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September 20, 2014

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MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Notebook:

Trash talk between Utah, Boise State intensifies with twitter post

Utah looking to extend bowl winning streak to 10 games

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Steve Marcus

Utah wide receiver DeVonte Christopher (#10) speaks with reporters after practice at Rebel Field at UNLV Monday December 20, 2010. Utah faces Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas NCAA college football game at Sam Boyd Stadium on Wednesday.

Las Vegas Bowl discussion

KSNV sports anchor Kevin West talks Boise State and Utah with Las Vegas Bowl executive director Tina Kunzer-Murphy on "Sports Night in Las Vegas."

With tensions perhaps still lingering from a shoving match that broke out Sunday night between his team and Boise State, Utah wide receiver DeVonte Christopher aired out some of his frustrations on Twitter on Monday evening.

"I can't wait to get out here wit these Boise State or should I say Girlse State," Christopher posted to his twitter account, "they are a bunch of cheerleaders....lol"

Christopher, a sophomore from Las Vegas who attended Canyon Springs, was not one of the players representing Utah at the final press conference Tuesday morning before the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas kicks off at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

That left his coach, Kyle Whittingham, to speak about the tweet. Whittingham said he had no team policy for social networking sites, but was disappointed with Christopher's judgment.

"We tell our guys to be smart," Whittingham said. "For the most part, they do a great job with that. Obviously, last night they didn't."

Whittingham said he spoke with Christopher and the rest of the team and was confident there would be no more incidents prior to kickoff.

"They are just eager to play," Whittingham said. "It's competitive spirit from both teams. I don't think it's anything more than that."

Boise State did its best to downplay to the remarks as well. When a reporter asked coach Chris Petersen for his reaction, he quickly shot down the question.

"You're the one talking about that," Petersen said. "We're not even kind of worried about that, and I know Utah isn't either."

Boise State senior receiver Austin Pettis said he didn't pay attention to the trash talk the teams have exchanged this week. According to Pettis, the Utes already had the Broncos' attention from the moment they first started breaking down film.

"But I guess you could say it adds fuel to the fire," Pettis said.

Utah looks to extend bowl winning streak

Utah players unanimously point to one reason for the program's nation-high nine-game bowl winning streak — consistency.

The Utes say they always know what to expect leading up to and during bowl week because coach Kyle Whittingham keeps it the same.

"We have a format for three different types of bowl games — the ones before Christmas, the ones between Christmas and New Year's, and the ones after New Year's," Whittingham said. "We've had the system in place for a long time and it's proven to be successful."

With a victory over Boise State, Utah would move into second all-time in most consecutive bowl victories. Florida currently holds the record for winning 11 straight from 1985-1996.

The Utes are not trying to down play how much that means to them.

"It's huge because that streak has been kept alive by hundreds of players in this program," senior offensive lineman Zane Taylor said. "To not keep that alive, we wouldn't only be letting ourselves down but we would be letting decades of Utes down who have kept it alive."

Boise State still enthusiastic about move to Mountain West

Petersen jokingly corrected someone when they referred to Utah as a program from a non-automatic qualifying BCS conference.

"They're not a non-BCS school anymore," Petersen said.

Utah, of course, accepted an invitation to join the new look Pac 12 Conference next season. Boise State will fill part of the void left by Utah by joining the Mountain West Conference.

The move doesn't seem as enticing for Boise State now that Utah, BYU and TCU have all defected from the conference. But Petersen said he still thought it was the right choice for the program.

"Would it have been a really great conference with interesting match-ups because of locations? No question," he said. "But everyone has to take care of themselves. For us, we still think the situation is as good as it can be. We think we've taken a step into a better situation."

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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