Utah-Florida will be the ninth time since 2000 Utes have opened the season against a Power 5 opponent. How has Utah fared in the others?
As Utah prepares to play Florida in the Swamp, it will be the ninth time since 2000 that the Utes have opened up the season against a Power 5 opponent.
Here’s a look back at how the Utes fared in the other eight openers against Power 5 opponents.
2000: Arizona 17, Utah 3
Under head coach Ron McBride, the Utes hosted Arizona at Rice-Eccles Stadium to open the season. The Utes outgained the Wildcats 370 yards to 146, but Utah committed five turnovers and failed to score a touchdown.
T.D. Croshaw and Darnell Arceneaux split passing duties for the Utes, going a combined 21-for-51 for 310 yards and two interceptions, while the Utes only gained 60 rushing yards.
2004: Utah 41, Texas A&M 21
Utah, ranked No. 20 in The Associated Press poll to start the season, opened up its undefeated 2004 season with a win over Texas A&M, then in the Big 12, in Salt Lake City.
Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more. His favorite targets were Steve Savoy and Paris Warren, who had over 100 yards receiving each.
Utah had 582 yards of offense and scored its first touchdown just one minute into the game.
2005: Utah 27, Arizona 24
Utah broke open a 10-10 game in the third quarter to secure a three-point win over Arizona to start the 2005 season.
A 59-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brent Casteel, a field goal by Dan Beardall and a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown by Eric Weddle increased Utah’s lead to 27-10.
Arizona scored twice to cut the gap to three, but Utah held on for the season-opening win.
2006: UCLA 31, Utah 10
Utah opened the season in the Rose Bowl and was beat by UCLA.
The Utes trailed by four at halftime, but the Bruins rattled off 17 consecutive points to win going away.
Utah turned the ball over three times and was outgained by the Bruins 425-287.
UCLA quarterback Ben Olson threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns.
2007: Oregon State 24, Utah 7
The Utes couldn’t find the end zone in a loss to Oregon State in Corvallis.
Utah’s lone score came on a touchdown pass from Brian Johnson to Brent Casteel in the third quarter. After that, it was all Beavers.
Oregon State outgained Utah 370-196. Beaver running back Yvenson Bernard had 165 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson and running back Matt Asiata were injured in the game.
2008: Utah 25, Michigan 23
Utah started its undefeated 2008 season with a win at the Big House.
The Utes scored five consecutive times in a span from the second and third quarters, on a Brian Johnson pass to Bradon Godfrey and four Louie Sakoda field goals, to lead 25-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Michigan made it close, scoring on consecutive drives to cut the score to 25-23.
Utah’s defense held strong on Michigan’s final two drives, forcing a punt and turnover on downs to hold on for win No. 1 of 13.
Johnson was 21 for 22 for 305 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Matt Asiata ran for 77 yards and Sean Smith had an interception.
2010: Utah 27, Pittsburgh 24
Utah prevailed in a memorable home opener that went into overtime.
With the Utes up by three points, Pittsburgh kicker Dan Hutchins’ field goal attempt with time expiring from 30 yards out was good, but Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham called a timeout first.
On the second attempt, Hutchins missed, but Whittingham had called a timeout.
The third time was the charm for Hutchins, whose field goal forced overtime.
In overtime, Brian Bletchen intercepted Tino Sunseri’s pass and Joe Phillips made a 21-yard field goal to give the Utes the win.
Jordan Wynn threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns and Devonte Christopher rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown.
2015: Utah 24, Michigan 17
Utah put a damper on Jim Harbaugh’s first game as Michigan head coach.
Travis Wilson threw for 210 yards and rushed for a touchdown, while Devonte Booker rushed for 69 yards and a score.
Utah led 17-3 after Wilson’s touchdown run in the third quarter. Jake Butt’s 19-yard touchdown reception at the end of the period cut the lead to seven, but Justin Thomas picked off Wolverines quarterback Jake Rudock and took it 55 yards to the house.
The Utes held on, only allowing one touchdown with 54 second left to hold on for the win.
Utah’s defense forced Rudock to throw three interceptions.