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Utah Utes football: Bowl destination still up in air

Published: Sunday, Nov. 28 2010 12:33 a.m. MST

Utah's  Brandon Burton knocks the ball away from BYU's Cody Hoffman. Th ball ended in the hands of  Brian Blechen for the interception. The teams waged a tight battle to the very end, with Utah winning 17-16. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Brandon Burton knocks the ball away from BYU's Cody Hoffman. Th ball ended in the hands of Brian Blechen for the interception. The teams waged a tight battle to the very end, with Utah winning 17-16. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

BYU vs. Utah boxscore

SALT LAKE CITY — It remains to be seen where the Utah Utes (10-2) will be going bowling. If TCU, as expected, makes a second consecutive trip to the Bowl Championship Series, the prevailing wisdom is it'll likely be the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22.

"We're excited to play together one more time wherever it is," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who received some input that the Utes would most likely go to Vegas with a win Saturday. "I don't think anything is set in stone, but I'm just excited about having these guys have a chance to play together one more time."

Bowl officials in Las Vegas are reportedly courting Notre Dame, which defeated Utah 28-3 earlier this month, and would bypass a rematch if that's what it would take to get the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame would potentially fill a vacancy created by the Pac-10 not having enough bowl-eligible teams this year.

Other options for Utah include the Independence Bowl (Dec. 27) in Shreveport, La., and the Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 30) in Dallas.

Utah is expected to begin bowl preparations Wednesday with a format that also includes practices Friday and Saturday. Depending on the bowl game that invites the Utes, a similar schedule could follow the next week.

Whittingham said they plan to get the full allotment of 15 practices in before the postseason game.

"We take full advantage of that," said Whittingham, who added it's a "benefit to developing younger players."

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com

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