Tako Tuesdays: Get to Know the Pac-12 Newbs, Part 2

In case you missed it, here's part 1.

Along with Colorado, the Utah Utes will join the Pac-12 in the fall of 2011. While the Ducks and Utes do not play each other in 2011, they have a considerable football history. Oregon and Utah have played 24 times, with the Ducks holding a 17-7 edge in the series. The Utes visited Autzen Stadium in 2009, and the Ducks overcame a Locker-esque passing performance by Jeremiah Masoli (4-16 for 95 yards and a pick) to win 31-24. Walter Thurmond III's punt return for a TD opened the scoring, and got three rushing TDs from Masoli and LaMichael James en route to the win. The last time the Ducks visited Salt Lake City, Urban Meyer was the head coach of the Utes, and Alex Smith was the quarterback. Making only his third start, Smith threw for 340 yards and two scores in Meyer's spread attack, and the Utes held off a furious final drive, led by Kellen Clemens, to hold on for a 17-13 win. After the jump, some facts about the Beehive State and the University of Utah.

 

  • Utah gained statehood on July 4th, 1896.
  • The Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi. It covers about 2,600 square miles, and has an average depth of 13 feet. 
  • The University of Utah was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret, in the provisional State of Deseret. Though it began in a Mormon-designed state, it is a public, non-denominational institution.
  • Promontory, UT was the site of the "golden spike", the place where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad constructions met, creating the country's first continental railroad.
  • Notable alumni include Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, Ohio State University president Gordon Gee, ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe, boxing ref and TV judge Mills Lane, politician Karl Rove, and scientist Simon Ramo, "father of the intercontinental ballistic missile."
  • Sure, Ted Bundy was a Husky. But he also attended the Utah law school for a short time, just before girls started disappearing.
  • The state animal is the Rocky Mountain Elk, and the state fish is the Rainbow Trout.
  • Utah has the highest literacy rate of any US state, at 94%. Or, 94% higher than the 2011 graduating class of Oregon State.
  • According to the 2010 census, Utah is 86.1% white, making it the fourth-whitest state in the US, behind Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
  • Utah has two national recreation areas: Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon. Glen Canyon sounds like the made up name for an adult film actor, and Flaming Gorge sounds like...well you get the idea.
  • The Utah-BYU rivalry is known as the Holy War. 
  • The lowest point in Utah is a seasonal stream called Beaver Dam Wash. Makes sense.
  • Utah also has a Beaver county and a Washington county. Maybe it won't be that hard to hate them after all.
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