A dozen or so sideline crew members are at the officials' beck and call for each college football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Here's a breakdown of what the responsibilities are:

• 2 holding upright orange sticks on each end of the 10-yard chain

• 2 placing the orange first-down arrow markers on the ground (1 on each side of field)

• 2 holding numeral downs-marker stick at line of scrimmage (1 on each side of field)

• 1 to clip chain on nearest 5-yard mark to help keep consistent measurements

• 1 with radio to communicate with stadium scoreboard operator to convey official ball placement

• 1 to write down all penalties from the official

• 4-6 ballboys (usually 2 on each sideline; 1 in each end zone)

Sentimental sideline souvenirs

Bill Earl and Doug Pyke have been longtime fixtures on the sideline at University of Utah home football games. Here are a few of the memories and players that stand out from their nearly 45 years of service:

Some favorite Ute players:

— Quarterback Alex Smith (who was polite after plowing Pyke over one time)

— Running back Jamal Anderson (no, they won't do the Dirty Bird dance if you ask)

— Wide receiver Steve Smith (the "biggest trash-talker" they ever heard but "a real warrior")

— Quarterback Scott Mitchell (threw the ball as far as anyone they can remember)

Best opponent:

— BYU quarterback Jim McMahon: They remember the Cougar star from the early 1980s as being a "cocky guy" who threw the "best ball" they've ever seen

Strangest conditions:

— Back in the 1960s, then-U. coach Mike Giddings would try to give the Utes a competitive advantage against quicker opponents by watering down the field the night before the game. One time, he allegedly turned on the sprinklers and forgot to turn them off. The next day, Earl, Pyke and everybody else had to slosh through 4-6 inches of water on the swampy field.

Favorite scoreboard moment:

— The entire 2004 Fiesta Bowl season was a blast, of course. And does 34-31 ring a bell to anyone?

Favorite non-Utah sideline to work on:

— Air Force Academy: The cadets are apparently respectful gentlemen who say a whole lot of "yes, sir" and "no, sir"

Least favorite non-Utah sideline to work on:

— BYU: Shocker, eh? Apparently, the Cougars can be hard to handle when they're playing in Salt Lake City

Favorite scoreboard moment in non-BYU game:

— Utah 42, Wyoming 3: The 1965 victory under coach Ray Nagel snapped a 7-game losing streak against the Pokes

Prized pigskin possession:

— Earl ended up with an old, colorful AFL football that was used in an AFL-NFL exhibition game between Denver and New England at the U.

Regime changes

Earl and Pyke have moved the chains for 10 different coaching staffs at the U.:

• Ray Nagel, 1958-65

• Mike Giddings, 1966-67

• Bill Meek, 1968-73

• Tom Lovat, 1974-76

• Wayne Howard, 1977-81

• Chuck Stobart, 1982-84

• Jim Fassel, 1985-89

• Ron McBride, 1990-2002

• Urban Meyer, 2003-04

• Kyle Whittingham, 2005-current

All-American dynasty

The two friends have also seen quite a few elite players come and go through Utah. The All-Americans they've watched include:

• 1964: Roy Jefferson, defensive end

• 1970: Marv Bateman, kicker; Norm Thompson, defensive back

• 1973: Steve Odom, return specialist

• 1980: Jeff Griffin, defensive back

• 1981: Steve Clark, defensive tackle

• 1984: Carlton Walker, offensive guard

• 1985: Erroll Tucker, return specialist

• 1991: Bryan Rowley, wide receiver

• 1994: Luther Ellis, defensive tackle (consensus); Anthony Brown, offensive tackle; Mike McCoy, quarterback

• 2001: Doug Kaufusi, offensive tackle

• 2002: Jordan Gross, offensive tackle (consensus)

• 2004: Alex Smith, quarterback; Chris Kemoeatu/, offensive guard; Steve Savoy, wide receiver; Morgan Scalley, defensive back

• 2006: Eric Weddle, defensive back (consensus)