AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) -- For a moment, Utah offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom couldn't remember who his team had next on the schedule, thinking it was possibly Notre Dame.
Hard to believe he could even temporarily forget.
After all, this is the game the sixth-ranked Utes have been waiting for all season as they host No. 4 TCU on Saturday. It's the Mountain West's premier matchup, the first on league history pitting two ranked top-10 teams and one that will go a long way in deciding not only a conference champion but also who will remain a potential BCS buster.
So focused were the Utes (8-0, 5-0), they had a self-imposed gag order on talking about TCU (9-0, 5-0) until after their 28-23 win over Air Force on Saturday.
And then the embargo was lifted.
Chat away, fellas.
"I've been taking it one game at a time, but honestly we all knew when the day was," Utes quarterback Jordan Wynn said. "It's going to be a showdown."
Last season, the Frogs turned the anticipated face-off into a flameout, running away with a 55-28 in Fort Worth, Texas.
A stinging loss that has stayed with the Utes.
"We've got to get back to them from what they gave to us last year," junior safety Greg Bird said. "We're going to bring it to them."
While the Utes freely spoke after their game, TCU coach Gary Patterson muzzled his crew, not allowing them to address the media. The Frogs beat UNLV convincingly Saturday, rolling to a 48-6 win behind senior quarterback Andy Dalton, who threw for 252 yards and two TD passes.
"I didn't think we played that well," said Patterson, whose team has won 22 straight regular-season games. "We did what we needed to do. We understand what we have got ahead of us."
TCU has never won in three trips to Salt Lake City, including a 13-10 loss in 2008 that eventually propelled the Utes to a BCS bowl game -- knocking off Alabama in the Sugar -- and landing the Frogs in the Poinsettia Bowl, where they beat Boise State.
"People know about Utah and people know about TCU," Patterson told reporters, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You wouldn't want it any different. You always like it when you're playing for a championship. We understand what kind of football team they have and how talented they are."
In their final tuneup before TCU, the Utes needed a strong showing from their defense to escape with a win. They forced five turnovers and still this game went down to the wire, with Utah linebacker Chaz Walker sacking Air Force's Tim Jefferson on the final play.
A tight game -- just what the Utes needed?
"I don't know if I need it, it's bad for me," Bergstrom said, grinning. "I don't know if I can take anymore of those."
Bergstrom bought into the team's adage of taking it a game at a time so thoroughly, he overlooked the fact the Frogs were up next.
"I honestly thought in back of my head, it went Air Force, Notre Dame and TCU," said Bergstrom, flip-flopping the order of the Irish and Frogs.
Set straight, he's seeing only one color.
"Everything on my mind is purple," Bergstrom said. "This week is going to be intense."
The Utes don't plan to watch any defensive film from the Air Force game. It won't help against TCU, a team that doesn't mimic the Falcons in any way.
"Great football team. They've really showed no weaknesses this year," Whittingham said.
Especially on defense, where the Frogs boast top-ranked unit in the nation. They've given up 16 points in their last five games.
"They're having a great year. Their defense is having another good year," Wynn said. "We're going to have to go out there and play a perfect game.
"They showed us last year how great they were."
Top 25 Overview
The game of the week involves a pair of non-AQ unbeatens from the Mountain West: TCU and Utah. It's the conference's first matchup of top-10 teams and also an elimination game in the BCS title hunt. Last season, the Frogs buried the Utes 55-28 in Fort Worth. TCU has never won in Salt Lake City.