UTAH UTES

PK: A Wild Two Weeks Goes From Despair To Elation For Utah Football

Dec 2, 2022, 10:49 PM

Kyle-Whittingham-Utah-Utes-USC-Trojans-Pac-12-Championship-Game...

Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes gets a Gatorade bath by Paul Maile #54 during the fourth quarter in the Pac-12 Championship against the USC Trojans at Allegiant Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – From despair to elation and then swallowed up in once-thought-unimaginable joy, the Utah football program has run through the gamut of emotions over the last two weeks.

In the end, or the bottom line to quote one of coach Kyle Whittingham’s favorite phrases, all that matters is the Utes are going to the Rose Bowl again. Utah withstood an early USC onslaught and captured the goal of a second consecutive Pac-12 championship by winning 47-24 Friday night before a sellout crowd of 61,195 at Allegiant Stadium.

RELATED: Social Media Goes Crazy After Utah Football Repeats As Pac-12 Champs

What does it all mean?

Well, the Pac-12 blew a golden opportunity to get a team in the national playoff with USC going down in flames. Entering the game at fourth in the rankings, the Trojans needed only to win to secure the Pac-12’s first playoff bid since Washington made it in 2017.

Not that the Utes care in the least.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Proving once again as the Pac-12’s current dominant team, Utah ignored all the hype surrounding the favored Trojans. It was as if Utah’s thrilling one-point win over USC in October never happened.

USC, which featured the Heisman favorite in quarterback Caleb Williams, was supposed to be a virtual lock when the playoff pairings are announced Sunday. But now the Trojans are destined for a New Year’s Six bowl game in which they likely will have no desire to participate in.

At least they can have good seats in front of their television sets to watch Utah play in the Rose Bowl in a month. The venue that used to belong to USC – which has made 34 appearances in the Pasadena, Calif., game – in early January suddenly has become Utah’s home away from during the holidays.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

The first time is unforgettable, but No. 2 for the Utes is sweeter. Oregon, last year’s opponent in the conference championship game, was a wreck by the time early December rolled around.

Oregon’s coach, Mario Cristobal, had more than one football out the door going into the game. He was on an airplane practically minutes after the loss to take the job at Miami, his alma mater.

USC also got a new coach, making the splash of the offseason in luring Lincoln Riley away from Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma. The Trojans quickly became the darlings of college football with a high-powered offense, but the revamped lineup paid for through the transfer portal wasn’t enough to buy a Pac-12 championship.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Don’t believe the money line? Ask one of BYU’s players off the team last year who turned down more than a few dollars for the chance to play at USC this year.

But enough about the losers. This night belonged to Whittingham’s winners.

In a replica of the first game at Rice-Eccles Stadium, USC looked unbeatable early in racing out to a 17-3 lead. But the guys in the real red regrouped and managed to tie the game on a touchdown with two seconds left in the first half.

Utah’s defense then took over, repeatedly getting in the face of Williams. The simple task of getting a first down became difficult.

In his defense, the sophomore transfer from Oklahoma suffered a cut on his throwing hand early in the game and then was limping in the second half. But, hey, as Whittingham often repeats, nobody cares about your injuries.

The win capped a wild two weeks for Utah, which thought its dream for a repeat ended with the crushing loss at Oregon. Tiebreaker rules indicated the Utes needed three games to break their way, in addition to beating hapless Colorado, and, by golly, all of it happened.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Just think – if not for Oregon’s meltdown in blowing a 21-point lead in the second half to Oregon State last week, the Utes would have dispatched to a lesser bowl. But the what-if game is for losers, anyway.

Bottom line – there we go again – Utah is going to The Granddaddy of them all. And there we go some more – smell the roses, baby.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

cole-bishop-celebrates-fumble-recovery-against-cal-at-res-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Top NFL Landing Spots For Former Utah Football Safety Cole Bishop

The 2024 NFL Draft is around the corner so today we take a look at the potential landing spots for former Utah football safety Cole Bishop.

2 hours ago

jonah-elliss-celebrates-big-play-on-defense-against-florida-at-res-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Top NFL Landing Spots For Former Utah Football Defensive End Jonah Elliss

The 2024 NFL Draft is around the corner so today we take a look at potential landing spots for former Ute defensive end Jonah Elliss.

5 hours ago

holly-rowe-engages-audience-at-red-butte-gardens-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

ESPN Sports Reporter Holly Rowe: Make The Big Time Where You Are

An intimate hundred or so people gathered at Red Butte Garden last Friday to hear ESPN reporter Holly Rowe talk about her legendary career.

7 hours ago

alani-sabado-jaedyn-rucker-maile-okeefe-abby-paulson-pose-on-senior-night-at-huntsman-center-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

LSU Earns First Title In Program History, Utah Gymnastics Places Third

The Red Rocks take third place at Nationals for the fourth year in a row while the LSU Tigers earned their first title in program history.

2 days ago

deivon-smith-dunks-ball-during-nit-game-at-the-huntsman-center-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Report: Runnin’ Ute Deivon Smith Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

Reports surfaced Friday that Runnin' Ute Deivon Smith has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal and will not be with the team in 2025.

3 days ago

carly-dockendorf-hugs-abby-paulson-during-red-rocks-gymnastics-meet-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Gymnastics Hoping To Continue Trend Of High Viewership For Women’s Sports

Women's sports are having a moment setting records and the Red Rocks hope to set a few more as they compete for a National Title.

3 days 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.

PK: A Wild Two Weeks Goes From Despair To Elation For Utah Football