The potential of the 2023 football team compared yo 2022

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      • #187547

        Ute Fan

        I am snowed in with time on my hands and I miss football. This is one old guy’s attempt to project what our 2023 team will look like compared to 2022.
        Running back – I think we will be improved because we won’t have the off-field distractions from Tavion. Bernard should be 100%, Curry should be back, Jackson will hopefully be much improved with more experience and I hope Glover will also be better because of experience.
        Wide Receiver – I think this is a toss-up with the possibility of being better if Mikey Mathews becomes an immediate impact player. Vele should be healthy and ready to deliver and Parks showed us some highlights at the end of last season.
        Tight Ends – I think that we may not be quite as good as last year because Kinkaid was such a stud. However, we do have Kuithe and Yassmin back as well as the freshman Jacobsen.
        Offensive Line – I think we will be equal to last season early on and possibly better as our two 4-star tackles get some experience.
        QB – This is a mystery to me. We may be better or we may be worse. Much of this depends on the Cam Rising we see. Will he be able to run? How mobile will he be? Who will be the backup?
        Safety – I think we will be better. Bishop has another year of experience, Ritchie is back and Vake showed some great skills late last season.
        CB – I know most of you think that this is a position where we will struggle. I think we will be as good or maybe even a bit better. We have two experienced CBs returning. We have a 6’4″ transfer from the SEC joining the team and our two best recruits are corners. Yes, we will miss Phillips. But, I think we will be fine.
        LB – I think we could be much better. We have two starters returning. We are bringing in another starter from Stanford and we have a bunch of highly recruited guys waiting for their opportunity.
        Defensive Line – Everyone close to the program is saying that we are 10-12 deep on the Dline. Outside of Reid, everyone is back. Fillinger should be healthy and I think Pepa may be our next All-American. Oh, and we add Fano to the mix. So, I think we will be improved.
        Kicking – We would have a hard time being worse than last season and we have a transfer who has proved that he can kick the ball into the endzone.
        Again, this is just one old Ute’s opinion as I think about our 2023 season. I think we will be a better team this year. However, we may end up having the most difficult schedule in the country. We are one of just four teams that play 11 P5 teams this season and there could be 3-4 teams in the PAC12 that are in the top-ten at some point during the season.
        Go Utes!!!

      • #187548

        Ute Fan

        The big thing I’m looking out for is, do we have a d-end that will be the one v one terror?  That’s been the one thing our d has been missing.  That orchard, that Dimmick, that fitts, that tafua.  

        if any one of fano, o’toole, Fillinger, etc. can be a 12 sack force, our d returns to elite status we’ve gotten so used to.  We’ve really missed that guy over the last two seasons.  And we we’ve rarely went so long without that kind of stud.

        • #187549

          Ute Fan

          Paul Kruger 08

          koa misi 09

          christian cox 10

          derrick Shelby 10-11

          joe Kruger 12-13

          Trevor reilley 12-13

          Orchard 14

          dimmick 14-15

          fitts 15-16-17-18(I think)

          tafua 19? 20-21

          Im sure im forgetting a guy here and there

          22 I think the mayoral seat sat empty.  We had to manufacture a lot of pressure.  Need to get home with 4 and to do that you need a new mayor.  

          Im chomping at the bit for some insider to tell me one of our ends is being unblockable

          • #187550
            6 1

            Ute Fan

            Tafua was not mayoral, more like the clerk of Sack Lake. He wasn’t a great pass rusher. Anae was our last great one (not on your list).

            • #187555

              Ute Fan

              Anae is a big omission..

              tafua wasn’t quite as dominant as some of the others, true.  But we did miss him.  He was a cut above what we had last year from a pure pass rush standpoint.

              he was hurt in the rose bowl.  So that stunk.  A healthy tafua might have gotten there a pressure or two and/or a sack that would’ve tilted the game..

          • #187568

            Ute Fan

            Jonah Elliss has a great shot to be the mayor of sack lake city.

      • #187552

        Ute Fan

        I try (and fail) to be conservative in my expectations for each season. This year, my guesses are: 

        RB: Better. Our floor in this position is the highest in history imo. 
        WR: Same is my guess. 
        TE: Worse but still shines. 
        QB: Worse only because I have super low expectations of Cam. Not because Cam isn’t amazing, but because knee injuries suuuck. My expectation is season starts with QB2 and Cam eventually joins but never has quite enough time to get used to the season again. 
        OL: Best in history imo. 
        DL: Deepest in history but missing stars. I’d say same as last year but super healthy rotations allows for fewer injury potential
        LB: Better than last year. 
        S: Better and will be terrifying by the end of the year. 
        CB: Worse but still good. Higher floor, lower ceiling. 
        K: Better. For sure. 

        Season will be truly difficult imo. I think the Pac-12 championship is still in-reach but this will be the hardest year to get it imo. Schedule looks tough. But I’m still optimistic. 

        Really proud of this team. Truly. I love it and am just hooked for life I imagine. 

        I judge us based on 3 things: 
        Season results

        All 3 feed the other 3. 

        I’m absolutely satisfied w/ the season. We’ll see about the draft. And recruiting is certainly on the up and up. Super excited. 

      • #187554
        3 1

        Ute Fan

        I think we take a significant step back, at least in the win/loss column. We have an insanely difficult schedule and I don’t think Cam will ever get back to what he was before the injury. For pocket passers it’s not really a factor, but Cam without the same ability to make plays with his feet is not as dangerous.

        • #187559

          2008 National Champ
          Ute Fan

          I’ve got Utah at 8-4 but I don’t consider that a significant step back. Last season could have just as easily been 8-4 (Rising gets tackled on two point conversion against SC) as 10-2 (Rising throws to Kincaid’s right against Florida).

          UW/Baylor (both on road) are upgrades over SDSU/WSU so the schedule is more difficult but it would take a real collapse to end up 6-6 or worse.

      • #187560

        Ute Fan

        Budding stars and high potential players I’m excited about: Nate Johnson, Brandon Rose, JJ, John Randle, Mikey Matthews, Mbanasor, Yassmin, Fano brothers, Pepa, Kennedy, Damuni, Johnathan Hall, Vaughn, Ritchie, Vaki. I think several of these and others will stand out next season.

        So many more, hard to limit to a few. Have we ever been this talented? Experts have been saying for years that if/when Utah recruiting caught up to its development, we would be a force. I think we’re close and will see next step taken in next 2-3 years. 2023 might not be the year given SOS, but 2024-2025 could be great.

      • #187561

        Ute Fan

        Reading all of the mentions of various players certainly gets me far too excited for 2023 this early in the year. I think there is potentially a macro view of things that leads me to conclude we’ll be better. Record wise we may finish the same but I think we’ll be better. For me, it’s a combination of a stronger defense and improved kicking. I think those two things work in tandem to get us seven to ten points a game. As we all know, field position is such a big thing in football. I think the defense gets the offense shorter fields more frequently this season which will lead to more touchdowns and certainly more field goal opportunities.

        The front seven will be nasty with some of the best safeties in the PAC-12 and a cornerback group that will be above average with potential to be very good. Someone posted we don’t have a star on the defensive line. That may be true at the end position but Tafuna and Pepa in the middle are NFL players and Fotu may finally be getting there, let alone three or four other tackles. We have multiple playmakers at linebacker and safety. I think we’re going to love this defense.

        • #187562

          Ute Fan

          I agree.  Our d tackle spot will be wayyy good.

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