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Las Vegas • Minutes after announcing that the usual welcome reception dance-off would pit teammate against teammate instead of team against team, to avoid another entry in the annals of BYU-Utah controversy, a Las Vegas Bowl emcee asked the Fremont Street crowd if he should give Utah defensive tackle Viliseni Fauonuku the microphone.
They didn't say no. And so grew the annals.
"Honestly, I don't dance," Fauonuku said, walking over to the corner of the stage and addressing BYU's entire team. "I throw hands."
"BYU, y'all are a good team," he continued. "But you're a dirty team. Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'."
His final lines were inaudible as cheers erupted from Utah's side of the ropes, the din drowning out the lower-pitched jeers from BYU.
Utah's official account tweeted a video of the team's jubilant reaction.
It was exactly what Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said an hour earlier from a second-floor balcony at the Golden Nugget casino that he hoped to avoid Wednesday night.
"We've had that conversation, to make sure there's no issues, or anything going on that is unnecessary," he said. "Our guys are pretty good about keeping their poise and keeping their cool, so we don't expect anything different this game."
Asked a similar question, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said: "I just want our team to have class and be respectful and enjoy a college football environment, and I hope that's what happens. And there will be plenty of others that are trying to charge it and trying to antagonize and do things that then will lead to a story, and I hope that doesn't happen."
Fauonuku's address is apparent motivation to BYU senior wideout Terenn Houk.
Fuel to the 🔥— Terenn Houk (@thouk11) December 17, 2015
Freshman linebacker Phillip Amone also offered his thoughts.
As did freshman wideout Josh Weeks.
Like six BYU players, Fauonuku went to Bingham High. He ranks third among Utes in tackles for loss, with 7.5, including four sacks, and The Tribune's Kyle Goon wrote earlier this year about how Faunouku worked to improve his image in the five years since he admitted to felony robbery as a 17-year-old, becoming a team leader and aspiring to help troubled youth.
After the emcee wrested back the mic and as Fauonuku walked off the stage, another emcee, out of frame, told him "Now you've got to show us what you've got, though," as if he might still dance.
Fauonuku didn't dance. But there might be some truth to that statement.