Northern Illinois’ 23,595-seat Huskie Stadium is the smallest venue to have hosted Utah’s football team in 40 years, and it was two-thirds filled for the Utes’ visit last September, resulting in a hard-earned, 17-6 victory for Utah. So coach Kyle Whittingham is “very pleased” to welcome the Huskies to Rice-Eccles Stadium this week, citing “quite a long trip” last year.

The Utes have two more trips scheduled to Group of Five programs, visiting the Mountain West's Wyoming in 2020 and San Diego State in 2021 in home-and-home series. Such arrangements are not uncommon. Wyoming hosted the Southeastern Conference's Missouri last weekend (winning 37-31) and California just booked a series with the Cowboys in 2028 and '29. It will be interesting, though, to see how Ute athletic director Mark Harlan approaches Group of Five scheduling, having inherited Wyoming and SDSU.

Whittingham was adamant about moving on to NIU, but we have a lot of ground to cover from the Utes’ 30-12 defeat of BYU last Thursday.

Tribune columnist Gordon Monson analyzed Utah’s performance and my follow-up story focused on the final drive that kept the Ute defense from having to take the field after the delay. And then I reviewed Utah’s flurry of defensive touchdowns against BYU in this decade.

Monson then discussed what makes Moss so good, as he approaches the school career rushing record.

The Utes moved to No. 13 in the AP Top 25, becoming the Pac-12′s highest-ranked team, ahead of Washington.

And linebacker Francis Bernard, formerly of BYU, was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.

Turning to the home opener, I looked into how Utah athletic administrators have some new ideas for 2019, not being complacent about the program’s sellout streak of 57 games.

Utah’s offensive line was outstanding in the second half against BYU and kept quarterback Tyler Huntley from being sacked all night. That group still has something to prove this week, after Huntley was sacked six times at NIU last year.

As Jadon Redding becomes Utah’s kicker for extra points and field goals, here’s a look at his journey from Virginia.

Utah’s women’s volleyball team is ranked No. 19 after winning three matches in the season-opening Utah Classic, including this impressive sweep of then-No. 7 Kentucky.

Other voices

As Utah awaits the NCAA’s eligibility clearance of offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni, Christopher Kamrani of The Athletic looked at his background (ATH).

Pac-12 expert Jon Wilner observed how a drop in high school football participation in the West may affect conference programs. (MERC)

Joe Coles of the Deseret News profiled the football program’s social media team (DNEWS).

Around Campus

• Utah’s women’s soccer team successfully christened Ute Field, the new soccer/lacrosse venue on campus, with wins of 3-0 over Utah State and 1-0 over Cal Poly. The Utes will visit No. 10 BYU on Friday (7 p.m.).

• The Ute volleyball team followed its successful opening weekend with Tuesday’s sweep of Utah State in Logan. Utah will compete this weekend in Utah Valley University’s tournament, meeting UC Davis and Portland State on Friday and UVU on Saturday.