Utah Utes football notebook: BYU-Utah game a family affair

Published: Thursday, Oct. 8 2015 10:44 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — It'll be a battle of the brothers in the trenches Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

When BYU has the ball, siblings Matt and Houston Reynolds man the left side of the offensive line as starters at tackle and guard, respectively.

Utah counters with the Kruger brothers. Joe starts at left end and Dave shares the top spot at tackle with James Aiono.

"The Reynolds boys are very good players, as are the Krugers," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "So that's going to be one of the highlighted matchups in the game."

Another tie to watch is BYU running back Bryan Kariya and Utah linebacker Chaz Walker. The seniors, who were teammates at Davis High School, are uncles in the same family tree.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Playing back-to-back road games at USC and BYU is a daunting task. Utah receiver DeVonte Christopher, however, doesn't mind. In fact, he's not dreading a post-bye week stretch that includes successive games against Washington, Arizona State, Pittsburgh, California, Oregon State, Arizona, UCLA, Washington State and Colorado, either.

"That's the way you like it. If you're a true competitor you want to play good teams week in and week out," Christopher said. "So that's the way I like it. I know that much."

DIFFERENT BUT THE SAME: Whittingham acknowledged that the earliest meeting in the Rivalry Game, which has been played in November each year since 1968, has a different feel to it in a way.

It's usually the culmination of the entire season, he explained.

"But as far as the mindset and the enthusiasm, it feels like every other year," Whittingham said while noting one big difference is practicing for a BYU game outdoors in the sunshine instead of doing so indoors at the stadium because the grass fields are frozen in November.

"Other than that it feels very similar," he added.

TICKET TALK: As of Wednesday night, 303 tickets for Saturday's game were available on stubhub.com. Prices ranged from $46 in the upper end zone to $282 for seats in the Lower Cougar Club 2 section. On ksl.com, tickets were sold for $75 each. A $650 listing included two west chair seats, parking and a program.

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