Utah's big crowds were a factor in the ESPN decision says Head Coach Urban Meyer.
Dec. 19, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
The University of Utah football team will open its 2004 season against Texas A&M on Thursday, Sept. 2 in an ESPN televised game. The opportunity for national television exposure necessitated moving Utah's scheduled home game with North Carolina from Sept. 4 to Oct. 16. The Utah-Texas A&M game was originally scheduled to be played on Sept. 25.
Utah Head Coach Urban Meyer, whose Utes have played on ESPN and ESPN2 a total of three times so far this season (winning all three games), was delighted with the decision by ESPN and Utah officials to move the Texas A&M game for television purposes.
"It's a tribute to our program to be chosen to play our season-opening game on ESPN," said Meyer, whose 9-2 Utes are currently preparing to meet Southern Miss in the Liberty Bowl in an ESPN televised game on Dec. 31. "It is a reward for what our players accomplished this year, plain and simple. A lot of the credit needs to go to our fans, especially our students, who made such a great showing at our home games this year. Our game against Cal, which was televised nationally by ESPN was really what college football is all about: An exciting game and a packed house. That game helped us attract ESPN for our opener next fall," Meyer contended.
Utah's entire 2004 schedule will be released sometime in February, once the Mountain West Conference office schedules the league games. Barring unforeseen changes, Utah's non-conference schedule will be as follows:
Sept. 2 Texas A&M (Salt Lake City) Sept. 11 at Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.) Sept. 18 at Utah State (Logan, Utah) Oct. 16 North Carolina (Salt Lake City)