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About UofUUtes

  1. Yep, it sucks for the fans. But when $25M rolls into the bank account every year, the university isn't going to say !@#$.
  2. Wanna complain about scheduling. Half of Utah's game aren't announced until the week of the game and can start anywhere from 11am local time to 8:30 pm.
  3. FYI, there could be potentially huge news coming today or tomorrow regarding a late add to Utah's roster. If/when it is official, I'll let you guys know
  4. https://www.pacifictakes.com/platform/amp/2017/7/18/15716484/ranking-the-2017-pac-12-defensive-lines-washington-and-utah-have-best-defensive-lines
  5. Depending on the severity, 6 months Very tough break
  6. I completely forgot my favorite place downtown... Whiskey Street. If you are into good food and whiskey, go here...it is worth the wait
  7. There are definitely many good options close to downtown and the university. The Copper Onion - Is a favorite of mine. Red Iguana - Best Mexican food in Utah. The original location is pretty small and can have long wait times, but don't worry, there is an RI2 very close by Park Cafe - Very popular breakfast spot, probably will see football players in there the day after the game Ruth's Diner - If you have a car and want to see some of the Utah mountain's, head up the canyon to Ruth's Diner. Breakfast is better than dinner, but can't go wrong The Porcupine - This place is also a favorite of mine. A location opened on campus and would be a good place to walk down to after the game for a bite and beer And if you want a slice, The Pie is the place to go. The original is also on campus and will take you back to your college days. Depending on when you are coming into town, I'd go with something like this... Wednesday afternoon take a drive up Emigration Canyon and have lunch outside at Ruth's Diner. Wednesday night head over to Red Iguana, try the mole and have margaritas. Game day, start with breakfast at The Park Cafe and head to the State Liquor store (opens at 11) for real beer and liquor. Then head up to campus and explore the campus, ending up at the Pie for pizza and a pitcher of beer. Hit up the tailgating scene, enjoy the game and then down to Porcupine to let the traffic die down. Friday morning, wake up late and take in brunch at the Copper Onion. At least I would do that if I could spend 3 days doing nothing but football, eating and drinking in SLC
  8. I guess it would depend on the atmosphere you are looking for. Here are a few that are downtown, which is 10 minutes from the stadium: Lumpy's - This is the original bar for Utah fans. There are 2 locations, one located downtown and another a little south from the U of U. If you are looking for the true sports bar experience, this is the place. The downtown location is a bit more upscale and will have a more diverse crowd. The other location will be packed with Utah fans before, during and after the game. The Bayou - 100's of beers from all over the place Squatters - Local craft beer The Green Pig - Mixture of sports and music Red Rock Brewing - Another local craft beer (and home to my favorite, the Elephino) Tavernacle - Piano bar (definitely make reservations) Gracie's - Don't go here unless you're college age...or wanting to act like it
  9. How many UND fans are expected to come to the game? Anyone have questions about Salt Lake (hotels, food, drinks, etc)?
  10. I try to never underestimate anyone and truly didn't in this situation. However, many teams struggle to run on Utah. Last year there were only 3 teams that could consistently get yards in the run game*. USC, UW, and Oregon. I could argue that scheme did Utah in vs UW and Oregon, whereas USC is just plain talent. *When I mention consistent yards, I don't mean breaking a few big runs to bolster the yard/carry average. For instance, Oregon St had 4 runs over 20+ yards (22, 26, 32 and 37). The other 32 carries netted 80 yards total. I understand big plays happen but they do tend to skew the average. On paper it looks like OSU rushed for 5.6 ypc, but anyone that digs deeper can see that the Beavers did nothing outside of 4 big plays
  11. Defense Breakdown Overall - Utah's defense has been the backbone of the program for years. It is built on a strong defensive line that strives to stop the run and force teams to throw. Utah also creates turnovers at a higher rate than most teams and it isn't luck or chance that is the cause. Utah plays a high pressure, complex NFL-like defense. Utah will bring pressure from all over, blitzing LB's, corners and safeties. However, the pressure usually is still only 4-5 man rush. Even though there were some losses on the d-line and lots of losses in the secondary, the Utah defense should reload in 2017 D-Line - The Utes have a strategy and it has consistently produced high-level defensive prospects that transition seamlessly to the NFL. The Utes lost 2 defensive ends in Hunter Dimick (school record holder in sacks) and Pita Taumoepenu. However, Utah doesn't rely solely on starters to contribute. The defensive line usually has 8 lineman deep that rotate throughout the game. With that said, Utah returns senior Kylie Fitts (UCLA transfer) and sophomores Bradlee Anae (A-ni) and Chris Hart. Fitts suffered a foot injury last year and received a medical hardship. He returns this year and, if healthy, projects to be another NFL draft pick. He is not the typical rush end that pins his ears back to get to the quarterback. He is very good at setting the edge in the run game and has a knack of knocking down passes when not getting to the QB. Anae and Hart are more of pure pass rushers. Anae is relentless and has good speed to get to the quarterback. Hart is also a speed guy that can get to the QB. The defensive tackle position is where Utah just reloads year after year. The line is led by Lowell Lotulelei (Low-two-lei-lei). The younger brother of the Panther's Star Lotulelei, Lowell will continue the DT tradition at Utah. Lowell decided to return to Utah for his senior year, forgoing the NFL draft, due to a 2016 season slowed by injuries. He is big and fast and has tremendous strength (watch him throw the guard to the ground here). He demands double teams on nearly every play, which allows the LB's to move freely to the ball carrier. Lowell is joined by fellow senior Filipo (Fe-lee-po) Mokofisi (Mo-ko-fee-see). Filipo is versatile enough to play tackle or end. Look for him to move all over the d-line and try to expose matchup problems vs the o-line. This line is very deep and very talented. Look for any number of guys to make plays during the UND game. Some notable contributors should be Maxs (Max-is) Tupai (Too-pi) , Alani (A-lawn-ee) Havili-Katoa (Haw-vee-lee . Kah-toe-a) and Leki (Leh-key) Fotu (Pho-too). Linebackers - The Utes return a lot of linebackers and added a couple transfers to provide depth. Utah has slowly transitioned to a 4-2-5 defense due to the abundance of spread teams in college football. Due to that, Utah likes players that can be hybrids. Whether a smaller D-end that can play coverage, or a safety that can play in the box against the run, Utah likes versatile players they can move all over the field. Seniors Sunia (Soo-nee-a) Tauteoli (Tao-tee-o-lee) and Kavika (Kah-vee-ka) Luafatasaga (Lou-a-fa-ta-san-ga) are the top 2 guys. Sunia is a smaller linebacker that run sideline to sideline and loves to hit. He is like a missile to the ball. Kavika is a long, fast LB. He has the ability to get to the QB but can also fills running lanes and run with TE's. Junior Cody Barton started many games last year, but struggled to make tackles. His numbers are deceiving a bit as teams liked to create an advantage vs Cody. For example, against Oregon he had 20 tackles, but many of them happened after large gains. Sophomore Donovan Thompson is an instinctual linebacker. He is usually always in the right position and has a knack to make big plays. Two newcomers should make the LB battle competitive. Arizona grad-transfer Cody Ippolito and Weber State transfer Karsen Liljenquist should make the LB core the deepest it has been in years Cornerbacks - This is the position that was gutted the most from the 2016 team. The talent is there to put together a good secondary, but the experience is severely lacking. Returning are senior Boobie Hobbs , junior Tyrone Smith and sophomores Julian Blackmon and Terrell Burgess. Hobbs has the most experience, but is limited to covering the slot receivers. Smith and Burgess are both converted receivers, although Burgess played both ways his freshman year. Blackmon is the most experienced DB on the outside and should earn a starting spot. The other starting spot will be a battle between Smith and some very talented incoming players. Tareke Lewis is a four-star JUCO transfer that loves to play bump-and-run coverage. Jaylon Johnson was the top recruit in the 2017 class for Utah. Johnson is very physical and moves his hips extremely well. He chose Utah over Oklahoma, USC and Arizona St. Many believe Jaylon will step right into the starting spot. Another incoming freshman to keep an eye on is Javelin Guidry. He's another 4-star kid that chose Utah over Texas. What makes him special is his unbelievable speed. As a senior in high school, Guidry won the CIF 100m championship with a time of 10.13 seconds. For comparison, the world record is 9.58 seconds by Usain Bolt. He will play the slot, and probably will be more impactful on special teams vs UND. Safeties - Utah lost Marcus Williams to the NFL draft (2nd round, Saints) and it will be a big hole to fill in 2017. Williams was a true center field guy that allowed Utah to play 1 high safety and allow the strong safety to help with the run game and blitz. But Utah does bring back Honorable Mention Pac-12 strong safety Chase Hansen. Hansen, a converted QB, is a big hitter and playmaker. As the most experienced player in the Utah secondary, he'll look to set the tone and help the newcomers in Utah complex defensive schemes. Alongside Hansen will be two 4-star JUCO transfers. Corrion Ballard enrolled early at Utah and impressed during spring ball. There will be a drop off from Williams, but Ballard is of the same ilk as far as ball-hawking, centerfield type free safeties. Marquise Blair is a JUCO All-American that should be a hybrid safety-linebacker. I wouldn't be surprised to see all 3 of those guys on the field together. What to expect vs. UND? I expect mistakes to be made in the secondary early in the season. Due to that, I think you'll see defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley dial up a lot of pressure from the experienced d-line and linebackers. Utah loves to play press coverage across the board and really struggled when forced to play zone coverage in 2016. I don't think UND will be able to line up head to head and run on Utah. I haven't studied your offense much, but I would try to use a lot of play-action and complex routes to confuse a young secondary. UND cannot abandon the run game or else Utah will be able to dial up pressure after pressure and make it a long day for the QB. 2-Deep DE - Bradlee Anae, Chris Hart DT - Lowell Lotulelei, Alani Havili-Katoa DT - Filipo Mokofisi, Leki Fotu DE - Kylie Fitts, Filipo Mokofisi LB - Sunia Tauteoli, Donovan Thompson LB - Kavika Luafatasaga, Cody Barton CB - Julian Blackmon, Tareke Lewis CB - Jaylon Johnson, Tyrone Smith NB - Boobie Hobbs, Terrell Burgess FS - Corrion Ballard, Casey Hughes SS - Chase Hansen, Marquise Blair
  12. Go Utah Redhawks or Utah Moose
  13. At first, so did I. Then I started seeing them in pictures and on video and they don't look that bad. Better than the mountain look. The pants are a bit odd, but I'll reserve judgment until seeing them in person. In the long run, I only care if the players like them
  14. OK, here goes nothing QB - The Utes return senior QB Troy Williams and sophomore Tyler Huntley. Williams started all 13 games last year and had mixed results. His best game was arguably vs. USC, where he was 21-34 for 270 yds and 2 TD's and added another TD on the ground. He enters the 2017 season as the presumed starter, but inconsistency in 2016 has left the door open a bit. Williams was injured during the USC game and he played the remainder of the year with the injury. Many contribute his inconsistency in the passing game to the lower leg injury. Huntley has Utah fans very excited. He came to Utah after receiving the 2015 Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. Although he played sparingly during the 2016 season, he showed a knack for making plays with his feet and arm. He has drawn some comparison's to Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (in style, not talent). Huntley should push Williams for the starting spot, but there was a clear separation between the 2 during Spring Ball. Most think the Huntly will be the back-up and will be groomed to be the starter in 2018. Cooper Bateman transferred to Utah from Alabama. Originally from Utah, Bateman walked on in the spring and the expectation is for him to be on scholarship in the fall. He performed very well in spring, but he was going against 3rd and 4th string players. Most think if Huntley can separate himself as the back-up, that Bateman will change positions, possibly to WR. RB - The Utes lost their best RB to the NFL. Joe Williams was drafted in the 4th round by the 49ers. Williams retired from football after 2 games last year after battling with injuries and mental problems around a loss in his family when he was younger. This story documented the struggles and brief retirement after he ran for 332 yards against UCLA. Williams return only occurred after Utah suffered injuries to 3 running backs, including 2 season ending. The 2017 running backs are a question mark, but not due to talent. New OC Troy Taylor is known for prolific passing offenses. While Utah has always been a power running team, the question is how the 2 philosophies will morph. Taylor has liked to involve the RB heavily in the passing game. During spring ball, sophomore Devonta'e Henry-Cole really shined. He is small (5'8, 192), but is built like a tank. His balance and quickness make it very difficult to bring him down on first contact. He was featured heavily in the pass game during the Utah Spring Game. Many believe his game will translate well in the Taylor offense, but he will be 3rd string at best to start the season. Sophomore Zack Moss and junior Armand Shyne return after showing moments of excellence in 2016. Both are bruising RB's that lack top end speed, but will wear down a defense. Moss dealt with numerous injuries his freshman year and broke his arm in the spring game. But he'll be ready to go vs. UND. Shyne is coming off of a season-ending ACL injury, but all reports show him on track to be ready for fall camp. Interesting fact, Moss (a former Miami Hurricane commit) is joined by Huntley and receiver Demari Simpkins at Utah after being HS teammates in Florida. The 3 are dubbed the Hallendale Trio. I would expect both guys to share the majority of the touches in the running game this year. Freshman TJ Green joins the group this year and will arguably be the most explosive back. His film shows a great burst, playing against very good competition in Arizona. WR - This position has been a big struggle for Utah in recent years. After losing senior Tim Patrick (UDFA, Baltimore Ravens), this group is a big question mark. The returning WR's all showed potential in 2016, but drops and the inability (whether in play-calling or talent) to get separation vs talented DB's caused the offense to bog down far too often. Taylor's 4 and 5 WR sets will test this group. On the outside, look for senior Raelon (Ray-lon) Singleton to lead the group. Talented sophomore Siaosi (Si-o-si) Wilson will likely start opposite of Singleton. Junior Alec Dana , 4-star Tyquez Hampton and 3-star Bryan Thompson will most likely get opportunities to make plays in the offense. Hampton was an early enrollee and showed very well in the spring game. He is a big receiver with deceptive speed. He absolutely dominated vs lower competion in El Paso, TX. Thompson is a track guy who chose Utah over Oregon and UCLA. The Scout analysts loved Thompson and thought he was one of the bigger recruits for Utah, but IMO he will be behind Hampton since Tyquez was an early-enrollee Inside, the Utes will have multiple options with senior Kyle Fulks , senior Troy McCormick , junior Derrick Vickers and sophomore Demari (Di-mar-e) Simpkins . Fulks is a track guy, running a 10.21 100m in high school. His career at Utah has been disappointing, a mixture of play-calling and drops. But the new offense should really let Fulks shine if he can clean up the drops. Fulks could also play on the outside due to his speed. McCormick is a former running back. He is very explosive and tough, but he was too small to play football in the Pac-12. His career has been marred by injury, but when he has space he makes plays. I would assume Taylor will put McCormick into situations where he can get the ball in space, whether in the running game or pass game. Vickers is a JUCO transfer that was a late addition to the 2017 recruiting class. His tape shows very good feet and quickness. I wouldn't expect much from him vs UND as he won't arrive until late summer and should be behind other receivers. Simpkins is a real talent. He started as a freshman and proved to have very good hands. As the season went on, he received more and more playing time and I would assume he will pick off where he left off. TE - The TE position has been a bright spot for the Utes over the years. The old offense took advantage of the ability of a TE to get open. Unfortunately, not much is known about Taylor's plans to use the TE this year. Last year, the TE was asked to be a true threat in both the run game (blocking) and pass game. This year, I anticipate TE's to line up all over the place. Taylor likes to use unique formations to create space and a TE can create mismatch nightmares if done correctly. I believe we'll see them line up in the backfield as a lead blocker/pass catcher, the slot and outside on smaller DB's. The Utes return 2 senior TE's in Siale (Si-all-e) Fakailoatonga (Fa-ka-e-lo-a-tahn-ga) and Harrison Handley. Fakailoatonga has suffered multiple season-ending injuries and I hope he can stay healthy in 2017. He is more of a true run/pass TE. He has the bulk and power to get a push against LB's. He isn't as fast as Handley, and uses his size and hands more to catch passes. Handley is less of a blocker and more a true pass-catcher. He has pretty good speed, which makes him a good candidate to line up across from LB's in the pass game. I wouldn't be surprised to see him decoy out of the backfield either. OL - The OL will be the most important group to watch in Fall Camp. Much has been said about the turnover in the OL. The Utes had 4 O-lineman drafted, headlined by Garett Bolles being drafted in the 1st Rd (20th overall) by the Denver Broncos. The Utes lost both tackles, LG and C to the draft (also lost a backup C). However, the Utes have one of the best and most respected O-line coaches in America in Jim Harding. And it shouldn't be debated based on the draft success. Also, even though 4/5th of the lineman are gone, the Utes return 3 guys that played a lot of downs in 2016. The Utes will be led by senior Salesi (Sah-leh-si) Uhatafe (Oo-ha-tah-fi). Uhatafe looks to move outside to take over the RT spot. Uhatafe should continue the tradition of Utes OL being drafted, and after to start to his college career, it would be one of the most heartfelt stories to be told. You can read more about the adversity Salesi has been through here and here. I have tried to be as impartial in this post, but on a personal level, this young man has overcome so much and been through things nobody should ever have to endure. I pull for this kid harder than most. Senior Lo Falemaka (Fah-leh-mah-ka) and junior Jackson Barton return after playing a lot of reps in 2016. Falemaka stepped in as center when Bengals draftee JJ Dielman was lost to a season-ending injury. He played in only a couple games as starter before suffering his own season-ending injury, but while filling in he was very capable as the center. Barton is a specimen at 6'7, 312 pounds. He is light on his feet, but doesn't have the mean streak that made Bolles so good. However, he will be much better in pass protection than Bolles and will be a candidate to be an early entry player for the 2017 draft. The other 2 starting spots are expected to be filled by junior Jordan Agasiva (Ah-gah-si-va) and sophomore Darrin Paulo (Paw-lo). Agasiva is another JUCO transfer that picked Utah over Auburn. It was first thought he would take one of the tackle spots, but he is more naturally suited to be a road-grading guard. Paulo has freakish strength. He doesn't look like a typical o-lineman with a lot of bad weight. This will be his first year starting after redshirting and playing only on ST as a freshman. Utah needs to have 7 o-lineman ready to compete in the Pac-12. I would anticipate a few guys to play meaningful snaps against UND in order to get experience. Look for sophomores Johnny Capra and Paul Toala (Toe-ah-la) to get a lot of run against the UND d-line. Overall I anticipate simple protection packages and a few penalties in the first game of the year. Overall, the Utah offense is an enigma. But it has been that way for years and all Ute fans hope for is to take care of the ball and score enough to win. Against UND, I think Utah will come out very basic, not showing too much besides a few odd formations to create match up problems. I think the Taylor will try to control the game with the short passing/screen game and some power running. I think there will be a few timely deep shots, in an attempt to stretch the field with bigger, faster receivers. If that doesn't work, look for the Utes to pound the ball and overpower/wear down a smaller defensive line. I truly don't know what to expect and could see the Utes putting up 45 and winning big or 24 and winning ugly, which wouldn't be anything unusual for Utah fans. I will breakdown the defense and ST in the next couple days. I tried very hard to help with pronunciations, but I'm sure I screwed up somehow. Projected 2-Deep QB - Williams, Huntley RB - Moss, Shyne WR - Singleton, Dana Slot - McCormick, Simpkins WR - Fulks, Wilson TE - Fakailoatonga, Handley RT - Uhatafe, Capra RG - Agasiva, Tucker Scott C - Falemaka, Toala LG - Paulo, Toala LT - Barton, Uhatafe
  15. I'm not sure what UND's deal was with the Sioux tribe, but the U of Utah has a really good relationship with the Ute tribe. There is a scholarship program for Ute Tribe members. Each year one of the games is dedicated to the Ute Tribe and they are invited to participate in the halftime activities (usually one of the best performances all year. And the Tribe has stated numerous times that they officially approve of the name usage. There are some within and outside the tribe that feel differently, but the official stance of the tribe is one of support for the Ute nickname.