The week is here.
There was plenty of anticipation last week, too, but by Monday morning on the week of the Utah vs. BYU football game, things change.
Football fans are ready, radio talk show hosts are ready, beat writers and columnists have an easy, popular topic, but this week leading up to the big game, even casual fans pay attention when red meets blue in Provo.
Sports fan or not, here is your simple guide to what often is called "The Holy War," that isn't a war and may not actually be holy.
WHAT / WHERE:
No. 14 Utah travels to Provo to face BYU, the season opener for both teams
Thursday, kickoff scheduled for 8:15 p.m., televised by ESPN
You can watch the game on ESPN or tickets are available at StubHub, VividSeats, SeatGeek and other outlets including at Tickets.BYU.edu.
Utah is ranked No. 14 in the nation, picked by some to win the Pac-12 South division and then the entire Pac-12 and represent the conference in the Rose Bowl. The team returns with experience with a quarterback, senior Tyler Huntley, and running back, Zach Moss, and strong on the defensive line and in its defensive secondary. Concerns about the team focus on the offensive line and linebackers.
BYU opens with a tough schedule. After facing nationally-ranked Utah in the emotional rivalry game, it heads out on the road to a well-regarded Tennessee team, then hosts Pac-12 powers USC and No. 13 Washington. Then the team logs more miles, traveling to Ohio and Florida, in games it needs to win. It also faces Boise State and then Utah State in Logan.
The team is led by coach Kalani Sitake and quarterbacked by Zach Wilson. Hype projects him to become the next great BYU QB. He is a sophomore who has played seven games and is returning from surgery.
Because the Beehive State loves its college football, just like the rest of the U.S. The two teams have played 99 times previously. Utah carries an eight-game win streak into this week's game and holds an all-time edge 61–34–4. When the teams shared a conference they would often play late in the season. Because of Utah's conference affiliation, the teams now play early, often in the first game of the season.