ST. GEORGE — On Friday morning, the Trailblazers announced that they have scheduled a two-game series with one of the best teams in the Pac-12, Utah. The Utes finished last season 11-3 with a final FBS ranking of No. 11. Utah was ranked No. 5 before losing to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game which knocked them out of a possible FBS playoff berth.
“It’s huge that we’re playing a Power 5 program like that,” Athletic director Jason Boothe said. “We’re just honored that they would be willing to play us and we’re thrilled because it’s in-state. It’ll be fun for us to showcase Dixie State University and Dixie State football on a big stage.”
The two programs have never played each other, but the games are set to take place in 2028 and 2030. Both the games will be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the home of the Utes, in Salt Lake City.
“It seems like (the series) is a long ways out, but it will be here before we know it,” Trailblazer head football coach Paul Peterson said in a release. “Our goal is to compete at the highest level of college football and the University of Utah is one of the best programs in the country. This will serve to boost our jump to (NCAA) D-1 competition, and with our fantastic leadership, upcoming new facilities, increased enrollment and overall growth here in St. George, we will be closer to competing at (Utah’s) level when this series happens.”
The Trailblazers are set to make the jump to Division I competition next season as the athletics department will join the Western Athletic Conference while the football team will become an independent member of the Football Championship Subdivision.
In their final season at the Division II level, Dixie State finished 8-3 overall and 7-3 in RMAC conference play. Dixie State will open up their 2020 schedule with a game against Southern Utah on Sept. 5, which will be played in Cedar City at Eccles Coliseum.
As for some other FCS teams, the Trailblazers will also play Montana State, Drake, Sacramento State, Weber State, South Dakota, Illinois State and Tarleton State in the 2020 season.
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