Sep 2, 2022 - Sports

Utah Utes and BYU Cougars football teams face high expectations

A crowd of University of Utah football fans watches a game.
Courtesy University of Utah

College football season has arrived for the University of Utah and BYU.

  • The No. 7-ranked Utes are slight favorites as they head to Florida for a prime-time season opener against the Gators. The game starts at 5pm on ESPN.
  • BYU, at No. 25, is starting its final conference-less season in Tampa against the South Florida Bulls. Kickoff is at 2pm.

The big picture: Expectations for both teams following solid seasons last year are high.

  • After going 10-3 in 2021 and returning a larger share of key players than any other team, BYU is looking to show it'll be a consistent threat before entering the Big 12 next year.
  • The Utes want to exceed lofty expectations after losing last year's Rose Bowl nailbiter 48-45.

Catch up fast: The Utes came soooo close to upsetting Ohio State in Pasadena after dominating the Pac-12. (Ross is a huge Ohio State fan, and he loved every minute of the instant classic game.)

  • Yes, and: They were without three secondary defenders during the Rose Bowl due to season-ending injuries. But all three players are back this season.

State of play: Utah is starting the fall with the team's highest preseason ranking ever.

  • Oregon is their biggest Pac-12 competition, but USC's transfer-heavy roster could make it a conference dark horse.
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