SALT LAKE CITY — The game against BYU won't be the only thing on Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's mind on Saturday.
"We're saying goodbye to 18 seniors," he said, noting this year's class has more wins over a four-season stretch than any other group in team history. "The guys have been great leaders for us, on and off the field, and just a terrific group to be around. So we're going to miss those guys."
The players will be honored in pregame ceremonies, a "Senior Day" tradition.
"This is their last chance to play in front of the home crowd," Whittingham said. "So we appreciate what they've done."
The 2010 class has won 41 games, one more than the previous record-holders of 2009. They can raise the bar even higher with a victory over BYU and in the bowl game that is sure to follow.
"I think it's just a tribute to the people before us and coach Whittingham, really," said defensive end Christian Cox, who is one of the team captains. "Those guys set the foundation."
This year's seniors include Cox, Neli A'asa, Matt Asiata, Jereme Brooks, Daniel Bukarau, Terrance Cain, Lamar Chapman, Brad Clifford, Chad Manis, Joe Phillips, Caleb Schlauderaff, Shaky Smithson, Justin Taplin-Ross, Zane Taylor, Junior Tui'one, Walter Watts, Eddie Wide and Kamaron Yancy.
"It still doesn't feel real that this is (our) last game at Rice-Eccles. I'm very excited to have family down on the field before the game," Cox said, while expressing a determination to finish things off right.