SALT LAKE CITY – An unparalleled year of college football has made the 2020 season difficult to juggle, as a global pandemic has changed the landscape of the sport. And after a five-game football season, Utah has chosen to play its last game on Saturday.
Utes, who are set to host Washington in the final game of a regularly modified and unpredictable season, have “collectively decided” that Saturday’s game will be the last game of the season, the university announced on Friday morning.
“Our number one priority is the well-being of our players and we support the decision they have made,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “They have been working hard since returning to campus this summer and have shown tremendous resilience in the face of adversity and challenge.
“We are proud of what they have accomplished on the pitch and how they have handled everything off the pitch. We look forward to starting preparations for the 2021 season when the players return to campus in January.”
Utah is currently with a 2-2 record this season, and a win over Cougars Saturday would have made the Utes bowl eligible with a 3-2 record – Pac-12 requires a team to be over. 500 to be eligible for this bowl. season despite the fact that the NCAA has allowed any team to be eligible for the 2020 season. But after a tax season, the decision is final.
Junior wide receiver Britain Covey said the team was “burned out” after Utah defeated Colorado on Saturday to secure their second win of the season.
“It’s sad. I mean, it’s the first time in my career that we don’t play for a championship or the chance to go to the championship. And it’s different – you have to dig deep, you have to find what motivates you,” Covey said. . “We will have another game and this is such a strange season.
“The truth is, and I don’t think anyone could criticize the teams for saying that, we’re all pretty burned out. You saw what Boston College did, giving up their bowl game,” he added. “I don’t blame them at all because the whole team, we’re pretty burned just for the emotional sake of the season. So having a single game isn’t fun, but at the same time, we’re ready to finish strong. We want to finish with a winning record next year. “
Earlier this week, Whittingham and his players declined to comment on their plans for a potential postseason and instead said they were focusing entirely on Washington State.
“We support student-athletes in their decision and applaud the way the University of Utah represents them,” Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan said in a statement. “I said from the beginning of this pandemic that everything is related to the health and well-being of student-athletes. They did everything they were asked to do after the strict protocols that were established to give them the opportunity to play football. season this fall.
“Thank you to our incredible supporters and fans who have stood by us and our student-athletes throughout this unprecedented season.”