SALT LAKE CITY — Brandon Burton wouldn't exactly say it, but 10th-ranked Utah's early defensive success is a case of I told you so.
When preseason prognosticators were questioning how the Utes would replace seven starters, including all three linebackers and both safeties, from last year's squad, the junior cornerback insisted all was well.
"I was always confident that we were going to come out and play like the great defense we know we are," Burton said.
Utah enters Saturday's game at Iowa State ranked seventh in the nation in both scoring defense (12.8 points per game) and total defense (246.8 yards per game). The Utes are ranked 11th in rushing defense (86.8 ypg) and 16th in passing defense (160 ypg).
"We're playing pretty good. I think it's a tribute to the hard work and dedication that we put into playing great defense," Burton said while noting that the defensive unit is meshing well. "It's starting to show in the rankings and on paper."
And it's validating what the Utes have been saying all along.
"I think we're showing just what we expected the whole time — like no drop off," Burton explained. "We're going to play like everybody's been starting for four years."
FEELING GOOD: Starting center Zane Taylor, who missed the New Mexico game after tweaking his knee late in the UNLV contest a week earlier, has bounced back from the injury.
"I'm feeling as good as before everything happened," he said. "So I'm feeling ready to go."
SCHEDULE TALK: Quarterback Jordan Wynn isn't worried about what people think about Utah's early schedule that has included patsies UNLV, New Mexico and San Jose State.
"As a team, we don't really get caught up in that," he said while noting that this week's game at Iowa State will be a good test. "Bottom line is you've got to go out, play it and win the game. We've done that the last four weeks."
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