Craig Smith's first season as the head coach of Utah is now becoming clearer when it comes to opponents. In back-to-back days, Utah announced nonconference games with Sacramento State and Missouri.
The game against the Hornets could potentially be the home opener as it's set for Saturday, November 13 at the Huntsman Center — and ideally in front of a packed house after it was announced Rice-Eccles would be at full capacity this fall. A month later, the Utes will hit the road a week before Christmas for a big-time showdown with Missouri on Saturday, December 18.
The opening week game against Sacramento State will be the third all-time meeting between the Utes and Hornets. The first matchup took place nearly 30 years ago, a 74-45 Utah victory. But the most recent meeting went the other direction with Utah falling 74-71 nearly a decade ago.
The matchup with Missouri will be a very good test for a Utes team that will surely be looking to gel and come together with so many new faces.
Originally scheduled as the second game of the home-and-home series last year, that matchup was canceled due to COVID-19. But with life returning to normal, it was important for Smith and both programs to honor the agreement and get the game rescheduled.
Utah took down Missouri 77-59 back in 2017 in the first game of the series, running the Utes' all-time record to 3-0 against the Tigers.