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How's this for focus?

So it's focus he wants.

How's this for focus: A touchdown on each of the first five possessions, including the game's first play — a 100-yard kick return on a reverse. A punt-block on the opposition's first possession; a fumble recovery on its fourth. A traffic-stopping 70-yard scoring run — by the quarterback.

A four-touchdown lead at the break.

It took a mercy kneeling at the one-yard line to stop the scoring.

Focus? Please.

Any more focused and they wouldn't be able to eat.

For teams in the Mountain West Conference, hoping the Utes take a nap somewhere along the line, here's the bad news: They're awake, alert and paying no attention to their press clippings. And coach Urban Meyer is loving it.

"It's easier," he said, when asked if maintaining focus gets harder as the wins pile up. "The hardest part is in the summer when you don't have all your guys around."

By now, summer is long gone and Mr. Nose-to-the-Grindstone has his team as focused as fighter pilots. Actually, the Utes took care of the league's only real fighter pilots, beating Air Force a month ago. Saturday it was a 63-28 blowout over UNLV.

Meyer has spent the entire season stressing focus. He has seemed, at times, irritated by all the national attention; worried it would go to his players' heads. Just this week he reiterated his determination to ensure no player said a word about Utah's No. 7 BCS ranking.

Gotta worry about UNLV, he said. Gotta keep the eye on the prize.

Which makes sense. It's not easy when hardly anybody puts up a fight.

If Meyer seems obsessive about staying focused, he has reason.

Teams come and go, hoping to break the big conference monopoly. But so far, they've spared the members-only BCS club any serious discomfort.

Interlopers always lose before it gets to crunch time: TCU in 2000 and 2003, BYU and Fresno State in 2001, Bowling Green in 2002.

San Diego State is waiting.

"If we're 2-5, that's when people start losing their focus," safety Morgan Scalley said. "When you're 7-0 there's nothing more to prove, other than to our own team. The critics can say what they will. We'll just go about our business."

They can let up when the warm weather hits.


E-mail: rock@desnews.com