Utah Utes Fan Board

The Drive – Episode 3 – Official Thread

Been waiting for this episode for two weeks now. Kind of lame they didn’t show an episode last week. even with both schools on a BYE they could have taken advantage of extra time to spend on players & coaches personal lives behind the scenes.

  • Wilson's Mustache

    Oregon State’s entire program is duplicated from Utah’s

  • Ute Bc

    He made an immature decision. One he almost made when Gary went to Utah St. He wanted to coach with his buddy – his career will suffer because of it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • UteStuckInSeattle

    My guess is that the coaches probably asked for filming to take a break because they were focused on recruiting during the BYE week.

    I don’t think you want something like your recruiting strategies put on film for others to see.

  • During the episode last night, they stated that TW had the highest QBR in CFB and NFL scouts were taking interest, then his only pass play they showed, he misses the open receiver by 5 yards. SMH

    • NorthEZUte

      I guess it was too hard for them to put in his TD pass to Butler-Byrd. The Drive is really disappointing in my opinion. The PAC-12 Network is half-assing it all the way.

      • Wilson's Mustache

        I think the big problem is that they only made it 30 minutes and are splitting between two teams.

        Last years drive was so much better because they focuses only on UCLA with just a small snippet on their opponents.

  • javadave

    Nice choice, Sitake

    Watching the Oregon State vs Arizona game on football in 60. My god the Beavs are horrible. Hopefully Sitake doesn’t get fired in the next couple of years.

    Actually, I’d be fine if he was fired.

  • Sitake has always been overrated as a coach, I’m so glad he’s gone. Shareef Shaw will make an outstanding defensive coordinator when Pease retires again.

    • javadave

      Makes Dr Hill look like a genius.

  • Wilson's Mustache

    To be fair he had 2 returning starters on defense to work with & their offense is worse than their defense. Hard to be even moderately good at defense when you’re on the field 80% of the game.

    Think of it in these terms; Arizona had nearly 36 minutes in time of possession. Arizona runs a very up tempo offense. They aren’t built for long sustained drives. It would be like Oregon having the ball that long, but still going up tempo & scoring at a fast pace.

    Any defense in the country will wilt in the face of an assault like that.

    That said, no Sitake hasn’t done anything to impress. If he had stayed one more year at Utah he likely would have seen a few Head Coaching offers from some mid-major schools. He appears he probably has ruined any sort of positive reputation he had previously.

  • Tony

    How good would Sitake have been last year without Nate Orchard?

    • Without a huge year from Nate Orchard, Sitake would have been the same D Coordinator who was 5-7 in back to back seasons with numerous defensive let downs.

  • KiYi-Ute

    I feel that Sitake’s biggest strength as a coach was in his recruiting. Initially I was upset to see him go (and possibly more upset at the perceived notion that Chris Hill wasn’t willing to pay coaches what they were worth) but I am very happy with the addition of Pease. I think his defensive scheme is more effective, albeit less flashy than what we came to know as “Sack Lake City”.

    That being said, I think that Sitake has a bright future ahead of him; whether that be an eventual HC job somewhere or not.

  • UteStuckInSeattle

    When Sitake was here he was running Whitt’s defense. It’s always been Whitt who really had the most influence on that defense.

    Sitake doesn’t have “his guys” quite yet but I don’t doubt he’ll get a pretty decent defense going up there. It may not become as elite as Utah’s but it will be a tough D to play against in a few years.

  • UtahUteGuy

    I wonder if, ironically, Sitake will decline in terms of his recruiting now that he has left Utah. The Polynesian Pipeline at Utah is stronger than just one coach, it relies on tradition, location, reputation and the head coach, Kyle Whittingham, who I’m guessing is perceived as a guy who helps Polynesians get into the NFL. Sitake, although Polynesian, was the beneficiary of the Pipeline, not the originator. Obviously, it didn’t hurt to have him in such a prominent position on the staff via-a-vis the Pipeline, but he wasn’t absolutely vital. Utah will recruit strong in the Polynesian community no matter what, and we will recruit well on defense no matter what. Why? Because the head coaching philosophy benefits defensive players massively, and playing at Utah is as good a ticket to getting in the NFL as any other top football university.

    What does OSU have to offer? They have no defensive reputation, no history, and what Polynesian players want to go up there and play when they can stay in the SLC area with its much larger Polynesian community. Yeah, unless OSU decides to relocate to Ogden, I don’t see one guy having that much of an impact.

    • I’m of the opinion that we’ve relied too heavily on the Polynesian pipeline. I think we have a good balance of coaches now.

  • AZswayze

    I like Sitake, but he was always a high risk high reward guy. He blitzed more often than Pease, but we seemed to give up far more big plays too. I think Goff would have torched us if Sitake was still here. Very pleased with Pease.

  • Two opposing perspectives on Utah – From Stanford fans

    I don’t know what you consider respect. Two of three posters who have ranked the Pac 12 teams ranked them first. Another ranked them second. And Mick claimed Stanford could beat them.

    But if you want some lack of respect, I guess it’s up to me.
    I am not yet sold on Utah as the class of the Pac 12, though I certainly could see them winning the conference. There are a few issues.

    First, everyone keeps talking about their rugged defense. In this very thread, winflop says, “but I also wonder if they’ve [Stanford] faced a defense as good as Utah’s – or if they will the rest of the season.”
    Well, Utah’s defense is ranked 67th in yds allowed per game (6th in conference), and 74th in yds/play (9th). Their calling cards last year were sacks and tackles for loss. Currently they are in a multiple tie for 47th in sacks/game (6th) and 109th in tackles for loss/game (tie 10th). This compares to last year when they were 1st (1st) and 6th (1st).
    Their defense is not bad, but so far it’s not as good as last year.

    Another stat that is generally believed to be fairly predictive is yards gained differential – with per play useful for taking out pace of play. In the Pac 12 right now we have:
    Team Off yds/play Def yds/play Differential
    U$C 7.45 5.04 2.41
    Stanford 6.72 4.78 1.94
    UCLA 6.11 4.78 1.33
    UW 5.59 4.44 1.15
    Arizona 6.70 5.59 1.11
    c.a.l. 6.62 5.55 1.07
    Oregon 6.71 5.84 0.87
    ASU 5.72 5.24 0.48
    Colorado 5.59 5.45 0.14
    Utah 5.57 5.63 -0.06
    OSU 4.71 5.67 -0.96


    1. It’s really quite remakrable to be 5-0 and have a negative yds/play differential. In thinking about what other undefeated team might have such a stat, I thought of MSU – but no they are at +0.36; Florida – +1.20; Clemson – +1.47.
    I think their special teams are good, but they don’t really stand out in most categories (though they are #3 in the country in punt return yards/game).
    They have done this primarily through turnover margin. They are #1 in the country and #1 in the conference by a mile at +2.0 per game (second is c.a.l. at +0.83/game).
    Is that sustainable?

    My comment was related to the comment by the OP, “D is overrated and O is underwhelming”

    Well… I applaud you for your well reasoned post… but

    Utah has beaten two teams who would otherwise be unbeaten, Low APR U and Michigan. That counts for a lot.

    Secondly, some of the yards per play differential is driven by run/pass choice. Utah is outgaining its opponents by 4.87 to 4.22 on the ground. In the air, they are being outgained 6.8 to 6.7 per play, but because the Utes run a larger proportion of their plays than opponents, when the stats are combined it doesn’t look as favorable for Utah. If you look at pass rating instead of ypp, then Utah looks better off (136 versus 119).

    If you look at the advanced stats, Utah is 13th in S&P. They are 23rd in offensive S&P and 24th in defensive S&P, and they have the 12th ranked strength of schedule (to be fair, S&P has Stanford [#10] and Under Stanford Control [#6] ranked ahead of them). They are ranked #1 by ESPN’s power rankings, #26 on offensive efficiency and #19 on defensive efficiency. I haven’t even talked about their turnover margin because I do believe turnovers are largely due to luck, but Utah has had a profound advantage in turnovers (tied for best in the country).

    Third, Utah is ranked third in punting at 48 yards per punt (and 33rd in punt returns given up). They are sixth in punt returns at 26 yards per return. They are 23rd in kickoff returns. The only portion of special teams where they are weak is in kickoffs and preventing kickoff returns. Add to it their turnover margin and Utah has had a profound field position advantage that has made the “whole” greater than the sum of its parts.

    My point is that conventional statistics (yards per play) underrate Utah’s offensive and defensive, and exclude the contribution of special teams. They may not be the best team in the country (and may prove not to be in the Pac-12), but they are clearly not the second worst team in the conference.


    The CARDboard – Stanford Fan Forum

  • Turnovers are luck? Lost me on that, do most Football fans believe turnovers are luck? Goff and Rudoch made some poor throws for sure. But it is because of the stout dline play. QB’s prep for that line mentally and know whats coming. Smart ones have a clock and know to get rid of the ball. Also Utah hasn’t been blitzing a lot like they did last season with Sitake.

    But interesting perspective from a fanbase that has seen Utah beat them twice.

    • Wilson's Mustache

      I there is a large factor of luck when it comes to turnovers. While a team can do much to improve their chances of creating turnovers (ie. pressuring QB, disguising coverage, strip tackling) they have no control over the decision making of a QB or the direction a ball bounces when stripped.

      You only have to look back a few years to Utah’s horrid luck with generating turnovers. Balls bounced right into opponents hands, balls dropped by DBs etc. While it it true that players & talent make up a huge part in getting turnovers there will always be a large luck factor as well.

      Also, turnovers aren’t something that a team can count on from game to game. Utah could force 6 TOs from Cal & could very well end up with 0 against ASU. Very hard to predict.

      Doesn’t change the fact that some teams just happen to be better at increasing the likelihood of turnovers form occurring. Both Utah & California do this very well.

  • Pease has placed an emphasis on moving to the ball. Utah failed to pick up that blindside sack fumble of Goff. But I doubt Goff will throw that many picks again the rest of his career. The two tipped INTs largely luck and having guys that stay around the ball.

    Football in general is mostly luck then. You do all of the right things like film study, training, practice and scheming to increase your odds. But seeing it mesh correctly is luck.

  • Tony

    Fascinating. So it’s all smoke and mirrors? Tell that to the five teams we have beaten so far.

    There’s one stat this study seems to be missing… games won. Isn’t that the name of the game? It’s like golf. Who cares if you have an ugly swing if you get the ball in the hole in less shots than your opponent (that would be me).


  • My perspective….Stanford lost to Northwestern. Their offense did not even score. Michigan shut out Northwestern. Utah beat Michigan. So Utah > Michigan > Northwestern > Stanford. Suck that Furd!

  • EutawStreet

    He says we are undefeated “primarily because of turnover margin”. What about:

    Pac 12 Team Stats:

    Interceptions #1
    Punting #1
    Sacks against #1
    4th down conv #1
    Turnover margin #1
    Red Zone off #1
    Time of Poss #2
    Rush Off #3
    Rush Def #3
    Kickoff Ret #3
    Punt Ret #3

    • Gotta say he’s right about turnover margin and there’s nothing wrong with that. You will that every championship team will have a 20+ turnover margin by the end of the season. It is a huge factor and highly correlated with winning and this coaching staff knows that.

      My senior year at Cal State Fullerton, the football team went 11-1. Only loss was to UNLV who had Randall Cunningham at quarterback. Fullerton had Damon Allen at quarterback (held all time passing record in CFL). But the real reason for Fullerton’s 11-1 record was their plus 20 something turnover margin. At corner back they had Matk Collins, future All Pro with the NY Giants.

      So long as Utah keeps producing turnovers at this clip, they will win. Simple as that.

  • EutawStreet

    And he says our special teams don’t stand out in most categories…

    ESPN 2015 FBS stats:

    Punting #3
    Kickoff return #23
    Punt return #6
    Return TDs #1
    Special Teams efficiency #19

    BTW – combined offense, defense and special teams efficiency Utah is 13th in the nation!

  • Also, looking at macro stats, particularly at this point in the season, one needs to consider the competition they were up against. Conference rankings are meaningless with just 2 to 3 games on the board. 4 to 5 games and they’re a decent measure of standing.

  • ASU Preview – Drumandfeather.net

    If you haven’t listened to this podcast before I highly recommend it.


    Features former Ute linebacker Chaz Walker

  • 89ute

    I’ve listened to most of those. Started last year. I enjoy them. Haven’t heard the latest, but plan on doing it.

  • sdUTEfan

    Selling my two seats for ASU-SOLD

    Season ticket holder in San Diego. I have family visiting from Utah this weekend, so I can’t make it out to the game. Selling my two seats. Sec E31 Row 56 Seats 1-2.

  • Tony
  • Jonez

    Looking for ASU or other home game tickets

    I am looking for 2 tickets for my neighbor to take her mom to game. This is truly a good will situation for someone to create memories doing something they love with their parent. I am hoping someone on this site may know where to get 2 tickets without giving up there first born.

    If for some reason you cannot make it to the game lets see if we can strike a deal.

    “Go UTES!!!!!”

  • Tony

    Good luck.

  • Summit Ute

    Just keep watching KSL they are bound to pop up…

  • UTE98

    Good luck is right.

    I paid $75 for two tickets in W16 Row 59. Mind you that was $75 for both, and I got them locked up two weeks in advance. Face value was $38 and some change, so I got them a bit below face value.

    I paid $350 for four tickets in the North 22, I locked these up a week before the game during the last two minutes of the CAL game. Face value was about $21 each so I paid about 400% of face value. Good luck finding tickets at face value.

    BTW neither of these two sets of tickets require a CC donation, so only face value.