SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utes are headed to Big D for Christmas.
Utah accepted a bid to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against West Virginia on Tuesday, December 26th at 11:30 a.m. mountain time.
The game will be televised on ESPN.
“We’ve never played in the Heart of Dallas Bowl so this will be a new experience for our team,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “Texas is a fertile recruiting territory for us and playing in Dallas offers a great opportunity to showcase our program in the state. We look forward to playing a quality opponent in West Virginia, which will make this game enticing for our fans.”
The Utes finished the season 6-6, will be playing in their fourth straight bowl game. Under Kyle Whittingham, Utah is 10-1 in bowl games, including a 26-24 win over Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl last December. Whittingham has the best bowl win percentage (91%) in NCAA history.
Although the Utes had higher aspirations this season, they are happy to continue playing.
“Obviously this season didn’t go as planned,” said Utah tight end Harrison Handley. “Kind of a heartbreak season. But I think going out to Dallas and getting a win would definitely put a mark on the season and hopefully make the fans proud of what we’ve accomplished this year.”
“It’s a good way to finish on a high note,” added safety Chase Hansen. “You know, we have a lot of seniors that have done a lot for this program and a lot for us. I feel like they can go out on a bang, go out with a win in Dallas. That’s kind of fun and it’s around Christmas time so it’s cool.”
Utah’s only previous game against West Virginia was in the 1964 Liberty Bowl in Atlantic City, N.J., which the Utes won 32-6. Utah, which would not play in another bowl game for 28 years, is now 16-4 in postseason bowls.
The Utes have played in the Cotton Bowl once previously, defeating SMU in 1996.