SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah football fans were out in full on Thursday evening, making a ground-shaking impact on Utah’s 24-11 win over the Florida Gators.
Ahead of the game, the University of Utah Seismograph Station set up a seismic station on the west side of Rice Eccles Stadium. The goal? To record the shaking generated by the record-setting 53,644 fans that came to watch.
An hour before the game kicked off, things were relatively quiet. A proverbial calm before the storm. UUSS recorded a small spike from a passing TRAX train, likely dropping more fans off at the stadium before a large seismic shift as Utah football players took to the field to warm up.
Once the team came out of the tunnel to get the game going, fans really began rocking the stadium. The thin line of seismic activity nearly doubled in size, reaching another large spike as the team hit the field.
Rice Eccles Stadium quaked again in the moments leading to Utah’s first touchdown. The stadium began shaking after a third down offside and just as things were beginning to calm down, a third down stop shook things up once again. Neither spike compared to when Utah Quarterback Bryson Barnes threw a 70-yard pass to Wide Receiver Money Parks for the first touchdown of the game.
Fans continued to make noise with the Utah defense in the second quarter, shaking the stadium during a delay of the game in the third down. A brief “quake” affected the stadium following a loose ball and seismic activity picked up again during an offside call on the fourth down.
Utah Quarterback Nate Johnson caused a seismic uproar with his 27-yard run that put Utah up 14-3 for a touchdown in the second quarter. The UUSS provided two other moments where Ute fans literally shook the ground.
The first came following sophomore Sione Vaki‘s interception which made “everyone stand up” at the stadium, according to UUSS. The final update was from the third-quarter touchdown following the interception. Barnes made a five-yard rush to put Utah up 24-3, all but securing the win for the Utes.
Looking at the seismic graphs, it goes without saying Utah’s win was electrifying and fans were happy to see the Utes extend their undefeated home streak.
It will be a couple of weeks before Utah fans will pack Rice Eccles Stadium to offer more ground-shaking support. The team travels to Waco, Texas to play Baylor University on Sept. 9 before welcoming Weber State University on Sept. 16.