Pac-12 Game of the Week: Can Utah break the Coliseum Curse?
Here are some things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Utah hasn't won against the Trojans in Los Angeles in more than 100 years. Yep, that's right, more than a...
Win of the Century: No. 10 Utes try to end epic skid at USC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California's home winning streak against Utah is older than the 96-year-old Coliseum. The last time USC lost a home game to the Utes was in 1916, when the school whose...
No. 10 Utah looks for historic win over up-and-down USC
No. 10 Utah (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) at Southern California (2-1, 1-0), Friday at 9 p.m. EDT (FS1).
Pac-12 This Week: Utah’s defense sits atop the league
Utah left end Bradlee Anae may be the next mayor of Sack Lake City.
Anae is among four players in the Pac-12 who have collected three sacks this season to lead the league, joining Oregon...
Efficient play elevating No. 11 Utah’s offense
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — No. 11 Utah is rightly known for its defense but this season the Utes are also making an impression on the other side of the ball.
Old and New: Utah takes new offense into longtime rivalry
PROVO, Utah (AP) — No. 14 Utah heads into the 100th game of the Holy War rivalry with BYU sporting a new-look offense headlined by a familiar playmaker.
Utah expected to lead Pac-12 behind play of Huntley, Moss
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he started discussing the possibility of preseason hype with his team a few months back.
The idea, he said, was to get the players to shift their attention...
Andy Ludwig brings evolving offense back to Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — When Andy Ludwig looks out at a Utah football practice, he sees a few noticeable differences from a decade ago. The football facilities are much more elaborate. The athletes...
Utes tabbed as Pac-12 preseason football favorite
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Utah had been in the Pac-12 for eight years before coach Kyle Whittingham's team finally won its first division title and played for the conference championship last...
Pac-12 could have a couple morning kickoffs this season
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Pac-12 has heard plenty of criticism from fans and coaches about a third of games being played at night last year.
That has led Commissioner Larry Scott to possibly...
Utah extends contract with Kyle Whittingham through 2023
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham signed a contract extension Monday that could keep him with the Utes through the 2023 season.
Andy Ludwig returns to Utah as an assistant
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Andy Ludwig is returning to Utah as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Ludwig, who served in the same position for the Utes from 2005-08, has been offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt since 2015.
Banged-up No. 20 Utah faces Northwestern in Holiday Bowl
SAN DIEGO (AP) — It will be hard for Kyle Whittingham to ever top his experience in the Holiday Bowl.
Now the coach of No. 20 Utah, Whittingham played for BYU in the first four Holiday Bowls, from 1978-81. His best memories are from 1980, when he chased Eric Dickerson and Craig James all night and then watched one of the craziest plays in postseason history, Jim McMahon's 41-yard desperation heave that Clay Brown caught in the end zone as time expired for a 46-45 victory over SMU.
Beat-up No. 20 Utes face Northwestern in Holiday Bowl
Holiday Bowl: Northwestern (8-5) vs. No. 20 Utah (9-4, No. 17, CFP), at San Diego, Monday, 7 p.m. EST (FS1).
Line: Utah by 7.
Series Record: 1-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Utah is looking for its 15th win in its last 16 bowl games dating to the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes are 11-1 in bowl games under coach Kyle Whittingham. Whittingham played in the first four Holiday Bowls, for BYU. Northwestern is looking for school-best three-game bowl winning streak.
Holiday Bowl Matchup
No. 20 Utah (9-4, Pac-12) vs Northwestern (8-5, Big Ten), Dec. 31, 7 p.m. EST
LOCATION: San Diego
Utah: LB Chase Hansen, team-high 114 tackles, including 22 for loss; five sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Northwestern: QB Clayton Thorson, 2,675 yards passing, 14 touchdowns.
Utah: The Utes won the Pac-12 South before losing to Washington in the conference title game, 10-3.
Utah’s Chase Hansen flourishing at linebacker spot
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Linebacker always seemed to be the ultimate destination for Chase Hansen at Utah.
Hansen first signed with the Utes as a quarterback. During his freshman season, he switched to defense and soon made a name for himself at safety. Even while Hansen played those other positions, coach Kyle Whittingham speculated on his potential to eventually develop into a linebacker.
Pac-12 South champ Utah looks to extend win streak over BYU
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah had to travel a rocky road to finally claim the school's first Pac-12 South title.
The No. 18 Utes navigated a tough conference schedule and survived season-ending injuries to quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss. Still, Utah did not stumble before the finish line in November like in past seasons.
- The Spokesman-ReviewStatus of Utah’s Tyler Huntley, Zack Moss in question ahead of matchup with Washington StateSeptember 23, 2019
- Mohave Valley Daily NewsPac-12 teams navigate the NCAA’s new redshirt ruleOctober 3, 2018
- The Spokesman-ReviewMike Leach was a Kyle Whittingham fan long before Washington State, Utah became Pac-12 rivalsSeptember 25, 2018
No. 21 Utah handles slow start, snow and Colorado 30-7
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — It was the No. 21 Utah Utes who weathered this storm, and they have a trip to their first Pac-12 title game to show for it.
Jason Shelley threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and the Utes mastered the sloppy conditions in a 30-7 rout of Colorado in freezing rain and snow Saturday.
"It doesn't bother us a bit," coach Kyle Whittingham said. "We are up in the mountains in Salt Lake City, so not a problem at all. Our guys handled it very well. It didn't faze them."
Shelley, Shyne help Utah beat Oregon 32-25
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jason Shelley may be a freshman and undersized for a major college quarterback, but he doesn't lack confidence.
"We know what we can do. We know we can play. We're here for a reason," Shelley said. "We couldn't wait to prove it."
In his first start, Shelley ran for two touchdowns and Armand Shyne had 174 yards rushing to power Utah past Oregon 32-25 on Saturday.
Utah will debut new starting quarterback against Oregon
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The big question facing Utah when it hosts Oregon is whether Jason Shelley can pick up where Tyler Huntley left off.
Shelley, a redshirt freshman, will make his first career start Saturday against the Ducks in place of Huntley, who broke his collarbone in the third quarter of Utah's 38-20 loss last week to Arizona State.
Oregon visits Utah with implications for the Pac-12 South
Here are some things to watch in the Pac-12 Conference this week:
No. 16 Utes look to solidify hold on Pac-12 South
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — That 0-2 start to the Pac-12 season seems like ancient history to Utah now.
The No. 16 Utes (6-2, 4-2 Pac-12) have won four straight, topping 40 points in each of the wins, and sit alone atop the Pac-12 South heading in to Saturday's game at Arizona State.
"They have got a senior-laden defense with a lot of experience over there," Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards said. "They don't give up a lot of points, averaging about 16 points a game. They have done a nice job up there."
No. 23 Utah looks to avoid letdown at improving UCLA
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Utah is the only team in the Pac-12 South that has not played in the conference title game.
The No. 23 Utes believe this is their year to finally break through and hope to prove it against surging UCLA on Friday night.
"Right now, we have a little momentum on our side," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Utah beats No. 14 Stanford 40-21 as injured Love sits out
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — The defense was opportunistic all night, the running game was productive and Utah even delivered some big plays through the air for a change.
After two straight losses to open the Pac-12 season, the Utes finally put everything together.
Jaylon Johnson returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown and Zack Moss ran for two scores, leading Utah to a 40-21 victory over No. 14 Stanford on Saturday night.
Pac-12 teams navigate the NCAA’s new redshirt rule
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has one way of tracking the players who might be impacted by the NCAA's new redshirt rule going forward. He and his staff are keeping a spreadsheet.
Utah brings top defense into game vs. prolific Washington St
Utah has the nation's top defense. Washington State has the Pac-12's top passing offense and is known for its prolific scoring ability.
Something has to give when the two face each other in Pullman on Saturday.
The Utes (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) are coming off a bye week while Washington State (3-1, 0-1) let a 13-point third-quarter lead slip away and lost to Southern California 39-36 last week.
Interception return for TD helps Utah beat N. Illinois 17-6
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Utah's offense remains a work in progress.
The Utes (2-0) were shut out in the first half on Saturday night before rallying in the final two quarters en route to a 17-6 nonconference victory over Northern Illinois (0-2).
Utah eyes 21st straight non-conference win with visit to NIU
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Utah might be the last team Northern Illinois would have liked to host this particular weekend.
Northern Illinois (0-1) lost 33-7 at Iowa last week, scuffling to score while Utah (1-0) held Weber State to just 59 net yards of offense in a 41-10 victory. The Utes will play the Huskies on Saturday night looking for their 21st straight non-conference victory since 2012 in a rare Midwest trip.
Pac-12 expands efforts to shorten games
The Pac-12 has expanded an initiative to shorten football game times.
Thirty games this season will have shorter halftimes and restructured commercial breaks, among other time-saving measures. That's up from a test run of 15 nonconference games last season.
The idea is to cut the run-times on games that in recent years have routinely gone well past the three-hour mark.
Utah poised to make a move in the Pac-12 South
If any team has a path to make a move up in the Pac-12 South, it's Utah.
While the two Los Angeles teams adjust to new quarterbacks, and the Arizona teams (and UCLA) break in new coaches, steady Utah has nine starters back on offense, including quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss. Not to mention continuity at the helm with coach Kyle Whittingham.
Former BYU LB Francis Bernard cleared to play for Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Francis Bernard is getting a second chance to continue his football career.
The former BYU linebacker was cleared to join Utah and start practicing with the team Monday. The junior will have two seasons of eligibility remaining and is eligible to play with the Utes this season.
Bernard adds depth to a linebacker unit that includes starters Chase Hansen and Cody Barton and highly regarded JC transfer Bryant Pirtle.
Utah running back Zack Moss aims to build on breakout season
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Figuring out how to stop Zack Moss could become a shared nightmare for Utah opponents this season.
Moss already offered a glimpse of what he could do in the backfield a year ago after rushing for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Now the junior has the size he needs to be a truly dominant back in the Pac-12.
He entered Utah's fall camp this week at 220 pounds after putting an extra 10 pounds on his 5-foot-10 frame during the offseason.
Utah hires former Oregon State coach Gary Andersen
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah hired former Oregon State coach Gary Andersen on Tuesday as an associate head coach and defensive assistant.
Andersen was the defensive coordinator at Utah under coach Kyle Whittingham from 2005-08 before leaving to take lead jobs at Utah State, Wisconsin and Oregon State. He surprisingly stepped down in early October after a 1-5 start during his third season with the Beavers. Oregon State went 7-23 under Andersen overall.
Moss, Utah run past West Virginia 30-14 in Heart of Dallas
DALLAS (AP) — Zack Moss took a third-down handoff and burst through the line into an opening in the middle of the field. Utah was off and running to another bowl victory.
West Virginia to face Utah in Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 26
West Virginia earned its 36th all-time bowl berth Sunday when it accepted an invitation to the Heart of Dallas Bowl to play Utah of the Pac-12. The game is Dec. 26 at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas.
West Virginia (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) will make its first visit to the Heart of Dallas Bowl and its first postseason appearance in Texas in 30 years (Sun Bowl).
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen has led the Mountaineers to six bowls in seven years, including each of the past four.
Bowl bound: Utah beats Colorado 34-13 behind RB Zack Moss
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — This was not the season Utah dreamt of in August as the players and coaching staff had aspirations of winning a Pac-12 South division title and earning a chance at a conference championship. The Utes, however, were all smiles Saturday after finishing the regular season with a .500 record.
Zack Moss ran for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns as Utah defeated Colorado 34-13 in the regular-season finale to earn win No. 6 and officially become bowl eligible.
Utah, Colorado face off with bowl eligibility on the line
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Six wins isn't exactly what Colorado or Utah were shooting for at the beginning of the season but that's what the two programs are desperate for in the season finale.
The two meet Saturday in a do-or-die game of sorts with bowl eligibility on the line. The loser goes home without a postseason and the valuable extra practices that come with it.
"It really is like a playoff game," Colorado offensive lineman Jeromy Irwin said.
Utah one win from becoming bowl eligible after odd season
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kyle Whittingham has repeatedly borrowed a phrase from Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells to sum up Utah in 2017: You are what your record says you are.
The Utes will be wrapping up one of their worst regular seasons since 2000 when they host Colorado (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) on Saturday. Utah (5-6, 2-6) is simply trying to keep a three-year bowl streak alive after a season that didn't go as planned.
Whittingham optimistic about health of top receiver ahead of Washington State game
Darren Carrington left Utah’s game against UCLA with an injury, but Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is optimistic about the receiver’s chances of playing against No. 19 Washington State this Saturday.
“Sure, we hope so,” Whittingham said Tuesday during the Pac-12 coaches teleconference. “That would be ideal.”
Carrington had receiving 51 yards and a touchdown catch against Bruins, but didn’t return after halftime due to an undisclosed injury.
Run game returns as Utah breaks 4-game losing streak
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Every part of Utah's offense was being picked apart seven days ago after the Utes' fourth straight loss, the program's longest skid since 2013.
A 48-17 blowout of UCLA seems to have erased a month's worth of frustration, but now Utah must sustain that success.
"Offense, that's what I envision how we're supposed to look," coach Kyle Whittingham said. "As is everybody, we're a lot better football team when we have the run game going like we did on Friday night."
Huntley throws for 4 TDs, Utah rolls to 48-17 win over UCLA
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah talked all week about getting its swagger back after four consecutive demoralizing losses. The Utes did exactly that, led by a pair of Florida high school teammates in Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss.
Huntley had 327 total yards and four passing touchdowns as Utah defeated short-handed UCLA 48-17 on Friday night.
The Utes (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) snapped a four-game losing streak and are one win away from becoming bowl eligible.
Utah ground game has chance to rebound against porous UCLA
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — It's an odd world that Kyle Whittingham is currently living in.
The Utah coach has built his program on the foundation of a strong running game but the Utes seem to have lost their identity.
New kickers stand out in the Pac-12
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It seemed random when soccer player Matt Gay showed up at a football kicking clinic at Utah over the summer. But the Utes have experience in finding their kickers in unexpected ways.
Gay hadn't played football since 2011 when he was in high school in Orem, and even then he only played his senior season. He went on to play soccer for a couple of seasons at Utah Valley University.
Missing edge: Utah struggling mentally during 4-game skid
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Confusion reigns over the Utah program as the Utes have lost four straight for the first time since 2013.
That's the last time the team finished with a losing record and failed to qualify for a bowl game — two lowlights Utah is in danger of repeating.
It has been a gloomy October on the gridiron for Oregon and Utah.
Entering Saturday’s matchup at Autzen Stadium (2:45 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), the Ducks (4-4, 1-4) and Utes (4-3, 1-3) are a combined 0-6 this month.
Utah suffered agonizing defeats to Stanford (23-20) and USC (28-27) before a 30-10 pratfall against surging Arizona State last Saturday in Salt Lake City.
Oregon is simply lost without injured quarterback Justin Herbert, losing by an average of 27.3 points during its three-game skid.
For the second time in three weeks, Oregon will face a shorthanded defense in the first half because of targeting penalties from the previous week.
Utah (4-3, 1-3) will be without linebacker Donavan Thompson and safety Corrion Ballard for the first 30 minutes when it faces Oregon (4-4, 1-4) at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at Autzen Stadium. The two starters were ejected for targeting during the second half of a 30-10 loss against Arizona State on Saturday.
No Identity: Utah struggling during 3-game losing streak
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kyle Whittingham joked with his sports information director near the end of his weekly press conference Monday, saying, "Save me, Liz. Save me."
The moment of levity followed nearly 20 minutes of the 13-year coach trying to decipher what has happened during a three-game losing streak after a 4-0 start to the season.
Arizona State, Utah meet in Pac-12 South showdown
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has practically been begging his running backs to run more aggressively this season. He finally got it last week.
The Utes' new pass-first offense immediately improved the aerial attack but the running game didn't have the same kind of pop as in the past. Quarterback Tyler Huntley was the team's leading rusher through three games as the new scheme included a lot more called QB runs.
Faced with the decision to kick an extra point to tie or go for two and the lead late in games last weekend, two college football coaches did not hesitate to basically put it all one play instead of trying to get to overtime.
Aggressive? Sure. Calculated? Absolutely. Risky? No way.