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Tom Smart, Deseret News
A frustrated Utah coach Kyle Whittingham looks on as the University of Utah is defeated by Boise State 26-3 in Wednesday's Las Vegas Bowl in Henderson, Nev.

LAS VEGAS — Utah's final football game as a representative of the Mountain West Conference didn't end so well. Wednesday's 26-3 loss to Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas certainly isn't the best momentum builder for what lies ahead for the Utes.

Even so, they'll still be joining the Pac-12 Conference next season.

"We've got a big challenge ahead of us, obviously, with the transition to the Pac-12," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "That's the task at hand right now and our main focus is ramping up for that. The bar is raised in all areas and that's our first and foremost challenge."

Recruiting and building facilities toward that end, he added, is all part of "getting ready to compete in a conference that is very, very good."

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