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A school-record crowd of 52,724 attended Utah’s 38-7 drubbing of then-No. 3 Oregon last Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
No doubt, those fans played a role in the Utes’ resounding victory that secured the Pac-12 South title and a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas.
“It was unreal,” said quarterback Cam Rising. “It was a great atmosphere. ... I loved it. It was a pleasure to play in front of them.”
As Utah hosts its home finale Saturday for Senior Day, Rising is hoping the crowd shows up and makes more noise.
“We’re going to need that again for the seniors,” Rising said.
But the fans at Rice-Eccles were not the only ones watching the nationally televised prime time game. According to ESPN, the Utah-Oregon game on ABC was the most-watched Pac-12 regular season game in seven years with 4.8 million viewers.
Linebacker Devin Lloyd, who will be playing his final home game this Saturday, will never forget that win against the Ducks.
“Memories that will last a lifetime. A whole lot of them. Beating a really good Oregon team that was No. 3 at the time. Getting Whitt the most wins in school history,” he said. “There was so much good that came out of it. That fact is, we won. More than anything, I’m just really proud of my guys for stepping up and playing big.”
Said defensive end Mika Tafua: “It was fun. It’s good to be on the other side of a field rush.”
Wide receiver Britain Covey had the play of the night with a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“During a play, your ears turn off. It’s like you don’t hear anything. Then when I was at about the 10-yard line, my ears turned back on and could not believe how loud it was,” he said. “I was thinking this week about the loudest times I’ve heard Rice-Eccles and that was No. 1, for sure. … That return was a cool scene.”
Meanwhile, Utah’s basketball team is 5-0 on the season after capturing the Sunshine Slam Tournament in Florida. The Utes host BYU Saturday night.
52,724: Largest crowd ever at a Utah home football game last Saturday against Oregon.
8-1: With a win Saturday, the Utes would finish with this record in Pac-12 play, equalling the 8-1 mark posted in 2019.
32-32-3: Utah’s all-time series record against Colorado.
From the archives
- ‘A dangerous guy’: Britain Covey’s heroics vs. Ducks add to his legend (Deseret News)
- 3 teams could win the Pac-12 North, play Utah in conference title game. Here are the scenarios (Deseret News)
- Report: Utah quarterback Peter Costelli entering transfer portal (Deseret News)
- Kyle Whittingham on why College Football Playoff expansion would be benefit to all (Deseret News)
- Utah football report card: Utes excel in all 3 phases in season-defining victory over Oregon (Deseret News)
- Tyler Huntley engineers game-winning drive in first NFL start (Deseret News)
- Utah’s Tavion Thomas sets new single-season rushing touchdown record (Deseret News)
Comments from Deseret News readers
Wow! What a game! I think this is the year that Utah makes it to the Rose Bowl. I hope they do! I thought Utah would win but I didn’t expect this.
Sure, but there’s a silver lining for Oregon in the fact that Utah played a near-perfect game: Utah won’t be making nearly as many adjustments as Oregon will. Utah can only guess what Oregon will do, but Oregon knows much better what Utah will do. The championship will also be played in Vegas, which, while much closer to Salt Lake than Eugene, nullifies much of Utah’s home-field advantage. It’s about half the elevation of Rice-Eccles, it’s in the same time zone as Oregon (not that one hour is that big of a difference, in my opinion), and it won’t have 50,000 Utah fans all screaming their lungs out anytime Oregon tries to snap the ball. I’m not saying Utah can’t win (and I hope they do), but Oregon isn’t going to take this one sitting down like they did last night.
Tremendous publicity for the Utes, Salt Lake City and the state of Utah. Congratulations to Kyle and all of the coaches and players.
Nov. 24 | 4 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Washington State | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream
Nov. 26 | 2 p.m. | Football | vs. Colorado | @Salt Lake City | Fox
Nov. 26 | 3 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Gonzaga | @Honolulu
Nov. 27 | Noon | Women’s volleyball | vs. Colorado | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network
Nov. 27 | 5:30 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Hawaii | @Honolulu
Nov. 27 | 7:30 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. BYU | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network
Nov. 28 | 3 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Eastern Illinois | @Honolulu