Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham said this week he is at a loss regarding what motivates his team. In two decades of coaching, he claims to have never seen a more enigmatic bunch. How else do you describe a team that pounded No. 11 UCLA into chalk dust, yet lost to UNLV?
A popular theory, as Utah prepares for Saturday's game against Utah State, is that the Utes respond best to criticism from outside, i.e., the public and media. So in the spirit of goodwill, I have decided to do what I can to help out. I'm going to employ a formula that has worked for a lot of football teams.
I'm going to insult them.
Who knows, maybe they'll get back to that yucky Fort Worth Bowl after all.
So to you guys playing for the Utes, don't take this personally. It's just that ...
YOU GUYS STINK!
OK, so do Woody Allen movies, but he keeps on making 'em.
Still, to borrow a phrase from your quarterback after last week's game, you're embarrassing. You're 1-3 after getting shut out for the first time in 14 years! And that includes some pretty bad years. The 2000 Utes went just 4-7 yet still managed to score on everyone, including three Pac-10 opponents. The 2002
Utes went 5-6 but made the scoreboard every time. They even scored on Michigan in a 10-7 loss.
But you guys completely crapped out in Vegas. You get to the one-yard line and collapse like a paper umbrella.
And another thing ...
YOU HAVE NO DEFENSE!
You made Frank Summers of UNLV look like the second coming of Jerome (The Bus) Bettis. Summers rushed for only 109 yards in the three previous games combined. Against Utah he went for 190.
Maybe you should just plan on allowing each opposing running back to rush for his own weight.
YOU HAVE NO OFFENSE!
Zero points against Vegas. Same number you would have scored had you gone to see "Mama Mia" at Mandalay Bay instead. Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig may as well put his house up for sale right now. With his luck, a technical glitch would negate the transaction, same way those goal-line screw-ups have negated his offense.
YOU HAVE NO QUARTERBACK!
Brian Johnson is clearly the best of the bunch, but he appeared in need of another couple of weeks of rehab, last Saturday. He had trouble throwing, and in another play collided with his running back at the one-yard line. It looked like a Charlie Chaplin film a lot of teetering people bumping into one another.
Meanwhile, Tommy Grady made his productive game against UCLA look like an accident. And the third-string guy, Corbin Louks, showed up long enough to fumble on one down and incur a two-yard loss on the other.
Kind of makes you long for the days of Darnell Arceneaux and T.D. Croshaw.
YOU'RE RUNNING OUT OF BODIES!
Seven starters have been sidelined with injuries this year, and two more are doubtful for this weekend. Next thing you know, you'll be suiting up the grounds crew. By the way, who was that dude at practice with the leaf blower and wearing coveralls?
YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE TO THE AGGIES!
Sure, you've won nine in a row against them, but all that means is they're due. When it comes to common opponents, they came a lot closer to beating Vegas than you did. Besides, they're a program with nowhere to go but up. You guys, on the other hand, can still sink lower.
NOBODY WILL SEE YOU PLAY!
There are already 7,000 or 8,000 empty seats on game day. Which raises the age-old question: If your team falls at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but nobody is there to see it, did you actually lose?
YOU HAVE BAD BREATH!I don't know why I threw that in, but at this point any insult will do. Perhaps it will get you guys motivated. If not, there's always more where that came from. By the time you get to the BYU game, you should be unbeatable. Unless you've already gone home for the winter.