This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Eugene, Ore. • It's become a national social media phenomenon, styled on Twitter as #pac12afterdark: the notion that when the sun goes down on fall evenings, Pac-12 football becomes especially breathtaking.
But what about Pac-12 before dark, sometimes?
Utah athletic director Chris Hill, who made the trip to Eugene Saturday for Utah's fourth consecutive night game, said everyone would prefer to play at 2 p.m., "but those days are over."
"It's the reality of where we are right now," Hill said. "You're not going to change it, so there's no sense fretting about it."
Saturday night's 6:45 p.m. MT kickoff was the 32nd of 52 to kick off after 5 p.m. MT since Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011. Utah has a bye next week but could learn the kickoff time against Cal as early as Monday.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott spoke at halftime about the late starts. Games like Utah at Oregon, airing on Fox, and UCLA at Arizona, airing on ABC after a visit from ESPN's "College Gameday," prove "the Pac-12 is really dominating the national narrative," he said.
"There are two network broadcasts in primetime, and we've got them both."
Scott said there will be a regular 8:30 p.m. MT kickoff, like USC at Arizona State on Saturday, and that's a valuable part of the Pac-12's agreement with ESPN and Fox.
Hill said he knows fans "struggle with it a bit."
Not only did senior quarterback Travis Wilson make his first appearance since spraining his left shoulder on a 38-yard scramble but senior cornerback Ahmad Christian entered the fold Saturday.
That's a few weeks earlier than Kyle Whittingham thought Christian might be ready when he addressed a group of fans back in spring.
Christian, a transfer from South Carolina with just one season of eligibility remaining, was expected to make an instant impact for the Utes before tearing his Achilles during winter conditioning.
Meanwhile, senior defensive end Hunter Dimick and senior wideout Tim Patrick both traveled but did not suit up for the Utes.
Dimick, who recorded 10 sacks last season, sustained an undisclosed lower-leg injury against the Aggies. Details of Patrick's injury are not known.
With the Pac-12's lone Under Armour school visiting the poster child of Nike, it bears mentioning that Utah wore an all-white ensemble it billed as a "whiteout," while Oregon wore all-apple green.
The Utes were 3-0 in all-whites since unveiling a white helmet last September, winning on the road against Michigan, Oregon State and Colorado.