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Ganther plans to play against New Mexico

Ute senior says he'll leave sidelines, with or without his knee

Quinton Ganther has definite plans for Saturday. The senior tailback, who missed Utah's 43-13 win over Wyoming with a sore knee, has no intention of watching his final game at Rice-Eccles Stadium from the sidelines. He plans to play against New Mexico.

"No matter what," Ganther said after Wednesday's practice. "If I've got to borrow a knee, I'm playing."

Fortunately for the Utes, such extreme measures won't be necessary.

"I feel good. I came up today and I made a big step from yesterday," Ganther said of his recovery. "I was able to run. I was able to slow down. That was the main thing."

Utah's leading rusher with 771 yards explained that when his knee was still extremely sore, it took 15 yards for him to slow down.

"Now I'm back to being myself," Ganther said. "I'm not 100 percent healthy, but I'm reaching 90, 90-plus."

Though Ganther was in full uniform last week, he never left the sideline. Circumstances, in the form of a blowout, made it possible to get another week of rest.

"I wanted to get in," Ganther said. "I just wanted to help my teammates in whatever way possible. So I just came out and supported them in any way I can."

Ganther spent the game supporting the Utes by cheering, congratulating and offering insight.

CONFIDENT LOBO: New Mexico backup quarterback Chris Nelson, who will start in place of the injured Kole McKamey this weekend, is looking forward to making his first career start for the Lobos.

"I think the biggest thing is I'm a good leader. I want to bring confidence to the rest of the offensive squad and to the whole team," Nelson said. "I want to go in there and show those guys that backup or not, we can still get the job done."

EXTRA POINTS: New Mexico is 8-0 following bye weeks under head coach Rocky Long. None, however, have come against Utah . . . Saturday's game can be seen live at 4:30 p.m. on KJZZ, Ch. 14. Steve Brown,Mike Norseth and Chris Harris will call the action. Because of a scheduling conflict, it'll be shown in Albuquerque on a 30-minute delay . . . The Utes have produced 500-plus yards of total offense in three straight game.