Boulder, Colo. — At first glance, or even upon further review, it certainly didn’t look like a typical Pac-12 venue.

It looked more like a scene out of one of those Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. Or the North Pole. 

Hours before Saturday morning’s game between No. 21 and visiting Utah kicked off, plows cleared the snow from the turf at Folsom Field. The yard markers and hash marks were barely readable due to the frozen layer of snow on the field.

At kickoff, temperatures were in the low 20s beneath blue-gray December skies.  It was reported that there was 93% relative humidity, with a windchill of 19 degrees and a 60% chance of snow by the end of the game.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Baby, it was cold outside.

In this rare mid-December game day, kickoff was at 10:05 a.m. MST, marking the earliest game ever at Folsom Field  — and the most recent Pac-12 After Dawn matchup. 

Of course, no fans were allowed to watch the game in person due to COVID-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, the windows in the press box were opened due to COVID-19 protocols set forth by Boulder County, making it a little chilly for reporters, media relations staff and campus personnel working inside. 

Some reporters may or may not have contracted frostbite on their typing fingers.  

But that’s a small price to pay. It’s college football during a pandemic, right?

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Highlights, key plays and photos from Utah’s 38-21 win over No. 21 Colorado

And it was an important showdown, what with the Buffaloes looking to earn a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game. Colorado needed a win over the Utes and a loss by USC against UCLA later in the day.  

This Utah-CU contest was originally scheduled for Friday night but when the Ohio State-Michigan game was canceled earlier this week, Fox Sports moved this battle between Pac-12 rivals into its prestigious Big Noon Kickoff slot, with the announcing team of Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft.

The wintry conditions certainly didn’t seem to bother Utah, which easily scored a touchdown on its opening drive, jumpstarted by a 40-yard return on the opening kickoff by Britain Covey.

Fans of both schools were probably content to watch the game unfold on television from their warm, comfortable couches and skip the bone-chilling conditions.