Welcome Back to the M.U.S.S.


Jose Alex Garcia

(Graphic by Jose Alex Garcia | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Frank Adler, Sports Writer


2020 was an awful year for a variety of reasons, but the worst part of the year for many Utah fans and students was the necessity to cancel the Mighty Utah Student Section. The M.U.S.S. is a special place for football fanatics and students who want to show support for their school. The M.U.S.S. serves more purposes than simply being a section of the stadium — it has an impact on the game itself.

During football games, the noise the M.U.S.S. creates during 3rd down situations and defensive stands have made Rice-Eccles Stadium one of the most hostile stadiums to play in. Opposing teams and coaches hate playing in Salt Lake City and a large part of that is due to the M.U.S.S.

The student section also boasts one of the best tailgating scenes in the entire country thanks to assigned seating, which allows students to enjoy pregame activities instead of having to camp for the best seats. Additionally, once a year the M.U.S.S. fills up an entire bus, loaded with 150 rowdy students who attend an away game and support the Utes on the road.

Avery Abelhouzen, President of the M.U.S.S. and the M.U.S.S. board, was heartbroken over the fact that the student section was unable to be a part of Utah athletics last season. Now, she’s focused on the logistics of returning from a year-long hiatus, and what challenges that might present.

“I was nervous, I wasn’t sure whether such a long break from the M.U.S.S. would lead to low student excitement,” Abelhouzen said. “However, there were over 800 attendees to the spring scrimmage in April, and there are usually only about 100 who attend. Then, we started to see a great number of ticket sales come in and it looks like we are going to sell out again, even with another 1,000 seats open for purchase.”

With so many students planning on attending, Abelhouzen wanted to explain the traditions that students in the M.U.S.S. have to look forward to. Those included the 3rd down jump, which is shockingly loud when you’re in the middle of it, and how fans hang five when they force a false start. However, what she was most excited about is the M.U.S.S. themed home game that will take place this year, celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the student section itself.

But with 20 seasons under its belt, what makes the M.U.S.S. so different, and so much better than other schools’ student sections?

“We play a much more active role in the team’s success than other schools, especially compared to the rest of the Pac-12. The M.U.S.S. logo is even on the Utes’ football helmets. Additionally, I met with Coach Kyle Whittingham twice a year to discuss how the M.U.S.S. can most effectively help the Utah football team. At 7,000 people we are only half the size of other school’s student sections but we easily create the same level of sound, if not more,” Abelhouzen said.

Abelhouzen then mentioned the unique goals the section has for the upcoming season.

“The main goal is to create as hostile an environment for opposing teams as we can, and ensure our home field advantage stays as daunting as possible,” Abelhouzen said. “We would also love to gain more national exposure. We were finalists in the college football student section award during the ESPN award ceremony, and we’d love to carry that momentum through to 2021. Finally, the M.U.S.S. is the largest student organization on campus, and we love to see the connections and community that people find within the M.U.S.S. This year we have put lots of focus into creating a community and opportunity to connect with other people while supporting the athletic teams in the process.”

Finally, Abelhouzen encouraged everyone to join the M.U.S.S. She spoke to her own personal experience, saying it made her into the person she is today and that it is a great way to meet people and have a fantastic time. She also encouraged all U students to follow the M.U.S.S. on Instagram, @_themuss, to find information on tickets and any activities that are coming up.

The M.U.S.S. is a must for both new and returning students. While we can never get back the time we lost last year, we can make the most of the future by joining the greatest student section on earth and supporting our Utes.


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