co-head coach at the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, helping to lead Utah to a 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh. The Ute defense recorded 14 top-20 statistical rankings during Whittingham's 10 years as the coordinator. Utah led the league in scoring defense in four of the last six years (placing second the other two).
The Mountain West Conference radio broadcast of the Utah-TCU game will be picked up by the Armed Forces network and will be available in 176 countries and all military ships at sea ... Utah's win over Arizona in the season opener was its fourth straight against the Pacifi c 10. Since 1990, Utah is 12-12 against Pac-10 opponents ... Utah has won its last nine nationally-televised contests (ESPN, ESPN2, ABC), dating back to a three-point loss to Michigan in the Big House in 2002. Utah is 4-6 on ESPN ... The Utes have made at least one national television appearance in the last 15 years.