Amid Fun In San Diego, Utes Getting Ready For Holiday Bowl Appearance

Dec 29, 2018, 4:23 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2018, 12:46 pm

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – It’s a business trip for the Utah Utes, but they’re managing to find time for some fun in Southern California as well.

So far into their preparation for their Holiday Bowl game against Northwestern, the Utes have practiced and spent some time doing some touristy activities in America’s Finest City.

After practice on Friday, the team visited a U.S. Naval Carrier, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.

Following practice on Saturday, the team took a trip to the famous San Diego Zoo.

“So far, so good. No complaints and the bowl is treating us great,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham to Dirk Facer of the Deseret News on Thursday.

The team arrived in San Diego the day after Christmas and have made their presence known in the community, being transported around in Utah-branded black and red tour buses.

But again, the team is in San Diego for business. They’re out to finish with their fifth-straight bowl win and their twelfth in thirteen bowls under Whittingham. A win would also give the Utes their eight ever 10-win season.

Having the nation’s best bowl record is something that Whittingham takes great pride in. The key, he says, is how his teams have prepared for the postseason game.

“There is no secret or magic schedule or anything like that,” said Whittingham. “I think the real key is the way our players work during the bowl preparation. We’ve had a pretty good run in bowl games and each successive group is very prideful in upholding their end of the bargain and keeping the bowl success alive. It’s self-perpetuating. Each group that comes through here wants to make sure they uphold the tradition of that. Literally, hundreds of players in this program have worked so hard for it.”

Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, who played under Whittingham in the coach’s first bowl victory in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl (Whittingham served as co-head coach with Urban Meyer), understands the preparation that goes into a bowl game victory.

“The preparation, I think, is the most important thing — guys knowing when to separate time to have fun versus time to work,” said Scalley.

The Holiday Bowl between Utah and Northwestern is scheduled to kick off Monday at 5 p.m. MT and be broadcast on FS1.

Information from the Deseret News contributed to this report.

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Amid Fun In San Diego, Utes Getting Ready For Holiday Bowl Appearance