August Miller, Deseret News
SAN DIEGO — Before leaving Qualcomm Stadium, Utah's focus had shifted from San Diego State to BYU.
After snapping a two-game skid with a 38-34 victory over the Aztecs, the Utes turned their attention to Saturday's rivalry game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
And it matters little that there are no championship implications on the line.
"It's still going to be, obviously, very intense and we'll get on them right away," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
Cornerback Brandon Burton acknowledged the Utes have been waiting for this game. They're looking to avenge last year's 26-23 overtime loss in Provo.
"We've just got to go into next week, work hard and come out with the win," Burton said.
There's plenty of fuel to feed the fire.
"It's definitely going to be heated," said quarterback Jordan Wynn. "We have some payback for them from last year."
Burton declined to identify Utah's rival as BYU, opting for a different description.
"We just call them the TDS, the Team Down South," he explained. "We'll never say the name."
Defensive end Christian Cox, though, had even less to say.
"Saturday. Senior Day. Cougars. Be there. That's it," he said.
Utah's move to the Pac-12 and BYU's impending move to independence next season marks the end of an era in the rivalry.
This will be the last Mountain West Conference match-up, the rivalry will shift to September in the future.
"This will be the end of the rivalry as far as the end of the year time slot that it's been played," Whittingham said. "Our seniors are excited to have one more chance to play together. It's at home, so we'll see what we can do."
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