Utes unite in the face of adversity for historic victory over USC
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Oct. 10, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – Saturday night was the Utes’ first football game since the murder of player Aaron Lowe, and the team honored him by making program history.
Not only did the Utes beat the University of Southern California, Los Angeles for the first time since 1916, it was the team’s first victory at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
And with a final score of 42-26, it wasn’t even close.
“At the start of the game I felt like they would play well and they even exceeded what I expected,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game.
Lowe, 21, was shot and killed in a house on September 26, just hours after the team beat Washington State.
According to court documents obtained by Gephart Daily, a number of people showed up to the party uninvited and started causing trouble.
A police statement indicates that witnesses saw Buk M. Buk approach someone else at the party, say something to them and then pull a pistol from that person’s shoulder bag.
The statement goes on to quote witnesses who say Buk crossed the street and shot a man later identified as Lowe and an unnamed woman.
The woman was rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Lowe was pronounced dead at the scene.
The team was devastated.
“You could see we were struggling,” said Whittingham. “Aaron Lowe’s mom came over to the team last week and said, ‘You have to keep going, you have a season to play. “
The team took these words to heart.
“We said at the start of the week when things happened that this is either going to divide us or bring us closer as a family,” said running back Tavion Thomas, “and we choose to let that be us. bring closer. “
Defensive end Mike Tafua leaned on that in Saturday’s post-game press conference by saying: “Really we lean on each other so it really helped and we saw the results tonight. “
The team will build on each other even more in the days to come.
A public screening of Aaron Lowe is scheduled for Sunday afternoon and evening in his hometown of Mesquite, Texas, followed by a funeral on Monday afternoon.
“We’re going to the funeral on Monday,” Whittingham said. “There’s no way we’re going to miss this. It will be difficult, but it is something that we have to deal with and that we will do. “