Utah Utes football: Rivalry clash also senior day at Utah
For Brian Johnson and 18 other Utah seniors, Saturday's game against BYU will be their last at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The players, however, aren't very sentimental about it.
"We'll reminisce after. Our No. 1 goal is to go out there and try to get a win," Johnson said. "That's the bottom line. We can sit back and reassess the thing after that."
Cornerback Brice McCain insists it's nothing big.
"It's just a senior playing football at a stadium for the last time," McCain said before acknowledging he's had great experiences playing at the stadium. The fans and atmosphere, he added, have been great.
Offensive lineman Robert Conley, who is a senior captain along with Johnson and McCain, wasn't real reflective about it, either. The players, he explained, are more focused on the game.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham praised the outgoing seniors.
"They've had a heckuva run here," he said while pointing out that some of them will have traveled to five bowl games and won two Mountain West Conference titles. "It's been a very strong class. We're going to miss them."
The seniors who will be honored in pregame ceremonies. Besides Johnson, McCain and Conley, it'll also be the last home game for Freddie Brown, Brent Casteel, Terrell Cole, Bradon Godfrey, Dustin Hensel, Darrell Mack, Clint Mower, Greg Newman, John Peel, R.J. Rice, Deshawn Richard, Louie Sakoda, Colt Sampson, Corey Seiuli, Ray Stowers and Aaron Tonga."We're going to miss those guys," Whittingham said. "A big thank you for all they've done for this program the hard work, the dedication and effort the last several years."
Utah sports information director Liz Abel and her staff have been busy fielding credentials requests for Saturday's game. Representatives from the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar bowls will be at the game. So, too, will several national media outlets including USA Today, Rivals.com, CBSSports.com, Westwood One radio (national broadcast), ESPN.com, the Denver Post and Fox Sports.
The list is expected to grow throughout the week.
Whittingham will appear on ESPN's "Jim Rome is Burning" show on Friday and USA Today is putting together a feature story on Sakoda.
Richard honoredFor the ninth time this season, a Ute has been earned player of the week recognition from the MWC. Deshawn Richard, a reserve defensive back who returned two interceptions for touchdowns in Saturday's 63-14 win over San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium, is the latest honoree.
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