Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Utah Blaze's Mario Urrutia gets tackled by San Jose's Huey Whittaker during a football game at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The expression “Bring home the bacon” is typically attached to winning a contest or event. The idiom has an entirely new meaning now.

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The Utah Blaze (5-11) hit the road to take on the Iowa Barnstormers (6-10) in the first Iowa Bacon Bowl. The Barnstormers partnered with the Iowa Bacon Board to reflect the prominence of pork sales in the state. The winner will walk away with a “bacon-inspired” trophy.

And who doesn’t love fried pig?

Marco Thomas ranks second in the AFL in catches per game (9.29) and sixth in receiving yards per game (104.1) for Iowa. Thus far, he’s tallied 130 receptions for 1,457 yards and 28 touchdowns. Jess Schmidt has caught 65 balls for 654 yards and 18 scores while Marcus Harris has recorded 87 receptions for 1,146 yards and 19 touchdowns.

In the first meeting Utah topped Iowa 43-34 May 18 in Salt Lake City.


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