Utah Utes football notebook: Wide is not focusing on 100 yards
Eddie Wide is on the verge of clearing out a crowded University of Utah football record. The junior ran for a career-high 135 yards in last week's 22-10 win over Wyoming to join Carl Monroe (1982), Mike Anderson (1998) and Darrell Mack (2007) as the only running backs in the program's history to post five consecutive 100-yard games.
Wide can distance himself from the pack with another one Saturday against New Mexico.
"It certainly would be a nice accolade for Eddie," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "We're not going to alter the game plan or do something that's not in the team's best interest to make it happen. But the way he's going, it's something that's a possibility for sure."
Wide is averaging a league-high 117 yards rushing in Mountain West Conference games. New Mexico's defense gives up an average of 161.1 yards on the ground.
Wide, though, isn't champing at the bit about his record quest.
"It's a big deal, but I'm not too worried about it," he said. "Right now, we're just worried about New Mexico — just trying to keep the team together, keep it pushing and continue this win streak."
Utah (7-1) enters the contest with five consecutive victories. Wide's contributions have been noteworthy.
"For five straight weeks now, we've been blessed with Eddie giving us these 100-yard games," said Whittingham, who added that Wide's yardage has been huge for the team's success.
The record, however, isn't foremost on Wide's mind. He insists he wouldn't be disappointed if it doesn't happen.
"I'm just going to go out there and do my best — just do what I do," Wide said. "But if I get it, I'll be excited about it."
It's something, he explained, that will mean more when looked back upon after his collegiate career is complete.
DUMB AND DUMBER: Whittingham went "Hollywood" when a New Mexico reporter asked if he could call him after the MWC's weekly teleconference and find out if Jordan Wynn or Terrance Cain would be the starter on Saturday.
"The chances of that? One in a million," Whittingham said. "So like 'Dumb and Dumber,' I'm telling you you've got a chance. But ..."
BOWL-A-RAMA: A sampling of bowl projections for the Utes has them ticketed for the Las Vegas or Poinsettia bowls.
CBS Sports and Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com are predicting a Las Vegas Bowl matchup against California and former U. offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig.
ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman has the Utes going to San Diego to face Stanford. Sports Illustrated forecasts a Qualcomm Stadium meeting with Arizona State, while Scout.com envisions a Utah-Boise State battle.
EXTRA POINTS: Sophomore linebacker Mo Neal, who was suspended from games after involvement in a bar fight over the summer, had his court case resolved Tuesday. However, he plans to transfer to another program mid-year. ... Whittingham confirmed that Shaky Smithson is now a full-time tailback. He's No. 3 on the depth chart behind Wide and Sausan Shakerin. ... Utah's defense ranks No. 5 nationally in opponent third-down conversions (27.8 percent) and No. 7 in defending the pass (159.2 yards per game).
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