If I was the coach


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      • #111745
        6 1

        ProudUte
        Ute Fan
        @proudute

        I would plan for this game like I was preparing for a 9-0 team.  I would not just relax during this bye week.  I would let the guys with nagging injuries heal, but outside of that, I would be taking advantage of the time to prepare for UCLA.  I would remind the players that outside of Utah and Oregon, this is the hottest team in the conference.  Their offense scored 42 points against ASU the week after ASU held us to 21.  UCLA has won three in a row and is averaging 40 points a game in conference play.

        I know we should win this game, but this is NOT the same UCLA team that we saw early in the season.  Kelley is now healthy and has rushed for over 800 yards.  They also have a bye and if they win this game they will be the only team that controls its own destiny in the South.  Chip Kelly is not stupid, he and his staff will prepare a creative game plan to attack our defense.

        A month ago I thought this game was a gimme.  Not now.  I do not predict we will lose, in fact, if we are prepared and come out of the gate strong, I suspect we can win this game by 2 to 3 touchdowns.  However, if we come out sluggish like last Saturday and make some stupid mistakes along the way – we would lose this game.

        The 2019 team is very special (maybe the best ever).  I do not want to see something stupid happen like in 1994 when we lost to a very average New Mexico team when we were undefeated and had the chance for a very special season.  We started playing not-to-lose instead of playing to win.  IMO we need to play like we have the last month; i.e. aggressive, like underdogs with something to prove.

        We need to play like Alabama does every week.  Just two weeks ago, the team was preparing to play lowly Arkansas.  Sabin was asked in the presser if he would look for the opportunity to get Tua’s brother into the game.  He went ballistic and said the only thing I am looking to do is to win this game.  He went on for about two minutes and then left the podium in a fit.  I want our coaches and players to have this kind of mentality this week, and the rest of the season for that matter.  We have a great opportunity ahead of us to possibly play in the Rose bowl and maybe even the CFP.  We lose this week and that is likely all gone.  Do NOT play conservative and NOT-TO-LOSE.  If we do that, I am afraid that it will bite us in the butt.

        Go Utes!!!

         

         

         

         

      • #111748

        Gilly Boy
        Ute Fan
        @gillyboy

        I believe that if UCLA was to win this week, wouldn’t USC also control their own destiny?

        • #111780

          gothamute
          Ute Fan
          @gothamute

          Not necessarily if there ended up being a 3-way tie… it would go to the following series of tiebreakers until someone prevailed:

          1. Head-to-head results (best record in games between tied teams)
          2. Record in intra-divisional games
          3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on the record in all conference games), proceeding through the division
          4. Record in common conference games
          5. Highest ranking in SportSource Analytics poll entering the final weekend of the regular season
      • #111749
        3

        ironman1315
        Ute Fan
        @ironman1315

        ESPN FPI has utah as a 90% favorite. UCLA’s defense is just bad giving up almost 300 yards per game through the air and 130 on the ground. Colorado is a terrible team. I really am not worried.

        Seriously, their defensive efficiency is 7th in the pac. We have played four teams higher than them (Wash, USC, ASU, and Cal) we beat all but USC and dump trucked Cal. BYU is higher than them and our offense crushed them.

        Their offensive efficiency is 73. We have played Wazzu (5th nationally 1st conf), OSU (10th nationally; 3rd in conf), USC (23rd nationally, 5th in conference), Washington (27th and 6th), ASU (68th and 9). We crushed the top two, lost to USC (hate them), did okay against wash and crushed ASU.

        Give Whitt a week to prepare he’s good. You give them two weeks, he’s nigh unbeatable. He is Hannibal from the A-team. Fotu is Mr. T. Huntley is the pilot guy (because throw game) and Moss is Face. Can’t stop them.

        And I will repeat this every time I see these statements.

        • #111760
          1

          PhiladelphiaUte
          Ute Fan
          @philadelphiaute

          We’ve lost to overmatched teams like 3-10 Colorado (2011), 3-9 Washington St (2014), and both 4-8 Oregon & 5-7 Cal (2016), so EVERY Pac-12 opponent makes me nervous.  

          That said, I’m FAR more confident about our game vs. UCLA than I was about USC and UWa.  The Bruins give up an average of 32-ppg, and have been allowing over 430-ypg.  There’s no question that we have the horses to shut these guys down.  We just have to avoid getting c**ky.

        • #111766

          ProudUte
          Ute Fan
          @proudute

          Sure, Utah should win.  I do not dispute that and I think we will win.  Wisconsin was a dominating defense and a 30 point favorite when they played Illinois.  We know what happened.  We were big favorites against CU in our first season in the PAC12.  A win would have given us the South championship.  We came in and played not to lose and got beat by a horrible team that had not won a road game in three years.  So, yes we should be concerned and prepare as if we are playing a top 5 team.  UCLA is no gimme.

      • #111750
        1

        sweetgrass
        Ute Fan
        @sweetgrass

        when Andy Phillips and Tom Hackett had a podcast (that unfortunately only lasted a handful of episodes), I recall both of them mentioning that by this time of year the team was typically spent. They pinpointed Utah’s past struggles during the month of November as related to mental and physical fatigue. I don’t know if anyone else recalls that, I wasn’t aware it was an issue until they mentioned it.

        I know these two were only special teams players, and they had it easier but they witnessed and heard complaints from other players. They also mentioned that players they knew at other state schools and PAC-12 schools that had less of physical demands late in the year. They were pretty adamant that if Whitt took it easier on the team late in the year, Utah would have more success. Maybe Whitt has responded, the last year or two?

        This second bye seems ideal. I agree with you that they need to prep and be focused for UCLA, but I hope they get some days off to recharge. I think the game against UW took a small toll. Maybe, just lifting weights, and some conditioning this week for the starters (I know typically during a bye there is a focus on the underclassmen while coaches are out recruiting). Just my $.02

        • #111757

          JMotz
          Ute Fan
          @jmotz

          Just FYI the podcast is still around search for Special Forces Gang. Isac Asiata(spelling?) just started replacing Andy Phillips on the podcast and his insights are great. 

        • #111768

          ProudUte
          Ute Fan
          @proudute

          Yes, you are right they do need to re-charge.  I think the prep this week should be most watching game films and preparing a strong game plan.

      • #111751
        2

        UtahFanSir
        Ute Fan
        @utahfansir

        I agree. The bye week, I trust, will permit some guys who are banged up to get closer to 100%. 

        This team is special, for sure. What I like about them is the way they support each other as a team. Guys seem to be fine with sharing reps, as long as the primary goal is met: just win. You can tell that there is a rare tightness to this squad.

        The team arguably still has work to do that to be frank may never be completed (for anyone really). Over the last handful of games, I’ve been surprised by the number of Utah WR or RB fumbles and who is fumbling. I know its really hard to hang on to this odd shaped ball, particularly when its wet or cold and a lot of banging and swiping is going on. Washington and Arizona State seem to be quite adept at stripping the ball. You have got to know that ball security is a matter of high attention by this coaching staff. In all three mentioned games, this turnovers killed momentum.

        The receiving corp did a great job in the last game. Huntley was 19 of 24. Of those five incompletions, most were Huntley getting rid of the ball. Most were uncatchable, maybe one was catchable but missed due to awkward positioning. The TEs and WRs have been getting much better at completing well thrown passes, a massive difference maker in Utah’s offense compared to recent years. Most of this is receivers getting open, beating guys. But sometimes its because they battle for the ball. I was impressed, for example, by Washington’s QB Eason at threading the needle on some into-traffic throws. The Utah coaches have been doing their job and players have stepped up to improve this aspect of the game.

        We have derided Gordon Monson for years as a TDS shill. But his article on Huntley and Tyler’s development that he published several days ago was terrific. I felt like he was giving extremely high praise to Tyler and to the coaching staff for his phenomenal development. And its true. I agree with Whittingham that Tyler is an elite QB this season and one of the best in the country. I expect Tyler will continue to astonish us fans.

        I read the other day that the coaching staff understood and even acknowledged that Washington exploited a weakness in Utah’s schemes that the staff had overlooked. I’d like to know more about that if anyone has a take. What I love about that admission, assuming it is true, is how the coaches are detailed oriented and impart that to the players. Utah may not have a bench full of 5-star players, but the preparation they do moves them to that level, in my opinion. And I think Utah does a great job of preparing guys for each opponent.

        We can debate whether Utah gets out-coached sometimes on the field. I’ve read that complaint about KW against Petersen for years. That did not happen on Saturday in Seattle. Washington came out loaded for bear. That team wanted the win and for better part of half of the game, I wondered if they would not prevail. Clearly, Utah’s line play on both sides of the ball early in the game was better than matched by Washington. Petersen had prepared his guys to play Utah. Utah regained their composure, made some player adjustments, tweaked the game plan to close some areas of weakness, and began to match up better against a determined Husky team. As Utah began to gain momentum, those two fumbles in the third quarter reminded me of similar stuttering in the SC and ASU games, where even when Utah was the team on the move, stuff happened to knock them back. Without question, players stepped up to demonstrate that they would to lose this game. That was a joy to see, even if it points to areas needing a touch-up.

        So yeah, I love this team and look forward to the rest of the season. Last Saturday’s performance was go great that in a snap decision, my wife and I decided to come to SLC to see Utah wipe-out the Bruins.

      • #111752
        5 1

        Hellhound152
        Ute Fan
        @hellhound152

        Jesus, I am glad you aren’t the coach because Whitt is going to at least give the players a couple of days off.  You on the otherhand will continue your relentless “the sky is falling” #notthesameucla dribble until the Utes blow them out of the stadium in two weeks and then it will be Arizona’s turn to be the most dangerous team in America.  SMH

        • #111756
          3 1

          Itacoatiara22
          Ute Fan
          @itacoatiara22

          Yeah…it’s getting annoying at this point to see people on this board continuously trying to find a way to bet against the Utes.  Must be miserable people to be around in real life.

          • #111758
            3 1

            bopahull
            Ute Fan
            @bopahull

            I don’t think Proudute is betting against the Utes, He’s just pointing out that when the team starts believing the press clippings USCs happen.

            I’ve been a Ute fan for more than 60 years, I’ve been conditioned to worry. That doesn’t mean I don’t think the Utes are going to destroy the bears. I think it will be 40 to 3, but I still worry.

            • #111774

              Itacoatiara22
              Ute Fan
              @itacoatiara22

              I’m worried that you think Utah is playing the bears next week…

          • #111773

            ProudUte
            Ute Fan
            @proudute

            Get annoyed if you would like.  I said that I do not think we will lose.  I was very positive about our chances last week against UW.  I knew we would not take them likely.  I knew we would dominate Cal because they had no offense.  But, UCLA is playing well offensively (no one can argue that).  So, we cannot take them lightly or they will come out and punch us in the face.  

            I suspect we will be ready and throw the kitchen sink at their offense.

            • #111785
              1

              ironman1315
              Ute Fan
              @ironman1315

              By all metrics, their offense hasn’t been great. They haven’t faced a defense as good as ours. Period. They will get beat and beat badly.

              • #111800
                1

                ProudUte
                Ute Fan
                @proudute

                No, they have not faced a defense like ours.  But, ASU has a good defense and I think they were up 35-0 at the half.  As I said, we should win and I expect us to win by 2-3 TDs.  However, if we play not-to-lose, we may get punched in the gut.

        • #111783

          ProudUte
          Ute Fan
          @proudute

          BS.  I want to be prepared, but that does not mean extra hard practices.  I think they need to watch Bruin game films and understand where their weaknesses are.

          I have not been a sky-is-falling poster.  I was very positive about our chances to beat UW, Cal and ASU.  I knew we would be prepared and had the better team.  We have a better team than UCLA.  No doubt about that, but the better team doesn’t always win.  I do not appreciate being called chicken-little because I want to be prepared.

          Go Utes!!!

           

          • #111810

            GameForAnyFuss
            Ute Fan
            @gameforanyfuss

            Football is all about matchups, and in spite of UCLA having a great offense at the moment, the matchup is good for Utah. UCLA is heavily run-dependent, and I like Utah much more in a matchup against balanced or run-heavy offenses. Against CU, UCLA ran for 207 and threw for 226, so they’re pretty balanced. I expect that run number to be under 100 against Utah.

            However, the real defense for Utah will be Huntley and the offense. For as strong as UCLA is on offense, they’re equally weak on the other side of the ball. I expect Utah to limit UCLA’s possessions by eating up clock on long sustained drives.

            To me this feels like UCLA scores somewhere in the 10-20 range and Utah in the 30-35 range.

          • #111813
            2 1

            Hellhound152
            Ute Fan
            @hellhound152

            Did you email the staff and let them know they need to super prepare?  They might not watch enough film without your encouragement…

            • #111847

              ProudUte
              Ute Fan
              @proudute

              Give it a rest.  Can people not have a different opinion than yours without …

              I basically posted what John Pease said on the radio this morning and he has coached for over 40 years.  I never said that Whitt would not be prepared.

              • #111848

                EagleMountainUte
                Ute Fan
                @battlegroundute

                All respect to Pease but it is kind of obvious. This team is very different. SC made plays with far superior talent and beat Utah. Doesn’t help you also played your worst game. 

                Utah basically went on the road with a team who had an extra week of prep and rest. Made in game adjustments on the fly turned the ball over twice and won rather handily. No one else on the schedule worries me. This defense is elite. 

              • #111899
                1

                Hellhound152
                Ute Fan
                @hellhound152

                It is not a difference of opinion problem, I love that, it keeps me alive.  I have an issue with the fact that you are not John Pease!  Though I appreciate your plagerized thoughts and assertions that usually are of the wet blanket variety I smirk, but when you start to post like you are smarter than the current coaching staff or know things that they do not.  It rubs me the wrong way.

      • #111990

        rbmw263
        Ute Fan
        @rbmw263

        I can guarantee you coaches will put in 60+ hrs this week and next. Now that we’ve beaten UW, every game from here on out is the biggest game of the year given the spot we are in. They know that

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