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Seven players with ties to the state of Utah make it to Super Bowl XLVII

Published: Wednesday, July 1 2015 7:05 p.m. MDT

Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) is chased by New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes following a reception during the second half of the AFC championship game in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday. Pitta, who played at BYU, and his team won the game and advanced to the Super Bowl. (Associated Press) Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) is chased by New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes following a reception during the second half of the AFC championship game in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday. Pitta, who played at BYU, and his team won the game and advanced to the Super Bowl. (Associated Press)

The stage is set for New Orleans and Super Bowl XLVII.

With the Ravens and the 49ers reaching this year's big game in the "Big Easy" after victories Sunday in the conference championship round, seven players with Utah ties will be on this year's Super Bowl rosters.

Baltimore, facing New England for the second year in a row in the AFC championship game, trailed 13-7 at halftime before scoring the game's final 21 points to take a 28-13 victory and the AFC's bid into the Super Bowl.

It avenges the Ravens' narrow 23-20 loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game last year, when Baltimore had a dropped TD pass and a missed field goal in the final minute of the game.

Five Ravens have ties to the Beehive State, including Dennis Pitta (TE, BYU), Paul Kruger (LB, Utah), Haloti Ngata (NT, Highland High), Ma'ake Kemoeatu (DE, Utah) and David Reed (WR, Utah).

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger warms up before the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday. Kruger, a former Ute, and his team won and advanced to the Super Bowl. (Associated Press) Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger warms up before the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday. Kruger, a former Ute, and his team won and advanced to the Super Bowl. (Associated Press)

In San Francisco's 28-24 victory over Atlanta in the NFC championship game, it looked early as though the Falcons would be going to just their second Super Bowl. Atlanta built a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter and still led 24-14 at the half.

But behind the strong play of Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers rallied and will seek their franchise's sixth NFL title when the big game kicks off in two weeks.

Two players on San Francisco's team have ties to Utah: Alex Smith (QB, Utah) and Will Tukuafu (DT, East High).

Take a look at how other players with Utah ties performed in Sunday's games.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com

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