Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Prepares To Face No. 24 Georgia Tech In The Emerald Bowl

QB Brett Ratliff's will face Tech's top 10 defense in his second-ever NCAA start.

QB Brett Ratliff's will face Tech's top 10 defense in his second-ever NCAA start.

Dec. 5, 2005


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A few notes follow. For the complete release, please download the accompanying PDF.

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> Utah (6-5, 4-4 MWC) will play No. 24 Georgia Tech (7-4, 5-3 ACC) in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco's SBC Park on Thursday, Dec. 29. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. The payout is $750,000 per team. It is Utah's fourth bowl appearance in the last five years and the ninth-consecutive bowl berth for Georgia Tech.

> Utah is 7-4 all-time in bowl games and 4-0 since 1999. Last year, Utah broke into the Bowl Championship Series and defeated Big East co-champion Pittsburgh, 35-7, in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Utah's other bowl wins during its current win streak follow: 17-16 vs. Fresno State in the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl, 10-6 over USC in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl and 17-0 vs. Southern Miss in the 2003 Liberty Bowl.

> Utah finished in a tie for fourth in the Mountain West Conference (4-4). Tech was 5-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play and tied for third in the 12-team league.

> The Emerald Bowl will pit one of the nation's best offensive teams (Utah) against one of its top defensive teams (Georgia Tech). Utah ranks No. 12 in the nation (first in the MWC) in total offense, averaging 466.0 yards per game. Tech is No. 12 in the nation in total defense, allowing 296.4 yards per game. Utah ranks No. 61 in total defense (372.8 average) and Georgia Tech ranks No. 81 in total offense (345.7 average). Complete rankings can be found on pages 3 (Utah) and 5 (Georgia Tech) of this release.


Utah and Georgia Tech have never played in football. The Utes are 1-1 against the ACC--beating North Carolina a year ago and losing to the Tar Heels this season. Both Utah and Tech played UNC this season--their only common opponent. Utah lost to the Tar Heels 31-17 in Chapel Hill, while Tech won at home, 27-21.


Junior college transfer Brett Ratliff will get just his second NCAA start in the Emerald Bowl. Ratliff, used sparingly until sophomore starter Brian Johnson suffered a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 12, led Utah to a 41-34 overtime upset over Brigham Young. Ratliff was stunning in his starting debut--passing for 240 yards and four touchdowns and running for 112 yards and a score. Johnson finished his season the league's leader in total offense (No. 4 in the nation).



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