Utes Reveal Game “22 Forever” Hand-Painted Helmets Will Be Worn
SALT LAKE CITY – Time heals all wounds, and the Utes are certainly still in the midst of healing after a particularly tragic 2021 football season. Yes, they won their first Pac-12 Title and yes, they played in an epic Rose Bowl against Ohio State, but all the happiness came after back-to-back deaths of two teammates nine months apart.
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To help continue healing and to celebrate the lives of freshman running back Ty Jordan and sophomore defensive back Aaron Lowe, the Utes decided to use their annual hand-painted helmets in the 2022 season. The helmets will feature portraits of both players as well as the “22 Forever” logo. It was revealed by the Utah equipment staff late Monday that the helmets will be worn on October 15th when the USC Trojans come to town- a game that holds a few significances in the Legend of 22.
Nothing Is Without Meaning
Aside from being the biggest home game of the year for the Utes, the USC game holds a certain lore when it comes to talking about both Jordan and Lowe.
In 2020, the Utes hosted the Trojans in their first game of a Covid-shortened season. While most of the game was forgettable partially due to most of the team recovering from Covid-19 themselves, there was a lone bright spot. Number 22 for the Utes, running back Ty Jordan took the field for the first time and despite the loss, showed something rather special.
On seven attempts, Jordan gained 32 yards and broke away for a long of 13 yards. He also recorded one reception for 21 yards. While certainly not the best individual game stats for his short career (he did lose a fumble), there was just something electric about the young man that gave people in Salt Lake hope of better days ahead.
In 2021, the Utes had a big decision to make during their BYE-week after Aaron Lowe (who also wore 22 in honor of his best friend since high school) was murdered at a house party the week before. Ultimately, after a talk from Lowe’s mother, the team decided to carry on because it’s what Lowe and Jordan would have wanted.
The task at hand after being shook to the core? Trying to beat USC for the first time in 106 years in Los Angeles. No easy feat, especially when the season started slow to begin with.
Utah did the unthinkable on October 9th and absolutely took the Trojans apart in front of their home crowd, 42-26. It would be the beginning of a 9-1 run in the Pac-12 on the way to a title and Rose Bowl berth.
Now, almost exactly a year later, the Utes will hope to recreate some of that same magic with Lowe to their left and Jordan to their right. Guardian angels of sorts for their teammates who loved them dearly.
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