SALT LAKE CITY — They're back.
For the first time since the BCS-busting season of 2004, ESPN's "College Football GameDay" will set up shop in the west parking lot at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Crews will begin installing the set on Thursday with network personalities Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews taping segments for ESPN's "SportsCenter," "College Football Live" and other shows on Friday between 10 a.m. and noon.
On Saturday, live taping runs from 7-10 a.m. Admission is free and Ute fans are invited and encouraged to attend.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has even issued a challenge.
"We're hoping to get about 10,000 fans out there. That's a lofty goal but that's what we'd like to see," Whittingham said while noting that approximately 4,000 attended the program before the Utes defeated BYU in 2004. "It would be nice to see all our fans come out, support the 'GameDay' show."
Whittingham also voiced his support for fans to wear black and camouflage to the Utah-TCU game that afternoon (1:30 p.m., CBS C) and "just have a great time."
The battle between the unbeaten Utes (8-0) and Horned Frogs (9-0), he continued, makes for an exciting week up on the hill.
"But as a football team, we've got to keep our focus, obviously, on the game and the task at hand and not get caught up in any of the things that are going on," Whittingham said. "But our guys have handled it so far this season very well. Everything they've been asked to do."
The Utes, he continued, have been in big games before.
"This is not new to our program," Whittingham said. "And so we feel like we're ready to take this on."