SPORTS

Utah Football Releases Third Hand-Painted Helmet

Nov 8, 2018, 6:26 PM | Updated: Nov 9, 2018, 6:41 pm

...

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah has released images of a new hand-painted helmet design that the football team will wear during their game against the Oregon Ducks at Rice Eccles Stadium.

The helmet will feature a red-tailed hawk motif, with the wings of the hawk spread out across both sides. Although the university’s teams have been referred to by the Ute nickname, the school’s mascot, “Swoop,” is a red-tailed hawk.

Wearing the helmets against Oregon seemed somewhat appropriate, considering the Ducks’ history of sharp and unusual uniform choices.

The game marks the third time the Utes feature a hand-painted design. In celebration of the new helmets, KSL Sports takes a look back at the history of Utah’s hand-painted designs.

2016’s Blackout Game

The Utes’ black helmet in 2016 was a masterpiece, with granite-like splatters and a unique serial number for each. The drum and feather logo looked more like a biker’s jacket than a college football helmet. It had a tough, custom feel like the Harley Davidson Ute head coach Kyle Whittingham drives.

No two helmets were alike, each one as unique as the players that donned them.

Ranked No. 24 going into the game, Utah needed a fourth quarter rally and two touchdowns to take down the USC Trojans 31-27 in Salt Lake City.

Quarterback Troy Williams, who grew up 15 miles from the USC campus, shined against the team that failed to recruit him. He passed for 270 yards, connecting on 21 of 34 attempts, connecting on two touchdowns. He also  and ran in another score.

2017’s ‘Throwin’ Up The U’

In November 2017, the Utes took on rival Colorado and unveiled their second hand-painted design, known as the “Throwin’ up the U” helmets. They featured two gloved hands on the back of the helmet, making the “U” sign.

The helmets were not nearly as well-received as the previous year. They had a mixed reaction from fans and former players.

Speaking of the “U” hand signal, former Ute and current free safety for the Baltimore Ravens Eric Weddle laid claim to the nickname, although The University of Miami often gets the credit.

During player TV introductions against New England when he played for the Chargers, Weddle introduced himself as, “Eric Weddle (from) the University of Utah, the real U.”

The U hand sign deserves to be flashed at Rice Eccles Stadium over Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Hurricanes.

The idea of the U hand sign on the helmet was solid, but the hand-drawn helmet came off as cartoonish. The stripes overlay on the drawing and corresponding uniform was cluttered and confusing. (More on the confusing nature of the Ute striped another time.)

Despite the apparent miss in helmet design, Utah was able to beat Colorado 34-13 on a career night for Zack Moss. The running back had a career high 196 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

The win also kept the Utes from a losing season, giving them their sixth win of the year and bowl eligibility. They went on to play West Virginia of the SEC in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, beating the Mountaineers easily with a 30-14 victory.

2018’s Red-Tailed Hawk

The 2018 hand-painted headwear with Utah’s indigenous red-tailed hawk makes the case for the state bird you never knew you wanted. The hawk ids the most commonly-spotted bird of prey in the state, and the inspiration for Swoop.

Utah got the idea and the execution of the helmet right. The wings are realistic wings – far from the ridiculous scissor-like and modern iteration of wings made popular by the Oregon Ducks.

The red-tailed hawk version spreads across a slick, black to red gradient helmet.

The Utes look to be powerful birds of prey Saturday against the Ducks. The game kicks off at 3;30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Sports

ben-carlson-cole-bajema-gabe-madsen-branden-carlson-senior-night-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Seniors Get Emotional After Big Win Over Cal

The Runnin' Utes are done playing in the Huntsman Center for the 2023-24 season and it came with a lot of emotion for Utah's seniors.

2 hours ago

BYU Basketball, Fousseyni Traore, TCU...

Mitch Harper

Takeaways From BYU’s Comeback Victory Over TCU

BYU's Fousseyni Traore and Richie Saunders shined in the comeback win over the Horned Frogs.

4 hours ago

Tanner-Christensen-Utah-Tech-Trailblazers-Mens-Basketball...

Kyle Ireland

Utah Tech Loses To Abilene Christian On Senior Night

The Utah Tech men’s basketball team suffered a loss to the Abilene Christian Wildcats in the Trailblazers' home finale for the 2023-24 season.

5 hours ago

BYU/TCU, Game Recap, Richie Saunders...

Mitch Harper

BYU Avoids Letdown, Comes Back From 17-Point Deficit To Take Down TCU

Cougars roar back from season-high halftime deficit to defeat TCU.

6 hours ago

gabe-madsen-looks-to-pass-the-ball-against-cal-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Dominates Cal On Senior Night

The Runnin’ Utes home season wrapped up for the 2023-24 season at the Huntsman Center hosting Cal Saturday evening.

6 hours ago

Zion-Young-Southern-Utah-Thunderbirds...

Kyle Ireland

Southern Utah Loses To Tarleton State In Home Finale

The Southern Utah men’s basketball team dropped its sixth consecutive game and fell in its home finale against the Tarleton State Texans.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah Football Releases Third Hand-Painted Helmet