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  • Utah Utes Fan Board

    ProudUte
    11

    Why is this team different from the previous PAC12 teams that imploded

    in November?

    1.  I think the most notable thing is that we are healthy.  I think the only guy out is Covey and he has been out for a long time and some guys have really stepped up.

    2.  We have an experienced senior QB who is playing with great confidence.  He is a true leader.

    3.  Andy Ludwig calling plays.

    4.  The best and deepest defense we have ever had at Utah.

    5.  Moss.  We have had other excellent running backs but they were often hurt in November and none of them were Moss.

    6.  JJ at corner.  It is nice to have a stopper like him.

    So, even though we have had a history of imploding in November – we have everything in place to explode, not implode.

    Go Utes!!!

     

  • J-Cut

    We have a QB that isn’t going to make the crucial mistakes, unlike past senior QBs.

    • PhiladelphiaUte
      4

      Past QBs were coached by ARod.  Taylor and Ludwig were HUGE upgrades!

  • EagleMountainUte

    Doesn’t hurt either that our last three opponents are crappy. Obviously that didn’t matter in the past Coleman Peterson missing field goals made me puke up my turkey in NEZ. Zero margin for error and Utah’s kicking game stinks. Riverboat Kyle and Zack Moss ftw!!

    • Utesbyfive

      UCLA feels like a trap game. I hope the team feels that too, and is ready.

  • HCHooligan
    6

    Coach Whitt has mentioned the “fatigue factor.”  According to him, our defense has played the equivalent of six games in our 8-1 season so far.  Several players have commented (Andy Phillips, for one) about how the physicality of the season catches up to the team in November and they can’t play “fresh” anymore.

    Senior leadership is another thing Coach Whitt has mentioned.  Demari Simpkins, among the other obvious (Anae, Huntley, Moss, Fotu, Blackman, etc.) have all lead the team beyond what previous teams have been able to accomplish in terms of focus, dedication, effort, optimism, etc.

    This season is definitely different.

    • ProudUte
      1

      Great point on the “fatigue factor.”  That is huge.  I meant to mention that in my list.

       

      • utefansince79
        3

        Helps greatly that our offense is keeping the ball longer than they used to.

        I was thinking earlier this week about the game in Seattle where once we went up 26-21, on our next possession we drove the length of the field to go up 33-21.

        In contrast, so many times in the past, we had games where we were up a few points in the fourth quarter, several times in a row the offense stalled and our defense was put right back out there again.  Sometimes those games ended in a late opponent score (Wazzou in Pullman last year for example), and even when our defense held the opponent off until the very end, it took a toll on them.

         

         

    • bob sacomano
      2

      I’m convinced this is a big part this year’s success. ToP this year is 35:12, which is over 5 minutes better per game as last year’s 29:50.

      But it’s not night-and-day better than 2017’s 32:31 or 2016’s 33:48. Not sure how he’s calculating a “6 game equivalent” on our 9 games so far. Any ideas?

      • utefansince79
        1

        One thing I’ve noticed (in particular in the Wazzou game earlier this year) is there have been times the opponent makes an offensive sub, then we’ll make a defensive sub (and by rule the officials have to make the offense wait if the offense made a switch) which over the course of a game results in fewer plays.

         

        • Utesbyfive
          1

          Whittingham likes to make the opponent play at our pace. When quick offense teams play us, they basically have to slow down. It’s a huge factor in our success.

      • kazute
        1

        When I hear Whitt run the numbers in his head during interviews, he is basing it off of the number of defensive plays (not TOP).  I haven’t checked his math, but that is his basis for the estimation.

        Also I hear from podcasts (Special Forces Gang), that Whitt and company used to revel in making camp and practice a slog with lots o’ gassers at the end.  They are now taking a more evidence based approach and have cut back on the gassers, based upon new practice reports.  Hackett and Asiata were lamenting how bad they had it vs the current team.

      • EagleMountainUte
        2

        Actual snaps. So the defense has taken the amount snaps in a typical six game season.

        • Utesbyfive

          Honestly, that’s how championship teams do it, whether the coaches intend it or not. Whitt is playing the percentages, and right now, all the percentages favor us.

      • St George Ute

        Number of plays and the fact our starters have been able to sit for much of the 2nd half in a few games (i.e. Wazzu, ASU).

  • pics
    2

    I feel absolutely certain that our success is due to having an effective offensive. Holding onto the ball, scoring points combined with a fresh defense is a winning combination. Wish we had an effective offense years ago. We would have had this level of success much sooner.

    • Distantute
      3

      The difference is our qb. TW wasted those great defensive teams.

      • Utesbyfive

        Travis Wilson? Troy Williams?

        • EagleMountainUte
          1

          Offensive Coordinators have been the biggest difference. Norm Chow and Ludwig actually make adjustments in the game and understand the flow. Utah hasn’t had that much to help the defense out. 

  • Josh

    The biggest difference in my opinion is predictability.

    In the past we were a more one dimensional team on both defense and offense.

    By that I don’t mean we could only run or only throw, but I mean our running game was predictable (same lanes, same plays, same downs) and our throwing game was predictable (same plays, same receivers, same downs) – it often took 7 games or so for opponents to understand our playbook, but by the time November rolled around they almost always did.

    Defense was better but not much different. Predictability around the rush. We had to rush more than we do today to pressure the QB and only had a few DBs that could protect against the pass. Again, it took 8-9 games for opponents to figure this out, but they almost always did