Huskies Insider Blog

Know your enemy: Utes have been waiting for this Pac 12 home game for a long time

Columnist Steve Kragthorpe writes about the the first Pac 12 home game to be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium. It's something that's been a long time in the making for the University of Utah.

Here we are, 16 months after the Utes accepted the conference’s invitation, eight months after Norm Chow was hired as the Utes’ offensive coordinator/Pac-12 resident expert, six months after Pac-12 logos were painted on the field, three months after the official membership celebration at the capitol and a month after Utah opened the 2011 season.

A genuine Pac-12 football game finally is about to be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

That’s a lot of buildup, but 16 months is nothing, really. Many fans have waited a lifetime for this day, with no promise that it would ever come.

The sense of anticipation “feels like the first time I went to a U. of U. game, when I was five,” said Bryan Lester, of Centerville, whose parents have held Ute season tickets for nearly 50 years.

Beginning with Utah’s first game as a Pac-12 school (vs. Montana State) and continuing with the visit to USC, the rivalry game with BYU and now the Pac-12 home debut, “Every week seems to be built up just as much as the previous game,” said Ute coach Kyle Whittingham. “It’s been a very intense first four weeks of the season.”A little recruiting news for the Utes as Bill Oram - a fine graduate of the University of Montana - writes this column about Utah's prized quarterback recruit Chase Hansen.

One player can only do so much.

Yes, that rule even applies to Chase Hansen. But the Lone Peak quarterback does soooo much. You know Hansen, the 6-foot-3 mountain on wheels who has committed to Utah, even though everyone seems to think he will play - get this - defense.

Yeah, right. Hansen is a tremendous and hard-hitting safety, but would a restaurant hire Wolfgang Puck to set the tables?

The No. 2 Bingham Miners were overmatched by Hansen and Lone Peak all night as Hansen passed for 381 yards and six touchdowns to lead top-ranked Lone Peak to a 45-24 win Friday over two-time defending state champs.How about a little audio?

Utah receivers coach Aaron Roderick, who was actually UW's receivers coach for about five days and is a good friend of Steve Sarkisian, talked with KFAN in Salt Lake City. Listen to it here.