While the 2018 season is not quite over with the Holiday Bowl against the Northwestern Wildcats looming, let’s take a brief look at the 2019 season with the announcement today of the Utah Utes’ football schedule. The full schedule is in the table below:
2019 Utah Football Schedule
|Aug. 29 (Thur.)||at BYU||Provo, Utah|
|Sept. 7||Northern Illinois||Salt Lake City|
|Sept. 14||Idaho State||Salt Lake City|
|Sept. 20 (Fri.)||at USC*||Los Angeles|
|Sept. 28||Washington State* (hc)||Salt Lake City|
|Oct. 12||at Oregon State*||Corvallis, Ore.|
|Oct. 19||Arizona State*||Salt Lake City|
|Oct. 26||California*||Salt Lake City|
|Nov. 2||at Washington*||Seattle|
|Nov. 16||UCLA*||Salt Lake City|
|Nov. 23||at Arizona*||Tucson, Ariz.|
|Nov. 30||Colorado*||Salt Lake City|
Utah has seven home games and five road games next year. They open the season at the BYU Cougars for the first time in the Pac-12 era, which is Utah’s lone away nonconference game in 2019. The Utes open Pac-12 play on the road at the USC Trojans on Friday Sept. 20, 2019. They close the year at home against the Colorado Buffaloes. Utah misses the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal from the North and adds the Oregon State Beavers (road) and California Golden Bears (home) to the schedule.
We here at Block U will most certainly dive more into this schedule in the coming weeks and months, but I will share some initial thoughts. Utah only plays two non-Saturday games, the season-opener at BYU on Thursday Aug. 29 and the Pac-12 opener at USC on Friday Sept. 20. This year Utah had two back-to-back stretches on the road, while in 2019, Utah does not have a single back-to-back road game stretch. Utah also gets two bye weeks, and they are evenly spaced (compared to this year which featured a very early bye week and only one bye). Getting a bye after the game against the Washington Huskies is a positive again due to the physicality of the Huskies, who Utah played for the 2018 Pac-12 Championship. The 2019 matchup could again prove to be a preview of the Pac-12 title game. I do not love the Friday night game at USC, but at least Utah faces their easiest opponent the week before: Idaho State. USC plays at BYU the week before and at Washington the week after facing Utah. Three of Utah’s four November games are against teams in the Pac-12 South, so the division will likely be up in the air until late into November. Overall, I think this schedule breaks Utah’s way a lot more than the 2018 schedule did.