Utah positions of strength, need


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      • #8523
        1

        Wilson’s Mustache
        Ute Fan
        @sigmaute

        ESPN Pac-12 Blog

        I’m not as nervous about the QB position because we return a solid offensive line. The WR is a huge question mark. .

        Key players: OL J.J. Dielman, OG Isaac Asiata, DT Lowell Lotulelei, DE Hunter Dimick

        How this unit is shaping up heading into 2016: Football is won at the line of scrimmage? Well, no Pac-12 team heads into the 2016 season better off on both the offensive and defensive lines than Utah, which welcomes back four starters on offense and three starters — and good depth — on defense. For one, Utah is the only team that welcomes back a first- or second-team All-Pac-12 defensive lineman (Lotulelei), and Dimick was a preseason pick in 2015 before injuries ruined his season. On the plus side, those injury issues gave Kylie Fitts plenty of quality experience in his stead. Though USC sets up better on the offensive line, Dielman (second-team All-Pac-12) and Asiata (honorable mention) lead a crew of five with significant starting experience. While center Siaosi Aiono is gone, Hiva Lutui made two of his eight starts last year at center while going back and forth with Salesi Uhatafe at guard.

        Position of need: The passing game

        Key players: QB Troy Williams, WR Tyrone Smith, WR Alec Dana

        How this unit is shaping up heading into 2016: Everyone knows that QB Travis Wilson, a rare four-year starter, is gone, but the Utes also lose their top four pass-catchers from 2015. Moreover, the fifth leading receiver was a tight end and the Utes ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in passing in any event, with just 180 yards per game and 15 TDs. So passing is an entirely rebuilding aspect for Utah, and it’s been a weakness since the Utes joined the conference. Smith, a sophomore, is the leading returning receiver with 18 catches for 193 yards and no touchdowns last year. Dana is a juco transfer with good size. Williams is also a juco transfer who made one previous career start at Washington. However things play out, the Utes will be young and inexperienced at wideout this season, which won’t make things easy for a new starting QB

      • #8524

        Tony
        Admin/Founder
        @admin

        I don’t know what to think. If you listen to the hype you think we will win the national championship. I hope the new receivers coach can make lemonade out of lemons.

        • #8525
          2

          Wilson’s Mustache
          Ute Fan
          @sigmaute

          I just keep telling myself that the offense will improve, but if the last 5 years have taught me anything its that the offense will always disappoint.

          • #8526

            Anonymous
            Inactive

            I am wait and see mode for the offense as well. Defense may be actually better this season. See how those linebackers play and hopefully stay healthy.

      • #8527

        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I am in the glass half full crowd. It would be difficult for our pass game to get any worse. We’ve suffered through a long spell of poor QB recruitment and hopefully that has ended.

        • #8530

          Tony
          Admin/Founder
          @admin

          Agree. I doubt it could be worse. Perhaps this year a new QB with a different set of skills, and some better receivers coaching will make a difference. Then I think the overly-conservative play calling will go away.

        • #8531
          1

          Anonymous
          Inactive

          I have that attitude for awhile now I just don’t believe the coaches that Utah has are capable. I have no clue how Erickson hasn’t helped fix the passing game yet.

      • #8532
        1

        rbmw263
        Ute Fan
        @rbmw263

        Unpopular opinion, I like our WR talent a lot. Just need a QB to tie it together

        • #8537
          1

          Wilson’s Mustache
          Ute Fan
          @sigmaute

          I actually kind of agree with this. I think with Coach Holliday’s coaching and what I hope is a better QB that our passing game will improve.

          Not to mention I think Joe William and Troy McCormick are going to have a big year in the run game.

          • #8548
            1

            Anonymous
            Inactive

            I like McCormick a lot.  I wish Utah had him last season.  It really could have been a wicked two pronged offensive attack.

      • #8579
        1

        YodaUte
        Ute Fan
        @yodaute

        Utes ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in passing

        What? We were 11th in passing? So there was a team out there with even worse passing stats that the Utes? I find that shocking.

        • #8580
          1

          Wilson’s Mustache
          Ute Fan
          @sigmaute

          OSU was god awful at passing last year. Well…kind of at everything, but particularly bad at passing.

          And they lost both QBs with starting experience & their top WR so they might be even worse next year.

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