Utah Utes football notebook: Rally 'staches seem to be changing Utes' outlook

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 16 2011 7:41 p.m. MST

Kyle Whittingham

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SALT LAKE CITY — Apparently, there's power in Utah's rally 'staches.

The Utes are 3-0 since many of the team leaders (players and coaches) shaved their beards and goatees into mustaches.

"It's cosmic," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "I can't really define it or put my finger on it, but it's had a definite impact."

Not enough, apparently, to earn an endorsement from Jamie Whittingham. She hasn't given her husband the go-ahead to join in on the fun.

"My wife forbade me to do that," Kyle joked.

Whittingham did acknowledge, though, that his father, Fred, had a great mustache back in the day.

"I think I had a pretty decent one back in my college days, too," he added. "So I can go there, but not anymore."

As for the Utes, Whittingham noted that linebacker Trevor Reilly has the "most powerful 'stache" on the team.

NEW HIRES: Whittingham acknowledged that the addition of offensive coordinator Norm Chow and offensive line coach Tim Davis to the staff has been beneficial. Both had prior experience in the conference.

"I think it's been very big for us and I think it may not have manifested itself completely yet," Whittingham said. "I think it's going to continue to be a positive for us as we get further into this thing."

MAKING AN IMPACT: Senior cornerback Conroy Black is tied for the Pac-12 lead with four interceptions, good enough to rank 11th nationally.

"Conroy is having a nice season," Whittingham said. "He seems to be gaining momentum as the season has worn on."

The secret to Black's success, he added, involves a variety of factors including his 6-foot frame and 4.35 speed in the 40.

"You combine his length with his speed and that's one of the primary reasons why he's so successful," Whittingham said of Black's physical attributes. "He's a film studier. He's in the film room constantly, studying his opponent and that's another reason that makes him successful on Saturdays."

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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