The most lopsided win of the season for the Utah Blaze came May 10 when they blasted their opponent 71-36. Not only were the 36 points the fewest Utah gave up in a game this season, but the 71 points it scored were also a season high.
Utah's best game in 2007 was a 51-14 win at home. It was a record-breaking defensive performance for the Blaze, who, amazingly, gave up just two touchdowns.
And the opponent in both games was the Colorado Crush.
In all, the Blaze have faced the Crush three times in franchise history. Utah is 3-0 in those games. In the past two seasons the Blaze have combined to outscore Colorado 122-50.
And now that the Blaze will once again face the Crush, this time in the wild-card round of the Arena Football League playoffs, those previous meetings will mean ... nothing.
At least that's what veteran Blaze coach Danny White believes.
"It means absolutely nothing, and I think everybody knows it," said White of his team's recent success against Colorado. "When the playoffs roll around, you throw everything that has happened in the past out the window. Everybody is 0-0. We are starting a new season, and we need to forget about the good and the bad."
Some of the Blaze players, however, take some comfort in knowing they have beaten the Crush in the past.
"We know what we are going to get from Colorado and they know what they are going to get from us," said Blaze receiver Huey Whittaker. "The key is the mistakes. We kept our mistakes down the last time we played them, and we forced them into some mistakes. If we do the same thing or anything similar to what we did (the last time we played Colorado) we'll be all right."
Colorado, the 2005 ArenaBowl champions, have some history in winning road playoff games. The Crush is 3-2 all-time in road playoff games and 2-0 in the first-round away from home.
Utah, meanwhile, is looking for its first playoff win ever in its first home playoff game. The Blaze lost first-round road games in each of the past two seasons. Blaze quarterback Joe Germaine, who was named to the All-Arena second team on Wednesday, has started just one playoff game, last year's loss at Los Angeles.
But the Blaze are excited about the prospect of playing at home this time around. Utah has won four straight at EnergySolutions Arena after its rough 0-9 start to the season.
"We hope it will be a great advantage," said Germaine of playing at home. "Our fans, even though we started the way we did, really stuck by us. We still have one of the better attending home crowds in the league. There is no team in the league that wanted a home playoff game more that we did for our ownership and for our fans. We fought really hard to try to do that, and it's amazing that we were able to make the at happen."
For the first time all season the Blaze will play a home game in the afternoon rather than at night, thanks to ESPN. But White actually likes the 2 p.m. kickoff."I really like playing in the afternoon better," said White. "Our body clocks are set up that way. It's a perfect time. We'll get up in the morning, have some brunch and go play the game. I hate night games and I think a lot of the players do, too, because there is too much waiting around and sitting and thinking about it."
Arena League playoffs
Colorado Crush (6-10) at Utah Blaze (6-10)
Saturday, 2 p.m.
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