Poinsettia Bowl

Utah (8-4) vs. Navy (8-4)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Thursday, Dec. 20 7 p.m., MST

TV: ESPN Radio: 700AM


INJURY REPORT UTAH: The Utes are about as healthy as they've been all season.

Defensive tackle Gabe Long (shoulder) and corenrback Brice McCain (knee) are expected to play.

NAVY: None.

Series: First meeting.

TV: ESPN Radio: 700AM

UTAH (8-4) vs. NAVY (8-4)

Today, 7 p.m. — Qualcomm Stadium — natural grass playing surface — San Diego

TV: ESPN — Radio: 700AM


KAIPO-NOA KAHEAKU-ENHADA, QB: The junior quarterback runs the triple-option offense effectively. He has racked up 782 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns. As a passer, he's thrown for 830 yards and six scores.


UTAH'S DEFENSE vs. NAVY'S TRIPLE OPTION: The Utes face a daunting challenge in trying to slow Navy's high-powered offense. The Midshipmen, though, are fairly one-dimensional — ranking 119th nationally with just 93.1 passing yards per game.


For Utah ... The Utes are just one win away from reaching the nine-win mark for just the sixth time in team history. It would also help ease the disappointment associated with the 17-10 loss at BYU in the regular-season finale. Finishing on a positive note is a very high priority.

For Navy ... The Midshipmen are eyeing something special for their seniors. A victory would give them 36 career wins — matching the Class of 1909 for the most success in academy history. Navy is also looking to make Ken Niumatalolo's head-coaching debut a success.


For Utah ... A 6-0 bowl roll. The Utes have won six straight postseason contests — a streak that dates back to the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl and includes victories over the past five years. Utah's defense has excelled in each of the contests.

For Navy ... The Midshipmen enter the game with four straight wins.

The streak started with a triple-overtime victory at Notre Dame and was followed by triumphs over North Texas, Northern Illinois and rival Army. Will Navy make it five?


Utah will win if ... The Utes can stop or at least slow Navy's triple- option offense. The Midshipmen are the nation's premier rushing team, averaging 351.5 yards per game — 121.5 more than Utah allows. Controlling the ground game is of extreme importance.

Navy will win if ... The Midshipmen can run, run and run. They've executed the triple-option well — averaging nearly 40 points per game. Navy hasn't scored less than 24 in any game this season and racked up 74 in a victory over North Texas.


The Midshipmen are a healthy crew, reporting no significant injuries heading into today's tilt with the Utes.

Sunny. Highs near 63, lows around 44.


The Utes will open up the 2008 season with a visit to Michigan on Aug. 30. Other non-conference games include Utah State, Weber State and Oregon State.