Lost in the shuffle of Utah's 42-21 win over UNLV was a milestone for quarterback Brian Johnson.

The senior has now led the Utes to victories in 10 of the last 11 games he has started.

Johnson points to preparation as the key to 22nd-ranked Utah's success. He said the Utes do things the right way.

"I love the work ethic of this team and that edge. Coach (Kyle Whittingham) always talks about the process and respecting the process," Johnson explained. "We have to realize as a team we have four or five days to get ready for a team. We have to cherish each one of those days."

The Utes, he continued, work hard in the weight room and on the practice field.

"And it shows up on Saturdays," Johnson said.

Speaking of showing up on Saturday, the Utes plan to do so at struggling Utah State (0-2) — a rival they have defeated 10 straight times.

"It's always a rivalry. Any time we play them we're going to get their best shot. Those guys are coming out to beat us," Johnson said. "They want to play well and we want to play well, too. So it'll be a battle, and we'll see who comes out on top."

Johnson, however, will make things difficult for the Aggies. He enters the game ranked second in the Mountain West Conference in pass efficiency (145.4 rating) and is third in total offense (251 ypg).

In the win over UNLV, Johnson had a 56-yard touchdown run.

"It was fun. Any time you catch a defense in a zero pressure you've just got to make one guy miss," said Johnson, who pointed out that the result is usually a long run. "It was fun to get out there and get after it a little bit running the ball."

The longest run of Johnson's career could be short-lived. In last week's 66-24 loss at Oregon, USU's defense gave up some huge numbers.

The Aggies currently rank 115th nationally in total defense (520.50 ypg) and rushing defense (270 ypg). They're 112th in scoring defense (46.5 ppg) and 100th in passing defense.

EXTRA POINTS: Practice was moved to Rice-Eccles Stadium because of Wednesday's rainy weather ... Whittingham said it looks like a rotation of Sealver Siliga, Aaron Tonga and Derrick Shelby will replace injured nose tackles Kenape Eliapo and Lei Talamaivao ... Whittingham added that freshman David Kruger, who was moved to end when Shelby was shifted to tackle, will continue to be in "redshirt mode" for as long as possible ... Safety Robert Johnson (hamstring), left tackle Zane Beadles (knee) and quarterback Corbin Louks (shoulder) are probable and should play on Saturday. Louks, however, will likely only play if needed ... Weber State has tickets available for the Sept. 27 game against the Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The cost is $25. For more information call the WSU ticket office at (801) 626-8500 or go to weberstatesports.com.

Battle of the Brothers

Utah State (0-2) vs. No. 22 Utah (2-0)

Saturday, 6 p.m., Romney Stadium

TV: KJZZ; Radio: 1320AM, 700AM

E-mail: [email protected]