Breakdown Of Utah’s 2020 7-Game Conference-Only Schedule

Oct 3, 2020, 10:56 AM | Updated: Oct 5, 2020, 1:08 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s 2020 college football schedule is out and there is a lot to be excited about.

Just to have a schedule out means we are one step closer to the start of the season. Utah will open the 2020 campaign at home on November 7 against Arizona.

They will play a 7-game conference-only schedule. Five games will be against south division foes, one is versus a team in the north division and the last game will be considered “Championship Week” where the top seeds in each division will face off for the Pac-12 crown. Other teams that don’t qualify for the conference title game will play in the following format.

  • No. 1 North vs. No. 1 South (Pac-12 Title Game)
  • No. 2 North vs. No. 2 South
  • No. 3 North vs. No. 3 South
  • No. 4 North vs. No. 4 South
  • No. 5 North vs. No. 5 South
  • No. 6 North vs. No. 6 South

Schedule Facts/Tidbits

A couple of things stood out when looking at Utah’s schedule.

  • No Thursday night games.
  • Two Friday night games.
  • No consecutive home or road games.
  • Schedule alternates home and away games.

Opponent Breakdown

Saturday, Nov. 7 vs. Arizona

The Utes will open the 2020 season in a (likely) empty Rice-Eccles Stadium against Arizona. The Wildcats have struggled over the last four-plus years and are hopeful that Kevin Sumlin will turn around the program. They bring back a promising prospect in quarterback Grant Gunnell.

Last season, the Utes went to Tuscon and pulled out a 35-7 win. As Pac-12 opponents, Utah is 5-4 against the Wildcats and have won the last four meetings.

Arizona brings back 10 starters, four on offense and six on defense.

Friday, Nov. 13 at UCLA

.The Chip Kelly era has not been kind to the Bruins to this point but hope they will have some success with starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson back. The Bruins did lose star running back Joshua Kelley.

In 2019, Utah took down the Bruins with a 49-3 win at home. The Utes are 6-3 against UCLA as Pac-12 foes while winning the last four matchups.

UCLA will have an inexperienced team back from last season as they will return nine starters, six on offense and just three on defense.

Saturday, Nov. 21 vs. USC

The Utes will look for revenge against the USC Trojans at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Trojans have their quarterback of the future in Kedon Slovis who is considered the best quarterback in the conference entering his sophomore season.

Last season, Utah’s only loss in the regular season was at USC when the Trojans picked up a 30-23 victory.

Utah is 3-6 against USC since joining the conference in 2011.

Saturday, Nov. 28 at Arizona State

The Sun Devils will be a challenge this season. They bring back a lot of players on defense but also have a talented quarterback in Jayden Daniels. Herm Edwards has the Arizona State program on the right track.

In 2019 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah’s defense held ASU in check with a 21-3 win. The Utes are 3-6 against Arizona State since 2011.

The Sun Devils will have a lot of experience returning on defense with seven of their 11 total returning starters coming on the defensive side of the ball.

Saturday, Dec. 5 vs. Oregon State

Jonathan Smith is looking to take Oregon State to the next level and reach a bowl game. The Beavers lost quarterback Jake Luton and star wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins but bring back running back Jermar Jefferson and linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr.

Last season, Utah went up to Corvallis and posted a 52-7 win over Oregon State. The Utes are 5-2 against the Beavers and have won the last four meetings.

Oregon State will bring back nine starters from last season, three on offense and six on defense.

Friday, Dec. 11 at Colorado

The Utes will travel across the rocky mountains and face the Buffaloes in Boulder. Utah will have the benefit of facing a team in consecutive weeks that have a new head coach. Karl Dorrell took over the Colorado program after Mel Tucker took off to be the coach at Michigan State.

Utah beat CU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in the regular season finale last year, 45-15. Colorado lost a lot of talent on offense including quarterback Steven Montez and wide receiver Laviska Shenault. They do return stud running back Alex Fontenot as a junior.

The Buffs return 13 starters, including six on offense and seven on defense. Utah is 7-2 as Pac-12 foes against Colorado and have won the last three meetings.

Changes In Schedules

Original 2020 Schedule

Utah’s original schedule included:

  • vs. BYU
  • vs. Montana State
  • at Wyoming
  • at California
  • vs. USC
  • at Washington State
  • vs. Washington
  • at UCLA
  • vs. Arizona
  • vs. Oregon State
  • at Arizona State
  • at Colorado

Utah did not have Oregon and Stanford on their original schedule.

10-Game Conference-Only Schedule

On July 31, the Pac-12 released the 10-game conference-only schedule. That included the following:

  • Sept. 26 at Washington State
  • Oct. 3 at Colorado
  • Oct. 10 vs. Oregon State
  • Oct. 16 at UCLA
  • Oct. 31 vs. Arizona
  • Nov. 7 at Arizona State
  • Nov. 14 vs. Washington
  • Nov. 21 at California
  • Nov. 27 vs. USC
  • Dec. 5 vs. Oregon

BYU, Montana State, Wyoming were removed from the original schedule and Stanford remained off the schedule.

New Schedule

The new schedule has all of the non-conference opponents, Stanford and now Washington State, Oregon, Washington and California removed. Which is favorable for Utah as Cal, Washington and Oregon have really good teams in 2020.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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