Twenty-one years ago, the Mighty Utah Student Section (The MUSS) didn’t exist. Today, it’s the top student section in college football, according to ESPN. In collaboration with Taco Bell, the worldwide leader in sports named The MUSS its 2021 Live Más Student Section of the Year.
After a year with no fans, The MUSS brought the noise in 2021, helping power Utah Football to its first Pac-12 Championship in school history and a trip to the Rose Bowl. With the recent Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion, the roar from the southeast corner was even mightier as 7,000 members made their voices heard.
“The football team, the coaches, everyone’s feeding off The MUSS,” says U football coach Kyle Whittingham. “They’re like the batteries that make everything go.”
However, Utah Athletics didn’t always have that battery pack. As Whittingham recalls, sections 14-16 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in the pre-MUSS days consisted of two students, an elderly gentleman, and his dog. But in the two decades since its inception, The MUSS has implemented such ear-bending, defense-bolstering measures as the 3rd Down Jump.
“What I would say to The MUSS is how grateful we are to them,” says U Athletics Director Mark Harlan. “It’s absolutely real when I say they have made a big difference in why we are as good as we are.”
It’s only fitting that The MUSS’ rise to No. 1 coincides with Utah Football’s ascension to the top of the Pac-12 Conference. The passion and drive of the students and staff—on the field, in the stands, and behind the scenes—provides a support system to excel. To quote the university’s fight song—from which “muss” is derived: “Our students are the finest and each one’s a shining star; our yell, you’ll hear it ringing through the mountains near and far!”