ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Returns to Salt Lake City Ahead of the Top-15 Pac-12 Showdown between No. 13 Utah and No. 8 Oregon

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Returns to Salt Lake City Ahead of the Top-15 Pac-12 Showdown between No. 13 Utah and No. 8 Oregon

  • College football’s premier pregame show travels to Utah for the first time since 2016 ahead of the top-ranked conference matchup
  • GameDay makes its fifth visit to Utah before the Utes take on the Ducks on ESPN Radio at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Special guests on-site: head coaches Kyle Whittingham and Dan Lanning, two-time Grammy winner Lil Nas X, actor and Oregon alum Ty Burrell, among others
  • Guest picker to be announced during Friday’s The Pat McAfee Show

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot treks to Utah for the top-15 Pac-12 matchup between No. 13 Utah and No. 8 Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 8. The premier pregame show will be live from Presidents Circle on the University of Utah’s campus from 9 a.m. – noon ET on ESPN & ESPNU.

The Week 9 visit will mark the fifth time GameDay will be live from Salt Lake City, having last visited in 2016. Overall, Saturday marks the Utes’ eighth appearance on the show, with the last two times stemming from their back-to-back Rose Bowl berths (2022 and 2023). Oregon will make its 29th showing on GameDay, and this is first time since 2018 the Ducks will have multiple sightings in the same season.

Host Rece Davis will be joined at the desk by GameDay analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Pat McAfee with college football insider Pete Thamel, reporters Jen Lada and Jess Sims and college football betting analyst ‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin.

Through seven weeks of the 2023 college football season, College GameDay is off to another strong start, delivering 2.0 million viewers on average – its second-best start since 2010. Trailing only last year’s record-breaking viewership season, three of the top five most-watched pre-November CGD telecasts since 2010 have aired this season, including Week 6 at the Texas State Fair for the Red River Rivalry (2.29M viewers), Week 3 in Boulder for the Rocky Mountain Showdown (2.27M viewers) and Week 4 in South Bend as Notre Dame played host to Ohio State (2.24M viewers).

Show Highlights & Guests

  • Both head coaches – Kyle Whittingham (Utah) and Dan Lanning (Oregon) – will join the show ahead of the Pac-12 presentation. Florida State head coach Mike Norvell will be interviewed during the Seminoles’ pregame ahead of Wake Forest on Saturday, while Lance Leipold (Kansas) will be wired for sound this week as the Jayhawks prepare for Oklahoma.
  • Special guests – Rapper, singer and songwriter Lil Nas X will make an appearance on the show this week as a special guest. The two-time Grammy Award winner will join Sims and Coughlin for a special edition of the ‘You Had One Job’ segment live from Salt Lake City. Actor and Oregon alum Ty Burrell will also join the show to discuss the matchup between his Ducks and the city he’s formed a connection with through his SLC bars and restaurants.
  • Pat McAfee’s Kicking Contest – In its fourth week, GameDay will offer an exclusive contest during the live show, Pat McAfee’s Kicking Contest. One fan will be chosen from the ‘pit’ onsite with the opportunity to attempt a 33-yard field goal. If the contestant successfully completes the kick, he/she will be awarded $75,000 from McAfee. Full details, including official rules, can be found here.

Additional guests will be announced ahead of Saturday’s show on ESPN PR’s Twitter and College GameDay’s Twitter.


  • The Pig Farmer – As a kid growing up in Milford, Utah, Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes was not allowed to play football until his chores were done each day. In Barnes’ case, those chores happened to be helping his mom clean and corral 12,000 pigs at the local stockyard. Those lessons learned by the former walk-on are showing up as he and the Utes show out this season. Jen Lada
  • Coach Whitt – From the Great Salt Lake to the snowcapped mountains that wrap its city skylines, everything in Utah feels larger than life. But nothing in the Beehive State is as epic as the game-winning, weightlifting, mountain biking, All-WAC tackling, tall-tale life of Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham. Ryan McGee
  • Rival Talk – Gator Great and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow sits down with fellow Jacksonville native, and current Georgia quarterback Carson Beck to talk this year’s game, Beck’s former college fandom, what kept the QB out of the transfer portal and how his confidence has been built one practice at a time. Tim Tebow reports, in conjunction with SEC Network.

ESPN’s Expanded Digital Coverage
ESPN’s social and digital pre-pregame show, Countdown to GameDay Presented by Dr Pepper, will be live from Salt Lake City for the Week 9 top-15 matchup. Hosts Christine WilliamsonHarry Douglas and Harry Lyles Jr. will break down the six undefeated top-10 teams in a ‘Mountain Madness’ segment, while Douglas and Lyles Jr., continue the season-long ‘One-Minute Drill,’ segment competing head-to-head with fans from both schools.

The show is available across ESPN on YouTube, X/Twitter, Facebook and the ESPN App at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday during the season.

On Site in Salt Lake City
Also hitting the road for Week 9 action will be The Pat McAfee Show joining GameDay in Utah and open to fans from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. local time. McAfee’s show airs Friday (Oct. 27) from noon – 2 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN on YouTube from noon to approximately 3 p.m. This week’s GameDay guest picker will be announced during the Friday show. College Football Live will also join from SLC, with Lada, Howard, Coughlin and Thamel hosting the program to air at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2 on Friday.

The College GameDay cereal collection makes its return this week to help the fans in Utah get ready for a full day of college football. Inspired by some of the personalities of the show, all six custom cereals will be available to fans on site on Saturday morning.

For onsite information, please visit College GameDay’s Hub HERE.


Julie McKay

I joined ESPN in 2022 as a member of the communications department working on college sports. My passion for college sports came at an early age in a divided household (Big Ten Conference-divided, that is) and followed that to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (sorry, Dad). Four years in the Athletic Communications Department, along with internships with the Big Ten Conference, Big Ten Network and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, cemented my career path. After spending some time in sports media PR in San Francisco, I’ve spent five-plus years focused in golf, with stints at the American Junior Golf Association, Augusta National and Buffalo Agency, working with the USGA, Youth on Course and Destination Kohler, among others. Despite being a proud Wisconsin native, I’ll forever betray my home state as a lifelong Chicago sports fan. My dog Rizzo knows there’s always next year and wishes his namesake would return home to the North Side.
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