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Utah football notes: Seniors to be honored Saturday

Utah Utes wide receiver Cory Butler-Byrd (16) returns the kickoff for a touchdown, putting Utah up 7-0 over the UCLA Bruins during a game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
Utah Utes wide receiver Cory Butler-Byrd (16) returns the kickoff for a touchdown, putting Utah up 7-0 over the UCLA Bruins during a game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
Spenser Heaps, Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Prior to Saturday’s home finale with Oregon, Utah will pay tribute to 24 departing seniors. The class is comprised of defensive back Brian Allen, offensive lineman Isaac Asiata, wide receiver Cory Butler-Byrd, defensive end Hayden Clegg, wide receiver Tyler Copperwood, offensive lineman J.J. Dielman, defensive end Hunter Dimick, snapper Chase Dominguez, tight end Ken Hampel, defensive back Dominique Hatfield, offensive lineman Hiva Lutui, tight end Evan Moeai, offensive lineman Nick Nowakowski, wide receiver Tim Patrick, kicker Andy Phillips, defensive back Reggie Porter, wide receiver Andrew Santiago, linebacker Sharrieff Shah, defensive lineman Pasoni Tasini, defensive end Pita Taumoepenu, offensive lineman Sam Tevi, defensive back Justin Thomas, defensive back Jason Thompson and running back Joe Williams.

“We’ve got a great group of seniors,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who credits them for forging the program’s way in the Pac-12. “So it’s going to be tough to say goodbye to them, but it’s part of college football. You lose your senior class every year and that’s just the transition that it college football.”

Three other seniors are applying for medical hardship extensions to return next season — tight end Siale Fakailoatonga, defensive end Kylie Fitts and linebacker Marcus Sanders-Williams.

RUMBLE IN THE ROCKIES: The Nov. 26 game between Utah and Colorado at Folsom Stadium in Boulder will kick off at 5:30 p.m., and be broadcast nationally on FOX. The winner likely represents the Pac-12 South in the conference championship game Dec. 2 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

EXTRA POINTS: Utah continues to lead the nation in net punting (45.31 yards) and takeaways (25) . . . Mitch Wishnowsky tops the country in punting average (48.8 yards) and Dimick is first in sacks per game (1.20) . . . Joe Williams, who missed four games while in retirement, is just 61 yards away from becoming the 13th player in team history to reach 1,000 yards rushing in a season.

Email: dirk@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer