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Utes already amped up for Saturday's game

Published November 1, 2010 2:00 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If the rest of the Utes can match center Zane Taylor's intensity, they should have a good chance of beating the Horned Frogs Saturday. Taylor, who attended Monday's press conference along with quarterback Jordan Wynn and safety Justin Taplin-Ross, called Saturday's game against TCU his 'national championship' game. "This is the biggest game of my life," he said. "All of our focus, energy and effort I will put into this game and I'm going to demand it from my teammates." Yes, 'amped up,' is a good way to describe the Utes Monday. Can't imagine how difficult it will be for them to focus on classes this week. Couple of quick notes from the presser:*Injured players DeVonte Christopher, linebacker Chad Manis and safety Brian Blechen should be able to play Saturday, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.*Whittingham didn't bother trying to hide the importance of the game, noting whoever wins will get a 'big leg up,' in the conference race. "It has national implications too," he said. "There is a lot of excitement."*Whittingham said the offense would be opened up after the Utes' conservative gameplan on Saturday, which was designed to work the clock as much as possible and keep Air Force's offense off the field. "Jordan will have the entire offense at his disposal and some new wrinkles thrown in, as we do every week," he said. "The bottom line is we have to take care of the football." *While Brian Blechen was the MWC Defensive Player of the Week, Whittingham said Taplin-Ross and Greg Bird were the team's players of the week. Bird stepped up when Manis suffered his ankle injury in the first half. "Greg came in and made several big hits and took advantage of the opportunity," he said. "All three played well." *Under Armour reps were on hand to display the 'Wounded Warrior' uniforms the Utes will wear for Saturday's blackout. Merchandise for fans also is available. The uniforms, black with camouflage on the sides and around the numbers, are part of the company's Freedom Initiative which supports the country's military and public safety heros. Money raised through the project helps provide services and programs for injured service members and their families. The jerseys feature words such as 'Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment,' on the back instead of the players' names. The jerseys will be auctioned off on the school website following the game. Three servicemen injured in Iraq in 2005 when their vehicle was attacked will serve as honorary captains Saturday.