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SALT LAKE CITY — A family of 22 Utah Utes football fans was headed to Pasadena for this weekend's Rose Bowl.
The family is as Utah as it gets. Many graduated from the university.
"There's 22 of us going," said Brady Pett during a stop on his drive to California to watch No. 11 Utah face No. 6 Ohio State at 3 p.m. on New Year's Day.
They thought it was especially poignant that 22 members made the trip. Earlier this year the university retired jersey number 22 in honor of former players Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.
Both were killed while they were members of the football team.
Pett's family members traveled to Las Vegas earlier this month to watch the Utes win the Pac-12 championship.
"Driving down to that game, I told my dad I said this is either going to be the greatest day of our life or the worst day of our life," Pett said. "Fortunately for us, it was the greatest day."
Pett made that drive with his uncle, Bob Huetter, who graduated from the university in 1966. "Walking into the Raiders' stadium for the Pac-12 championship, he pulled me aside and he said 'Brady, this may be the last chance that I get to see the Utes play in a Rose Bowl.'"
Huetter, who is 83 years old, has been a season ticket holder since 1980 and has prayed for Utah to make it to a Rose Bowl.
The prayers kept strong even during the deterioration of his health recently.
"You never know how much longer someone at his age is going to be around," lamented Pett.
It's sure to be a memorable trip to cap the end of a memorable season.
"We are Utes through and through," said Pett.