SALT LAKE CITY -- No. 14/15 Utah (8-1, 5-1 MWC) plays Notre Dame (4-5) in Notre Dame, Ind., on Nov. 13. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. MT) in Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be televised by NBC. Radio is ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com).
After climbing as high as No. 5 in the BCS Standings and No. 6 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls on Oct. 31, Utah is No. 14 in this week's BCS Standings and No. 15 in the A.P. and coaches' polls after its loss to No. 3 TCU. Utah's best national ranking came in 2008, when it finished the season ranked No. 2 after crushing Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl to finish the season 13-0.
8-1 Utah needs one win to secure its fourth-consecutive nine-win season in Kyle Whittingham's six-year tenure as head coach. The Utes went 9-4 in 2007, 13-0 in 2008 and 10-3 in 2009.
Utah's Nov. 13 clash with Notre Dame marks the latest date the Utes have played a non-conference opponent since they beat Utah State on Nov. 12, 1988. Their last November game against a non-conference opponent played outside the state of Utah was on Nov. 19, 1977, a 38-29 loss at Florida. Utah is 2-4-1 in non-conference games played on Nov. 13 (most recently to USU in 1971).
Utah and Notre Dame have never played each other in football. Utah is 1-3 all-time against Independents, with a win against Navy in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl and three road losses to Army (most recent in 1967).
Notre Dame, which is coming off a bye week, is 55-11-1 in games when the opponent is making its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium. Utah is the 68th different team to play in Notre Dame Stadium since its opening in 1930.
Eight first-time visitors have come away from Notre Dame with a victory: USC (1931), Texas (1934), Iowa (1940), Missouri (1972), Clemson (1979), Florida State (1981), Connecticut (2009) and Tulsa (2010).
OUTSIDE THE LINES
The Utes will depart for South Bend, Ind., at 7:30 a.m. Friday. After landing at 12:30 p.m. ET, the Utes will eat, meet and have a walk through at Notre Dame Stadium before busing to Michigan City, Ind., where they will spend the night ... Last week's 47-7 loss to TCU halted Utah's home win streak at 21 games (tied for the second-longest home win streak in school history) ... The standing-room crowd of 46,522 for the game against TCU was the second-largest home crowd in Utah history. Rice-Eccles Stadium seats 45,017. Utah's attendance average of 45,496 is also the second-best in school history, behind 2008's average crowd of 45,585. Utah's final home game against BYU on Nov. 27 is sold out. ### INSIDE THE HUDDLE
Sixteen different players have scored touchdowns for Utah ... Expected to miss this week's game with injuries are Brad Clifford (shoulder, missed San Jose State, CSU, AFA, TCU), Junior Tui'one (calf, missed TCU) and Wykie Freeman (leg, missed TCU) ... Utah has won nine MWC Player of the Week citations to date: DeVonte Christopher (offense, Sept. 6), Brian Blechen (defense, Sept. 6, Oct. 31); Shaky Smithson (special teams, Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Oct. 11), Lamar Chapman (defense, Sept. 20) and Jordan Wynn (offense, Oct. 11, Oct. 25) ... Six true freshmen have played: Blechen, Freeman, Mike Honeycutt, Joe Kruger, Westlee Tonga and Michael Walker.