SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Pac-12 Conference released its 2020 football schedule Friday, and the University of Utah will open the season September 26th at Washington State.
Each team will play a 10-game schedule, five at home and five on the road, with one bye week. If necessary, the first two games could be played during the bye week if it is not safe to play.
On July 10th, the Pac-12 announced it would be playing a conference-only schedule, meaning Utah’s three non-conference games against BYU, Montana State and Wyoming were cancelled.
Utah was originally scheduled to play nine conference games, but one has been added to the 2020 docket, Oregon.
“With the unknowns that everyone has been dealing with, it is exciting to see a schedule come to fruition and to be one step closer to getting our student-athletes on the field,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “The No. 1 priority of our program, university and conference is the health and safety of our student-athletes and we will continue to work together to make sure we operate that way in everything we do.”
Here is the Utah 2020 Schedule:
Saturday 9/26 at Washington State
Saturday 10/6 at Colorado
Saturday 10/10 vs Oregon State
Friday 10/16 at UCLA
Saturday 10/31 vs Arizona
Saturday 11/7 at Arizona State
Saturday 11/14 vs Washington
Saturday 11/21 at California
Friday 11/27 vs USC
Saturday 12/5 vs Oregon
The Pac-12 Championship Game is scheduled for December 12th at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, although that could be moved to the following weekend if necessary.
Fall Camp will open August 17th for every football team in the Pac-12.
“This is an exciting announcement as we continue to plan for fall sports seasons while taking all precautions for doing so in a safe and healthy manner,” said Utah athletic director Mark Harlan. “I am particularly excited for our student-athletes and coaches in our fall sports who now have dates to plan for. We, and they, know we must also remain flexible as we go forward.
“We are in close consultation with University, state and local officials, and through those discussions we anticipate a reduced capacity at Rice-Eccles Stadium this season because of physical distancing requirements. Every effort is being made to provide the safest experience possible for fans attending games, and for all involved. Season ticket holders will receive information soon to provide details on the ticketing and seating approach for the 2020 season, and the various options they may choose.”
As far as fans attending games goes, Harlan said he doesn’t expect to have 50,000 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium anytime soon.
“We know we will have limited and a minimized amount of fans this fall,” he said.
A ticket plan should be released in the next few weeks.
The Pac-12 Conference released the following statement about the beginning of the football season:
“Return-to-competition plans for each of these sports were determined following extensive consultation with the Pac-12’s Medical Advisory Committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes and those connected to Pac-12 sports is our number one priority, and we are prepared to adjust plans if the health situation changes. In addition, the Conference previously announced that Pac-12 student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the coming academic year because of safety concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.”
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement as well:
“From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to our athletic programs. The schedule and plans approved today and path to return to competition are subject to public health orders and will be taken in accordance with the health and well-being guidelines developed by our Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee. The schedule and return to play plans provide for maximum flexibility and the best opportunity to play all fall sports in an environment that prioritizes safety. At the same time, we will continue to evaluate the best available science, data and advice of public health officials as we make decisions and any required adjustments going forward.”