Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utes to Play Georgia Tech in Hyundai Sun Bowl

Kyle Whittingham has taken Utah to a bowl game all seven of his seasons as head coach.

Kyle Whittingham has taken Utah to a bowl game all seven of his seasons as head coach.

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> Utah (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) will play Georgia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Dec. 31. The game will kick off at noon MST in Sun Bowl Stadium. The 78th version of the Sun Bowl will be televised on CBS. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and Sports USA Radio Network.

> The Utes are making their second Sun Bowl appearance and their first since they beat New Mexico 26-0 on Jan. 2, 1939. See Last Time in the Sun for more.

> It will be the 10th bowl game in 11 years for the Utes, including all seven years under head coach Kyle Whittingham. Whittingham, who has averaged nine wins a season and is 6-1 in bowl games (including a victory as co-head coach of the 2005 Fiesta Bowl team), is assured of his seventh winning season.

> Utah and Whittingham are 1-0 against Georgia Tech. In Whittingham's first season as head coach, the Utes upset 24th-ranked Georgia Tech 38-10 in the 2005 Emerald Bowl.

> Utah, which tied for third in the Pac-12 South division, has won four of its last five games heading into postseason play and was in contention for the Pac-12 South division title until the final game of the regular season (a 17-14 loss to Colorado).

> Utah's 12-4 all-time bowl record includes nine-straight wins from 1999-2009 before last year's loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Utah's nine-game win streak is tied for the second-longest of all time with USC (1923-45). The record is 11 straight by Florida State (1985-96).

> Georgia Tech, which tied for second in the ACC's Coastal Division, will play in a bowl game for the 15th consecutive season (40th overall).

> The Sun Bowl pits the nation's third-ranked rushing offense in Georgia Tech (316.8 ypg) against Utah's seventh-ranked rush defense (97.0 ypg).


The media predicted it would be the most even match-up of the 1938 bowl season but Utah blasted New Mexico 26-0 on Jan. 2, 1939 in the fifth-annual Sun Bowl. Utah, the Big Seven Conference champion, scored twice in the first quarter on a 15-yard lateral from Ray Davis to Tom Pace and on Ray Peterson's 60-yard interception return. Peterson also ran for a second-quarter TD. New Mexico's highly-touted aerial attack never advanced past Utah's 40-yard line. The Lobos, co-champions of the Border League, gained just 153 yards of total offense to Utah's 384. It was the first bowl game in school history for Utah, which would not play in the postseason again until the 1964 Liberty Bowl.


In its first year in the Pac-12 Conference, Utah tied for the fourth-best overall record at 7-5 and was 4-5 in league games #utes ... Utah was 3-0 in non-conference play with wins over Montana State, BYU and Pitt #utes ... Whittingham is 1-1 against the ACC as a head coach, losing to North Carolina and beating Georgia Tech in 2005 #utes ... Utah and Georgia Tech have not played any common opponents this season #utes ... Including 15 games vs. UTEP in the Sun Bowl, Utah is 12-4 all-time in the stadium (11-4 vs. UTEP, 1-0 vs. UNM) #utes ... Utah has never played a game on CBS. CBS is televising the Sun Bowl for the 44th-consecutive year #utes.


In Utah's first year as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, 11 Utes were voted to the all-conference team by the league's coaches, including three first-team, two second-team and six honorable mention honorees. Named to the first team were senior offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, junior defensive lineman Star Lotulelei and senior defensive lineman Derrick Shelby. Earning second-team honors were junior running back John White IV and senior offensive lineman John Cullen. Honorable mention selections were special teams senior Greg Bird, senior defensive back Conroy Black, sophomore linebacker Brian Blechen (now playing safety, he made the team at linebacker), junior defensive back Ryan Lacy, junior placekicker Coleman Petersen and senior linebacker Chaz Walker.


Utah, the Pac-12's scoring defense and pass efficiency defense leader, also ranks second in rush defense and third in total defense. Utah has held six of its 12 opponents to under 100 net rushing yards: BYU (11), Oregon State (32), Washington State (47), Pittsburgh (70), Arizona State (74) and Montana State (75). The defense has also scored 24 points this season, two on interception returns and two on fumble returns.


Utah is 2-1 against the ACC with wins over North Carolina (2004) and Georgia Tech (2005) and a loss to North Carolina (2005).



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