Question marks remain for Saturday?s matchup

By By Liz Frome , Staff writer

By Liz Frome , Staff writer

As the Utes take on New Mexico in their fifth conference game of the season, they face a new kind of problem.

TCU and BYU, expected to be the biggest games of the 2009 season, are right around the corner, but the Utes will have to maintain focus this week as the Lobos are coming to Salt Lake City.

New Mexico has yet to claim a win in the 2009 season, but has played spoiler for the Utes before and will be coming with hopes to do so again.

In 2003, when Urban Meyer8212;now Florida’s head coach8212;joined Utah’s staff, the Lobos dealt the Utes one of their only two losses in their season. The loss also ended up being the only conference loss Meyer and his Utes suffered during his two years in Utah.

“On film, New Mexico looks like they have in the past,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham in Monday’s press conference. “They have a talented quarterback, big and fast receivers and some guys on defense, but they haven’t been able to put it all together this year.”

Despite the Lobos’ struggling season, Whittingham said the Utes will treat the game like any other on their schedule and will focus on improving their own performance.

“You have to prepare and be ready to go. We have enough to work on with our own deficiencies to keep us busy,” he said.

Last week in Utah’s game against Wyoming, the coaching staff made two changes that might alter the way the team heads into Saturday’s game. Offensive coordinator Dave Schramm was moved to the field and wide receivers coach Aaron Roderick took his place in the booth.

“There is a great deal of collaboration and cooperation among our staff.” Whittingham said. “We want to find the best situation for our team and we wanted to look at that8212;it worked out well.”

It looks as though the change will be permanent, at least for the rest of Utah’s season, Whittingham said.

“Dave Schramm is fiery and intense, and to have him on the field is a benefit. We are comfortable with Aaron Roderick upstairs,” Whittingham said. “One game doesn’t give you an opportunity to see the difference, but you will be able to compare after a few games.”

There was also another change on the field in the second half of last week’s game when quarterback Jordan Wynn took over for Terrance Cain after halftime. Wynn, a true freshman, played in his first collegiate game after Cain had trouble getting the Utes into the end zone despite moving the ball well. Several red-zone opportunities presented themselves, but the Utes were only able to bring in one field goal by the end of the second quarter.

Whittingham said the coaching staff will be watching film and this week’s practices, and will not announce a starting quarterback until the offense takes the field Saturday at 4 p.m.

As far as focusing on New Mexico, defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake said the plan is nothing less than usual.

“We respect every opponent that we go against. And we respect this game enough to know that you never look past the game that’s in front of you,” Sitake said. “We’re focused on New Mexico right now and that’s all we’re worried about is playing that game on Saturday.”

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