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MUSS to introduce itself to Pac-12

9/29/2011

Are you up to snuff? Do you ever bluff? Are you game for any fuss?

Well, then you might qualify to join the MUSS -- "The Mighty Utah Student Section" -- though if you're wearing the colors of a visiting to team to Rice-Eccles Stadium you might encounter a few frowns. Like say Washington purple on Saturday.

The MUSS is the notoriously loud, red-clad crew of 6,000 in the southeast part of the stadium that tries to make life miserable for visiting teams. It is a new Pac-12 tradition that Pac-10 players and fans will shortly learn all about, starting with the Huskies. Let's just say the MUSS is Autzen-y.

Coach Kyle Whittingham said the MUSS is a key reason the Utes are 41-7 in Rice-Eccles since 2003.

"The atmosphere in our stadium is electric and that's been a big plus for us," Whittingham said. "The MUSS is as good as there is in the country, as loud as there is. They're 6,000 strong and they get so loud on third downs for opposing offenses. We had I think 51 false starts that we were able to create at home [last year] with the noise level."

MUSS has become a nice acronym, but that was arrived at after-the-fact. "Muss" is a word taken from the fight song "Utah Man," and the word muss means "a state of disorder, confusion or chaos."

And obviously you want to read the words to the fight song!

Who am I, sir? A Utah Man am I. A Utah Man, sir, and will be ’til I die; Ki-yi!

We’re up to snuff; we never bluff, we’re game for any fuss, no other gang of college men dare meet us in the muss. So fill your lungs and sing it out and shout it to the sky, we’ll fight for dear old Crimson, for a Utah Man am I.

Well, Ki-yi to you, too. I think.

The MUSS has its own official webpage, where you can learn about the "third-down jump" and the "first down chant" and the "U of U chop" -- "To form the U, bend your middle and ring fingers and hold them with your thumb. Your pointer finger and pinkie finger should still be straight."

If you lose track of how many times your team false starts, the MUSS keeps a tally to help you. And after Utah scores, the MUSS will even sing "Utah Man" for you.

"We don't have the numbers like the Big House at Michigan," center Tevita Stevens said. "But the people who are here are faithful and they are very loud. Sometimes they win a game for us. They are like a 12th player on the field."

Of course, there's also the Crazy Lady. But we'll let you find out about her on your own.