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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 not among teams in coaches preseason poll

With USC ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches poll, fans no doubt are looking ahead to the Oct. 4 game against the Trojans as perhaps the highlight of Utah's home schedule.

The game, to be played on a Thursday night, will be televised by ESPN.

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Utah coach Kyle Whittingham isn't among those looking past the opener against Northern Colorado on Aug. 30.

Asked about the game a week ago and Whittingham quickly put the focus back on the opener.

"It could be huge," he said of the USC game. "But the only team I'm worried about now is Northern Colorado."

The Utes lost at USC 23-14 last year. Utah had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Coleman Petersen's 41-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Other Pac-12 teams in the poll are Oregon at No. 5 and Stanford at No. 18.

The Utes were just out of the poll receiving 22 votes. Other teams of interest that received votes were Washington (64) and BYU (10). Utah plays at Washington Nov. 10 and hosts BYU on Sept. 15.

Georgia Tech, which lost to Utah in the Sun Bowl last year, received 35 votes.

The Utes have been ranked in preseason coaches polls only three times. In 2004 they were No. 21 in the Coaches poll, in 2009 they were No. 18 and in 2010 they were No. 24.

Utah finished No. 5 in 2004, No. 18 in 2009 and No. 23 in 2010.

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