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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utes sign series with Michigan

Utah athletic director Chris Hill has made a lot of changes to Utah's future football schedules in hopes of clearing the way to schedule some major teams now that the Utes are in a BCS league.

Score one for him.

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The Utes announced Thursday they have signed a home-and-home series with Michigan starting in 2014 with a visit to Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines will serve as Utah's season-opening opponent in 2015.

Hill frequently has expressed a desire to craft a series with the Wolverines, who hosted the Utes in 2008.

The Utes won that game 25-23 as part of their undefeated season.

The 2014 schedule could be one of the most challenging the Utes have had since they also will have five Pac-12 road games.

Among the Pac-12 opponents will be Oregon and Stanford.

Scheduling the Wolverines was made possible in April when the Utes bought their way out of their scheduled road trip to Utah State for $500,000.

"A home-and-home series with Michigan is the kind of opportunity that comes with membership in the Pac-12 conference," Hill said. "I greatly appreciate coach Whittingham's willingness to add college football's winningest program to his already difficult 2014 schedule."

The Utes lost to Michigan 10-7 in 2002. The Wolverines are just the second Big Ten team to visit Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah beat Indiana 40-13 in 2002.

"The game-day atmosphere in Ann Arbor is a special experience for players and fans alike," Whittingham said. "We also look forward to hosting Michigan in Salt Lake City, allowing the MUSS and all our fans the chance to give the Wolverines a taste of what game day at Rice-Eccles Stadium is all about."

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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