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University of Utah police are looking for whomever hit a man during Saturday's football game, sending him to the hospital in critical condition.

Ryan Stone, 21, was at a tailgate party during the game against Arizona State University on Saturday afternoon, one located near the Steiner Aquatic Center at 645 Guardsman Way (1580 East). A couple witnesses told police that about 4:15 p.m., during the fourth quarter of the game, Stone was involved in some kind of verbal altercation and someone hit him, said University of Utah police Sgt. Mike Richards.

"We don't know how many times [he was hit], but we know it was hard enough that he fell backwards and hit his head" on the ground, Richards said. Whoever it was apparently left him there, as it was some bystanders who noticed Stone lying on the ground and called for help, Richards added.

Stone was taken to the hospital in critical condition, with multiple skull fractures. As of Sunday afternoon, he has been upgraded to serious condition and stabilized, Richards said.

Investigators have some persons of interest and are working on contacting them. Richards emphasized that police do not know yet whether those people should be considered suspects in the assault.

It was not immediately known whether Stone was a University of Utah student, or if he was punched or hit with an object. Alcohol is believed to have been involved in the altercation, Richards said.

Stone's family released a statement Monday thanking the support from their relatives and friends, as well as the media for getting the word out about the incident.

Twitter: @mikeypanda

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