1 of 11
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Utah Utes defensive end Derrick Shelby (90) tackles Colorado Buffaloes running back Tony Jones (26) during the first half of the Utah vs. Colorado football game at the Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. Trailing Shelby is Colorado Buffaloes offensive linesman Ryan Dannewitz (53).

SALT LAKE CITY — It wasn't the game John White IV and his Utah football team envisioned, by any stretch.

White only played part of Utah's 17-14 loss to Colorado after spraining his left ankle early in the third quarter, and the junior struggled to find open space when he was in the game.

But the junior college transfer, who averaged just 2.8 yards on 10 carries, still came out in the No. 2 position for single-season rushing in Utah history.

With his 28 yards — 97 below his previous average of 125 ypg — the Pac-12's second-leading rusher passed Dameon Hunter (1,396 yards, 2001) on that elite list. White now has 1,405 yards this season, leaving him within striking distance of record-holder Carl Monroe (1,507 yards, 1982).

White's rushing yards in the Utes' bowl game would count toward that season total. It's uncertain at this point, however, if he'll be healthy enough to play at the to-be-determined postseason destination.

As for Friday's shortened game, it snapped two streaks for White. He had racked up four straight 100-yard rushing games and had scored a rushing touchdown in six straight.

White's fill-in, senior running back Tauni Vakapuna, called the loss of White and offensive lineman Sam Brenner (neck injury) a pair of "big losses" for the Utes' offense. After White left, Vakapuna scored his first touchdown and finished with 77 yards rushing, which was 50 yards above his season total coming in.

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody