Utah honors late players Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe with special helmets against USC

In the 2021 season, the Utah Utes triumphed amid an unthinkable loss. In the span of nine months between December 2020 and September 2021, running back Ty Jordan and cornerback Aaron Lowe both passed away.

Both players were on the mind as the No. 20 Utes prepared to face the No. 7 USC Trojans at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX, giving the marquee the Pac-12 game. even more moving. ballast.

The Utes rallied to win their first-ever Pac-12 championship in 2021, while the Trojans are 6-0 so far in 2022 thanks to several talented transfer players in their first year under the new head coach Lincoln Riley.

Utah will wear their alternate black jerseys on Saturday and encouraged fans to also wear black for the team’s “Dark Mode” game which is held each year in the Utes’ last home game before Halloween. But Utah announced Thursday that it will also wear special hand-painted helmets featuring Jordan and Lowe. The helmets also feature a logo that inverts a No. 22 into a heart containing both players’ initials.

Jordan wore No. 22 during the 2020 season when he became a freshman All-American. Following Jordan’s passing, his close friend Lowe changed his number from 2 to 22 for the 2021 season. The number was retired in 2021 in memory of both players following Lowe’s death.

Utah also honors Lowe and Jordan with a “Moment of Loudness” between the third and fourth quarters of each home game, during which the entire crowd shouts in unison when directed. The practice began in 2021 to honor Jordan, whose lone college season was played in empty stadiums with no crowds due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions and was extended to honor Lowe after his death.

It continued in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game, where Utah blasted Oregon 38-10, and the 2022 Rose Bowl, where Utah lost 48-45 to Ohio State. In a video narrated by head coach Kyle Whittingham, Utah announced that the tradition would be made permanent for 2022 and beyond.

Utah currently holds a 4-2 record in 2022 thanks to road losses to Florida and No. 11 UCLA. However, the Utes haven’t lost at home in front of fans since 2018. USC, the last visiting team to win at Rice-Eccles in the pandemic-altered 2020 campaign, will try to accomplish the feat again on Saturday.

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