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Press release> No. 24 Utah (0-0, 0-0 MWC) hosts No. 15/15 Pittsburgh (0-0, 0-0 Big East) in the season opener for both teams on Thur., Sept. 2. Game time is 6:30 p.m. in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The game will be televised live on VERSUS. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and Westwood One (national radio).
> Utah has two streaks going: 17-straight home wins and nine straight bowl wins (the nation's longest current bowl win streak).
> The NCAA recognizes the first victory of Kyle Whittingham's head coaching career as Utah's 2005 Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh. Whittingham served as co-head coach that game with Urban Meyer and both coaches were credited with a win. Whittingham enters his sixth full season as a head coach with a 48-17 overall record.
> The Utes are tied for No. 24 with West Virginia in the preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll. It marks the second-straight year--and the second time in school history--that Utah has been ranked in the preseason. In 2009, the Utes were ranked No. 19 by A.P. and No. 18 by the coaches.
> Last year's No. 18 final ranking in both polls marked the fifth time Utah has finished in the Top 25. Final rankings (A.P./Coaches) follow: 1994 (No. 10/8), 2003 (No. 21/21), 2004 (No. 4/5), 2008 (No. 2/4), 2009 (No. 18/18).
> Utah hopes to snap a winless streak in season-openers against a foe ranked in the A.P. poll. The Utes are 0-5 against A.P.-ranked teams in season openers, with losses to No. 17 UCLA in 1956, No. 14 Nebraska in 1968, No. 20 Texas Tech in 1973, No. 5 Oklahoma in 1977 and No. 11 Nebraska in 1992. In the first game of 2008, the Utes beat a Michigan team that was ranked No. 24 in the coaches' preseason poll.
> Utah has won its last three home games against ranked foes, beating No. 11 UCLA in 2007, No. 11 TCU in 2008 and No. 16 Brigham Young in 2008.
RIGHT AT HOME
The Utes put a 17-game home win streak on the line against Pitt this Thursday. Dating back to a Sept. 15, 2007 victory over then 11th-ranked UCLA, it is the second-longest home win streak in school history and the longest since the Utes won 26-straight home games from 1928-1934.
Utah's nine-game bowl win streak is the longest active bowl win streak in the nation and is tied for the second-longest of all-time. Florida State holds the record with 11 consecutive bowl wins (1985-96), while the Utes are tied for second with USC, which won nine straight postseason games in a period spanning from 1923-45. Five of Utah's wins during the current nine-game win streak have come against BCS foes: USC (2001), Pittsburgh (2005/2004 season), Georgia Tech (2005), Alabama (2009/2008 season) and California (2009). Utah is 12-3 all-time in bowl games and its 80-percent postseason success rate is the best in the nation among teams that have played in at least 10 bowl games.
The Utes have averaged 9.9 wins a season since 2003, including undefeated seasons in 2004 (12-0) and 2008 (13-0). Of Utah's five 10-win seasons in its 115-year history, four have come in the last seven years. Utah won double-digit games in 1994 (10-2), 2003 (10-2), 2004 (12-0), 2008 (13-0) and 2009 (10-3). The Utes have won nine or more games in each of the last three seasons, which is a school first.
Entering its final year as a member of a non-automatic qualifying conference, Utah has more wins against BCS schools than any other NAQ team. Since the BCS began in 1998, the Utes own 19 wins against BCS opponents and are 19-11 overall. Here are the leaders going into 2010: Utah (19), Navy (18), TCU (17), BYU (15) and Fresno State (14). Utah, the original BCS Buster in 2004, is 2-0 in BCS bowl games with wins over Pitt in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.