The Utah Utes knew Ty Montgomery was going to be a problem, but they still couldn’t stop Stanford’s phenomenal return man.
A week after he scored on a 99-yard kickoff return against Washington, Montgomery scored on a 100-yard return against the Utes.
Montgomery’s return, which came after Utah tied the game at 7-7 with a 4-yard pass from Travis Wilson to Karl Williams, was the first given up by the Utes since Colorado scored on a 100-yard return in last year’s 42-35 win.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said earlier in the week the Utes needed to kick away from Montgomery and voiced concern that Andy Phillips’ kickoffs weren’t long enough.
Phillips entered the game with just five touchbacks out of 26 kickoffs.
No plans for expansion
Even though Utah’s attendance has maintained a high averaged despite the struggles in the Pac-12, Utah athletic director Chris Hill said he remains hesitant to explore expanding Utah’s Rice-Eccles stadium, which has a capacity of 45,017.
The Utes have sold out 23 straight games, including Saturday’s contest against Stanford.
"Fans want you to expand, but other ADs will tell me not to, saying we have a great atmosphere here, don’t mess with it," Hill said. "We get big-time teams in here but they don’t see the size of the stadium, all they know it’s loud and it’s fun."
A more urgent construction project is Utah’s $24 million basketball facility that is expected to open in the fall of 2015. Hill hopes to break ground on the project in March.
The facility will be similar to the new football training facility, with two gyms, coaches offices, meeting rooms, etc., encompassing about 70,000 square feet.
The Utes are spending $12 million from their athletic budget to build the facility while the rest will come from private donations.
Hill said any future projects, such as the development of six tennis courts, are dependent upon donor interest.
Better schedule wanted
Starting the season with five of their first six games at home creates some challenges not only for the Utes, but for fans as well, Hill acknowledged.
If Hill had his way, the Utes would have had a more balanced home and away schedule.
"It’s a lot," he said of the home games. "It’s difficult for fans to do every week. How many different tailgate menus can you come up with for five of the first six weeks? It’s just my opinion, but it’s a lot."
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