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Utah Utes football notebook: Utes having maximum allowed practices; Boise not so much

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 8:39 p.m. MDT

University of Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham introduces the U. football team during halftime of a basketball game with Pepperdine. The football team will play in the Las Vegas Bowl Dec. 22 against Boise State. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) University of Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham introduces the U. football team during halftime of a basketball game with Pepperdine. The football team will play in the Las Vegas Bowl Dec. 22 against Boise State. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

LAS VEGAS — By the time MAACO Bowl Las Vegas kicks off on Wednesday, Utah will have the maximum 15 postseason practices under its belt. Boise State, meanwhile, will fail to reach double-figures.

The Broncos, though, did have a game on Dec. 4 (defeating Utah State 50-14). The Utes haven't played since edging BYU, 17-16 on Nov. 27.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham isn't sure which team benefits more. There are, after all, two schools of thought — playing a game more recently or having more practices.

"I think there are arguments on both sides," Whittingham said. "I don't think either team has a particular advantage over the other."

CAIN IS ABLE: Whittingham continues to express confidence in quarterback Terrance Cain, who is starting in place of the injured Jordan Wynn.

Whittingham has told the senior to "just relax, do your thing" against Boise State.

"He's a great athlete," Whittingham said. "He's got a lot of skills."

Cain, meanwhile, is playing it cool.

"I'm feeling great right now," he said. "We've just got to keep it going, keep working hard."

BOWLING AGAIN: Senior running back Matt Asiata is back in a bowl game for the first time since the 2009 Sugar Bowl. A knee injury kept him out of the Poinsettia Bowl last season.

"Everything worked out good. I'm very blessed to play another down," Asiata said of his comeback from knee surgery. "I thank everybody in this community, the coaches, the student body and especially my family."

Asiata appeared in all 12 games this season and is a National Football League draft prospect.

EXTRA POINTS: Right guard Tevita Stevens (ankle) and defensive end Tevita Finau (calf) have returned from injuries and are expected to play. ... Whittingham and Boise State coach Chris Petersen will speak with reporters at a press conference at the Hard Rock Café this afternoon. ... Boise State will be sporting some new Nike uniforms at the game. The Broncos, who will wear the same helmet design they sported against Virginia Tech, will wear blue with orange sleeves. ... Utah's institutional gifts, which are separate from the bowl-awarded point system of goodies, include sweats, hats, shorts and a Visa gift card.

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

No. 20 Utah (10-2) vs. No. 10 Boise State (11-1)

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 6 p.m.

Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas

TV: ESPN Radio: 700 AMutah notebook

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company