Tom Smart, Deseret News
Utah's John White IV runs as OSU's Lance Mitchell tries to tackle him as the University of Utah plays Oregon State University in PAC12 football Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Sun Bowl: Utah (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (8-4)

TODAY, noon

Sun Bowl Stadium (50,426)

Hellas Matrix FieldTurf, El Paso, Texas


Radio: 700AM

Weather: Clear skies, with temperatures in the low 60s.

The stakes

For Georgia Tech ... a victory will give the Yellow Jackets a three-game improvement from last season. It's a one-year increase the storied program hasn't accomplished since going from 7-5 in 1997 to 10-2 in 1998.

For Utah ... the Utes are looking to start a new string of success after Boise State put an end to their nine-game bowl winning streak last December. A win would also ease the sting of a 17-14 loss to Colorado on Nov. 25.

The trends

For Georgia Tech ... the Yellow Jackets are making their 15th straight bowl appearance, the nation's fourth-longest active streak. They've lost six straight bowl games, beginning with a 38-10 loss to Utah in the 2005 Emerald Bowl.

For Utah ... before a surprising setback to Colorado in the regular-season finale, the Utes had reeled off four straight Pac-12 victories. Utah won its only previous trip to the Sun Bowl, blanking New Mexico 26-0 on Jan. 2, 1939.

Player to watch

John White IV, Utah: The junior is coming off an ankle injury early in the Colorado game on Nov. 25. He's 104 yards away from breaking Carl Monroe's 1982 school record for single-season rushing yards (1,507).

Key matchup

Georgia Tech's offense vs. Utah's defense: Something's got to give. The Yellow Jackets enter the game with the nation's No. 3 rushing offense (316.83 ypg), while the Utes counter with the No. 7 rushing defense (97 ypg).

Injury report

Georgia Tech: LB Morgan Carter (undisclosed injury) is questionable. USA Today reports that CB Louis Young is not expected to play because of a disciplinary issue.

Utah: DT David Kruger (leg infection), OL Miles Mason (elbow) and DT LT Tuipulotu (knee) will not play.

Utah schedule

Date Opponent Time (TV)/result

Sept. 1 vs. Montana St. W, 27-10

Sept. 10 at USC L, 23-14

Sept. 17 at BYU W, 54-10

Oct. 1 vs. Washington L, 31-14

Oct. 8 vs. Arizona St. L, 35-14

Oct. 15 at Pittsburgh W, 26-14

Oct. 22 at California L, 34-10

Oct. 29 vs. Oregon St. W, 27-8

Nov. 5 at Arizona W, 34-21

Nov. 12 vs. UCLA W, 31-6

Nov. 19at Washington St.W, 30-27 (OT)

Nov. 25 vs. Colorado L, 17-14