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Brad Rock: Five reasons Utes think they'll be better

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  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    Aug. 24, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    I think the most significant reason isn't mentioned; the hiring of Dennis Christensen. And to all of the BYU fans, no one is interested in what he did at Wyoming. He was not hired to be the head coach and what coach has been able to succeed at Wyoming anyway? As former National Offensive Coordinator of the year he brings the credentials to finally get this offense grounded and running properly. He has the players at every position to work with and hopefully will last longer than his predecessors to bring much needed stability and success to the offense.

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    Aug. 24, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    The Utes arrogantly believe that a team barely ranked in the Top 50 (per Sagarin) can qualify for a bowl after playing nationally ranked Oregon (3), UCLA (7), Stanford (11), USC (15) and ASU (19), plus dubious road games at Michigan and Oregon State.

    They're about to be taught another lesson in humility.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    5 Reasons the Uties should be concerned

    1. Fresno: This game if lost will set the tone for another "Doormat season".
    2. Washington State: a lot of Uties are penciling this as a win... (Think again)
    3. Michigan: This game has the potential to completely demoralize the Utes.
    4. Colorado: If Uities lose this, say goodbye to Coach W
    5. Cris B: Predicting a bowl game in 2014 (Has never been right once)

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Aug. 24, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    May the force be with you!

  • G-Day-M8 Where is Waldo, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    @ Stringer Bell

    Now why would you even reference BYU regarding an article that has nothing do with them? I can only surmise that BYU is in your head like an annoying tune that won't go away

    Morgan Scalley may have some good points but good points don't necessarily win games. I'm glad he's optimistic but utah's 2004 cake walk schedule is not the same as 2014.

    Good luck though

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    Best of luck to the Utes this year. Stay healthy, stay humble (especially after the inevitable 9 or 10 TD win over ISU), and stay focused...that schedule will prove a long haul.

    Best wishes to Coach W and his team.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    It's that time of year where everybody is optimistic. Hopefully the improvements Utah made in the offseason will help it get over the hump.

    @ Uncle Rico

    #5. is hilarious!

  • PAC12Fan South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    The experience will make them better. Remember that Utah lost 3 PAC 12 games in the last minute of the game and had 4 losses by less than 8 points. Less turnovers and score one more touchdown per game wins them at least 2 more games than last year. The average win in he PAC 12 was by an average of 7 points meaning most teams were very even.

    Let's pray that the experience puts the Utes over the hump. Also a revamped offense will help.

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    The Utes will be better. And so will the rest of the PAC South.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    They may be better, but the automatic win against BYU is not there this year.

    Had a lot of close games last year, going to have to figure out how to win more of those this year.

    Enough with all of the preseason talk, let the games begin!

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    3 and 9, 5 and 7 at best. Mark it down.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    PAC12Fan:
    "Remember that Utah lost 3 PAC 12 games in the last minute of the game and had 4 losses by less than 8 points."

    What most Utah fans forget is that they had four wins that were less than 8 points and won in the waning minutes as well (Utah State, BYU, Stanford, and Colorado). If you lose those games you would have finished with only 1 win, lose even half of them and you would have finished 3-9. It seems Utah fans are always quick to remember the close losses but slow to remember the close victories.

    I think Utah will be improved this year, but watching the preseason and press reviews for other PAC12 schools leads me to believe that most of them are improved and confident as well. So with that in mind, Utah may be better but in terms of win-loss record it may not matter. Good luck Utes. I honestly do want to see Whitt keep his job and see Utah go bowling again (despite my antagonizing ute fans all the time).

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:02 p.m.

    Stringer: Um, who's Dennis Christensen?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    On paper Utah improved last year, the problem was with injuries and lack of depth at key spots. With such a tough schedule, Utah is looking at anywhere from 4-7 wins.

    Remember we started 4-2 last year but finished 1-5 after Wilson injured his passing hand. His backup is now 5th on the depth chart. IMO if they stay healthy they'll go 7-5.

    Go UTES!

  • UteinIdaho Sandpoint, ID
    Aug. 24, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    @cougsndawgs/tc22
    "I honestly do want to see Whitt keep his job and see Utah go bowling again (despite my antagonizing ute fans all the time)."

    Then why all the relentless antagonizing?? If you honestly want to see Utah and coach Whitt succeed(which I don't believe) then please, please let it go with the senseless antagonizing.

  • CO Ute PARKER, CO
    Aug. 24, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    @Cougsndawgs:
    What most Utah fans forget is that they had four wins that were less than 8 points and won in the waning minutes as well (Utah State, BYU, Stanford, and Colorado).

    What you forget is Utah lead the entire game against BYU and at best, a TD at the end would have forced OT. Led the entire second half at Stanford. Led the entire game against Colorado. The USU game was back and forth but the other 3 games were mostly controlled by the Utes and only Stanford had a chance to win at the end. Very misleading post.

  • G-Day-M8 Where is Waldo, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 9:37 p.m.

    Co ute.

    So what. A loosing season is a loosing season no mater how you spin it. utes offense gets better, so does the rest of the PAC12 defenses.

  • JSwaggDaddy Heber City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    @Stringer Bell

    "And to all of the BYU fans, no one is interested in what he did at Wyoming."

    I'm a BYU fan and I don't care what he did at Wyoming. It's Wyoming. I don't think Nick Saban could turn them into a successful program. So I don't know what BYU fans you are referring to, but the vast majority of them don't care what he did at Wyoming either.

    @Uncle Rico

    I love all 5 reasons, especially the last one. Very very very true!

    @CO Ute

    I don't really care if utah led the whole game and won by 7 or came from behind to win by 7. Either way, they won by 7. A 7-point game is a close game. Anyone who tries to argue otherwise doesn't understand football. Basically, it means the game was 1 play away from going differently.

    Face it. utah had a few close wins and a few close losses. Saying they were close to going 1-11 is just as crazy as saying they were close to 9-3. They deserved 5-7, there's no way around it. If they were a better team they would win more close games.

  • JSwaggDaddy Heber City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    I love the headline of this article:

    "Five reasons Utes think they'll be better’"

    Not 5 reasons the utes will be better

    Not 5 reasons experts with unbiased opinions think the utes will be better

    Not 5 reasons anyone outside the program thinks the utes will be better

    Every team thinks they will be better and have that magical season. BYU fans (including myself) do it every year. But there's a reason Phil Steele and the other experts look at utah's team and don't see improvement this year. Most experts predict 4 or 5 wins this year. And most experts predict 9 or 10 wins this year for BYU.

    So let's all take our various-colored goggles off. ute fans (I know only some of you do this), stop proclaiming that utah will win 7 or 8 games this year. It could happen, but it's not likely.

    BYU fans, stop proclaiming that BYU will go undefeated. It could happen, but it's not likely. 9 out of 10 teams have close to the type of season that the experts predict.

  • Manfred Man Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 11:26 p.m.

    Utah probably goes 6-6. That is one tough schedule! I think the Utes will be better, but so will the rest of the league.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:05 a.m.

    We'll be better because we have some guys nobody has heard of and the rest of the Pac12 didn't want. Also, we'll be better because we're in the Pac12 and we've gone 4-5, 3-6 and 2-7 in conference play the past 3 yrs. Following that trend we....oh never mind.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:17 a.m.

    @pac12fan
    The experience will make them better. Remember that Utah lost 3 PAC 12 games in the last minute of the game and had 4 losses by less than 8 points. Less turnovers and score one more touchdown per game wins them at least 2 more games than last year. The average win in he PAC 12 was by an average of 7 points meaning most teams were very even.

    --------------

    Utah also had several close wins that could've easily been losses. They could've just as easily gone 1-11 instead of 5-7. Coulda/Woulda/Shouldas go both ways.

    This year Utah faces future NFL QB's with Oregon St, UCLA, Wash St, USC, ASU, Oregon, Michigan, with many of those games being on the road. Also the annual rivalry game with Colorado is always an iffy prospect and Utah has needed a lot of luck and help from coaching blunders by the opposing coaches to eek out some very narrow wins. The only sure win on the schedule is Idaho St.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:28 a.m.

    @CO ute
    What you forget is Utah lead the entire game against BYU and at best, a TD at the end would have forced OT. Led the entire second half at Stanford. Led the entire game against Colorado. The USU game was back and forth but the other 3 games were mostly controlled by the Utes and only Stanford had a chance to win at the end. Very misleading post.

    -------------------

    you're conveniently forgetting that Utah also benefitted from a phantom flag that negated 7 pts earlier in the game on the 100 yd KO return by Adam Hine. The officiating crew in the BYU game was the same nefarious group that cheated Wisconsin vs ASU earlier in the season and got reprimanded by the Pac12 for doing it in such an obvious manner. As for leading the entire game against teams Utah was not in control and in most of those games was out gained and out played.

    A narrow win is a narrow win and could've been a narrow loss just as easily as the narrow losses could've been wins. Utah was just as close to being 1-11 last year as they were 9-3.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:42 a.m.

    @uteology
    Remember we started 4-2 last year but finished 1-5 after Wilson injured his passing hand. His backup is now 5th on the depth chart. IMO if they stay healthy they'll go 7-5.

    ---------------

    You started 4-2 and then got into the meat of your conference schedule. This year it looks even worse. Starting with the Michigan game you have a stretch facing 8 straight teams that likely have potential NFL QB's (including several Heisman candidates) and will all likely be ranked during the season at some point. There's a very good reason why Vegas has set the over/under on Ute wins this season at 4.5. That means it could be a 4 win season just as likely as it could be another 5 wins.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:46 a.m.

    5 reasons ute fans think they'll be better this year

    1). Because they're in the Pac12. That automatically makes them better
    2). Because of their Pac12 recruiting advantage, that automatically makes them better
    3). Because of all the Pac12 bumper stickers and banners. That automatically makes them better
    4). Because of all the money they're now finally getting from the Pac12, that automatically makes them better
    5). Because ute fans like Chris B have been predicting South Div titles, CCG wins and Rose Bowl victories for 3 seasons now, what's one more season of the same?

    Mark it down!!! Go Pac12! Woohoo Pac12! Win Pac12!

  • Silverbackmonkey Layton, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:31 a.m.

    This got better...That got worse...Talent,players, blah blah blah...What I want to know is how much have the Utes improved on protecting the football. You can talk all you want about talent, or the lack there of, but when a team can turn the ball over 3-7 times a game and still be in a position to win in the final seconds that tells me the talent is there. (p.s. Those 3 turnover games are games they won.) Turn the ball over 5 times and lose by a touchdown? Most teams in that situation wouldn't be in the running come halftime, much less one good play away from winning. Cut the turnovers by half and the Utes lose 2 instead of 7. That's the story, has been since the Utes joined the conference. Stop handing out free points and gifting wins to other teams and its an entirely different conversation going on across the country.

    Can we protect the football? That's the question I'll be anxiously awaiting an answer for this year

    GO UTES!!!

  • yabuts Springville, utah
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    BIG COUGAR. )

    You have a wealth of knowledge and a prolific hand. Why are you not a sports writer?

    It is refreshing to read so many little "gems" of Truth.

  • redthunder Ogden, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    Well said Mr. Scalley, well said.

    Go Utes

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 25, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    Not surprised. Another Ute thread swarmed by the blue google faithful. I guess you feel emboldened by the sure knowledge that that the mighty Cougs will not suffer yet another painful loss to the Utes . Sad for you though that it is only due to the Utes dropping such a give me game from their schedule and not any actual football prowess on the part of your team. That is tough slate/murderers row of talent your team will face against the likes of of Nevada, UNLV, Middle Tennessee State; and lest we not forget, mighty Savannah State to wrap up a home schedule for the ages. I see now how you have such authority to ridicule the Utes given your mighty (poor) record against them and the brutally (easy) schedule your team faces. Fear not though, you can always glom on to another team, like many Y faithful already have; one that is better than your primary team (AKA actually capable of beating the team in SLC you so dislike). Preferably make it a PAC 12 team so you can act like speak for them; classic.

  • standtall Sandy, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Ha ha ha - did I really see a comment on the officiating at last year's Utah/byu game? Seriously? That's right - the cougs weren't out matched by a superior defense, it was the ref's fault. That's why they lost. In the mind of a cougar fan, byu never really loses a game ... do they?

    Why don't the cougar fans who are so intent on setting us straight on how terrible Utah will be this year just worry about your own team for awhile? Maybe watch the highlights from the Virginia opener last year?. GO UTES!!!

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    @BigCougar

    You started 4-2 and then got into the meat of your conference schedule.

    ------------------

    So? Except for the Oregon game, Utah wasn't overwhelmed. We had a lead going into the 4th against Arizona and ASU and only down 6 late at @WSU. All winnable games with a healthy Wilson.

    I still think we would have won 1-2 more games with him healhty. He wasn't the same QB after the Stanford game. His completion percent was around 62% before injuring his hand and around 32% after the injury.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    @Silverbackmonkey

    Turn the ball over 5 times and lose by a touchdown? Most teams in that situation wouldn't be in the running come halftime, much less one good play away from winning.

    -------------

    So true. It's time for an example:

    * Utah +5 TO ... Utah (8-5) 54 BYU 10 at LES
    * UCLA +4 TO ... #16 UCLA (10-3) 34 Utah 27 at RES

  • Samurai Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    With less gifting to opposing defenses and more giving to primary receivers Dres and K Scott, Utes will be in prime position to win this season's close games, and silence critics.

    Go Utes!

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    @G-Day-M8

    'loosing' are they slacking the line?

  • Elk Hair Caddis Sandy, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    Good luck Utah. If you pull off a wining record with this schedule, you got my congrats.