Utah Tech Hosts Montana This Saturday Night
Utah Tech football has its home opener this Saturday night against Montana. The Trailblazers lost to Montana State week one and things don't get much easier against the Grizz. Here's the press release from UT Athletics Media Relations (Full Article Here)
FOR STARTERS: • Utah Tech begins its 2023 four-game home slate this Saturday night when the Trailblazers welcome Big Sky power in No. 13 Montana to Greater Zion Stadium. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.
• Utah Tech is 0-1 all-time vs. the Grizzlies, with the first meeting taking place two seasons ago in Missoula, where the Trailblazers saw a slim 3-0 halftime deficit turn into a 31-14 road loss (10/9/21). Montana scored 21-unanswered points thanks to a pair of third quarter touchdowns, and another score just 31 seconds into the fourth. UT did manage to find the end zone twice in the final frame, including a fumble return for a TD, but could not climb out of its second-half hole.
• Saturday night's tilt will mark the third time that the Trailblazers have welcomed a Big Sky Conference opponent at Greater Zion Stadium. Utah Tech also played host to both Sacramento State and Weber State to open the 2021 season, though the Blazers came up short in both of those contests.
• Utah Tech fell to 3-15 all-time in season openers (1-4 in the Paul Peterson era; 1-10 on the road overall) in its NCAA era after dropping a 63-20 road decision at No. 3 Montana State last Saturday night in Bozeman. UT has lost six of its last eight season openers overall, with the last season-opening win coming on the road at Tarleton (2/27/21).
• UT is 7-10 all-time in home openers, which includes a 4-3 mark over its last seven overall. Last season the Trailblazers halted a three-game slide in home debuts thanks to a 56-10 triumph over former RMAC foe Chadron State (9/10/22).
NEW CONFERENCE FOR 2023: Utah Tech began the 2023 season in a new football only league as the established football-only partnership between both the Western Athletic and ASUN conference was rebranded into the new United Athletic Conference.
The newly christened UAC currently has nine participating institutions: Abilene Christian, Austin Peay, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, North Alabama, Southern Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton and Utah Tech. In addition, the conference will officially add UTRGV in the fall of 2025 when it begins sponsorship of football.
The 2023 UAC schedule will be limited to six conference games among its nine members, while the 2024 schedule will feature a full eight-game single round robin.
THREE BLAZERS EARN PRESEASON ALL-UAC HONORS: Utah Tech had three players voted onto the UAC's debut preseason all-conference team.
Meanwhile, senior WR Rickie Johnson was the lone Blazer listed on the All-UAC Offensive Team.
WEBSTER ON WATCH LIST: In addition to his UAC preseason honor, Webster has been named to the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award preseason watch list. The junior defensive standout was also named to both the 2023 Phil Steele and Blue Bloods All-United Athletic Conference preseason first teams.
ROAD WARRIORS: Through its first three seasons of FCS play, Utah Tech has traveled more than 28,300 round-trip miles on 14 different road trips.
In their first FCS season in Spring 2021, the Trailblazers covered 7,630 miles for three road dates, then followed that up by traversing nearly 13,300 for five road games during the 2021 Fall campaign.
Last season Utah Tech traveled just 7,424 miles, thanks in large part to playing three in-state road games at Weber State, Southern Utah and BYU.
This season, the Blazers are slated to eclipse the 2021 Fall mark as they are scheduled to travel just over 15,000 round-trip miles for seven road games, including the program's first-ever trips to the states of Missouri (at Missouri State - Sept. 23), Alabama (at North Alabama - Oct. 21) and Tennessee (at Austin Peay - Nov. 11). Utah Tech will also play games in neighboring Arizona and Colorado, and will make one trip to Texas, to go with last Saturday's game at Montana State.
Of note, Utah Tech's longest trip to play a football game came during the 2021 Fall season, when the Trailblazers traveled 4,697 miles round trip to play at Delaware (10/30/21).
LAST TIME OUT: Utah Tech opened the 2023 campaign on the wrong end of a 63-20 decision at current No. 3/3 Montana State last Saturday night in Bozeman.
The Trailblazers found themselves in a 28-3 hole before finally finding the end zone with 3:31 to play in the first half when sophomore quarterback Boone Abbott tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to freshman Beau Sparks.
However the nationally-ranked Bobcats answered with their fifth TD of the opening half with just 58 seconds on the clock, and struck for four more TDs in the second half, to cruise to the home win.
UTAH TECH VS. RANKED OPPONENTS: Utah Tech is a combined 3-27 (4-27 overall) all-time vs. opponents (FCS and D-II) ranked in the AFCA top-25 Coaches' Poll, which includes an 1-9 mark the last two seasons.
Two of the Trailblazers' four wins over ranked foes have come during the first three years of their NCAA FCS transition - both of which were road victories.
Last season Utah Tech posted a 47-44 win at then No. 19 Stephen F. Austin (10/29/22), and began its FCS transition with a 26-14 at then (Stat Perform) No. 22 Tarleton (2/27/21).
Go Trailblazers! See you all there.