SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — "So today we ask, in honor of Ty and Aaron, that you smile. Smile big like they did. Smile. Stand. Cheer. Let your voices ring....from the mountains to the heavens in a moment of loudness."
The crowd at Rice Eccles Stadium erupted in a rally of cheers, shouts, and cries as fans of the University of Utah honored two slain football players, Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe with a moment of loudness.
In between third and fourth quarter, fans were asked to remain in their seats for a special tribute to the players.
The video tribute invited those in attendance to get out their phones and turn on their flashlights. The result was a sea of little white stars flooding the stadium. Then the tribute began.
The football players gathered in a clump on the field while onlookers held up their lights and removed their hats. The video tribute with Aaron and Ty's faces smiling at the crowd, invited those watching to smile. To spread the same light and joy the two players did and be 22% better.
"I get chills down my spine, it's only happened a couple times," Coach Kyle Whittingham said. "But it's a great way to honor those two young men it really gave us a boost. We already had momentum but that just added to it. To see our guys do what they did, and just the resolve that they played with, I'm very proud. I couldn't be prouder."
Twenty-two was the number worn by star running back Ty Jordan, who was killed in an accidental shooting on December 26, 2020 in his home state of Texas.
His teammate and close friend, defensive back Aaron Lowe, took on the number 22 after Jordan's death to honor his memory and was the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship.
Lowe was tragically shot and killed at a house party on September 26, 2021.
The team credits this win to their teammates watching over them.
"I firmly believe they're with us, and strengthening each and every one of us and they're bringing us closer together" Captain Devin Lloyd said. "I give this all to them."