First press prediction of Utah-USC horserace for the 2018 South Division title..


  • #58513
    7

    gothamute
    Ute Fan
    @gothamute
  • #58517
    4

    Chidojuan
    Ute Fan
    @chidojuan

    This presents a fun opportunity for a way too early over analysis of our division opponents. Hopefully many people will chime in. Let’s start with SC. Last year they were the CFB equivalent of OKC in the playoffs. They got by on individual star power, which interestingly is actually way more viable in CFB. I actually don’t know what to make of Clay Helton. I assume he is an offensively minded coach, but can you judge his performance without Darnold? Cody Kessler was decent, but he had JuJu to pass to. I’ve seen very imperfect offenses year after year from him. In the end, it’s SC and they’ll find the star power eventually, but SC has been simply above average and saved by conference cannibalism. This year will be no different. They’ll have at least one star player to rely on in each position group, but I feel like this is a rebuilding year for them. We’ll see how Matt Fink plays. I think they’ll compete, but I also think our offensive stability and strong defense will edge them out. What does everyone else think?

    • #58519
      2

      Tony
      Admin/Founder
      @admin

      What’s funny is that some predict USC to win the south, yet they just lost their QB to the NFL and we haven’t seen whoever they have to replace Darnold in action.

      • #58527
        1

        Onlyu
        Ute Fan
        @uf8fl

        USC is at Stanford in week 2, at Utah, at Arizona at Oregon St and at UCLA…They miss Washington and Oregon this year.  They have a very favorable schedule in that sense have the easiest path IMO.  

        That said, Stanford HAS to beat them and so do we for us to win the league outright.  If that doesn’t happen it’s gonna be very difficult.

      • #58528
        1

        gothamute
        Ute Fan
        @gothamute

        Completely agree – USC suffering a lot of key losses that it’s not clear how they’ll replace and I agree with others knocking Helton as a HC… he hasn’t shown yet that he’s all that great. Darnold is a huge loss but having watched several SC games last year I think Ronald Jones will be just as big a loss for them. Yes they recruited very well as always but this is Helton’s first rebuilding project and I don’t see him being able to put the pieces together each year like true “reloading” programs do.
        That said, SC’s schedule is definitely favorable, which might help them avoid an extra L or two making the race come down to the last week or two like it always does.

    • #58522
      2

      Utah
      Ute Fan
      @utah

      I think Helton is a poor coach. I don’t think they win the south this year. Probably go 9-4. They might start out 2-2 or 1-3. 

      If I were USC, I’d throw big money at Whitt. And if I were Whitt, I’d take it. Go win a national title at USC, retire a God. 

      • #58524
        3

        BattleGroundUte
        Ute Fan
        @battlegroundute

        I don’t think Whitt is SC material. Not knocking his coaching ability but there are a multitude of personality clashes I could foresee. Also Whitt has no desire at all to leave Utah. 

        • #58525
          3

          Utah
          Ute Fan
          @utah

          I don’t disagree with you. I think Petersen is the more likely choice. He can bring his staff, give them all raises, have better athletes, etc. 

        • #58532
          1

          homer
          Ute Fan
          @homer

          A couple years ago, Whit was packed and ready to become U$C head coach. Something changed that night and they went with Helton.

          • #58534
            2

            Utah
            Ute Fan
            @utah

            Yeah, I don’t think Whitt turns down 5+ million a year to coach at USC. Especially now in his career, where he knows it’s five years max. Plus, USC probably doesn’t force him into doing a lot of the “extra” stuff, knowing it’s short terms as well. 

            That being said, I think Petersen would be their #1 choice. Whitt should be #2. 

            And if Petersen was their #1, I don’t see why he wouldn’t take the job. He was set a few years ago and USC didn’t allow him to pick some of his coaches. That would be different today. 

          • #58537

            BattleGroundUte
            Ute Fan
            @battlegroundute

            Helton took less money then and the Whitt thing was complete smoke. I am telling you no way in hell do they want a guy like Whitt. 

        • #58538

          chinngiskhaan
          Ute Fan
          @chinngiskhaan

          They absolutely did have interest in Whitt, and have spoken with him in the past, but he was never going there, and I don’t know that they offered him anything.

          Whitts least favorite part of his job is the fame/notoriety and requisite elbow knocking that comes with it. That would all be magnified by 1000 if he went there.

          • #58541

            BattleGroundUte
            Ute Fan
            @battlegroundute

            Yes that is my point on both sides Whitt has no interest in what usc wants. USC wants something from a head coach that he can’t give. 

            • #58544

              Utah
              Ute Fan
              @utah

              Which is why USC isn’t completely dominating. 

              • #58556
                1

                BattleGroundUte
                Ute Fan
                @battlegroundute

                Well I like to think it is a lot of factors. I believe USC has never adjusted to the expansion. Most really hate Larry Scott now and are having buyers remorse because it didn’t get any easier for them. While Bama struggled slightly with TAMU for the most part it has gotten easier for them since expansion. 

                I don’t like it but PAC needs to expand to 16 or just reduce conference games to 8. I don’t think either benefits Utah. Maybe the scheduling ooc will improve now that Hill is leaving. 

  • #58521
    2

    Chidojuan
    Ute Fan
    @chidojuan

    Next opponent: Arizona. Honestly they scare me more than SC, but more because of a fear of the unknown. Kevin Sumlin is yet another offensive minded coach, but he doesn’t use RPO’s like Rodriguez did. He likes the Air Raid. I’m not sure what Khalil Tate’s ceiling is as a passer, but we better hope it’s not that high, because Sumlin will find it and use it. Anyone else remember what happened when Sumlin had a talented dual threat QB? Realistically though, I think Tate is more of a run threat, and he won’t develop his passing game dramatically. The rest is a team in flux. A young defense with a lot of potential. I really hope Sumlin sticks to the Air Raid, because RPO’s have been our toughest challenge as a defense. I think our linebackers and ends will be able to at least contain Tate and make him beat us with his arm. Then it’s our secondary vs. their receivers, and I think that gets us by. This one could be a potential shoot out. I know I’m drinking the red Kool-Aid with a both of my posts so far, but that’s the fun of a way too early analysis.

    • #58529
      1

      gothamute
      Ute Fan
      @gothamute

      Totally agree with this as well. Arizona looks like the true wild-card game for me because I think Sumlin can really coach and they have some weapons coming back. It seems like once a few detailed scouting reports came out on Tate that he fell back to earth a bit but our LBs better be healthy and ready for that game… a loss to Zona could break the season.

  • #58523
    6

    KiYi-Ute
    Ute Fan
    @kiyi-ute

    I’m here for the free Kool-Aid.

  • #58530
    2

    noneyadb
    Ute Fan
    @noneyadb

    That’s the nail in the coffin. Utah going 7-5.

  • #58667

    gothamute
    Ute Fan
    @gothamute

    I’ll take a stab at UCLA, having watched their spring game over the weekend. Chip Kelly is installing a variation of the up-tempo offensive approach he ran at Oregon, and there are more than a few athletes on the roster that can potentially make things interesting (eventually) in Westwood. As always, it’s hard to draw too many conclusions from a spring game, but a few things stood out to me over the course of their game: 1) they do not (yet) have a quarterback; Wilton Speight was serviceable at Michigan but expecting him to hit the ground running (assuming he gets the starting job, which given the performance of Modster and the others seems quite likely) on a brand-new offense is a strategy that’s bound to disappoint; 2) without a signal caller that has mastered the offense Kelly will be limited in what he can run successfully in the near term, which could make them somewhat predictable especially in the face of pressure; 3) their D-Line is still as porous as ever; and 4) they have some good athletes on both sides of the ball but athleticism alone won’t save them in the midst of a total rebuild (and it was very apparent this is a total rebuild on both sides of the ball). They looked a lot like a blue&gold version of us last year, only even more raw due to the new defensive scheme coming on top of adding in a new offense… you can see potential but it’s hard to see how they can perform to it given how many moving pieces they have… all that said, they will beat somebody they “shouldn’t” this year (better not be us), because despite the negative comments about Kelly on this board and elsewhere, he’s a proven college commodity (at least offensively) who will work in enough wrinkles to keep lesser D coordinators off-balance. My take (which is admittedly limited to watching the spring game and reading a few boards sporadically) is that they look like a 6-6/7-5 team but given their schedule I’d be surprised if they end up over .500

BACK TO TOP

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Ute Fan Board Forums Utah Utes Sports Football First press prediction of Utah-USC horserace for the 2018 South Division title..

This topic contains 19 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  gothamute 1 month, 4 weeks ago.