Utah 2011

Utah 2010 Statistics

(Pac-12) The Utes play on an artificial field (FieldTurf) at Rice-Eccles Stadium (seats 45,017)

  • Kyle Whitingham is in his 7th year as head coach at Utah.  Last year Utah finished 10-3 (third year in a row with double-digit wins).  Whittingham has been with the program since 1994 when he began as an assistant and took over to replace Urban Meyer after he left for Florida in 2005.
  • The biggest change for Utah this year is the move to the  new Pac-12.  They leave the Mountain West Conference, but their “Holy War” rivalry with the now independent BYU (played every year since 1946) will continue.  This year they ease into the Pac-12 with a schedule that does not include Stanford or Oregon and therefore, a 10-win season is very realistic.
  • They get new offensive coordinator in Norm Chow, but Chow is an old time Pac-1o, now Pac-12 guy.  He was recently at UCLA and prior to a stint in the NFL, he had been at USC. And before that, Chow was at BYU from 1973-1999.  In the past Utah has run the spread option offense and have been quite successful, but now under Chow, Utah will be running the west coast offense.  As a quick background on what this means, traditional offenses work to establish the running game first, which draws in the defense

    Quarterback Jordan Wynn

    and as a result opens up the passing lanes down the field.   What is referred to as the west coast offense differs from traditional offense by using short passes that don’t stretch as far vertically as they do horizontally, which spreads the defense out wide across the field and as a result opens up long running lanes as well as longer passes downfield.

  • The reason why Utah is switching to the west coast offense this year is partly due to the fact that quarterback Jordan Wynn’s skills aren’t suited for the spread option offense.  The spread or option (terms used interchangeably by analysts) is predicated on a quarterback who has a strong running game, but Wynn is better suited to drop back and attempt to pass the ball rather than engage and use his legs as a weapon.  He’s a thrower not a runner.  In fact, Wynn had negative rushing yards last year.  He also dealt with a slew of injuries.
  • The top two rushers are gone and three players will compete for the starting running back position.  And this year a full-back will be added to the mix for the first time in years.  In the spread-option offense a full-back isn’t used for blocking, but he is in the west coast offense.
  • The top receiver DeVonte Christopher is back and also redshirt freshman Dres Anderson has been highly praised as someone to watch for.
  • Defense is interesting.  Many will say that the defensive line is the strength, even with having to replace so many starters.  That’s because they are deep and the starters are talented and do have some experience because Utah rotates 10 different players in their defensive line.

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