Utah football notes: Utes get into Halloween spirit

Published October 27, 2009 8:14 pm
Team to wear special black uniforms, set up Trick-or-Treat zone for kids.
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Saddled with an undesirable 6 p.m. kickoff on Halloween for the Wyoming game, Utah's marketing department is doing its best to make sure fans don't have to choose between football and ghosts and goblins Saturday.

The game is being billed as Utah's second annual "blackout" game when fans are encouraged to wear all black.

Utah's football team will don special black uniforms for the occasion as they did last year when they defeated TCU 13-10.

While the blackout affair gets more attention from the fans than the team, corner Brandon Burton said the team likes to get into the spirit of things, too.

"They say when you put on black you have a different mentality when you come out," he said. "I don't know if that is true, but we're going to bring a lot of fire into the game."

For young fans, the Utes will have a Trick-or-Treat zone set up in the stadium that will open at 4 p.m. The zone will feature a tent complete with a spooky atmosphere, interactive games, a costume contest and more. Athletes from other Utah teams will pass out candy.

A game ticket is required for entry.

Ann Ronchetti , Utah's director of marketing, said the Utes wanted to do another blackout all along, and when the Oct. 31 game was announced, it only made sense to hold it then, along with some Halloween activities.

"This is a very family-oriented town and a 6 p.m. Halloween game raised a red flag for us," she said. "We asked ourselves how we were going to have a fantastic game on the field and what we can do to take care of the fans. It made sense to tie everything together."

Hayne Ellis , communications manager for the Mtn., said the network is restricted when it can show games because the conference mandates games can't start before noon or after 8 p.m., so either Air Force at CSU or Wyoming at Utah had to go in the later time slot Saturday.

"What better to have on the screen at a Halloween party than Wyoming at Utah on The Mtn?" he asked.

All-around good

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen gave his assessment of the Utes during Tuesday's news conference and said Utah's variety of weapons is what makes the Utes hard to defend.

"They have an experienced line, and obviously [ Terrance ] Cain is doing a great job at quarterback," he said. "I thought they might take a step back at the running game, but they haven't. Eddie Wide is a different type of runner, but very athletic."

No change

Coach Kyle Whittingham said there still is no change in plans of getting backup quarterback Jordan Wynn into a game if the opportunity arises. The Utes are still a "week or two" away from deciding to redshirt him, Whittingham said.

"Maybe this week, we'll see," Whittingham said of the chances of Wynn playing.

Fan Fest to return

Utah athletic director Chris Hill said during a luncheon Tuesday he plans to bring back the popular Fan Fest event in August.

The event was canceled this year to save money, but Hill said the event was not only missed by fans but also the student-athletes.

The university saved about $20,000 by canceling the event.

Hill also warned ticket prices for football and gymnastics will increase in the near future to help with the rising costs of maintaining an athletic department.

lwodraska@sltrib.com" Target="_BLANK">lwodraska@sltrib.com

Wyoming at Utah

Saturday, 6 p.m.

TV » The Mtn.



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