Utes Prepared Ahead of Hyped Game with Michigan
The University of Utah football team opens up its season against the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday night. And the Utes say they are prepared for one of the most anticipated games in school history.
The attention of the national media and college football fans everywhere has been focused on the first game of the year between the Utes and the Wolverines ever since Michigan hired former San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh grew up in Ann Arbor and later played quarterback for Michigan under coach Bo Schembechler in the 1980’s. So while the Utes are playing in one of the most hyped football games of the week, the fact that they’re favored to win has been overshadowed by all things Michigan.
“You know, we kind of feel ticked off about it, but it is what it is," says senior Utah running back Devontae Booker. "We just have to go out and prove everybody wrong.”
Last year the Utes beat Michigan 26 – 10. But Utah Head Football Coach Kyle Whittingham says so much has changed about the Wolverine football program since last year, that it doesn’t really matter.
“Every year is a new entity," he says. "It’s own set of circumstances. Matchups are different. They lost guys. We lost guys. They added guys. We added guys. So, the dynamic can change considerable but the one thing we can take is we’ve played these guys before and we fared pretty well.”
Whittingham says he’s also not concerned about his players being able to handle the pressure of such a big game.
“You know there is really no big game," he says. "Every game is a big game in this conference and with our schedule. I feel like our guys are very battle tested.”
The game is already officially a sell out. But tickets can be found online, for a price. Standing room only tickets are already selling for more than $175. The game kicks off from Rice Eccles Stadium at 6:30 and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.