California Here They Come: Utah football is thrilled that Rose Bowl week is finally here

California Here They Come: Utah football is thrilled that Rose Bowl week is finally here

For several players on Utah’s roster from Southern California, it’s a homecoming of sorts, too.

On the day after Christmas, the Utah football program is departing for Southern California for the gift it has worked for, and dreamed about, for years — a trip to the Rose Bowl Game.

The Pac-12 champion Utes are scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles Sunday for a week of festivities before taking on Big Ten opponent Ohio State Saturday (3 p.m., MST, ESPN) on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.

For several players on Utah’s roster from Southern California, it’s a homecoming of sorts, too.

“We’re itching to get down to Pasadena and we’re excited for it,” said quarterback Cam Rising, who hails from Ventura. “Just having fun being in California again.”

“I’m excited. I’ll have a lot of friends and family there for my last ride,” said running back T.J. Pledger, who’s from Pacoima. “It’s amazing. Just being able to play in this game is a blessing, especially with it being my last college game, being able to come back home and play a great team in Ohio State.”

Utah offensive lineman Nick Ford, a San Pedro native, knows that being a part of the Rose Bowl is special.

“You grow up in L.A. watching the Rose Bowl Parade. I’ve never been to a Rose Bowl game. I wasn’t the biggest football fan growing up. I was a nerd — video games and science stuff,” Ford said. “Still very much am. But I’ve always seen it on TV. I’ve watched it with my dad and brother and I watched the Rose Parade with my mom. It’s a big part of L.A. culture growing up. It’s going to be really cool that now I’m a part of that, the actual setting of that.

“It’s a big game for the community. It’s sold out. It’s awesome. It’s going to be a heckuva time down in Pasadena,” Ford added. “We understand it’s a big game and a big stage. You can’t get lost in that gaze because if you get lost in that gaze, you start getting dazed up and you’re going to make mistakes. We’re focused on the game.”

While the Utes are focused on the task at hand, there’s a list of festivities on the schedule leading up to the game.

On Monday afternoon, both teams will attend an official welcome event at Disneyland Resort. On Tuesday, there will be media availability, practices, and Ohio State will participate in Lawry’s Beef Bowl. On Wednesday, there will be more media availability, more practices, and Utah will have its turn at Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Which begs the question, what is Lawry’s Beef Bowl?

According to Los Angeles Magazine, “Since 1956, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, the iconic chophouse on the outskirts of Beverly Hills, has invited the two NCAA football teams competing in that year’s Rose Bowl to indulge in an epic meal a few days before the big game, celebrating elite athletic accomplishments with a legendary Southern California meal: the ‘signature’ chilled spinning salad, thick-cut prime rib, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, a river of brown gravy, and apple pie á la mode (everyone manages to save room, somehow).”

The late Richard N. Frank, Lawry’s founder and Pasadena native has described the Beef Bowl as “the greatest meal in America.”

Ford is a food connoisseur, but he said if the event turns into an eating contest, he won’t be participating.

“I could eat, but I have a game to play. You feel me? I would crush it,” he said. “But, no, I’ve got to be quick. I can’t add 10 pounds of steak to me. I can’t do that.”

Thursday features Media Day at the Rose Bowl Stadium and a team photo for both teams, as well as the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. On Friday morning, the head coaches of both teams will hold a joint press conference.

Meanwhile, there’s a sense of nostalgia among the team since players like Pledger, Ford, wide receiver Britain Covey, linebacker Nephi Sewell, tight end Cole Fotheringham and defensive lineman Mika Tafua have all declared for the NFL Draft. All-America linebacker Devin Lloyd, from Chula Vista, is also expected to enter the draft — he’s projected as a first-round pick. Tight end Brant Kuithe has announced that he’s returning to Utah next season.

So the Utes are relishing this final road trip together as a group.

“We’re living in the good days right now,” Rising said. “We’ve got such a good team around us. We’re taking it day by day.”

While some players have announced they’re not returning, others’ futures are still uncertain.

“There are a lot of guys leaving and a lot of guys staying,” Kuithe said. “You never know. We’re just trying to enjoy it.”

Some have speculated that this game might be coach Kyle Whittingham’s last as Utah’s head coach.

INÊS VIEIRA

INÊS VIEIRA

Freshman Guard

Ines joined the team for the 2021 season after extensive international playing experience, playing for the Portugal National Team and Quinta Lombos in the Liga Feminina in Portugal.

  • Played for Team Portugal at the U16 Women’s European Championship in 2018 and 2019.
  • Led Portugalto a silver medal finish at the 2019 European Championships, serving as team captain.
  • Averaged 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 2019, scoring a tournament-high 25 points against Ireland.
  • She averaged 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 2018, recording 10 points against Estonia in the tournament opener.
  • Averaged 18.9 minutes, 4.1 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals for Quinta Lombos in 2020-21, helping them to a third place finish in the Liga Feminina at 16-6.
  • Began her club career with CAB Madeira.
  • Moved to Lisbon at just 13 years old to train at the Portuguese Basketball Federation Training Center to train with the U16 Portugal National Team.

Personal: Daughter of João Pedro Simas Vieira and Isabel Vieira … both of her parents are P.E. teachers who coach basketball and volleyball … has one sister, Margarida, who plays basketball and is studying physical therapy.

PAC-12 CHAMPS! No. 17 Utes Down No. 10 Oregon 38-10 for League Title

PAC-12 CHAMPS! No. 17 Utes Down No. 10 Oregon 38-10 for League Title

Utah is Rose Bowl bound for the first time in program history

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – It was a night to remember for the No. 17 University of Utah Football team on Friday as they won the Pac-12 Championship with a 38-10 victory over No. 10 Oregon in Allegiant Stadium. In what felt like a home game for the Utes with an incredible energy coming from the crowd, Utah claimed its first Pac-12 title and 27th conference title overall to improve to 10-3 overall.

It was Utah’s first conference title since it won the Mountain West in 2008, also marking the sixth 10-win season under the direction of Kyle Whittingham. It was Utah’s third trip to the title game after winning the Pac-12 South in 2018, 2019 and 2021 along with a share of the south crown in 2015.

With the Utes taking the stage to accept the trophy, another award was ready to be handed to one of Utah’s captains as Devin Lloyd was named the Pac-12 Championship MVP of the Game. The linebacker would add to his hardware as the Utes were handed the championship trophy, hoisting it in the air victoriously.

For the second time in 13 days, Utah’s defense was smothering in the first half against the Ducks, holding Oregon to just 65 yards of total offense, zero third down conversions and only three first downs through the first two quarters. While Oregon did get on the board with a third quarter field goal, and added a touchdown late in regulation, Utah continued to stifle the Ducks and held the team to 221 total yards in the game—the fewest all season for Oregon.

The Utes were able to be productive on offense thanks to a balanced attack that included 191 yards rushing and 170 yards through the air for 361 yards of total offense, averaging 5.6 yards per play. Utah had 21 first downs compared to Oregon’s 14, also converting on six of its 13 third down attempts.

THE GAME
Utah wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first quarter, putting up seven points on its first possession with 10:47 on the clock after Britain Covey got the Utes started with a 39-yard kickoff return. After facing a fourth-and-one on the Utah 48-yard line, Cameron Rising pushed his way to a first down to extend the drive with Tavion Thomas eventually getting Utah in the end zone on a two-yard rush for a 7-0 lead.

It would be the defensive general himself, Lloyd, who would add to Utah’s lead with under five minutes to go in the first quarter, scoring on a pick-six. The junior linebacker read the Oregon offense perfectly, stepping in front of a Duck receiver to pick it off for a 34-yard return to the end zone to make it 14-0 with 4:16 on the clock.

Despite two turnovers by the Ute offense in the second quarter, Utah’s defense continued to stand strong, forcing the Ducks to punt with 4:04 to go in the half to put the ball in Rising’s hands at the Utah 26-yard line.

The Utes would convert on two third downs in the 74-yard drive, including a 29-yard catch by Dalton Kincaid on a third-and-14 to put them on the Oregon 11-yard line. Rising and Kincaid would link up once again to finish the drive as Rising threaded the needle to Kincaid in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown and a 20-0 lead with less than 30 seconds left in the quarter.

Utah would head into halftime with a 23-0 lead thanks to a late interception by Malone Mataele to give Utah the ball back with eight seconds remaining and keep the Ducks off the scoreboard in the first half. The defensive play would allow Jadon Redding to line-up for a 50-yard field goal, knocking it through the uprights for a career-long kick to send the Utes into halftime with the advantage.

Oregon started the third quarter by getting its first points of the game, scoring on a 42-yard field goal to cut Utah’s lead to 23-3 with 10:32 remaining on the clock. Utah’s defense continued to cause issues for the Ducks though, getting the Utes the ball back with 6:59 after Van Fillinger forced a fourth down after chasing down the Oregon quarterback for a sack.

Utah’s next scoring drive lasted just 26 seconds after Rising used his legs for a 41-yard rush to the Oregon four-yard line on a second-and-10, setting up the Utes to take a 28-point lead. It would be TJ Pledger’s turn to find the end zone on the next play, driving home the five-yard rushing score to give the Utes a 31-3 lead with 6:33 left in the third quarter.

After Oregon turned the ball over on downs thanks to an athletics pass breakup by Clark Phillips III on a fourth-and-four, the Utes got started on their own 38-yard line. The drive trickled into the fourth quarter with the Utes marching down field, converting on two key third downs with Thomas scoring his second touchdown of the game on a three-yard rush to give Utah a 38-3 lead with 10:21 to play in the game.

Oregon went 90 yards downfield for a touchdown on its ensuing drive, but it was too little, too late for the Ducks and Utah regained possession with 5:15 left. From there, it was time to chew the clock with the run game. And the Utes did exactly that en route to securing the Pac-12 crown and starting the celebration with a large sea of red among the 56,511 fans in attendance.

GAME LEADERS
Rising led the Utes with 170 yards on 15-of-24 passing (2 INT), throwing for one touchdown while also producing 61 yards rushing on nine carries (6.8). Thomas was once again a force on the field for the Utes, rushing for two touchdowns along with his 63 yards (18 carries).

Through the air, Covey came away with 72 receiving yards to tie his season high while recording his third-straight 100+ all-purpose yard game (123 yards). Utah’s lone receiving touchdown would come from Kincaid, who notched four receptions for 61 yards (15.3 ypc) and an 11-yard scoring play.

Freshman Cole Bishop tied his career-high with a team-leading eight tackles (1.0 sack), adding a pass breakup as well. Finishing with seven tackles, Pac-12 Championship MVP Lloyd also had a pick-six in the game while Van Fillinger picked up a career-high seven stops as well.

STANDOUT STAT
Utah is the first FBS team since Texas (2005) to beat the same opponent by 25-plus points in both the regular season and conference championship during the same season. (via Stats Perform)

The Utes defeated Oregon (38-7; 31-point margin) in Salt Lake City on Nov. 20, and posted a 28-point buffer in the Pac-12 Championship Game in Las Vegas.

UP NEXT
For the first time in program history, Utah is Rose Bowl-bound with its opponent to be determined. Kickoff for the 108th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., is set for Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 at 3 p.m. MT / 2 p.m. PT.

Men’s Basketball Outlasts Cal Sunday Afternoon

Men’s Basketball Outlasts Cal Sunday Afternoon

The Utah men’s basketball team picked up its first conference win of the year on Sunday, defeating Cal 66-58.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men’s basketball team outlasted a gritty California team Sunday afternoon inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center and picked up its first Pac-12 win of the year after downing the Golden bears 66-58. In addition, head coach Craig Smith also picked up his first Pac-12 victory at the helm of the Runnin’ Utes.
 
Both teams took a while to get the offensive engine going as Utah and Cal went into the 14:55 media break a combined 2-of-16. Utah’s offense looked like it was getting on track when Both Gach drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Utes on top at the 10:43 break (10-6).
 
However, Makale Foreman jump-started the Golden Bear offense and gave them their first lead, 13-12. A put-back layup from Lazar Stefanovic and drive to the rack from Rollie Wooster brought Utah (6-2, 1-1 Pac-12) within 28-25 but Foreman scored five of his 13 first-half points the rest of the way for Cal to send the Utes into the locker room down 35-29.
 
Utah got off to a much better start in the second-half and regained the lead at the 16:47 mark after Gach knocked down a short jumper in the paint, 36-35. He then drained a 3-pointer to make it a 10-0 run for the Utes and forced Cal (4-5, 1-1 Pac-12) to call a timeout with 15:58 on the clock.

The Runnin’ Utes continued to maintain its lead despite Cal cutting the lead down to 44-43 before Branden Carlson connected on an and-1 opportunity to push it back up to 47-43 out of the 11:46 media timeout.
 
After a 3-pointer from Riley Battin, Stefanovic drained a corner three two sequences later and nearly had Utah on top by double-digits. However, Cal went on a 5-0 spurt to get within 58-54 before David Jenkins Jr. found a wide-open Lahat Thioune for the two-handed flush to make it 60-54 in favor of the Utes with 3:52 left to play.

Utah’s defense clamped down on Cal and held the Golden Bears without a field-goal the rest of the way to secure the 66-58 Sunday afternoon victory.
 
Gach led the way for Utah once again, this time with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting with six rebounds – including 3-of-4 from deep. Coming off an ankle injury just this Wednesday, Carlson chipped in with 12 points and four rebounds while Stefanovic added 11 points and six rebounds with three assists.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
The 22 combined turnovers by Utah in its last three games is the lowest total dating back to the 1996-97 season per STATS, LLC … Gach led the team in scoring for the second-straight game … Gabe Madsen made his return to the line-up after sitting out since playing in the season-opener on Nov. 9 at the 14:55 mark … Lahat Thioune had a solid night, scoring eight points on 3-of-3 shooting with six rebounds for the Utes, who are depleted in the front court with injuries.
 
UP NEXT
Utah now hits the road for a neutral-ish site contest against TCU this Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 6  p.m. (MT) on ESPN+ inside Dickies Arena – which is just 3.1 miles from Schollmaier Arena, home of the Horned Frogs.
 
For the latest news and information on the Runnin’ Utes men’s basketball program, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Why going to the Rose Bowl means different things for Utah, Ohio State

Why going to the Rose Bowl means different things for Utah, Ohio State

While this marks the Utes’ first trip to the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes are going for the 16th time.

For Utah’s football program, which began playing the sport in 1892, receiving the official invitation Sunday to play in the Rose Bowl marks a monumental milestone.

Not only that, but the No. 11 Utes (10-3), the Pac-12 champion, will square off against a storied program in No. 6 Ohio State of the Big Ten in the New Year’s Day contest in Pasadena, California.

“For us, it’s a great opportunity for our program. It’s the next step in the evolution of our program, getting to the Rose Bowl. Most years, that’s what the Pac-12 champion gets to experience,” said coach Kyle Whittingham, whose team jumped up six spots in the final College Football Playoff rankings released Sunday.

“It was the next step and the next goal for our program. It’s something we’ve been shooting for and had our sights on for a number of years. We’ve finally been able to get over that mountain and we’re very excited to have that opportunity … This bowl game is second-to-none.”

After a Season of Adversity, Utah Blows Out Oregon to Claim First Pac-12 Title

After a Season of Adversity, Utah Blows Out Oregon to Claim First Pac-12 Title

Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham—filled with emotion—choked up with ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the Utes’ 38–10 dominant win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the Utes’ first ever Pac-12 championship.

With the win, Utah (10–3, 9–1 in Pac-12) is headed to Pasadena, California for the 2022 Rose Bowl, the first in the program’s history. Before the roses emerged, Whittingham needed a moment.

When asked about the Utes emotional season and the team’s upcoming Rose Bowl appearance, the longtime head coach said it was tough to describe.

“Proud of these guys… we have great leadership on this team, we went through, the adversity,” Whittingham told ESPN. “It’s [Rose Bowl] surreal. So proud of our guys. They deserve this experience.”

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Utah faced unheralded adversity over the last year. Ty Jordan, the 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and All-Pac-12 second team running back, was shot and killed on Dec. 26, 2020, in Denton, Texas. Then, Utes defensive back Aaron Lowe was shot early in the morning of Sept. 26 at a house party and died on the scene. 

With two crushing tragedies in less than a year, Utah linebacker and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Devin Lloyd—who finished with seven tackles and one interception—honored the two immediately after he was named MVP of the game.

“This is for Ty [Jordan] and Aaron [Lowe],” Lloyd said. “Ty, Aaron, we love y’all, this is for ya’ll. The adversity we faced, everyone bought in throughout the whole season, we came out on top.”

The Utes’ win was the second blowout over Oregon in the 2021 season. Less than two weeks ago, Utah defeated Oregon 38–7 to end the Ducks’ College Football Playoff hopes while also ending any chance that the Pac-12 champion would claim a bid as a top-four team in the playoff.

Utah dominated Oregon from start to finish on Friday, recording 361 yards of total offense and holding the Ducks to 10 points that included a garbage time touchdown.

Utes quarterback Cameron Rising finished the game with 170 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Rising, a Ventura, Calif. native, grew up wanting to play in the Rose Bowl.

Now, the sophomore has his chance.

“It is an unreal feeling, I can’t wait to get there,” Rising told Rowe after the game. 

Meanwhile, Utah running back Tavion Thomas rushed for 63 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. He now sits at 20 touchdowns for the season, a Utah single season record for rushing touchdowns. 

Utah led Oregon 23–0 at half, tying the largest halftime lead in Pac-12 Championship game history according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Oregon (10–3, 7–2) entered Friday’s game as the first team to make a third consecutive trip to the Pac-12 title game and came in 4–0 all-time in the title game. 

But their reign atop the conference was crushed in dominant fashion on Friday, as the Utes got over the hump for the first time in program history.

Aaron Lowe – Sophomore Cornerback- Football

Aaron Lowe – Sophomore Cornerback- Football

From Mesquite, Texas, Aaron was recruited as a three-star cornerback out of West Mesquite HS, where he was a First-team All-District 7-5A safety in 2018. In 2019 Aaron played 11 games on special teams and all 5 games on special teams in 2020. In 2021, Aaron saw action in the first four games of the season, contributing three tackles on the season, all on special teams. Aaron was named the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship and switched his jersey from No. 2 to No. 22 to honor Jordan’s legacy. He will be greatly missed after passing away on September 28, 2021.

A few positives emerged from injury-riddled Runnin’ Utes’ blowout loss to USC

A few positives emerged from injury-riddled Runnin’ Utes’ blowout loss to USC

New coach Craig Smith’s team went small after center Branden Carlson suffered an ankle injury and tied the Trojans 45-45 in the second half; Minnesota transfer Both Gach tied a career-high with 28 points.

Although Wednesday night’s 93-73 loss to No. 18-ranked USC was overshadowed by the ankle injury suffered by big man and leading scorer Branden Carlson and looks like a blowout on paper, there were a couple of bright spots Runnin’ Utes coach Craig Smith hopes to build on in the future.

In particular, the Utes (5-2, 0-1) really got their offense going in the second half, as they went small (out of necessity) and put up 45 points in the final 20 minutes against one of the best defenses in the Pac-12, if not the country.

Of course, USC (7-0, 1-0) put up 45 as well, and it would have been more if the Trojans had made more than 56% of their free throws. They were 14 of 25 from the charity stripe, and it got so bad in the second half that some fans audibly grumbled despite their double-digit lead throughout the half.

“I love the way we played the second half,” Smith said. “Like, 45-45 (score). I just loved how we competed, and gave ourselves a few chances to cut that thing under 10. But we just came up short.”

Winning at Galen Center in front of 3,754 fans in the Pac-12 opener was a big ask for the Utes even before the 7-foot Carlson went down with just over 11 minutes remaining in the first half. Without him, it was almost impossible because the Utes were also without leading rebounder Marco Anthony and backup center Dusan Mahorcic, making them incredibly vulnerable inside.

Carlson entered the game leading the Utes in scoring with a 15.7 average, and Anthony is their top rebounder at 8.8 caroms per game. Carlson also leads the Utes with 13 blocked shots, and his ability to swat away or alter shots was sorely missed the last 11 minutes of the first half and well into the second half.

“Not only a rim protector goes out, but obviously (USC) is one of the biggest teams in the country, and the way they play, size makes a big difference,” Smith said. “And they are a very good rebounding team. They are elite in scoring around the basket. Their second- and third-leading scorers are fours and fives, and so it makes a huge difference.”

Carlson watched the second half on the bench, his right ankle in a walking boot. Obviously, his availability doesn’t look good for Sunday’s 3 p.m. contest against Cal at the Huntsman Center.

“Seems to be a theme for us right now,” Smith quipped.

Mahorcic is likely out until at least January, but Anthony’s return looks imminent. Anthony was out of his boot Wednesday night, and in an unusual twist it was the Virginia and Utah State transfer who helped Carlson get off the court and into the locker room after he landed awkwardly on his ankle while battling for a rebound.

“Like we told the guys: We can’t worry about what we can’t control,” Smith said of the mounting injuries. “And we don’t know who is going to be coming back. … We are going to have to find a way to defend and rebound with this group we have right now.”

Lahat Thioune had a career-high 11 rebounds and probably gets the start at the five spot Sunday if Carlson can’t go.

“I thought Lahat had a pretty good game,” Smith said.

The Utes are also playing without sharpshooter Gabe Madsen and junior college transfer Bostyn Holt, out for the season after tearing an ACL.

“Yeah, it is frustrating,” said point guard Rollie Worster. “You don’t wish (injuries) on anyone, but especially our own, and a player of (Carlson’s) caliber on our team. It is a big loss, but we have got enough players, enough guys on our team to pick up the slack, and we just gotta move forward and hope for the best with that.”

Both Gach’s play in the second half was another bright spot for the Utes. Told to play more aggressively at halftime after he had just four points on 2 of 5 shooting in the first half, Gach delivered, and then some.

He finished with 28 points, four rebounds and two assists. Is Gach officially back?

“Oh man, I guess you could say that,” he said. “I have been in the league, I had games like that a few times (in 2019). So I guess you could say that.”

Although he moved into the starting lineup after Anthony suffered his ankle injury in the Tulsa game at the Sunshine Slam, Gach said he’s ready to take on an even bigger role if that’s what it takes.

“Right now we just got that next-man-up mentality,” he said. “When Branden is playing for us, he does a lot of great things for us, especially scoring the ball down there in the post, stuff like that. For me, I just wanted to step up for my team and make something happen.”

Cal (3-4) opens Pac-12 play Thursday night, hosting Oregon State in Berkeley. The Bears played No. 21 Seton Hall tough before falling 62-59 on Nov. 24, then rebounded with a 65-57 win over Fresno State.

Game Week: What You Need to Know for Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game

Game Week: What You Need to Know for Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game

No. 14/17 Utes seek first Pac-12 Championship in showdown with No. 10 Oregon

SALT LAKE CITY – All eyes will be on Las Vegas on Friday evening when the Utah Utes face defending Pac-12 champion Oregon in the 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game. The North Division champion Ducks (10-2; 7-2 Pac-12) are ranked 10th this week in both the Associated Press and College Football Playoff polls, while the South Division champion Utes (9-3; 8-1) are ranked 14th in the AP poll and 17th by the CFP committee.
 
The title game will take place in Las Vegas for the first time, and is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT at Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. Watch on ABC and listen on the Home of the Utes, KALL ESPN 700. Utah has won five consecutive games and eight of its last nine, including a 38-7 victory over then-No. 3 Oregon in Salt Lake City on Nov. 20. For more on the matchup read Utah’s game notes here.
 
In 11 seasons as members of the Pac-12—all under 17th-year head coach Kyle Whittingham—Utah has won the South Division outright three times (2018, ’19, ’21) and shared the title once (2015). Utah is the designated home team based on conference record, as it makes its third trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game in the past four seasons, with its only non-appearance in that span coming in the COVID-condensed 2020 season. Oregon is 4-0 in Pac-12 Championship games (2011, ’14, ’19 and ’20).
 
Tickets are still available through Utah Ticket Office through mid-day Thursday (Dec. 2). To purchase tickets from the Utah allotment, click here. After mid-day Thursday fans may still purchase tickets through the Pac-12. Information on tickets and hotels through the Pac-12 can be found here.
 
The Pac-12 Football Championship Game will follow local health authority protocols in Las Vegas. Currently, all fans must wear masks at public indoor venues, which includes Allegiant Stadium.

PREGAME PEP RALLY
U Alumni will host a pep rally for Utes fans on Friday at 3:30 p.m. PT in Lot C at Allegiant Stadium. The Utah Marching Band, cheer and Utah Spirit Team will perform, and fans will hear from President Taylor Randall and Athletics Director Mark Harlan. More information can be found here.
 
GET YOUR UTES GEAR
Fans looking to purchase Utah Utes gear for the game may stop by the Campus Store pop-up shop (PDF) at Mandalay Bay, the Utes’ Las Vegas headquarters, from noon to 8 p.m. PT Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT Friday. The location of the store has changed from its original spot; check @UtahRedZone on twitter for the latest updates on its location.

PARKING LOTS
All parking lots for Allegiant Stadium will open at 2 p.m. PT.

STADIUM GATES
All public gates for Allegiant Stadium will open at 3 p.m. PT. No re-entry will be permitted.

TRAFFIC CONSIDERATIONS
Road Closure – Mandalay Bay Road will close at 1:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Dec. 3 between Allegiant Stadium and Las Vegas Blvd.  

CLEAR BAG POLICY
All bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and must not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″ for Allegiant Stadium.

  • Small clutch bags, 4.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″ can be taken into the stadium in addition to one of the approved clear bags described above.
  • An exception will be made for any necessary medical items, but all such items are subject to inspection prior to entry into Allegiant Stadium. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags, and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

TICKET OFFICE AND WILL-CALL
Ticket windows at Allegiant Stadium will open at 1 p.m. PT. Pac-12 Will-Call will open at 1 p.m. PT while Utah’s Will-Call will open at 3 p.m. PT, and will be located next to the Ticketmaster box office.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Utes fans can join the conversation on social media, as always, by using the hashtags #GoUtes and #UBoyz, and can also add the Pac-12’s #Pac12FCG for the championship game.