Mike Sorensen: Here are the answers to BYU-Utah game questions

Published: Sunday, Sept. 15 2013 9:11 p.m. MDT

Who is going to win the game? Next List » 8 of 8 « Prev
It makes sense that BYU will win because of the motivation factor of a possible seven-year drought mentioned above and the fact that the Cougars are overdue. Also, the game should mean more to BYU, which has no conference championship to play for, while Utah has a couple of highly ranked conference opponents after BYU to worry about. But I’m going back to expound on my answer to question No. 2 and say this: "I don’t have the slightest idea."
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The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Who will win this game?

Kyle Van Noy and Cody Hoffman have unfinished business. They will finish it on Saturday night.

Bragging rights for three years, and Chris B will be silenced. (Okay, when it comes to Chris B, I can dream can't I).

Provo, UT

No Prediction come on we all know the Cougars Win This One !

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Answers to above questions:
1. Ask AD Holmoe and Coach Mendenhall if it is important. They arranged their schedule to have the bye week.
2. Several factors obviously; however, one reason is Utah has had better players. As evidence look at the 30+ Utes in the pros compared to under 10 from the Y. (Sorry the misconception of Utah plays above their heads and BYU underperforms just doesn't cut it!)
3. The teams face different circumstances for the first time. Utah is in a conference and plays 9 PAC-12 opponents. BYU is independent and must arrange 12 contests each year. Next year Utah plays Michigan and Fresno State as two of their 3 non-conference games.
4. Depends if you consider passing as an evaluation factor.
5. BYU needs it to get to 6 games (something they should do with ease - ie. Idaho State, Nevada, Houston, Middle Tennessee State, and their win over Texas. Utah needs it to get to 6 and be bowl eligible (remaining schedule 4 teams ranked in top 25, one previously ranked and one receiving votes!) Y needs it to support relevancy and for recruiting more than U does.
(to be continued)

Down under
Salt Lake City, UT

All that said, BYU wins by 17 points.

Witty Username
Saratoga Springs, UT

Pretty weak article.

Y's little brother
Sandy, UT

"After 67 straight years of games, why aren't the two rivals playing the next two years?"

The Utes chickened out and scheduled Fresno State instead.

"Which team needs the win more this week?"

Utah. The Utes have no chance of competing for a PAC title, so their only hope for any meaningful accomplish is beating BYU, which, unfortunately for the Utes, won't happen this year.

"Who is going to win?"

BYU, of course!


Once again an article looking to increase clicks, essentially every answer but one is - don't know! And I won't make you click eight times!

1. What effect will BYU’s extra week off have on the game? - don't know (past doesn't predict)
2. Why has Utah been able to win eight of the past 11 rivalry games, despite being the underdog in the majority of the games? - don't know
3. After 67 straight years of games, why aren’t the two rivals playing the next two years? - don't know
4. Which sophomore quarterback is better, Travis Wilson or Taysom Hill? - tossup (don't know)
5. Which team needs the win more this week? - BYU drought, Utah bowl (don't know)
6. What strange thing will transpire in this year’s game that hasn’t happened in a game during the past 15 years? - don't know
7. What happens if this Saturday's 8:15 p.m. kickoff goes past midnight into the Sabbath? - BYU will keep playing, who thought BYU would quit?
8. Who is going to win the game? - don't know

Orem, UT

1. None. BYU was going to win anyway.
2. Fortunate bounces.
3. Utah pinning pink lace on unis - too scared to play BYU for the next two seasons.
4. Wilson better, but Hill will have a better game and will soon pass Wilson.
5. Utah desperately needs the win.
6. Utah will begin a 6-year winless streak versus BYU.
7. Nothing of note will happen at mid-night - spirit versus letter of the law.
8. BYU!!!

Farmington, UT

If you did your homework you'd see that BYU played at the Meadowlands in a Kick-Off Classic one year and the game was so long it extended into Sunday in the Eastern Time Zone. They finished playing the game. Why wouldn't you know that as a sportswriter? There's really no question about that.

As far as the other questions, many of these games were close enough that they could have gone either way. Once in a while there is a blowout and partisans seem to hang onto that for years, like the 54-10 gift from Jake Heaps to the Utes, but there were games when Jim McMahon was around that went just the opposite way. BYU has never cut down their own goal posts and made them into mementos of the "big win" like Utah did because that really was sort of a desperation "we finally won" thing.

I expect a good game. I also, for the record, expected OSU to win and they did.

Tuffy Parker
Salem, UT

"After 67 straight years of games, why aren't the two rivals playing the next two years?"

Dr. Chris Hill didn't want to schedule BYU knowing that the potential of a mid season loss to BYU was too great of a risk. Some powerful (read $$$) U alumni got involved and clipped Dr. Hill's wings a little and now all of the sudden his tune has changed - even going on YouTube to let us all know how important the rivalry is.

Rock Hill, SC

C'mon - Taysom Hill is what he is. How can he be a better passer than he is? What a tired cliché - he is better than his stats! No he is not - until he plays better. I could make the same claim about Utah's D being better than they are because of past tradition. They are not - they are what they are this year until they play better! This game really is a toss up. Stronger Utah offense than we have seen in several years against a stronger Y defense than come into its own the past two seasons. The decision will be made by whose strong suit is stronger on Saturday! I like my Utes to win this one - they need it real bad and they are just better overall. Prediction from the past - Utah +5

Provo, UT

Utah will win. Why?
1. Utah can pass, BYU is weaker against the pass.
2. Utah's weakness is pass defense, but BYU can't pass.
3. Utah will be more poised. BYU will be too emotional.
4. Utah coaches are better.

I don't think it will be that close. Utah needs this game desperately too get to six wins. They will score early putting pressure on BYU. They will force BYU to pass leading to at least three turnovers. Utah scores over 30 by exploiting BYU secondary. I see it being Utah 31 BYU 14 maybe 17.
Winner goes bowling for sure, loser struggles to become bowl eligible. Most meaningful game in awhile.

Don't Feed the Trolls
Salt Lake City, UT

Why has Utah won 8 of 11? Because Utah counts all Gary Crowton's losses, but not his win. 5 of 8 will be 5 of 9 as of Sunday, and 5 of 10 after the next game.

Layton, UT

2 weeks for the Utes to get ready for UCLA and the rest of the conference schedule, highlighted by a practice game Saturday night.

The cougars and their fans are excited and honored to have another major conference team coming to grace their stadium. Your welcome.

Big game for byu as they continue their quest for...ah...what are they questing for?

Orem, UT

13 of the last 16 have been decided by a touchdown or less in the closing minutes or in overtime. Any fan claiming that either team has had a decisive advantage in the last 20 years is just blowing smoke. The Utes have won three in a row, but it could very easily have been BYU winning 6 of the last 8.

Layton, UT

"but it could very easily have been byu winning 6 of the last 8."


Why don't you put that in your trophy case next to *1984.

anti BCS
Anaheim, CA


Keep dreaming.

BYU enjoys hosting our little brothers from the hill, because it gives the Utes an opportunity to experience what it's like to play in the only big boy-sized stadium in the state.

While you're here, why don't you take a little time to visit BYU's Legacy Hall where you can see a Crystal Football National Championship Trophy and a Heisman Trophy on display. That's as close as the kids on the hill will ever get to the twin iconic trophies of major college football team and individual success.

caleb in new york
Glen Cove, NY

ekute - your attempts to dismiss the byu game as being a given or not a highlight for utah include an error in that the Utah-UCLA game is 3 weeks away.

scenic view
Baltimore, MD

Unlike our little friends on the hill who constantly live in denial, BYU doesn't have to pretend that we were consensus national champions in 1984 - all five major national organizations of the day selected BYU as the 1984 national champion.

What's really laughable is Utah fans claiming a national championship in 1944, that wasn't, while pretending that BYU's officially recognized national championship in 1984, wasn't.

13-0 in 1984 against a complete slate of Division 1 opponents is not good enough for jealous Utah fans.


6-1 in 1944 against the weakest slate of opponents in NCAA history is just fine for Utah fans.

Provo, UT


I partially agree with you, but the author said he is better than his percentage indicates and I believe he is referring to the nine dropped passes against Virginia and several more against Texas.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Just like OSU, this should be an easy win for the Utes.


As much as I enjoyed watching the BYU Faithful head for their cars early in the second half two years ago, I doubt that will happen again. I expect another nail-biter.

Go Utes!

West Jordan, UT

Thats funny saying quarterbacks are a toss up. lets see 1 is ranked 23 in the country, the other is ranked 121. pretty close.

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Just keep discounting Taysom Hill, just keep it up!

Kinda like you discounted OSU...

Anaheim, CA


Early season rankings are often deceiving.

Don't be too surprised to see the 121st-ranked QB outperform the 23rd-ranked QB.


Better question. Why do we care about this arbitrary 11 years number? Bronco and Whittingham have been with their respective schools for 8 season (this is their 9th) and Whitt is up 5-3. Doesn't that seem to be MUCH more meaningful than including games under other coaches?

Worth noting is that 6 of those 8 were decided by 7 points or less with 2 going to OT. BYU and Utah were 5-5 in the decade following the turn of the century and 5-5 in the 90s. Utah is up 3-0 in this decade and I am hopeful that will change to 3-1 come Saturday, but why should I care about the last 11 years, specifically?

Also the question about the QBs was answered in a very political way. Right now Wilson is the better QB (or is, at least, having the better year). Hill was a better passer last year, which is why I don't fault the "better than his stats" argument, but until he puts together a complete game (high completion rate, 200+ yards, and a favorable TD:INT ratio), there is really no argument to be made in Hill's behalf.

Gorum The Old
Madison, AL

Actually these two teams are in amazingly similar situaltions. Each have a solid win and an embarrasing loss. Each have serious questions on one side of the ball. Each is trying to prove that they are the team that beat the good team, not the ones that lost to the bad ones.

BYU lost to a virginia team that proceeded to get poinded by Oregon the following week and Utah lost to a Oregon St, a team that lost to FCS Eastern Washington in Week 1.

BYU Pounded a then 15th ranked Texas in Week 2, and Utah beat a good USU in Week 1.

BYU Has a very good defense, but has questions on offense. In spite of their 679 yard output last week they have a QB who's only completed 33% of his passes. Utah's offense has scored 78 points and racked up 989 yards in its two FBS games. On the other side though. the Utes defense has given up 77 points and 978 yards.

I can't wait for the game.

Funny/witty screen name
Orem, UT

Hill is just acting like he can't throw so that the little utsies dont worry about it, then when they least expect it, he is going to break out, throwing for 400 yards and running for 100, beating the utes in a double digit blowout.



I believe it's still too early to say with confidence which teams are good, and which ones aren't.

I don't know how embarrassed BYU should be by losing to UVA - on the road, in inclimate weather, in the season opener. And I don't think UVA should be viewed as a "bad team" because they got manhandled in Eugene by Oregon.

While I am disappointed in Saturday's outcome at RES, I am not embarrassed that Utah lost to Oregon State. I think Oregon State will prove to be a solid team, even though they lost to Eastern Washington in their opener.

Yes, BYU pounded Texas. The Cougars should be proud of rushing for more yards against the Longhorns than anyone has ever done. But remember, the Longhorns got beat soundly again two days ago, indicating that there may be little significance to the "then 15th ranked" qualifier you used to describe Texas.

I expect that Utah State will have another excellent season, but we'll have to wait and see.

Utah and BYU both want to win Saturday's game desperately, as always. But for Utah, they probably can't become bowl eligible without a win in LES.

Go Utes!

LaVerkin, Utah

@ who am I sir

I predicted two years ago that we would be hearing a change in your fight song. "Who am I sir, a Pac 10 + 2 bottom dweller am I". One of those two bottom dwellers of the Pac 10 + the 2 bottom dwellers. I seem to be correct in predicting you will be a bottom dweller, but I suspect that there will be many that would also like to change that fight song to reflect reality (and being a U of U alumni, I bet that there are going to be a lot of empty seats at RES in the future).

Omaha, NE

I am not certain what to think after the U's loss on Saturday. I went to the game and I feel that the U's offensive line needs a ton of work and that their defensive line also in trouble. The U's defense has, in my opinion, no tricks as I did not see more than a couple of stunts. Their blitzes were ineffective and their middle linebackers seemed to be stuck in the mud and slow to react. Their DBs were burned too often and the safety was out of place too frequently to make a break on a play. Once Taysom finds his accuracy in his arm, he will terrorize the U. I will make mention of this observation. The U wears teams down in the 4th quarter. The U's defensive line started to get pressure in the 4th quarter. Subbing out 300lbers starts to have its effect on offensive linemen. I hope that Sitake can work out these problems, be creative, and have this turn into a good game. If not, the Y walks away with a laugher.

Taylorsville, UT

@Y's little brother

"The Utes chickened out and scheduled Fresno State instead."

A team which is currently ranked in the top 25

A team which BYU also has chosen to schedule in its quest for tough opponents. And since Holmoe stated, "I haven't tried to put together mediocre schedules," he must see Fresno State as more than a mediocre team.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

BYU will win. Utah barely beat Utah State, wholloped a bad Weber State team, then lost a conference game. Utah gets kudos for winning their first two but they were games they were supposed to win. Having lost a conference game puts their season in doubt, sad but true.

BYU beat up on a decent yet poorly coached Texas team. The Virginia game dealt BYU some bad luck with a delay on the road then wet conditions the rest of the game, and they still nearly won. Watch out for the BYU running game and an occassional pass to some annoyed receivers. BYU wins by a decent margin, not a blowout.

Mission Viejo, CA

Trash talk aside here's what I see:
1) BYUs running game will not be easy to stop. If Utah doesn't respect it, it will be Texas Redux.
2) BYUs passing game is unknown. Is Hill really as bad as he looked? I don't think so. He was 50% last year with a much worse offense.
3) BYU defense is the real deal and they'll be all over Wilson and stuffing the run.
4) BYU's kicking (which cost them two of the last three games) looks much better.
5) Utah is looking down the barrel of a murderous schedule, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Oregon. They lost to OSU in a thriller (I guess), but OSU is not Oregon, Stanford, etc.

A win could bolster Utah, but I don't think they'll get it this year. For BYU, it will be a good win but probably won't help SOS numbers. Sadly, the big win over Texas won't either, unless UT turns things around. But you have to beat the teams you play, and 1-loss BYU would get a nice ranking. Utah might upset one of the teams (maybe USC?) but certainly won't be ranked.

Anyway, I'm excited about this game! Go Cougs!

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

I hadn't looked at the Utah schedule, wow, even with a BYU win they won't make 6 wins. Here's how the two teams fare the rest of this year:

Utah 5-7:
Weber St - W
UCLA - L (big)
Stanford - L (big)
Arizona - L
USC - W (small)
Oregon - L (big)
Colorado - W (small)

BYU 9-3:
Virginia - L
Texas - W
Utah - W
MTSU - W (big)
Georgia Tech - W
Houston - W
Boise State - W (small)
Wisconsin - L
Idaho State - W (big)
Notre Dame - L (small)
Nevada - W (small)

Either way, BYU gets their bowl, the U stays home again. So this game is HUGE for the U and Big for BYU.

And why is the official Utah Athletics website still hosted by cstv? Time to join the big leagues...

St Louis, MO

Man, we have some humorless and/or ditzy posters here . . the question about BYU continuing to play after the clock strikes 12 was not a serious question.

As for the game, having watched OSU hang 51 on Utah, I have to say BYU wins because of their D. Of course, I thought I had good reasons to pick BYU the last three years and look how that turned out.

Alpine, UT


"A team which is currently ranked in the top 25"

How is that relevant?

In 2012, when Chris Hill announced the 2014 and 2015 suspension of the rivalry, Fresno State was coming off a 4-9 record in the WAC and the Bulldogs hadn't been ranked since 2004.

By contrast, BYU had just finished a 10-3 season with a #25 finish in the Coaches Poll and a #26 finish in the AP Poll.

As Dr. Hill himself said when he made the announcement in July 2012:

"What we have to do is make sure we don’t come close to overscheduling," he said.

In Hill’s mind, playing both Michigan and BYU in the same years would have put the Utes in that situation.

"I can’t expect us to play 11 really, really difficult games in a season," he said.

Spin it however helps U sleep at night, but the reality is Hill dropped BYU for Fresno St to give the Utes a better chance of being bowl eligible.

idaho cougar fan
Twin Falls, ID

If BYU wins, I want them to blow out the Utes. It probably won't happen, so as a BYU fan, I'll just take the win. Should be a good game though. If Utah doesn't win this game, they will probably not become bowl eligible. Said it 2 1/2 years ago, utes will be basement dwellers and in the forgottens of college football.

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

If BYU players and coaches are 1/2 as arrogant and over confident as their fans on these threads, they will get beat soundly. BYU fans act as if they are 40 point favorites. Time for a dose of reality, you lost to a horrible team and beat a fair, at best, Texas team. Texas will lose 5-6 games this year. Actually beat Utah before popping off! I guess it's easier to do it prior to the game, then make up excuses afterwards.


Captain Golgafrinchan
Pangea, UT

"If BYU Players and coaches are 1/2 as arrogant and over confident [sic] as their fans...they will get beat soundly." I try and try, but I can't make both sides of my mouth speak so fluently as in this quote. Perhaps it's more mental than physical.

I have BYU 27, Utah 17. Hill will have a decent short-throwing game with an occasional long surprise, and a great running game. He will be good in the air but not great. Utah will have a great throwing game when the pressure doesn't come or when they can stop it. I have BYU's defensive pressure checking Wilson's great arm more than Utah's D cornering Hill's versatility and good defensive reading. Wilson will get a couple of good runs in.

I call it "prediction".

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

@Surf is up

Did you even read the posts? Actually, all you have to do is read the screen names. BYU hasn't done anything yet; nor has Utah. Only difference is, BYU fans wanted to fire their coach after UVa, then act like their team is top 5 after beating a horrible Texas team. Most act like Utah is going to be a walk in the park and discount the Fact Utah has won 3 in a row. Kind of like how the Virginia game has been swept under the rug.


Thanks for proving my theory. Your prediction and 75 cents will get you a Desseret News, newspaper.

I'm hopeful Utah will win, but this game could go either way. When you come on here and puff up your chest and make outlandish predictions, you morph into Chis B, BYU style.....sad, but true!

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

Interesting Rankings, per Saragin:
Oregon St = 41
Utah St = 42
Texas = 43
Virginia = 62
By the time the season is over, beating Texas will be like beating Duke.


re U25
I'm honestly curious about your quarterback rankings. Were you saying that Hill was 23rd and Wilson 121st? because the last ranking that I saw had Hill at 16th in the nation, with Wilson not being in the top 16, but I don't think it was an official website that ranked it. I just don't think Hill is 121st after Texas, you probably saw it after Virginia

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA


Actually, I stand corrected after re-reading your post. 27-17 isn't all that crazy. My bad


Yes, seriously.

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

Did someone say something?

Big J
Bountiful, UT

I love all the BYU fan predictions. I chuckle every time 1984 is brought up as support for anything. The comments about Hills passing ability last year are also funny. How much did he play before getting hurt? Do all of you really think BYU is going to run for 500+ yards ever again?

Utah beat a very talented USU team with a close win. Utah lost to a PAC-12 team with a very good QB in an OT shootout. Certainly either game could have gone the other way. To all fans, it does not matter how you win, it just matters that you win. OSU was one play better than Utah.

Until you beat a team on the field there is really no use shooting off your mouth. Expect the same outcome as the last three years.

Go Utes!

Samurai Jake
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with fans from both sides. Anyone predicting a blowout, a sure victory, or the like is simply ignoring the fact that both teams have strengths and weaknesses, and the game will likely come right down to the wire. I'm expecting some amazing plays from both teams, and can only hope that no players sustain any serious injuries.

Can't wait for the amazing showdown on Saturday!

Go Utes!

Provo, UT

Anybody who is making predictions about this game is either ignorant (of history), stupid, and just trying to get a rise out of people (boorish?). This game is almost always a toss-up. The past never predicts the future. We do not know what adjustments Utah will make with the defensive backs and we don't know how Taysom Hill will perform. That's why we will all watch Saturday evening.

Adirondack Cougar
Loon Lake, NY

Utah is Dead Man Walking. They definitely need this game more than the Y does. If Utah loses, going bowling becomes problematic. If BYU loses, they still go bowling. If Utah can shake off last Saturday night, and the Y is over confident this game will hinge on a turnover, missed kick or trick play (Utah St). Momentum will be important. I see this as a low scoring affair 21 -17 either way. Get your heart medicine handy!

Ann Arbor, MI

Personally, I'm not into this "rivalry" thing anymore. The bitter taste of last weeks epic PAC12 game has me most interested in competing with our own. I'm eager to get back to what's important.

I honestly can say a feel little interest in keeping the forced rivarly going. If anything keep the BYu game as the first game of the year or nothing.....I go with nothing.

East Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah's #118 passing defense
BYU's #118 passing offense

Because our secondary is horrible and because the game is at LES I can honestly say BYU has a very slight edge.

But then again if BYU plays like they did at Virgina then Utah by 20+. And no BYU won't repeat the Texas game performance. Because unlike Texas's #126 ranked rush defense our #29 rush defense can tackle (see Utah State).

East Salt Lake City, Utah

@Adirondack Cougar
If Utah can shake off last Saturday night, and the Y is over confident this game will hinge on a turnover, missed kick or trick play (Utah St).


Or 3 miracles (2006, 2007, and 2009).

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Love the D-news.

Don't ask why but last night I posted (one right after the other) a two part answer sheet to the "questions". I received confirmation both were approved. (There were no other postings at that time.) Today, I visited this site and my second comment was posted but not the first. Later, the first was posted and not the second. (that is the current status) Sorry readers but due to the D-news efficiency it appears the second part is not available (I know everyone is upset!)


Oh contrare my dear friends, BYU did take down their own goal posts and I kept my cherished piece of it for years. 1958 in the old Cougar Stadium where the Richards Building now sits. What a riot it was. Let's do it again Saturday or Sunday morning, whatever. Go Boys let's do it royally once again.


Gone fishin
PAC Country, WA

At least BYU HAS trophy case. It happens to have a national championship, Heisman Trophy, etc. etc. etc, in it. I hear the new football building does not a trophy case in it since it would be empty. Now that is a laugher.
And the utes gracing their stadium? What a joke. Utah does not grace anything. Having a 3-9 team come to your stadium will hurt heir SOS but that cannot be helped. Who knew the utes would stink when they scheduled the game years ago.

And Spokane Ute, If you want to speak of arrogance look no further than the Utah fans that frequent these sites, yourself included. Conveniently you left Utah's Saragin rating. How convenient.

Bountiful, UT

FANS ON BOTH SIDES! ATTENTION! The past is the past. Has nothing to do with this Saturday. Why not at least TRY to contribute intelligently to the discussion instead of dredging up meaningless crap from the past. You bat this stuff back and forth, week after week, for your whole lives.

The only thing that matters right now is who will win on Saturday and why. How about commenting on that...but intelligently, please! There is nothing more foolish than a homer who predicts a homer win just because he's a homer. If you step out of your homer mindset, you'll see that BYU has a very good chance of winning this game, and I'm a Ute fan. You'll also see that Utah has a very good chance of winning this game.

Maybe we could have a little rule that asks something like this at the front of the post: "I'm a homer and smack-talker and have nothing useful to say," that way the rest of us can be spared having to muddle through your pointlessness.

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

As much as I'd like to respond, the D-news won't allow it. Even though I've been called arrogant and a hypocrite. Thanks for encouraging the "civil dialogue" moderator. Looking forward to a good game. Can I post that?

Highland, UT

@spokane ute

"If BYU players and coaches are 1/2 as arrogant and over confident as their fans on these threads, they will get beat soundly."

Really? That's your take after reading all the posts here? Good grief that was laughably foolish.

Midvale, UT

Wow! Truth is hard to hide from isn't it "Y" fans. although I wont say "all" Y fans do this, Read all the posts above. With a large % of these y fans mouthing off, y's little brother?? Utes dead man walking.....?? Ok now the game has happened, Utes have beat you 4 years in a row 9 of 12. Read your posts Again! who is classless now? an yes, Pac 12 is harder but the reward is bigger.
an now that the actual game has exposed the cold hard TRUTH, face reality, your once little Bro has now grown bigger, benches more, an gets all the girls. GO UTES!

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