By Lina S., Rock Mayock’s Pac-12 Research Assistant, 11:00 p.m. | Hey guys! It’s Lina again. Rock was riding me hard to get the Pac-12 previews done before the season started but a girl has got to get her schoolwork done too! Stats and Chem don’t take care of themselves you know. Anyways, while everyone else in the FOOTBALLPHDS’ office was barbequing and drinking beer I got to break down the rest of the Pac-12. Here are my Cliff’s Notes version on everything I know about the Utah Utes.
THE REASONS WHY UTAH WILL BE GOOD:
1. Utah will be good because Kyle Whittingham is a great coach. Although I don’t have Rock Mayock’s homoerotic love affair with muscular men this guy is hunky. Whittingham is 66-25 as the Utes’ head coach and he was also born in one of my fave cities, SLO. Whittingham is going to win the Pac-12 South sooner than later.
2. Utah will be good because of John White IV. Whittingham likes ball control offense and John White IV is the perfect running back for that style. Last year White ran for 1,519 yards and 15 TDs but he had to do it on over 300 rushing attempts. White shouldn’t have to put in so many carries because Kelvin York and Harvey Langi will get work too.
3. Utah will be good because Jordan Wynn is back at QB. Wynn’s arm fell off Week 1 last year and it was downhill for the Utes afterward. Wynn looked good during Saturday’s blowout of Northern Colorado going 19-27 (70.4%), 200 yards and 2 TDs.
4. Utah will be good because of its defense. It’s all because Utah draws stud Pacific Islanders like it’s nobody’s business. This year they will feature DT Star Lotulelei who won the Morris Trophy (Pac-12 top defensive lineman) last season. Continuing the Pacific Islander theme will be players like VJ Fehoko, LT Filiaga, Nate Fakahafua, Tame Fangupo, and Tevita Malafu. I don’t know if all of these guys will start but they sound bad ass. Oh yeah, the corners and safeties are good too.
THE REASONS WHY UTAH WILL HAVE A BAD SEASON:
1. Utah could have a bad season because they play in the Pac-12 South. My research tells me that the Pac-12 South will be better than the Pac-12 North this year. The sucky thing for Utah is that they get ASU, USC, UCLA and Arizona in Division. Then they get Cal and Washington out of Division plus BYU out of Conference. That’s a bad schedule but luckily they get the toughest games at home (BYU and USC).
2. Utah could have a bad season because of their offensive line. The three things I like consistency with are paychecks, morning craps (girls poop too) and offensive lines. The Utes lost both of last season’s starting offensive tackles to the NFL so they’re going to need to build around the middle. Tevita Stevens, Sam Brenner and Jeremiah Tofaeono need to man up and play stout to keep Wynn upright and White running.
3. Utah could have a bad season if they don’t improve upon last season’s offense that finished 109th in total offense with 310.9 yards per game. There are a lot of teams that can score ass loads of points in the Pac-12 South and we’ve already seen what they can do after one week of play. Utah is going to have to figure out how to score a lot to keep themselves in the games. That’s all I got on Utah possibly having a bad season.
I like Utah. They have a good team and a great coach. If they can stay healthy and avoid the trap games at UCLA and at Oregon State they have a legitimate shot at a 10-2 season. Realistically they’ll finish 9-3.
Season Prediction: 9-3, Second in the Pac-12 South
Lina S. is Rock Mayock’s Pac-12 Research Assistant. She loves Newports, 1990’s grunge music, and the 49ers. In between smoke breaks and Nirvana acoustical jam sessions she breaks down Pac-12 teams like it’s nobody’s business. The only thing meaner than her gridiron analysis is her right hook, so don’t try anything funny. You can reach Lina by e-mailing her at email@example.com.