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HERE ARE BESTS AND MOSTS AT THE MIDPOINT OF UTE SEASON

SHARE HERE ARE BESTS AND MOSTS AT THE MIDPOINT OF UTE SEASON

With the Utah football season just past the halfway point, it's time for a midseason review of the team that was expected to be about .500 this year and currently stands 3-3.

Most pleasant surprises, offense: Wide receiver Rocky Henry, who combines speed with great hands to make outstanding plays every week; fullback Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, the quickest 270-pounder in America; quarterback Mike Fouts, who has averaged nearly 300 yards in four starts with 10 touchdown passes; a young offensive line maturing quicker than expected.Most pleasant surprises, defense: The solid play of sophomore cornerbacks Calbert Beck and Clarence Lawson; Jeff Kirkman playing injury-free, so far; big plays by defensive end Chad Kauhaahaa, who took over for injured Jeff Kaufusi.

Biggest disappointments: The overall play at the linebacker position, where eight different players have started; the inconsistent overall play of the special teams; only eight sacks in six games; Henry Lusk, who, despite 21 catches, hasn't yet been the dominating player he was expected to be.

Most spectacular play: (three-way tie) Rocky Henry's one-handed catch for a touchdown vs. San Diego State; Henry's diagonal run on a 57-yard touchdown reception vs. New Mexico; the game-winning TD pass from Fouts to Henry against Fresno State.

Wackiest play: Punter Dan Pulsipher's 71-yard touchdown run up the middle against Oregon because of a bobbled snap.

Most ill-advised play call: The double reverse pass by Henry Lusk that was easily intercepted in the 4th quarter against San Diego State last week.

Best Ute quarter to skip: The 3rd. The Utes outscore their opponents handily in the other three periods but are being outscored 40-17 in the 3rd.

Funniest name: Chad Kauhaahaa, who allows his named to be pronounced "Kuh HA HA," even though it actually has six syllables.

Most underrated: Wide receiver Kevin Dyson, who has 32 catches for three TDs and a TD pass in his only attempt.

Most significant injuries: Jeff Kaufusi's hamstring, which has kept him out all season and Ron McBride's broken foot, which kept him in a brace for six weeks.

MVP - offense: Rocky Henry, 27 catches, 476 yards, five touchdowns.

MVP - defense: Jeff Kirkman, team leader in tackles by a wide margin, with 64 . . . hardest hitter on the team.

MVP - special teams: Daniel Pulsipher, No. 1 in the WAC in field goals with eight . . . solid punting performance.

UTE NOTES: The linebacker shuffle continues for the Utes. The latest? Chris Godfrey, who has started most of the year at the strong side is being moved to the weak side in place of Armand Boglin; Jason Hooks is being moved from the middle to the strong side, where he'll share time with freshman Kataui Olevao; and Brian Gibson, a walk-on from Snow College, will take over at middle linebacker a position previously held by Hooks, Dave Cunningham and Tom Rosser . . . McBride said Jeff Kaufusi definitely will not play this year because of his hamstring injury and will be redshirted . . . With starting tight end Rick Tucker out for three or four weeks, the job will go to sophomore Chris Jahries or senior Derrick Marston . . . Center Chad Folk is questionable for this week with a sprained toe . . . Utah's defense ranks No. 1 in the WAC in scoring defense and is in the top-4 in the other defensive categories . . . Turnovers have killed the Utes lately and it shows in the stats. They rank 9th in the WAC and 92nd in the country in turnover margin at minus-7.