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BYU, Utah Ready To Reignite Football Rivalry

Brian Grimmett
University of Utah Head Football Coach Kyle Whittingham and BYU Head Football Coach Bronco Mendenhall speak at a press conference for the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

After a short sabbatical, the Holy War between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University football teams will be reignited in Sin City on Saturday. KUER’s Brian Grimmett is in Las Vegas and reports on how the teams are gearing up for their first ever meeting in a bowl game.

While the emotions are running high for fans, the head coaches of both teams say their preparations for the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl have been business as usual.

“I would like success versus any team that we play in any setting, in any context. And so this one is no different,” says outgoing BYU head football coach Bronco Mendhenhall.

He says the only other major difference for this game is the increased work load he’s had this week because he’s already taken a different head coaching job at the University of Virginia.

University of Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham has been rumored to be a potential candidate to replace Mendenhall. But he says that hasn’t been a distraction for his players.

“If there’s something to say I’ll tell them," Whittingham say. "If they don’t hear anything from me than there’s nothing to think about or speculate on.”

As for the players, senior Utah receiver Kenneth Scott says he was excited to have one last opportunity to play BYU.

“I couldn’t wait to finally play BYU again, because it’s fun to play against them," he says. "I love playing against close games that have to go down to the wire and things like that and all the extra stuff that goes with it. It just makes memories even better.”

BYU receiver Mitch Matthews says the team has respect for the Utes and the fact that they’ve beaten the Cougars four straight times.

“Because of who we’re playing, that is the reason why we’re preparing so hard,” he says.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and can be seen on ABC. 

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