Utah Utes football

Utah Utes football

The University of Utah Utes are a college football program that competes in NCAA Division I-A and the Mountain West Conference. Despite being considered a mid-major program, the Utes have been successful when competing against other Division I-A teams. And are the first BCS Buster by winning the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. The team has won their last seven bowl games -- making their bowl winning streak the second longest in the nation -- and are the only Mountain West Conference (MWC) team to play in a BCS bowl.

History

The University of Utah college football program began in 1892 and has played home games at Rice-Eccles Stadium since 1927. The Utes have a record of 10-3 in bowl games, which is the highest percentage in the nation for teams who have been to more than 10 bowls. They have won 23 conference championships, including 6 in a row from 1928 to 1933 when they were part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

1990-2002: Ron McBride rebuilding

After a 28-year stretch of not playing in a bowl game, Utah football experienced a resurgence in the early 1990s under head coach Ron McBride. The Utes played Washington State in the 1992 Copper Bowl, losing to the Cougars 31-28, and reached their peak under McBride when they finished the 1994 season ranked 10th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and recorded a 16-13 victory over Arizona in the Freedom Bowl.

2003-2005: Urban Meyer era

The Utes have a 61-32 (.663) record since the beginning of the 2000 season. Along the way, Utah engineered an 18-game winning streak and went to bowl games all three seasons, winning all three. They produced the best season in school history in 2004, when the Utes were 12-0 and became the first school from a non-Bowl Championship Series conference to play in a BCS bowl game. Utah was led by head coach Urban Meyer, and quarterback Alex Smith directed his spread offense. The Utes were nothing short of unstoppable during the regular season, having won all their games by at least 14 points. They played key out-of-conference games against Texas A&M, Arizona, and North Carolina. Utah was a very successful team that broke many school records. Those records include most wins in a single season with 13, and longest winning streak at 18 games. The Utes played the Big East Conference champion University of Pittsburgh Panthers in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, winning 35-7. The Utes finished the season ranked #4 in the AP poll. Later that year Alex Smith, who was Utah's quarterback for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, was drafted #1 by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft. He became the first player in the state of Utah to ever be drafted first. This culminated in the University of Utah becoming the first school in history to produce two #1 professional draft picks in the same year when Andrew Bogut became the #1 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

2004-Pres.: Kyle Whittingham

Utah is currently coached by Kyle Whittingham, who took over for Urban Meyer after Meyer left Utah for Florida after two seasons with the Utes. In Wittingham's three years the Utes are 22-13 overall and 12-10 in conference play and have won three bowl games (the Emerald Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl).

Notable players

NFL Hall of Fame member Larry Wilson, Super Bowl Head Coach Winner George Seifert, Manny Fernandez, Scott Mitchell, Kevin Dyson, Luther Ellis, Jamal Anderson, Mike Anderson, Bob Trumpy, Roy Jefferson, Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers, Jordan Gross also of the Carolina Panthers, Alex Smith and Eric Weddle.

Conference championships

Bowl games


=Rivalry games=

*The Holy War - BYU


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