Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah Utes watch the scoreboard at the end of the game against USC during Pac-12 football in Salt Lake City Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.

SALT LAKE CITY — For the Utah Utes, there’s no place like home for the first half of the 2013 football season. They’ll play five of their first six games at Rice-Eccles Stadium and remain in the state for the first seven weeks of the season.

The Utes kick things off Thursday, Aug. 29 at home against Utah State. They’ll play host to Weber State (Sept. 7) and Oregon State (Sept. 14) over the following two weeks. After opening Pac-12 play against the Beavers, Utah closes out its non-conference slate at BYU (Sept. 21). Then comes a bye week before a Thursday night game against UCLA (Oct. 3). Defending Rose Bowl champion Stanford (Oct. 12) closes out the homestand.

Utah’s journeys outside the state begin with Arizona (Oct. 19) and USC (Oct. 26). A second open date of the season follows before the Utes face Arizona State (Nov. 9) in Salt Lake City. Road games to Fiesta Bowl champion Oregon (Nov. 16) and Washington State (Nov. 23) are next, then comes the season finale at home against Colorado (Nov. 30).

The Pac-12 Championship Game is set for Dec. 7.

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“Having seven home games on the schedule is ideal for our program and something we haven't had the luxury of for quite awhile,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a released statement. “As is the case every year, there are positives and negatives to the schedule and we don't concern ourselves with overanalyzing it. Adding Stanford and Oregon to our rotation, two of the premier teams in the conference the past few years, should make this an attractive schedule for our fans.”

The Cardinal and Ducks replace California and Washington on Utah’s conference schedule this season.

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