What I'm Waiting to See

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    • #3431

      Ute Fan

      All the Utah hype after the Oregon win is great. However, I’m a bit hesitant to fully buy into it until I see how the team responds in the Cal game. It seems to me that Whittingham’s teams have been a bit prone to letdowns after big win or when the hype machine gets going. I hope that the coaches have learned from the past and use the extra time to get the team focused and ready to go against Cal. If the Utes can keep the momentum, the future looks good to me.

      On a related note, it was nice to see Whittingham not go ultra-conservative once the Utes went up by a couple TDs. I know he said after the game that he kept going because Oregon is capable of scoring in bunches. I think most PAC12 teams are capable of scoring in bunches if the Utes go conservative so I hope the aggressive mentality sticks around a bit. The optimist in me hopes that a part of Whitt’s tendency to go conservative with any lead was related (at least for the last few years) to the fact that Utah didn’t have PAC12 depth and perhaps he didn’t think they were able to keep going full-throttle.

    • #3436

      Ute Fan

      With regard to your nervousness to fully embrace the hype, I feel the same way. In general, I’m a conservative guy and so I try not to get too high on this kind of early success because I don’t want the figurative nut punch that comes along with a big let down (see ‘BYU Fan Expectations: Every August/September’, see also ‘BYU: Band of Nut Punchers’).

      That said, I’m holding out some hope this year, because most of this team just experienced the Washington St. game last year. Given the way that game started, I’m comfortable saying that the team started to feel pretty good about itself after the quick start and it had a letdown. Now, I think Cal might be good enough to beat us on any given day (I feel that way about most of the league), but I’m hopeful that the Utes aren’t going to have a mental letdown. If they prepare and show up (mentally) the same way they did for Oregon, I don’t think Cal has enough to get it done in SLC this year.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Jake.
    • #3439

      Puget Ute
      Ute Fan

      The crazy thing is, Whitt DID go pretty conservative for the last 10 minutes of the game when we were up 62-13. That 2nd and 3rd quarter burst of points (49 pts!) will go down in history as two of the greatest quarters in the history of Utah football, ranking nearly with the 1st quarter of the Sugar Bowl.

      I still can’t believe we played to a 6-6 tie in the 1st quarter and 7-7 tie in the 4th. Amazing.

      • #3446

        Ute Fan

        That is pretty crazy. I’m just glad Whittingham didn’t go conservative coming out of halftime with a 14-point lead.

    • #3440


      I’ve been saying all along that we need to avoid the brain fart game we seem to have every year, one we lose which we should win (Washington State). We have only won ONE conference game so far. The season is FAR from over.

      I think we go too conservative too, but with a backup QB in there it is hard to open up the whole playbook.

    • #3441

      Ute Fan

      I think they BYE week is coming at a PERFECT time to hopefully prevent a letdown. It gives the team some time to enjoy a big win, reset and heal up, and then get their focus back on the next game.

      We saw a pleasant glimpse into what potential this team has but as you said, the big indicator of Utah’s ability to actually meet that potential is how they carry forward after a win like this.

      Winning at Autzen was a great accomplishment but I think it is obvious that the Oregon team we beat is not quite what they were the last few years.

      That being said, we still did something great by taking down a quality and talented team and it was a great thing to see Utah coaches build a game plan so well to negate an opponents advantage and shore up our weaknesses.

      The best part to me to finally see our coaches show that killer instinct to not only get up on a team but to keep pushing when the situation calls for it and not just play “not to lose”. I can understand Whitt’s tendency to get conservative in games because of his defensive mindset and trying to limit the turnover risk that comes with a aggressive offensive scheme. However, I think that Whitt is finally starting to understand that this mentality does not fit all opponents as teams like Oregon can negate a lead in a hurry.

      I hope we’ll see similar masterful game plans in the coming weeks and that Utah will stay focused on their post-season goals.

      GO UTES!!!

    • #3443

      Ute Fan

      I had an exchange about this with Tacoma yesterday on UFN. If you look at our really great seasons 2004 and 2008 they had a some things in common – A big one is senior leadership. Senior leadership that had been through tough down years, and had experienced at WTF loss after a big win the year before their special season. 2003 we lost to UNM after beating Oregon, and 2007 we lost to UNLV after beating UCLA. I don’t have any inside knowledge, but I have a feeling those losses as painful as they were galvanized those teams so that they wouldn’t let that happen again. Last year we beat Michigan and the lost to WSU. I think this Cal game will be a good bellwether. If we come out sharp, focused and win then obviously we have answered the hangover question, but it might be the true beginning of something great.

      I mostly want to see if we can put up 35-40 points against a top 100 defense in conference play.

    • #3447

      Ute Fan

      the hype is great. the national media is doing it for us. i think most reasonable ute fans realize there’s a long way to go and therefore we don’t go zoob. i love all the attention and it comes at a great time when kyle is on the recruiting path this week. the SI power rankings is a great thing to show the recruits (today anyway). i always temper my expectations… we will probably lay an egg in some game and lose a close one or two. the fact is that the PAC is just too tough. we will beat each other up just like last year (in the south) and the north is pretty much a big question mark now with perhaps cal and the trees being the new front runners.

      so….. it’s really fun to see all the hype and it’s coming from all over the nation. enjoy it while we can. we deserve the accolades.

      FWIW, i’ve had numerous coworkers, visitors and neighbors (that know i’m a ute) rave about the oregon beat down. every college football fan in socal knows who the utes are. there are a lot of duck fans here too. on my way home yesterday, i saw a car with the O sticker and i made sure he saw my Utes sticker and then we made eye contact. he just smiled and shook his head.

    • #3480

      Ute Fan

      I once burst into my parent’s bedroom in the middle of the night only to find them cuddling in the corner stark naked listening to Mel Torme’s “Blue Moon”. My father looked at me stone faced, and calmly said “when the sea of life becomes unsteady point the bow windward and tighten your tail.”

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