Utah football’s 2023 schedule is out — and it’s arguably the Utes’ toughest ever

The Utes will open the season on either Aug. 31 or Sept. 2 vs. Florida.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP) Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham instructs his team during practice ahead of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Penn State, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, in Carson, Calif.

If the University of Utah winds up playing for a third straight Pac-12 championship in 2023, it will have certainly earned it.

With the Pac-12 releasing its football schedule on Wednesday morning, the Utes will play the other five conference teams that finished ranked in the AP Top 25 earlier this month. Those games are highlighted by an Oct. 21 trip to the Los Angeles Coliseum to face USC in what is likely the final meeting between the two for the foreseeable future with the Trojans off to the Big Ten in 2024.

Utah beat USC twice last season, a 43-42 come-from-behind epic at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and a 47-24 decision in the Pac-12 championship game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Utes host Oregon on Oct. 28, and after welcoming Arizona State on Nov. 4, a potentially-massive trip to Washington looms on Nov. 11. The Huskies, 11-2 in 2022 with a final AP ranking of No. 8, are projected to return a slew of pieces from a high-octane offense, including 4,600-yard passer Michael Penix Jr., who will be a sixth-year senior. Penix Jr. finished eighth in voting for the Heisman Trophy last season.

Utah, which will return its own sixth-year standout quarterback, Cam Rising, in addition to a host of veteran pieces, will embark on arguably the toughest schedule in program history when it opens vs. the University of Florida on either Aug. 31 or Sept. 2. If the game is played on Aug. 31, it will mark the 14th time the Utes have opened on a Thursday night in 19 seasons under head coach Kyle Whittingham. Either way, it is the back end of a home-and-home agreement, which saw Utah lose in Gainesville, 29-26, to open last season.

Next season’s Pac-12 championship game will return to Allegiant Stadium, but the date is officially TBD as either Dec. 1, a Friday, or Dec. 2. Since the inception of the conference title game in 2011, it has been played on both Fridays and Saturdays, but has become synonymous in recent years with Friday night, which allows it to avoid the Saturday logjam of other Power Five conference championship games.


Aug 31 or Sept. 2, vs. Florida

Sept. 9, at Baylor

Sept. 16, vs Weber State

Sept. 23, vs. UCLA

Sept. 29, at Oregon State (Friday night)

Oct. 14, vs. Cal

Oct. 21, at USC

Oct 28, vs. Oregon

Nov. 4, vs. Arizona State

Nov. 11, at Washington

Nov. 18, at Arizona

Nov. 25, vs. Colorado

Dec. 1 or 2, Pac-12 championship game (Las Vegas)