SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - With so many streaks on the line for No. 17 Utah, perhaps the most important is the eight consecutive bowl game victories. To extend that streak, the Utes have to take care of business each week.
A non-BCS team has no wiggle room if a major bowl is to be in its future. Utah, two touchdown favorites at San Jose State (0-1) on Saturday, must win and look good doing so. The schedule gets significantly tougher with games at Oregon and against Louisville on the horizon.
"I think it's ridiculous to have any rankings prior to the fourth or fifth week of the season," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "It's all speculation and, really, there's no substance to base those rankings on. You have to see how the matchups play out. No doubt it's a process. You just have to build your case on the field week to week. You have to play well, particularly in the
Utah (1-0) holds the nation's longest current winning streak at 15 games, and has won its last eight games on the road. Junior college transfer Terrance Cain's impressive debut at quarterback and the emergence of running back Matt Asiata lends an air of authenticity to the Utes' hopes.
"They have good athletes spread out all over the field," San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said. "Cain is a very effective quarterback. When you're playing a team with the longest winning streak in the nation they don't have a lot of weaknesses that are apparent."
The Spartans will use two quarterbacks for the second straight week. Kyle Reed is more experienced and will likely get the starting nod, although Jordan LaScalia will see action in the first half.
Reed played the first quarter last week when San Jose State suffered a 56-3 loss to Southern California.
"I showed the team the first 24-25 minutes of the game when it was virtually a dead even game," Tomey said. "It's 7-3 and we're driving and we're right in the football game. Obviously the game went upside down for us from there."
Whittingham hopes to get Cain more involved in the running game to maximize his speed. But he would be just as happy if Cain has an encore performance.
Cain made a successful major college debut and found a favorite target in David Reed. Cain completed 67 percent of his passes for 256 yards last week, including 10 for 175 to Reed.
"Terrence just needs to do what he did last week," Whittingham said, "and that's get the ball to David Reed, get the ball to Matt Asiata and be a guy that doesn't get antsy in the pocket. He gets rid of the ball quick
The Utes and San Jose State are playing for the first time since the 1998 season.