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2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game

Event: Friday, Dec. 3
TV: 5 PT / 6 MT on ABC
Allegiant Stadium | Las Vegas, NV

Record-setting crowd fueled Utah in first Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium

Dec 5, 2021
Zak Krill

LAS VEGAS — The Pac-12's debut at Allegiant Stadium was a roaring success in a literal sense.

The announced attendance at the first-ever Pac-12 Football Championship Game in Las Vegas was 56,511, a 92 percent capacity rate (61,195 total capacity for the Pac-12 Champ Game) which is the highest in the event's neutral-site history.

Cladded mostly in Utah crimson, the raucous crowd played a factor in the Utes capturing their first-ever Pac-12 title with a 38-10 win over Oregon.

"You could tell the difference between our third downs and their third downs," said Utes defensive end Mika Tafua, whose unit forced two turnovers and held Oregon to 223 total yards. "That helps the defense a lot with the crowd noise and stuff. So it was definitely an advantage for us to have lots of fans there, and I'm glad we were able to give them something to remember. A good show."

Kyle Whittingham, the winningest coach in Utah history, said he could feel the buzz in the building during warmups. Allegiant Stadium started filling up well before the 5 p.m. kickoff.

"It was incredible," he said. "I mean, it was five to one is what it looked like during warmups. And then when the game actually started, it was probably still close to that. Four to one, three to one. But it was definitely a crowd in our favor. Appreciate our crowd. They've been awesome all year long."

Hence why Utah quarterback Cameron Rising, who totaled 170 yards through the air and 63 more on the ground, was expecting a strong turnout in Las Vegas.

"I knew the Utes were going to travel and they were going to do a great job getting down here and making sure that they were there at the start," he said. "We were out there about two hours before and we were already seeing a bunch of red out there in the crowd and saw little speckles of green, but we definitely had a sea of red out there."

Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player after tallying seven tackles and a first-quarter pick six, echoed that sentiment, later noting that the Utes have sold out every home game for the last 12 years.

"I think we have the best fans in the nation," he said.

Their next stop? Pasadena, California, where the Utes will appear in their first-ever Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day.

"They're gonna travel to the Rose Bowl," Whittingham said. "I guarantee you that."


Twitter reacts to the atmosphere at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game