SALT LAKE CITY — Utah may have started slow, but once the engines were firing on all cylinders it never looked back en route to a 41-0 win over Northern Colorado Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Although there isn't much you can take away from playing an FCS team that hasn't won a game since 2010, here are a few instant observations from the season opener:
1. Utah's defensive line is good, I mean really good
Alright, so that might be like saying the water is wet or that the sun is bright, but still, watching the Kruger brothers, Nate Fakahafua and Star Lotulelei bullrush offensive linemen time and time again was unreal. Pinned back at their own 3 yard line, UNC tried to do a dive to the right side. Lotulelei broke the play up for a loss of two. Need a pass breakup? Fakahafua had two knockdowns at the line of scrimmage. The Utes held UNC to just 114 yards and didn't let the Bears cross midfield.
SALT LAKE CITY — Going into a season opener must be one of the most difficult tasks for a coaching staff. After an entire offseason practicing against your own squad, how will you match up against other opponents?
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah football fans, the time has come.
Preseason camps are over. Coaches are finalizing game plans.
Cars are packed with tailgating supplies.
Crimson Corner: Doug Kimmel (@UtahUtesInsider)
Ute fans, as we speak, we are now just under seven days till kickoff for the Utes home opener against Northern Colorado.
Utah insider Doug Kimmel with InsideTheUtes.com joined us on a special Thursday afternoon podcast of the Crimson Corner talking all things Utah football.
"Are U Ready?"
Well, after waiting over seven months since the Utah Utes' come-from-behind win (30-27) over Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, the answer is, yes, we are ready.
The above trailer, produced by High Point Media Group, previews the excitement for the upcoming season—and second in the PAC-12.
SALT LAKE CITY — What a difference just a couple of days can make.
On Saturday at the practice/scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium, I was honestly concerned and worried for the offense. The team to me just seemed out of sorts and I was unimpressed.
Today it was a different story. The team looked alive and they were genuinely having fun playing football.
SALT LAKE CITY — Short post, but wanted to get the information out quickly. Will look to update this later tonight.
Today's Ute practice was much cleaner in overall execution, and the team seemed extremely jovial and upbeat. Here are some of my observations:
Jordan Wynn continued to play sharp and threw the ball really well.
SALT LAKE CITY — Conspiracy theorists, you won't want to read this.
If you think that there are actually miniature cameras and microphones built into your TV or computer to spy on you, or if you think that there is some sort of mind control technology hidden in radio waves, this probably isn't the article for you.
If you think that it is the government that creates disease so that we are reliant on them for treatment, first seek help, then find a new hobby.
SALT LAKE CITY — Ready or not, the season is here.
The Utes ended fall camp on Saturday with more of a practice than an actual live scrimmage, after which it seemed as though every member of the team let out a sigh of relief. After three consecutive weeks of staring at the same people across from you, Northern Colorado will bring a welcome change.
There were some questions entering camp and for the most part as they always do, the questions get answered — most of them. Unfortunately too many questions remain for Utah's offense. I do not think that I am the only one, but Jordan Wynn sitting out the last three days of fall camp is bizarre. I am not trying to overreact but if he is fine, he should be out there. That is just my opinion. If he is the leader that he is touted to be, he should be out there, unless he is really hurt. We all learned that Jon Hays can fill in but that might get you another year of 8 wins, which is not good enough with the overall talent on this team.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn watched from the sidelines for the second consecutive day up on the hill, but before you start to conjure any sort of conspiracy theory, he is just sitting out to give his arm some rest.
Coming off a shoulder surgery, let alone two within a period of less than a year is never easy. Putting yourself back in the thick of things, especially during fall camp with numerous two-a-days and scrimmages, repetition can take its toll. I think Wynn will be fine - he knows this offense inside and out. He is expected to be back out there on Monday ready to go.
Many other Utes are also expected to return to the practice field on Monday. Miles Mason, Sam Brenner and Vyncent Jones will be back, which will hopefully lead to some consistent play on the offensive line. Safety Quade Chappuis will also be back.
SALT LAKE CITY — Perhaps the biggest news coming out of Utah camp was that quarterback Jordan Wynn did not throw a single pass in Thursday's practice.
"A little tired arm," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. "There's nothing to it - he has just thrown a ton of balls this camp. (Jordan) should be fine. If we played today he would be fine to go."
Whittingham continued by saying that holding Wynn out was more precautionary, and with the home opener now two weeks away from today, the Utes don't want a chronic condition to develop.
SALT LAKE CITY — Watching Day 12 of Camp Kyle up at Rice-Eccles Wednesday morning, it was clearly apparent that it wasn't the best effort by the Utes.
"We hit a little bit of a wall this morning," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. "It was not our most effective practice. It wasn't a step backward, but we weren't as sharp as we needed to be. We looked tired, which can't happen. We need to fight through it."
Whittingham even went as far to say that no one stood out in practice today. After 12 days of going up against each other, the team has hit a wall, and now it rests upon the coaching staff to see if they can once again motivate their players.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utes held their second scrimmage of fall camp Tuesday morning in Rice-Eccles Stadium as the countdown to their home opener against Northern Colorado nears just 16 days.
The big focus on today's scrimmage was on the quarterback position, which, let's all be honest, wasn't really ever a controversy to begin with. As of this post, 45% of ksl.com users agree that Jordan Wynn will be the starting quarterback for the Utes on August 30th.
After today's scrimmage, Whittingham mentioned that Wynn stood out from the pack, but that the competition is ongoing.
SALT LAKE CITY — Week 3 of Camp Kyle began with a good, spirited practice in Rice-Eccles, where three quarterbacks battled for the top spot and another literally threw the ball out of the stadium.
Who will be Utah's starting quarterback? If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have said Jordan Wynn, without a doubt. But Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham caught me by surprise by saying after practice that the quarterback position is now up in the air.
"Jordan's our guy right now, but nobody's job is set in stone, and the gap is closing," Whittingham said. "Both Jon (Hays) and Travis (Wilson) have had very good camps, and it is a competition."
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utes wrapped up their second week of fall practice Saturday morning, and now just 19 days separate themselves from running out of the tunnel for their home opener against Northern Colorado on August 30th.
"It was a positive week. We had a really good work day today, we got a lot done," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. "We still have a lot of things to work on - the red zone offense is still not where it needs to be. But overall, as far as effort and concentration, they are trying. We are getting good effort and they are trying hard. We still have 19 days til we play, and we need every one of them."
Whittingham noted RB John White IV, DT Star Lotulelei and QB Travis Wilson as standouts in today's practice. Wilson got the majority of the reps in the portion that the media was able to observe.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah wrapped up the first of two practices up at Rice-Eccles Stadium Friday morning, now Day 8 of Camp Kyle.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham had the Utes start fine tuning some of the concerns he saw during Thursday's scrimmage.
"We saw a lot of things that we have to work on, so (in practice) today we started to address all of those issues," Whittingham said.
SALT LAKE CITY — And the defense came roaring back.
Almost on cue, Utah's defense was stalwart in Thursday's scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium, after the offense seemed to get the upper hand the day before.
"The defense got after it," Utah defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi said. "We still have some things to work on, and we have to just keep moving forward."
SALT LAKE CITY — Two-a-days are underway for the Utes, which officially means we are in the dog days of summer.
As the temperatures along the Wasatch Front soar into the low 100s today, Utah's first string offense was equally as hot, putting up points left and right in a tremendous red zone effort Wednesday morning at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"The ones were physical, they executed well," head coach Kyle Whittingham said after the first of two practices today.
SALT LAKE CITY — It was only fitting that the Utes closed out Day 5 of Camp Kyle by catching fly balls hit by their coach.
With the new football facility under construction, the Utes have been forced to practice on the Ute baseball field, so when Kyle Whittingham started a pop fly competition with the different position groups to determine how much they'd have to run, it just seemed right.
"I love baseball, always my favorite sport growing up," Whittingham said.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utes finished Day 4 of Camp Kyle up at the Ute baseball field Monday morning, the last session in which the players won't be in full pads.
While the offense got the better of the defense in week 1, it seemed like defense was in sync to start off week 2.
"I thought the defense as a whole moved around pretty good," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said following practice. "Star (Lotulelei) was in the backfield almost every other snap, disrupting things. Mo Lee made some nice plays. Eric Rowe continues to play at a high level."
|Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor||9/20 1:30 pm|
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