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Pac-12: November schedule loaded for Utes

Published January 8, 2014 4:08 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah will face Arizona State and Stanford, last year's Pac-12 division winners, and Oregon in a three-week November stretch that likely will define the Utes' third season of conference membership.

The Pac-12's 2014 football schedule, announced Wednesday, places all nine of Utah's league games after its nonconference games against Idaho State, Fresno State and Michigan. The Utes will open Pac-12 play Sept. 27 against Washington State, then visit UCLA and Oregon State before settling into a home-away pattern for the remaining schedule.

For the third straight year, Utah will be involved in the Pac-12's Thursday package, facing OSU. This is the second season of a two-year scheduling rotation, so the Utes again will miss Washington and California. Oregon will make its first appearance at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Pac-12 play, Nov. 8.

Other highlights of the Pac-12 schedule:

• The second Saturday of the season, Sept. 6, features two high-profile games: Michigan State at Oregon, in a meeting of probable Top 10 teams, and USC at Stanford, giving the defending champion Cardinal a chance to avenge one of their two conference losses from 2013.

• UCLA plays two marquee games in September, meeting Texas in Arlington (Sept. 13) and traveling to Arizona State in a Thursday (Sept. 25) meeting of the likely top two preseason picks in the South.

• Stanford's visit to Oregon, expected to decide the North title again, is booked Saturday, Nov. 1.

• The conference is allowing for the possibility of UCLA and Stanford meeting in consecutive weeks, if those teams win their divisions — as happened in 2012. The Pac-12's athletic directors agreed to that intra-divisional game on the final weekend of the regular season, preserving the window for the annual rivalry games between USC/Stanford and Notre Dame and preventing a potential Pac-12 championship game contestant from having a bye the previous week.

• Former Utah assistant Jay Hill will make his Weber State coaching debut Aug. 28 at Arizona State and BYU will help conclude the Pac-12's regular season, visiting California on Nov. 29.

— Kurt Kragthorpe