There is only one week left until Utah kicks off its season against UCLA at the Rose Bowl. And speaking of the Rose Bowl, the Deseret News has an article on how the Utes aren't letting the aura of such a historical place get to them.
"The historical significance of the place is awesome, but the Utes won't be in awe of it.
They'll respect it.
It's a great place to play," said Ludwig. "We've got a lot of young men from Southern California. It's a homecoming. It's very important for them to play well at the Rose Bowl."
Southern California, Whittingham noted, is probably the second biggest area in which Utah recruits. Thus, a good performance would be beneficial.
So, too, he continued, is the opportunity to play an upper echelon Pac-10 opponent.
Junior defensive end Martail Burnett, a former Los Angeles prep star, admits it will be a fun challenge for a Mountain West team to face a Pac-10 foe like UCLA.
Then again, in some ways it just doesn't matter.
"We just look forward to playing. It doesn't really matter who they line up in front of us," said Burnett. "We just look forward to playing whoever we have on the schedule."
The Rose Bowl, he insists, holds no extra significance.
"I'm not big into stadiums. We could play at East High School right now," continued Burnett. "Just line me up against somebody. It doesn't really matter where we're at. It's all about just playing football, baby."
It's good to see Utah isn't quivering over the thought of playing in such a historical stadium. I know some programs from smaller conferences can struggle when playing road games at some of college football's best stadiums. So this is refreshing to hear and I hope Utah's game looks as confident come the 2nd.
Here's a quick rundown of road games Utah has played in some of the most known college football stadiums in the country.
2003: Kyle Field (Texas A&M) -- 26-28 loss.
2002: Michigan Stadium (Michigan) -- 7-10 loss.
2001: Autzen Stadium (Oregon) -- 10-24 loss.
1997: Autzen Stadium (Oregon) -- 13-31 loss.
1996: Stanford Stadium (Stanford) -- 17-10 win.
1994: Autzen Stadium (Oregon) -- 34-16 win.
1992: Memorial Stadium (Nebraska) -- 22-49 loss.
1989: Memorial Stadium (Nebraska) -- 30-42 loss.
1989: Stanford Stadium (Stanford) -- 27-24 win.
1987: Camp Randall Stadium (Wisconsin) -- 31-28 win.
1986: Ohio Stadium (Ohio State) -- 6-64 loss.
1984: Neyland Stadium (Tennessee) -- 21-27 loss.
Utah hasn't had much luck playing at historical stadiums, but a lot of these games were played during an era where Utah football really had no luck at all. Utah's most recent game in one of college football's most historical stadiums came against Texas A&M in 2003. That was Urban Meyer's first year and the Utes were going for the game-tying two point conversion when starting QB Brett Elliott was hit and subsequently injured for the season. Of course that paved the way for Alex Smith, who as a starter would go 21-1 for the Utes.
Utah played Michigan tough at the Big House in 2002, losing when their potential game winning drive ended when a Julius Curry interception with a minute left in the game preserved Michigan's victory. Utah was all set to score and undoubtedly the win would have been the biggest in school history. Instead, it became the biggest "what if" in school history because the Utes would go on to drop four straight games after that Michigan loss, ending Ron McBride's career with Utah.
And now Utah will add another historical stadium to their list of ones visited. Utah's never played at the Rose Bowl, as the last time Utah played the Bruins on the road they were sharing the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with USC and the Los Angeles Rams.