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SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah football team would love to get into a BCS bowl game this year, but they will probably have to win this Saturday to do it.
The Utes play TCU at Rice Eccles Stadium in a game that has national championship implications. Both teams are undefeated and ranked in the top 5 in the nation.
The match up also is drawing national media attention. ESPN's College GameDay show will anchor its Saturday program in the west parking lot of the stadium. The crew began setting up the stage and cameras early Thursday morning. Everything should be in place by Thursday evening.
Seven additional direct TRAX trains will run to Rice-Eccles Stadium from Sandy departing at:
- 10:55 a.m.
- 11:15 a.m.
- 11:35 a.m.
- 11:55 a.m.
- 12:15 p.m.
- 12:35 p.m.
- 12:55 p.m.
FrontRunner will also run an extra train departing Ogden Station at 11:46 a.m. In addition, FrontRunner will have an extra train from Salt Lake Central Station northbound departing one hour after the conclusion of the game. These trains are in addition to the regular Saturday FrontRunner service, which runs once per hour.Bus
UTA will run a direct bus shuttle between Stadium Station and Gallivan Plaza to accommodate additional riders, before and after the game. The buses will display "TRAX Shuttle" in the header. The bus shuttle will begin operation at approximately 12 noon and will also run for one hour following the conclusion of the game.
The U got word about ESPN's plans last Sunday and since then the campus has been buzzing.
The Marching Utes hope to be playing "Utah Man" often Saturday afternoon, after each Utah score. The band has been rehearsing all week. Brian Sproul, director of athletic bands at the university said there actually is not added pressure to perform well.
"We just play every game like it's the last," he said. "We just go out there and have a good time."
Across campus, the bookstore is wild. Fans, students and alumni are buying whatever they can find with a Ute logo on it to wear to the game. Popularity of the usual red has given way to black.
Marketing director Mike Cherry said, "Black is the color of the week, especially camo black. We can't keep it on the shelves. It's selling as fast as we can bring it in from our suppliers."
Items in highest demand include black and camouflage jerseys to honor the armed forces. Most already have been purchased, but a handful will be sold on game day.
ESPN's live, three-hour broadcast begins at 7 a.m. Saturday. Ute fans are invited to watch and make as much noise as possible.
Ann Argust, assistant athletic director of marketing said, "We want to create a great atmosphere. Really what we're pushing is to show the nation we can have 10,000 Ute fans here strong that morning. So, 10,000 fans is our goal. That's what we really want on Saturday morning cheering us on."
Fans who want to attend the show will be allowed to camp in the parking lot beginning Friday at 5. The tailgating lot will open at 3 p.m. Friday.