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Utah midseason report

10/20/2009

Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

UTAH UTES (5-1, 2-0 MWC)

The 2009 Utah team tried desperately in the offseason to distance itself from the undefeated 2008 team, but this team hasn’t strayed too far from where that one left off. Although the Utes already have suffered a loss and likely won’t repeat for a BCS bowl berth, it’s still very much in the hunt for a repeat Mountain West title. The Utes haven’t played its biggest competition yet in BYU and TCU, but those games likely will decide who walks away with the Mountain West crown.

Offensive MVP

Terrance Cain, QB: The junior college transfer won the starting job during fall camp and has played well enough not to let it go. Cain ranks 18th in the country with 273.17 yards of total offense per game. He’s also the Utes second-leading rusher, which has taken the pressure off starter Eddie Wide, who was thrust into the starting role after Matt Asiata suffered a season-ending injury.

Defensive MVP

Robert Johnson, FS: Johnson leads the nation in interceptions with five, including one he returned for a touchdown. He had three consecutive interceptions in the final three drives during a 24-17 win over Colorado State. Johnson’s .83 interceptions per game ranks No. 1 in the nation.