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utah football notes vs. MSU Add Comment    Aug 29, 2011

Utah (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) hosts Montana State (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) in the season opener for both teams on Thursday, Sept. 1. Kickoff is 6 p.m. MDT in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The game will be televised on KJZZ TV (channel 14 and Comcast channel 3 in Salt Lake City). For those outside the viewing area, a free live video stream of the KJZZ telecast will be hosted on UtahUtes.comsignifying the first time a Utah football game has been streamed live from Rice-Eccles Stadium.  Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com).


> A sellout is anticipated for Thursdays game vs. MSU. Limited bleacher seats and standing room tickets may be purchased on UtahUtes.com, at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office and by calling 801-581-UTIX.


> Looking ahead, only single seats and standing room tickets remain for home games against Washington, Arizona State, Oregon State and Colorado, while around 700 seats remain for the UCLA game. Utah has sold out its allotment of 32,000 season tickets for the fourth-consecutive year.


> Utah leads the series with FCS member Montana State 9-0, with its most recent win in 1982. See page 2 for complete series information.


> Utah is 31-0 all-time against Big Sky Conference schools. The last time Utah played a Big Sky school (or an FCS school) was in 2008, when the Utes beat Weber State 37-21. Utahs only other game against an FCS school in this decade was Big Sky member Northern Arizona in 2006 (a 45-7 Utah win).


> Utah has made nine bowl appearances since 2001, going 8-1 with a 2-0 record in BCS bowl games. The Utes have finished in the Top 25 five times in the last eight years, including a No. 2 A.P. ranking in 2008. Utah finished No. 4 in the A.P. poll in 2004.


> Since 2003, Utah has compiled a 79-22 overall record (78%) for an average of nearly 10 wins a season (9.88) with undefeated seasons in 2004 (12-0) and 2008 (13-0).



This weeks Kyle Whittingham ESPN700 Coachs Show will be held on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Trolley Square. Future shows will be held on Wednesdays. Admission is free This weeks game against Montana State is Faculty-Staff night At the first quarter break, Ute ski coach Kevin Sweeney will be presented with the annual Don Reddish award, honoring him as the schools top coach in a sport other than football, basketball or gymnastics. Sweeney led Utah to an NCAA runner-up finish last March.



In honor of the inaugural Pac-12 game (Utah at USC on Sept. 10), the conference office has created two commemorative footballs to mark the occasion. The balls will go on a two-week journey to the Pac-12 schools, starting on Aug. 29 in Eugene, Ore., and ending in Los Angeles on Sept. 10. They will land in Salt Lake City on Sept. 7. The balls will be tracked on Twitter (hashtag #pac12kickoff) with a photo of each coach signing the balls and a status update. One ball will be auctioned off for charity and the other will be kept in the lobby at the Pac-12 offices.



Expected to make their first starts as Utes against Montana State are left guard Vyncent Jones, right guard Sam Brenner, running back John White, left end Joe Kruger, left corner Ryan Lacy, right corner Conroy Black, free safety Keith McGill and strong safety Eric Rowe ... Who will start at place kicker could come down to a game-day decision between Coleman Petersen and Nick Marsh. Neither Petersen nor Marsh has attempted a field goal for the Utes.



Head coach Kyle Whittinghams son Tyler Whittingham and nephew Jason Whittingham joined the team last week. Tyler is a senior walk-on safety and Jason is a freshman defensive lineman who served a church mission after signing with the Utes in 2009 ... Brothers Joe and Dave Kruger both play on the defensive line. Their brother Paul Kruger, a 2008 first-team all-MWC defensive lineman for Utah, now plays linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. Brother-in-law Tony Bergstrom, who is married to their sister Jessica, is a senior right tackle for the Utes Running back Tauni Vakapuna is the younger brother of Cincinnati Bengal running back Fui Vakapuna Receiver Dres Anderson is the son of former 10-year NFL player Willie Flipper Anderson Tight end Jake Murphy is the son of former Atlanta Braves all-star outfielder Dale Murphy.



Fans have purchased more than 13,000 tickets to 2011 road games from the Utah ticket office, which is believed to the most tickets sold for a road season in school history. Ticket sales to date, which do not include tickets purchased directly through the host school or through other means follow: USC (5,000/some seats remain at $65), BYU (2,800/ allotment sold out), Cal (3,000/ allotment sold out), Arizona (1,500/ some seats remain at $60). Tickets are also available for the Pitt ($40) and Washington State ($50) games.  

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