Utah's 1-2 punch packed quite a wallop in Saturday's 30-23 win at Air Force.

Running backs Matt Asiata and Darrell Mack combined for a season-high 217 yards as the Utes improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Mountain West Conference play.

"We won't lose many games if we get that done each and every week," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "That's something that was a big positive for us."

Asiata ran for 116 yards on 19 carries and Mack netted 101 on 18 attempts. Mack scored three touchdowns and was named the MWC's co- offensive player of the week.

The duo enter Saturday's homecoming game against Weber State as the conference's sixth and seventh leading rushers. Asiata averages 70.8 yards per game and Mack adds 65.2.

They've pretty much split 107 carries (Asiata holds a 54-53 edge) and each has a three-touchdown game this season.

Utah's success running the ball against the Falcons was overshadowed, however, by their teammates charged with stopping the opposition from doing the same.

Air Force entered the game with the nation's second-best rushing offense. The Falcons averaged 358 yards per game over victories against Southern Utah, Wyoming and Houston.

They managed only 53 in the loss to Utah — the second-lowest total since Air Force switched to the option in 1980.

"You're only as good as your last performance and our last performance was pretty darn good," Whittingham said of the Utes' defense. "We've got to go out and do it again this week. You can't ever rest on your laurels."

BIT OF A BREAK: Citing the extremely physical game at Air Force, Whittingham opted not to practice on Monday. The Utes did some conditioning instead.

"We usually do this 2-3 times a season at intervals and let the guys get their legs back underneath them and regroup," Whittingham said.

INJURY WATCH: Whittingham acknowledged that several of the Utes needed a little down time. He pointed out that defensive end Koa Misi (ankle) and offensive lineman Caleb Schlauderaff (elbow) were battling nagging injuries before the "extremely physical" game at Air Force.

"We've got to take it day-by-day to see what we determine to do on Saturday. If there's a question and we've got a backup we feel good about we'll probably err on the side of caution," said Whittingham, who declined to identify any other Utes who may be ailing a bit.

"There's no way on earth this football team is going to overlook our game this weekend," he continued. "We've got to get ready and prepared just like we always do. We're not going to make any wholesale changes. If it's best served to sit a guy for long-term purposes, then we'll go ahead and do that."

Whittingham stressed, however, that no decisions have been made at this time.

RECRUITING UPDATE: The Utes have picked up another early commitment. Chris Washington, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety from Northridge High School, is the latest player to announce plans to sign a letter of intent with Utah in February. He's part of a growing 2009 recruiting class that includes defensive end James Aiono (Snow College JC); running back Chris Brown (Newbury Park HS, Calif.); defensive end Eric Dago (Westside HS, Texas); tight end Colby Goodwin (Cy-Fair HS, Texas); offensive lineman Vyncent Jones (Jordan HS); wide receiver C.J. Porter (Concord HS, Calif.); wide receiver Jamal Smith (Oxnard HS, Calif.); and safety Jarrad Stewart (Pearland HS, Texas).

EXTRA POINTS: Linebacker Mo Neal had arthroscopic knee surgery Monday and is out indefinitely ... Nose tackle Kenape Eliapo, who hasn't played since injuring his foot in the season opener at Michigan, is ticketed to return for the New Mexico game on Nov. 1 ... Former Utah coach Ron McBride, who is now at the helm of Weber State, will be honored in a pregame video presentation on Saturday ... The Utes are 53-30-4 in homecoming games and 30-0 all-time against current Big Sky Conference teams.

Utes on the air

Weber State (3-1) at No. 17 Utah (4-0)

Saturday, 6 p.m.

TV: None Radio: 700 AM


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com