RoJack: Utah football coach Dennis Erickson is bringing offensive identity back to the hill


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  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 30, 2013 10:13 a.m.


    Hey you are shattering azute's false preconceived notions. Go easy on him, utah "fans" don't handle those things very well.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 29, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    @tomahawk red

    Uh....I know and admit what I am doing my boy. No hypocrisy from me since I am doing it on purpose and have no complaints about it being done the other way. pebbles on the otherhand actually thinks this is a contest and not just me mocking him.


  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 29, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Ohhhh here we go with the gauntlet excuses and back to backs. BYU traveled east for back to back games against ND and GT. They played on the road against Utah then Boise State. Then had a four game stretch of usu, Oregon state, ND, and GT (who still had one of the best offenses in the country...and BYU POUNDED them, not just a 7 pt win over a 1-11 "cupcake" who they'd lost to the yr before). I'm a little envious of Utah's last 5 game stretch where the best team they played was Arizona who finished with a 7-5 record and a losing PAC 12 record...throw in wash St, cal, Colorado, and Washington (7-6), and the fact U played AZ and Wash at home...ya very scary. Enough excuses, the numbers speak for themselves, Utah's schedule wasn't much better than BYUs and they got flat out shilacked by some of those teams whereas BYU held there own against the top 25 teams they played...again avg loss was by 6.2. BYU could always answer your excuses with, we played better top end teams than U did, period. Enough excuses, facts don't lie.

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    April 29, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    What's obviously not registering with you people is the week in, week out grind involved in playing solid teams consecutively for long stretches of any given season.

    byu opened with 2 cupcakes at home, played UTAH/BSU and losing both games, then continued w/their cupcake regimen by playing against an awful Hawaii team at home, before playing usu/OSU at home, both of which UTAH played on the road, before hitting the road to play nd and a below average GT team from the weak-sauce acc which also happened to finish the regular season with a losing record.

    In the spirit of consistently maintaining their steady diet of cupcakes/weeks off, without deviation, they resume it by, yet again, taking 2 weeks to prep in vain for SJSU by actually having a regular bye-week, followed by playing against Idaho at home before hitting the road, quickly becoming SJSU's whipping-boy. True to their nature, they immediately run back to familiar-territory in seeking comfort in yet another cupcake against NMSU.

    Meanwhile, UTAH's putting together a gauntlet of consecutively playing against usu[Away]/byu/ASU [Away]/USC/UCLA [Away]/OSU [Away]/CAL. Later, UW/ua, to boot.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 29, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    AP final top 25 after bowl games has all five of BYUs opponents still in while Utah only has 2 remaining after UCLA was pummeled by Baylor. Oregon state also lost and nearly fell out...surprising that two of the top 25 for your strong conference were beat in their bowl games. Utah's only saving grace this yr is that they have to play Oregon and Stanford (or their curse depending on how U look at it). Still want to argue schedule rock, er pebble?

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 29, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    Actually BYU played 5 top 25 finishers, my bad. I always forget San Jose State. Utah still three. Good luck with your "tough" schedule.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 29, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    A weak sauce schedule. It always cracks me up how ute fans think that because they are in the PAC 12 that automatically makes their schedule tougher. BYU played 4 top 25 BCS final ranking teams and didn't do so hot going 1-3. Utah played 3 top 25 finishers and went 0-3. The avg BCS final ranking of BYUs opponents was 55.16 while Utah's was 49.63. Wow, that is ALOT tougher schedule let me tell you. Considering how much worse the utes did last year only makes them look even weaker. Utah's avg loss margin was 13.8 while BYUs was 6.2. I agree that BYUs SOS would have been even higher (much higher than the utes) without the outliers like Idaho and NMSU. Ironically the utes outliers were in the very conference U believe makes your schedule tougher (WSU & Colorado). Both teams played one FCS opponent which I left out of the equation. And your argument doesn't get any better this yr with the Cougs playing Texas, Wisconsin, ND, Boise St, and GT. in 2011 Utah played ZERO BCS top 25 finishers, while BYU played 2, narrow losses to Texas and TCU.

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    April 29, 2013 3:40 a.m.


    UTAH missed a bowl game this last season for the very 1st time since 2002....Instead of needing only to beat powerhouses Weber State, Hawaii, Idaho and NMSU, in order to ensure we slipped in and qualified for a low-tier bowl game, we played against our week in, week out grind of a schedule....But we did need only to beat our annual patsy, byu, in order to stay w/in one, single victory of becoming eligible.

    This aberration in no way detracts from the fact both UTAH and byu have reached 11 total bowl games during this current BCS Era....However, while UTAH's gone 10-1, undefeated twice, winning two BCS Bowl Games and utterly/thoroughly owned byu, byu has barely managed to stay above .500 at 6-5.

    What was that about bowl games, again?

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    April 28, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    Rubber Ducky,

    Nice job with the hypocrisy.

    Funny how your "thought" process can't recognize you're doing the exact same thing you accuse Ute fans of doing with BYU's bowl games.

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    April 28, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    How so Ducky? Facts speak for themselves and the ones I laid out are irrefutable. Hence your poor comeback. Duck, you're overmatched before breakfast. Too easy with you; as always. Go Utes.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 28, 2013 8:57 a.m.


    Thanks for confirming exactly what I asserted. Hook, line, and sinker.


  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    April 27, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    The last seven comments are disparaging remarks by Y fans on a story about Utah Football; why do I find this funny? Your team has a horrible record against Utah (Utah 56 wins BYU 34 wins) including the last ten years (7 Utah wins, including massive beat downs, 3 close BYU miracle wins). You play a weak sauce schedule and then act like it is a big deal when you go to a third rate bowl; do you realize that up until 2 years ago Utah was tied for the second longest bowl winning streak in the nation (which included 2 BCS wins/beat downs) while your teams bowl record is poor to say the least, check the win/loss for yourself. Speaking of bowl games, I find it pure comedy that Duckhunter knows what motivates the Alabama Football Team in a BCS Bowl in their neck of the woods. As if Duck. Please tell me when your team went undefeated beating 2 top 10 and 2 top 25 teams in a season including a beat down of the an SEC power who had been ranked #1 most of the season? BYU has never even gone to top level bowl.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 27, 2013 2:28 p.m.


    You just have to understand the utah "fan" thought process, if it can really be called "thought". It goes like this.

    When BYU beats a nationally recognized team, like Oklahoma, Texas, Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn St, Texas AM, Miami, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Washington, etc it only happens because that team is down, no good, rebuilding, etc.

    When utah beats a team like Alabama it isn't because they just lost in their conference championship game and with it lost a chance to go to the National Championship game, so they don't care about playing a lowly program like utah and give it no effort and no heart, it is because utah is really a top 5 program that can beat anyone anytime especially top teams.

    I hope that clears things up for you.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    April 27, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    You can only give Erickson so much credit. He has a co OC. What about Johnson? Or is he a co OC in title only? Cris, I think we all know whose ofense this is. And still, is the great offensive showing a great offense, or a weak defense. This could be the U's best year yet in the Pac 10, or following the trend, their worst year ever. A mediocre offense, with a poor defense. You are in a power conference, but never been a power team.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 26, 2013 11:45 p.m.

    Actually I need to retract the OU statement. I was thinking about BYU being the last team to beat Colorado in 1988 before colorados undefeated season and near national championship that year. Don't know why I was thinking oklahoma. OU set their 47 game win streak record from 1953-1957 btw. Anyway the point is Alabama in 08 was not as mighty as they are now. Utah's victory was impressive in 08 and I certainly cheered them on, but it would be so much more impressive now because Alabama is ridiculously good now, and as a Georgia fan also, it hurts to say that.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 26, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    @Chris B
    Who cares that Utah was the last team to beat Alabama in a bowl game? LSU has beaten them since, auburn has beaten them since, TAMU has beaten them since...the difference is those teams beat an Alabama team that could actually throw the football and was much better than '08 version which couldn't throw the ball to save their lives. U didn't face the likes of AJ McCarron, Richardson and Julio jones. The record for most victories in a row was set in the 80s by OU...the team that beat them last before that run? BYU...didn't mean anything because BYU obviously didn't play the best OU teams that established the record. Same for Utah being the last bowl loss for bama.

  • Reasonable thinker Murray, UT
    April 26, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    let's remember that everyone said that Mike Leach would have WSU back in the hunt his first year. Didn;t happen, just like having Erickson will have no impact. Utah will still end up a cellar dweller.

  • Gone fishin Murray, UT
    April 26, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    Erickson stays for one year and then he will be gone, just like WSU.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    Even with a horrible offense the Utes have won 3 in a row. What is going to happen now that the Y has the likes of Mike Hague starting at corner? Get ready for 4 in row against the Y and a much improved season in the Pac 12.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 26, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    Plus, Dennis has the coolest sunglasses I've ever seen since the Joe Maddon trend.

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    April 25, 2013 5:40 p.m.


    "....SOS as close to what UTAH has been playing against....as they'll ever come....and they're pointing their collective finger at us?"

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    April 25, 2013 5:22 p.m.

    byu lost Van Noy's entire supporting-cast up front, lost the only decent DB they have in their J.C. CB suffering a season-ending injury, return an inexperienced, injury-prone QB, an absolutely horrible o-line and will have an SOS as close to what UTAH has been playing against in recent years in a week-in, week-out grind of a schedule and they're pointing their collective finger at us? Hysterical, really.

    Per the first comment--

    “The defense was watered down, but it's been watered down for years and we haven't had this kind of offensive production.”
    Utah coach Kyle Whittingham

    We had key starters out for this Spring Game and have other top-flight talent arriving this Summer. We'll be fine. tds, however, has bm relentlessly pursuing 2-star recruits as their fall-back. byu is merely a few years away from being beyond return from complete/utter irrelevancy. Prepare to see 4 straight, 5 of 6, 9 of 12 and the overall record becoming, 57-34-4, come to fruition this upcoming September. Not even deliberate placement of a bye-week prior to our game this year can save byu.

  • U 90 Corona, CA
    April 25, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    @ duckhunter "maybe you are the one that needs to try to "keep up" with the train wreck on the hill"

    Must be rough sledding in happy valley when your team can't beat a train wreck and has to load up on a diet of Hawaii, New Mexico State, Weber State and Idaho in order to qualify for a lower tier bowl. Keep posting duck the entertainment value is priceless.

  • packers roy, UT
    April 25, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Erickson gets some of the credit however IMO the main improvement goes to the O-line, they are giving the QB's time to throw and are opening up huge holes for the backs to run though, the offense looked a lot better on Saturday than the did at last years Spring game however it's very hard to really tell going up against a basic zone defense missing key players but I do feel better about this upcoming season. Go Utes!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 25, 2013 4:30 p.m.


    utah's defense was no better than ok last year, if even that, and they lost all of the best players from it. I think maybe you are the one that needs to try to "keep up" with the train wreck on the hill.


    p.s. I'm pretty sure you are just chris b with another screen name. You're not fooling anyone.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 25, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    With 6 OCs in 6 years I think we need stability. I hope Erickson stays on for 3-4 years.

    What comes first? An undefeated season or championship celebrations in September?

    "[They] danced in the streets. They hugged perfect strangers. They lit off fireworks. And in general, they celebrated and celebrated and celebrated... spontaneous celebrations erupted throughout [Provo] and lasted well into the early hours of the morning on Sunday [for a 1-0 BYU team]." -- Deseret News

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2013 3:11 p.m.


    You said the same thing about Utah being Alabama in a prestigious BCS Bowl.

    Oh wait, we did that already.

    The last team to beat national power Alabama in a bowl game. Utah.

    Who did you guys beat in your last BCS bowl game?

  • Gone fishin Murray, UT
    April 25, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    Not a better coaching duo in the entire country. Put the pink KoolAid away. Realith will set in as soon as the Utes start to play real football and not the inept defense they have been playing so far this spring. Utah is headed for a similar result as last year.

  • clehman Sandy, UT
    April 25, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    What comes first?

    A paid off national debt, Utes in a Rose bowl, or worf saying something meaningful?

    2, 1, 3.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 25, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    What comes first?

    A paid off national debt, or the Utes in a Rose bowl?

  • ekute Layton, UT
    April 25, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    "But I don't think anyone, other than Chris B"
    I'm with Chris.

    "The utes are no match for the PAC 12. In 2020, they will still be looking for an identity."
    In 2020 the tds will be lobbying STC for a 1 for 2 series. Maybe that will cheer you up.

    "What comes to my mind is that maybe Utah's defense is not that good?"
    You didn't see the real defense this spring. Try to keep up.

    Very pleased with what Coach Erickson has done so far. Another great hire by Witt.

    Go Utes.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    April 25, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    I've always said, if Ericksen can keep his nose clean and Johnson realizes he is a co-coordinator in title only (but really he is the QB coach), this would be a big coup for the Utes. So far, so good. Ericksen has proven he knows how to win and move the offense.

    But I don't think anyone, other than Chris B, would put Whit and Ericksen at the top of the coaching pyramid. Let's see if they can reach the New Mexico Bowl before we annoint them the best.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2013 10:16 a.m.


    In 2020 you'll still be praying a real conference will invite you.

    And they won't!


    Long live the power conferences!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 25, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    The utes are no match for the PAC 12. In 2020, they will still be looking for an identity.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    April 25, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I am optimistic about the offense, but can we stop giving the total yardage from a SPRING GAME? You are counting the yards from both sides, lets not act like 800 yards was produced in one half of real football. The defense had their impact players sitting. Please come back down to earth.

    I am hoping that the offense will be much better. If the 0-line can hold up, I think the Utes have enough play makers to be pretty good. My biggest concern is that this up-tempo scheme that they are running will have stalled drives early in the season and put too much pressure on the the D. If the other team has a 15 play drive and moves the ball down the field taking 5 minutes off the clock, and then the Utah offense comes out and goes 3-5 plays in 30 seconds. The D better be in great shape.

  • Ifel Of'a-sofa Alpine, Utah
    April 25, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    What comes to my mind is that maybe Utah's defense is not that good? Losing key starters from last years team on a defense that was not very good anyway is not a good measure of a teams "improved offense".

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Probably not a better coaching duo in the entire country. National championships, undefeated seasons, many top 5 finishes.

    I'd say we have a very good chance at doing something special this year. If guys stay healthy and Wilson plays like we know he can, no reason we can't win the South.

  • UteJunky70 midvale, UT
    April 25, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    An offense starts with an identity and builds from there. "Here's what we're going to do, we are going to do it until were great at it and we're going to do It at an extremely rapid tempo". This is what UTE fans have been hoping for and this is what Erickson brings . More then anything this is what UTE fans want. The key will be sticking with it and not changing course as we have so many times in the last 5 years (I'm looking at you coach Whit).

    What we have is a starting point and that is all it is. Where we take it from here is up to the players executing the scheme. I don't care if it takes an entire year or even 2 let's stick to it until we get it right.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 25, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    The moment an offense has an "identity" everyone complains that they are predictable.

    @JD: what makes you say there is no "identity"? Have you watched every practice?

  • JD Tractor Iowa City, IA
    April 25, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    Uhhmmm, I wouldn't be singing the praises of the offense after the spring game. What will happen when they play against a real defense? They pretty much ran the O against a local high school team.

    Reign it in Jackson, no identity has been established at all. You are drinking way to much koolaid.