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SALT LAKE CITY -- No. 14/14 Utah (2-0, 1-0 MWC) makes its first road trip of the season, playing at New Mexico (0-2, 0-0 MWC) in Albuquerque on Saturday, Sept. 18. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. MT in University Stadium. The game will be televised live on The Mtn. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com).
Utah jumped six spots to No. 14 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls. It is Utah's highest ranking since Nov. 8, 2009, when the Utes were No. 14 in the coaches' poll (No. 16 A.P.) prior to a loss to TCU. Utah finished last season ranked 18th in both polls.
Utah's Kyle Whittingham earned his 50th win as a head coach last week over UNLV. Whittingham's 50-17 overall record includes a win as the co-head coach of the Fiesta Bowl in January of 2005. (The NCAA recognizes that game as a win for both Whittingham and former Ute coach Urban Meyer).
Utah's starting quarterback against New Mexico is to be determined, dependent on the status of sophomore Jordan Wynn (thumb injury to his throwing hand). Wynn led Utah to an overtime win over Pitt in the first game, while senior Terrance Cain earned the victory against UNLV last week.
Last year's 45-14 win over New Mexico came on the first start of Wynn's career. In the best starting debut ever by a Ute true freshman quarterback, Wynn passed for 297 yards and two touchdowns.
Also in last year's win, Eddie Wide set the school record for consecutive 100-yard games. Wide's career-best 145-yard game against the Lobos was his sixth-consecutive triple-digit rushing game.
Utah leads the series 32-17-2 with UNM, but has only a 13-12-1 edge in Albuquerque. Utah has held the upper hand in the last three contests, including two of the last three in Albuquerque. Utah is 3-2 against New Mexico when the Utes are nationally ranked. A ranked Utah team lost to New Mexico in 1994 and 2003, but has avoided an upset the last three times (in 2004, 2008 and 2009). For more on the series, see the box on page 2 of this release.
After wins over then No. 15 Pitt and UNLV, Utah's home win streak now stands at 19 games--the longest home win streak in MWC history and the second-longest in school history. The school record of 26 was from 1928-34. Utah's current home win streak dates back to a Sept. 15, 2007 victory over 11th-ranked UCLA. Utah's 19-game home win streak is the third-longest active home win streak in the nation behind Oklahoma (32) and Boise State (26). ### LAST WEEK
Terrance Cain passed for 207 yards and two touchdowns in place of injured starter Jordan Wynn and Utah beat UNLV 38-10. Cain completed 13-of-20 passes and was not intercepted or sacked. Shaky Smithson provided the sizzle for an over-capacity crowd (45,102) in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Smithson returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown and also caught a 55-yard touchdown pass. Eddie Wide rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns and Jereme Brooks had four receptions for 77 yards and a score. Chaz Walker led the defense with a career-high 16 tackles, while Matt Martinez also had a career day with 12 stops. Brian Blechen made two pass breakups to go with seven tackles. ### OUTSIDE THE LINES
This week's game is Utah's only road game in September. Next month, the schedule flip-flops, with only one home game scheduled ... Ahead for Utah is Homecoming on Sept. 25 against San Jose State ... The Utes are averaging 45,416 fans in two games in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which seats 45,017. ### INSIDE THE HUDDLE
Shaky Smithson was named the MWC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning five punts for 128 yards (25.6 average) and a 77-yard touchdown in Utah's win over UNLV. Smithson's 77-yard punt return against the Rebels was the seventh-longest punt return in school history and Utah's first punt return for a touchdown since 2007 ... Preseason all-conference center Zane Taylor (knee) is doubtful for the UNM game, while quarterback Jordan Wynn (thumb) is day-to-day and punter Sean Sellwood (ankle) is probable ... Neli A'asa, who as a defensive tackle is a key contributor on the defensive line, has also played tight end in both games--his primary position back in 2008 ... James Aiono has moved into the three-deep at right end ... Six true freshmen have played this season: Brian Blechen, Wykie Freeman, Mike Honeycutt, Joe Kruger, Westlee Tonga and Michael Walker ... Making his NCAA debut against UNLV was sophomore JC transfer OL Ron Tongaonevai.