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Utes will go bowling, question is where?

BOULDER, Colo. — Utah’s bowl situation is as clear as mud. At 8-4 overall and 5-4 in Pac-12 play, the Utes are assured of going bowling. Question is where? An official answer likely won’t be known until official bowl announcements are made on Sunday, Dec. 4.

“I just hope it gets a little clearer next week,” said Utah athletics director Chris Hill. “But then again, I think everybody has to wait for their playoff games.”

Hill noted that the whole deal changes if Washington gets into the four-team national playoff.

“So it’s kind of a domino effect,” he explained. “So who knows?”

Representatives from the Alamo and Holiday bowls attended Utah’s 27-22 loss to Colorado.

Prior to the game, Holiday Bowl executive director Mark Neville acknowledged that the Utes would certainly be under consideration with a win. He also noted that Washington State and Colorado could be in the picture for the Dec. 27 game in San Diego.

“With a win tonight we’ll definitely be talking about them,” Neville said.

Now with the loss — and depending on how things shake out with Washington and Colorado — Utah could end up in the Foster Farms (Dec. 28) or Sun (Dec. 30) bowls. The Pac-12 has six bowl eligible teams (Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Colorado, USC and Utah) and eight bowl agreements, ending with the Las Vegas and Cactus bowls.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes are happy to go anywhere.

“I don’t know how that’s all going to shake out. It’s a little bit different this year than most years, and so I’m not sure how it’s going to work out,” Whittingham continued. “But we’re excited to be going to a bowl game. I’m glad these guys get to play together one more time, because they deserve that.

“They deserve a chance to win their ninth game. If we can do that, that will be a positive end to the season as disappointing as these last couple (of games) were,” he added.

NEW AND IMPROVED: Hill noted that both Colorado and Utah have made an impact in their sixth season in the Pac-12.

“We like to think that both schools have found a little bit of their place where we’re as competitive as can be,” he said. “It would have been fun to play today for the right to go to the league championship, but it wasn’t in the cards for us.”

STATS AND STUFF: Utah running back Joe Williams finished with a game-high 97 yards rushing. … Quarterback Troy Williams completed 13-of-40 passes for 160 yards. He was sacked three times and intercepted twice. … Tim Patrick topped Utah’s receivers with five catches. … Safety Chase Hansen finished with a game-high 13 tackles. … Defensive end Hunter Dimick had three pass breakups.

EXTRA POINTS: Former Utah running back Devontae Booker of the Denver Broncos visited the Utes’ hotel Friday night and went to a movie with his former teammates. … Punt returner Boobie Hobbs was injured in the game. Whittingham hopes to get an update on his status Sunday or Monday. … Colorado won the coin flip. The Buffaloes are 11-1 in the pregame toss this season. … The Utes are taking next week off. No practices are scheduled. The coaches will be out recruiting. … Scouts from the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints were credentialed for the game.

Email: dirk@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer