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Utes Have .500 Conference Record All-Time Since Joining Pac-12

Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham walks the sidelines after a Utah score as Utah and UCLA play a college football game in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utes entered the game against UCLA with a 39-40 record against Pac-12 teams since joining the conference in 2011.

Utah knocked off the UCLA Bruins 49-3 on Saturday night and are now 40-40 against Pac-12 foes.

The Utes have won six straight games, which is the longest conference winning streak since joining the Pac-12.

Growing Pains

In their first season in the Pac-12, Utah had a 4-5 conference record. If they would’ve won against Colorado at home in their regular season finale, Utah would have played in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game. They started the Pac-12 era with four straight losses, falling to USC, Washington, No. 22 Arizona State and California. Their first conference win was against Oregon State at home on October 29. They went on to win four straight, beating Arizona, UCLA and Washington State before losing to Colorado.

In 2012, Utah lost their first four conference games again, this time to ASU, No. 13 USC, UCLA and No. 8 Oregon State. They finished with a 3-6 conference record with wins over Cal, Washington State and Colorado.

Their third season in the conference, Utah lost their first two conference games and ended the season with just two wins and seven losses in the Pac-12, knocking off No. 5 Stanford and Colorado. In 2014, Utah improved their conference record by winning three of their first four games. They lost the next two games to ranked opponents including No. 4 Oregon. At the end of the season, the Utes had a 5-4 conference record.

The next season in 2015, the Utes won their first 3 conference games before losing to USC. Utah ended the year with a 6-3 mark in the Pac-12. Three years ago in 2016, Utah won four of their first five games in the Pac-12 before ending the season losing three of their last four games with a 5-4 record.

In 2017, the Utes had a rough season in the conference. After starting with a win over Arizona, the Utes lost their next four games. They finished with a 3-6 record in the Pac-12.

Last season, Utah started with two straight losses, but bounced back with four straight wins. After losing to Arizona State, the Utes won their last three conference games in order to clinch their first Pac-12 South Division title. They had a 6-3 conference record.

In the first three seasons in the Pac-12, Utah compiled a 9-18 record. This season and last, the Utes are 12-4 in Pac-12 play. They have three seasons in the last five years that they won 6 conference games.

Utes Buck Unusual Trend

With their win over UCLA, Utah stopped an unusual record. Entering the game against the Bruins, Utah has started a season with an 8-1 record six times. In the first five seasons that they have done so, they lost their next game. Beating UCLA put an end to that trend for the Utes. Three of those five seasons have been under Kyle Whittingham.

2009 – Utah won their first two games before losing the Pac-12 opener against Oregon. They went on to win six straight to put their record at 8-1. The Utes lost the following week to No. 4 TCU on the road, 55-28. They ended the season with a 10-3 record and beat California in the Poinsettia Bowl.

2010 – Utah started with an 8-0 record in their final season in the Mountain West Conference. They lost to No. 3 TCU at home, 47-7 and dropped to 8-1. The Utes lost their second straight game when they fell to Notre Dame 28-3. The season ended with a 10-3 record for the Utes and a loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

2015 – Utah started 8-1, winning their first six games over Michigan, Utah State, Fresno State, No. 13 Oregon, No. 23 California and Arizona State. They lost to USC by 18 points as the No. 3 ranked team in the country. They won their next two games against Oregon State and Washington. When Utah was 8-1, they lost to Arizona in Tuscon in double overtime. The Utes ended the season with a 10-3 record with a win over BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Utah will travel to Arizona to face the Wildcats in their final road game of the regular season. The game will begin at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS1.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast, here.