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In advance of Friday's Pac-12 football championship game, nobody should want a Utah-Oregon prediction from me.
I’ve been dead wrong about the teams’ last four meetings, although I have good excuses. Practically nobody could have seen Utah’s 62-20 win coming in 2015, the Utes were heavy favorites in 2016, Oregon was missing quarterback Justin Herbert in 2017 and Utah was missing quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss in 2018.
I'm expecting a very good game Friday night in Santa Clara, Calif., and the Utes will have to play well to win the Pac-12 championship. And that's the most important element of the weekend for Utah. Otherwise, nothing that happens in Saturday's title games will matter.
Looking back at Utah’s Senior Day game vs. Colorado, the Utes started slowly but then became their usual, dominant selves in a 45-15 win. Tribune columnist Gordon Monson focused on tight end Brant Kuithe’s great game and colleague Julie Jag reported about Bradlee Anae’s pursuit of the school record for sacks.
The end of the 2019 home schedule means that some construction elements of the Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion can begin, although the work won’t affect seating for the 2020 season. The school staged a ceremonial groundbreaking prior to the game vs. Colorado.
My “Utes in review” analysis started this week’s conversation about the College Football Playoff possibilities, and how coach Kyle Whittingham recognized the significance of Alabama’s loss to Auburn.
And it was fun to look back at how this season evolved, with some key checkpoints on the way to another Pac-12 South title.
Utah’s players will receive a bunch of all-conference and All-America honors. Awards season started with Pro Football Focus’ graders citing Moss and safety Julian Blackmon as first-team All-Americans.
Josh Newman joined The Tribune’s Utah athletics beat, and the timing is good with so much to cover. Prior to Tuesday’s CFP rankings release, he analyzed what needs to happen this week.
Getting back to the Utah-Oregon matchup, I looked at how Utah’s defense has performed at a historic level, with a remarkable collection of talent. The Utes will face one of the best players the state has produced, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell – whose brother Nephi now plays for Utah.
The (almost) annual Utah-BYU men’s basketball game arrived during a very busy week. Here’s the story of the Utes’ 102-95 overtime victory from Newman, who picked the right game for his Ute coverage debut, don’t you think?
Last week, the Utes earned a 77-73 win over UC Davis, with their sophomores stepping up.
At this time next year, the Utes will be playing Pac-12 basketball games. Here’s the explanation.
The Ute women’s volleyball team made the NCAA Tournament field, although the Utes were mildly disappointed about failing to land a top-16 seed that would have meant hosting first- and second-round matches. Utah will meet Illinois on Friday in Provo.
The Pac-12 named Utah’s Beth Launiere the Coach of the Year, deserved recognition for her work in her 30th season, and honored five of her players.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports views the Utah (and Baylor) as potential “new blood” in the CFP. (CBS).
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde endorses the rise of the Utes as good for the sport (SI).
Athlon’s Kyle Kensing provides a thorough look at the Pac-12 title game matchup (ATH).
The Oregonian assesses the Ute offense, via Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos (ORE).
The Register-Guard discusses the epic matchup of Oregon’s offensive line vs. Utah’s defensive line (R-G).
• The Utah women’s basketball team is coming off a 77-73 overtime victory at BYU, a fourth straight victory after an 0-3 start. The Utes will host Oral Roberts on Thursday (7 p.m.), beginning a month when they’ll play only at home.
• The 2020 Utah baseball schedule is finalized. The Utes will open the season Feb. 14 with a three-game series at UC Davis. Their home opener is March 17 vs. Utah Valley at Smith’s Ballpark, and their Pac-12 schedule begins March 27 with a three-game series vs. UCLA at home.
• The George S. Eccles Tennis Center on campus will host what’s billed as the largest professional tennis tournament to be held in Utah. The Salt Lake Invitational ATP 100 Challenger, May 25-31, will offer a total purse of $108,000.