First of all, the game yesterday was outstanding. I don’t know that I could have imagined a better, and frankly more ironic, end to the college football season. I was thinking a lot about our Utah team while watching the game, and here are some of my thoughts:
1. Alabama’s linebackers are unreal. They made plays all night and dismantled Clemson’s run game. I know Utah will probably never have that wealth of talent, but I would love to see us really focus on bringing in and coaching up some talent at that position.
2. The second half performance by Alabama was what I imagine an overpowered Utah would be on our current trajectory. Exceptional defense and special teams, but a safe and quite underwhelming offense. I’m really hoping that this Troy Taylor hire can get Utah’s offense firing more like Clemson’s very deadly and balanced attack.
3. The Clemson receiving corps was tough as nails. Guy Holiday made some big improvements with our receivers this last season, I hope that he can continue to build them up an make a reputation for the Utah receivers for their toughness and ability to make clutch plays.
Well, those are some of the biggest correlations I made. What did anyone else see that may relate to Utah?
On your #1 I would say we have had one player at the level you are describing at linebacker and that was Gionni Paul.
The Clemson receivers (one in particular whose name I can’t remember) were amazing. They made some tremendous catches with hands that looked like they had glue on them. Both teams run after the catch so well, which is something we have lacked in.
Both teams, especially Clemson were amazing in the red zone, unlike the Utes. And consider that they were each going up against the best defensese around.
Considering that Kyle was also a linebacker, it has always been surprising to me that Utah is not typically stronger at that position. There have certainly been some good LBs over the years, but they are the exception to the rule. My hunch is that Kyle played the position with a very scrappy, blue-color attitude and was not perhaps as physically gifted as some, and he recruits and often starts the same type of player at the position because he sees himself in them. Not always mind you, but it seems to happen often that Utah has a walk-on starting linebacker that might be undersized or less physically gifted.
Watching Bama and Clemson, Whitt has Utah on the right trajectory. He needs to improve coaching IQ- eliminate the numerous WTF in-game moments, and recruiting- DB’s are soft, LB depth, and bigger RB’s, relying on so many JC transfers every year is an issue.
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