SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The University of Utah Utes Football team enters the Rose Bowl on Monday, Jan. 2 against Penn State, marking the Utes’ second foray into the “Granddaddy of Them All.”

While this is only the second time the Utes have ever competed in the Rose Bowl, Utah is no stranger to major Bowl games. And they are no strangers to winning them.

The University of Utah is 17-8 across 25 bowl appearances. When it comes to the Rose Bowl, Utah is looking to even the record as it currently stands 0-1 after last year’s narrow 48-45 loss to Ohio State.

The Utes’ Bowl appearances date back to 1938. Under the lead of Head Coach Ike Armstrong, The Utes reached the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, to take on the University of New Mexico. In their first bowl appearance, the Utes decimated the Lobos, winning 26-0.

It would be a long 26 years and two head coach changes before the Utes would reach another major bowl. In 1964, the University of Utah entered the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, playing against the West Virginia Mountaineers of West Virginia University. Led by Head Coach Ray Nagel, the University of Utah easily won its second-ever Bowl appearance, beating the Mountaineers 32-6.

It would be another 28 years before Utah competed in another Bowl, but under Ron McBride, the Utes would start to become a regular contender for major Bowl games. Under McBride’s tenure, The Utes would advance to six bowl games between 1992 and 2001, two appearances each in the Copper Bowl, the Freedom Bowl, and the Las Vegas Bowl. McBride’s Utes won three and lost three, never winning the Copper Bowl, but staying undefeated in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Head Coach Urban Meyer’s short stint as the head of the Utes in 2003 and 2004 was successful, helping lead the team to the Liberty Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, both of which were wins for Utah.

Enter Kyle Whittingham.

Taking over for Meyer in 2004, Whittingham essentially only knows success with the University of Utah. Since taking the helm at the University of Utah, Whittingham has reached 15 Bowl games, including Monday’s second Rose Bowl appearance. And he has won most of them.

Whittingham started with seven straight Bowl appearances, winning the Emerald Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Sun Bowl each once, and the Poinsettia Bowl twice. In the seven Bowl streak, Whittingham only lost the Las Vegas Bowl (then known as the Maaco Bowl) in a 26-3 defeat to Boise State.

Whittingham would make another incredible six straight bowl game appearances from the 2014 season on to the 2019 season. He would improve Utah’s record by winning four of the six, claiming victories twice in the Las Vegas Bowl, once in the Foster Farms Bowl, and in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. His only losses in the six-straight appearances were in the Holiday Bowl for the 2018 season and the Alamo Bowl in the 2019 season.

That brings us to now.

Whittingham brought the Utes to its first-ever Rose Bowl appearance at the end of the 2021 season, where the team lost to Ohio State. Now Whittingham and his Utes have the opportunity to set the record straight by claiming a win over Penn State.

The Rose Bowl game between Utah and Penn State is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. MT and can be watched live on ESPN.