Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) makes a throw during the first half of an NCAA football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.

Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) makes a throw during the first half of an NCAA football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. | Colter Peterson, Deseret News

Utah returns to the Pac-12 title game with eight straight wins

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s road to complete some “unfinished business” hasn’t been a straight shot. It required an eight-game win streak just to get the Utes back in the Pac-12 championship game.

However, the journey was made and Utah (11-1, 8-1) is set to take on Oregon (10-2, 8-1) for the conference crown Friday (6 p.m., Ch. 4) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

“It was very difficult to get back here. Running the gauntlet of a nine-game Pac-12 schedule is not easy and of course we started out from (a less than) ideal situation when we lost that first one and then had to run the table the rest of the way,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “So, it was a long, hard road, but the guys persevered and continued to work and continued to stay focused. They just continue to just attack them one at a time.”

As for “unfinished business,” Whittingham noted the mantra is something the returning seniors — many of whom returned instead of going to the NFL — adopted this season.

“It’s basically saying that we got there last year to the championship game and we weren’t able to get the win,” Whittingham said. “We get another chance this year and the message is that we need to try and finish and win the whole thing. We are in position to do that. But like I’ve said, we have a good opponent.”

Such was the case last year when Utah dropped a 10-3 decision to Washington in the Pac-12 finale. …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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