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Utah Utes football: Tony Bergstrom U.'s 'leader of leaders'

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 28 2011 7:42 p.m. MST

Utah Utes offensive linesman Tony Bergstrom (70) and daughter celebrate with the team after the University of Utah defeats Oregon State University 27-8 to win their first  conference  PAC12 football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
 (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah Utes offensive linesman Tony Bergstrom (70) and daughter celebrate with the team after the University of Utah defeats Oregon State University 27-8 to win their first conference PAC12 football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

EL PASO, Texas — Prior to leaving for the Sun Bowl, Utah senior Tony Bergstrom was given quite a compliment by head coach Kyle Whittingham.

"This is Tony Bergstrom's football team. He's the team leader," Whittingham said. "The leader of leaders, I guess you could say."

It's a title, though, that Bergstrom said he isn't sure about as the Utes wrap up preparations for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech.

"All I'm concerned about is just going out and making sure I do my best, making sure the O-line performs to the best of their ability. That's kind of what I feel," Bergstrom said. "I feel things are up to the front seven on our side. If we get things done everything will take care of itself. I have faith in our defense. I have faith in our backfield. I have faith in our receivers. I'm just worried about us on the front line."

Utah's Tony Bergstrom exchanges words with Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee as the Utes host the Montana State Bobcats at Rice Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011.   (Mike Terry, Deseret News) Utah's Tony Bergstrom exchanges words with Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee as the Utes host the Montana State Bobcats at Rice Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (Mike Terry, Deseret News)

BOWL PREP: Whittingham said Wednesday's practice at the SocorroAthleticComplex was average.

"We've got to do better tomorrow," he explained. "We've practiced for a lot of days against the same schemes. You've got to guard against complacency."

SUNNY FORECAST: Although it gets a bit chilly at night (near freezing), the days in El Paso are warming up nicely. Saturday's kickoff forecast is calling for clear skies with the temperature around 60 degrees.

BOWL FESTIVITIES: Whittingham and several players visited patients at the Children's Hospital at Providence on Tuesday. A bowling event "Bowl before the Bowl" with Georgia Tech took place in the evening. The entire team then spent a couple of hours at Fort Bliss Wednesday afternoon. Marksmanship and tank simulators were among the scheduled activities before dinner with the troops.

"We've been busy," Bergstrom said. "We've been doing stuff all the time."

University of Utah's Tony Bergstrom laughs as he talks with members of the media during a press conference Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 at the football facility about the loss to USC and the upcoming game with BYU..  (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) University of Utah's Tony Bergstrom laughs as he talks with members of the media during a press conference Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 at the football facility about the loss to USC and the upcoming game with BYU.. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

The activities, he added, just come with the bowl experience.

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