Utah "stomped the mud hole dry" in last week's 27-3 win at Colorado State.

The Utes used a running play they call the "load" a whopping 27 times in the victory.

"We had good success. Why would you not run it?" Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "The offensive line was blocking it up very well, and both Darrell (Mack) and Ray (Stowers) were finding the daylight."

Mack rushed for 151 yards and Stowers added 123 as the Utes racked up 322 yards on the ground — much of it off the "load."

The off-tackle play, as described by Whittingham, involves pulling the backside guard and kicking with the frontside guard — kick out, pull off tackle and then double-team down.

"It's one of our core plays," he said. "It's been in the offense since day one."

On Saturday it worked exceptionally well. Especially, Whittingham noted, when it got to the point where the Utes were in control of the game and wanted to run some time off the clock.

"If something works," he added, "keep on doing it."

And Utah did.

"We kind of stomped the mud hole dry with that one," quarterback Brian Johnson said. "You don't go into a game saying you're going to run this play 27 times, but it was working and we kept doing it. We had success."

Though the Utes disguised it a bit by tweaking the formation and shifting motion, it was basically the same play — over and over and over again.

Whittingham said they simply kept going with what was working. In an offense capable of moving the ball in various ways, he considers it an example of the unselfish nature of the team — where effectiveness is more important than individual statistics.

"Winning is always the bottom line. You can throw for a million yards and lose or you can rush for 322 and win," Johnson said. "We don't really care how we get the production, as long as we get it and come away with the win — whether it's running or throwing."

That's something the Utes (6-3 overall, 3-2 MWC) have done with great regularity as of late. They enter their only bye week of the season with five consecutive victories.

Before returning to action Nov. 10 at home against Wyoming, Whittingham has outlined some objectives.

Over the course of the bye week, he hopes to get the younger players a lot of work. To facilitate that, the younger players are practicing separately from the travel squad.

Another thing Utah is looking to accomplish this week is getting guys healed up. Whittingham said five or six players have issues.

The team, as a whole, is also freshening up for a challenging season-ending stretch of games that includes dates with the Cowboys, New Mexico and BYU.

The goal, Whittingham explained, is to keep the team sharp and not get rusty. The Utes have three scheduled practices this week.

"We won't spend a lot of time on the field," Whittingham said.

"Just enough to accomplish those objectives."

Arizona receiver picks U.

Luke Matthews, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver from Desert Vista High in Arizona, has committed to the University of Utah. He plans to sign a letter of intent in February. Matthews has caught 13 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns this season. The versatile athlete is also a skilled runner — racking up 229 yards and six touchdowns on 42 carries.


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