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Utah Utes take stock of the offense while looking ahead to Fresno State

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  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    @ BigCougar

    Agreed. Good post.

  • Hegdehog Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    Dirk said:
    "Over the past four seasons, the Utes have topped Big Sky Conference opponents (Montana State, Northern Colorado, Weber State and Idaho State) by a combined score of 194-31."

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

    Looks like the Utes have become the dominant program in the Big Sky. Way to go Utah!

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    @Twofer
    Also, if BYU ends up undefeated it still won't even show up the selection committee's radar. SOS and conf. championship games are heavily factored in, which means BYU doesn't have a prayer.

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

    I absolutely agree. I think BYU needs to establish a pattern of excellence vs good schedules before the committee would give them serious consideration. There's no way in the first year of a playoff that the committee would consider a team from outside the p5 conferences no matter how well they did. BYU needs to show that they're more than a one season wonder.

    In looking at BYU's schedule last year (ranked 38th SOS-better than Alabama) that was a good enough schedule but this year's isn't. However 2015 and 2016 are shaping up to be good schedules and on par with most p5 conference SOS.

    If BYU can maintain year to year schedules that are in the top 40 for SOS that's a good goal and will help them gain credibility nationally if they are able to win. I would like to see BYU get to a point where they have 4-5 p5 schools on their schedule every year. Takes time.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    @Twofer
    ""The Utes never have been and never will be one of the "big boys".

    This is the equivalent of shoving your fingers in your ears and making noise to avoid hearing bad news. Lie to yourself all you want, but deep down you know it doesn't change reality."

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

    No, it's just being honest. Moving to Beverly Hills didn't automatically make Jed Clampett, Granny and Jethro Bodine Hollywood socialites. They were still very much hillbillies. The change of zip code didn't change the reality for the Clampetts anymore than it did for the utes when they joined the Pac.

    It's no different for Utah or BYU. Utah won't become a "Big Boy" program anymore than Purdue, Indiana, Iowa St, Vandy, UVA, WSU, have been in their respective conferences. BYU won't be a "big boy" program if they don't "show up" and win on the big stage consistently (which they haven't been) when they have opportunities. BYU needs to consistently schedule competitive opponents and then win regularly.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    @ BigCougar

    You think Orchard is a career under performer? I guess we should take that as a compliment considering his resume so far.

    His first year at the U he was an all PAC-12 honorable mention, and was ninth in the nation in forced fumbles. That includes a play where a stripped Matt Barkley and took it to the house. Last year he was the national defensive player of the week after the Stanford game and was fourth on the team in total tackles. If he stays healthy his senior will be impressive as well.

    Also, if BYU ends up undefeated it still won't even show up the selection committee's radar. SOS and conf. championship games are heavily factored in, which means BYU doesn't have a prayer.

    FWIW, I'm glad Utah isn't playing BYU. I'm happy with Michigan and Fresno.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    "Senior defensive end Nate Orchard, who shared game-high honors with eight tackles and topped everyone with 2.5 sacks"

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

    As a career under-performer, this is Nate's highwater mark for the year and once Utah starts playing actual D-1 teams you can expect him to do his usual disappearing act the rest of the season.

    @Whoamisir?
    On another post a BYU fan said how interesting it would be to see them be the only undefeated team and how the selection committee would make their choices for the 4 team championship play-off.

    And we have this to look forward to for the next 3 months.

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

    Yes, blame your Head Coach for that. You guys tucked tails and ran away this year from the rivalry when instead you could've played BYU and had a chance to spoil their season. Now you have to listen to it all season, as well as next season (just about everyone returns).

    You'll also have to listen week in and week out all season long to ESPN Sportscenter pundits pimp Taysom Hill in all their Heisman watch features while they have the Giraffe the utes on ignore.

  • Sparkley Briefs New York, NY
    Sept. 4, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    "Utah is no USC", says fans of the mediocre team that lost to Virginia last year.

  • KYUte Louisville, KY
    Sept. 3, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    @SportsFan

    Yet after all of those accolades the Cougs were forced into Independence while the Utes were accepted into the PAC-12.

    Bronco/Kyle Era - Cherry Picking

    AP Top 25 Finishes
    Bronco 4 - Congratulations, you got there.
    Kyle 2 - Original BCS Buster's and beat down of Alabama.

    Conference Championships
    Bronco 2 - Overall MWC 4
    Kyle 1 - Overall MWC 4

    11+ Win Seasons
    Bronco 3 - Meaningless without quality opponents (emphasis on the plural)
    Kyle 1 - Undefeated with beat down of Alabama

    Bowls
    Bronco 9 - BCS 0
    Kyle 7 - BCS 2

    Cherry pick it any way you want. The fact of the matter is that Utah stepped up to the PAC-12 while BYU stepped down into Independence.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Sept. 2, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    Uteology

    Despite a couple of flash-in-the-pan seasons, not much has changed. The WAC-like Utes still trail the Cougars in overall success since Urban Meyers left in 2004.

    Bronco/Kyle Era

    AP Top 25 Finishes
    Bronco 4
    Kyle 2

    Conference Championships
    Bronco 2
    Kyle 1

    11+ Win Seasons
    Bronco 3
    Kyle 1

    Bowls
    Bronco 9
    Kyle 7

    Bronco has more 11+ win / Top 15 seasons since 2006, than the Utes have had in their entire history.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 2, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    It still just amazes me that the byU fans (Utah haters) come to these Utah stories and beat themselves on their collective chests about how great their program is and how awful Utah's is. Here is a great indication of where the two programs are right now:

    November home schedules:

    Utah: Oregon, Arizona
    byU: UNLV, Savannah State

    Oregon will be fighting all year for a spot in the championship playoffs. Arizona is a solid team in maybe the toughest conference in the land. Not to mention that Utah plays five ranked teams, none of which are ranked below 16 right now.

    UNLV is currently ranked below 100 by Sagarin, and it only looks to get worse. Savannah State is arguably the worst FCS team in the country, and byU plays them on senior day. What a horrible tribute to your seniors. Not to mention that byU is locked in to the first bowl game of the season, in a bowl that the MAC turned down. Have fun with the sixth place AAC team even if you go 11-1.

    Now tell me - who is afraid of whom and who has the big boy program?

    Go Utes!!

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 2, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    @scenic view

    You can take the Utes out of the WAC, but you can't take the WAC out of the Utes. It's who they are. A perennial bottom-dwelling program that only managed to win 2 WAC championships in 37 years.

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

    Yes because Utah today is the same program we were in the WAC.

    MWC Tiles:

    * Utah 4 (Fiesta and Sugar)
    * BYU 4 (Vegas)

    Speaking of WAC, didn't your team move-down to the weaker WAC after Utah moved-up to the tougher PAC-12?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 2, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    @2fer

    I agree with you that it is possible utah might someday have another great season. It is even possible that they might someday be one of the better teams/programs in the pac12. It is possible. But utah is not, nor have they ever been, a BIG BOY program and the odds of them ever being a big boy program are not very good, in fact they are extremely small. Just being in the pac12 doesn't elevate utah much, sure they can say they are in the pac12 but so are some other pretty mediocre programs that have never amounted to much, certainly not to the level of Big Boy.

    Time will tell us what utah will become, and that can change from year to year, but I'm willing to guess publicly that utah will never be a "Big Boy".

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    @ LonestarRunner

    I hear you, but that doesn't make anything I said less true.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    twofer

    Utah didn't just struggle in the WAC, it took the Utes over 100 seasons just to crack the AP Top 25 for the first time and the Utes never had an 11+ win season until Urban Meyers arrived on campus.

    Just because the Utes had a couple of flash-in-the-pan seasons in 2004 and 2008, doesn't mean they'll ever get back to that level.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    @ killarney

    Never is a bold word to use. Utah's history is what it is, but just because Utah struggled in the WAC doesn't mean it is doomed to struggle forever. One breakout season in the PAC would change everything.

  • killarney Lincoln Park, IL
    Sept. 2, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    2fer

    Despite the opinion of the red koolaid drinkers, reality is no program with only two lifetime 11+ win seasons and only five AP Top 25 could even remotely be considered to be one of the "big boys".

    Regardless of how many PAC 12 stickers you slap all over town, denying that is the equivalent of shoving your fingers in your ears and making noise to avoid hearing bad news. Lie to yourself all you want to, but deep down you know it doesn't change reality. The Utes never have been and never will be one of the "big boys".

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    "The Utes never have been and never will be one of the "big boys".

    This is the equivalent of shoving your fingers in your ears and making noise to avoid hearing bad news. Lie to yourself all you want, but deep down you know it doesn't change reality.

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    Sept. 2, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    The Utes never have been and never will be one of the "big boys".

    In their heart, they know they're much more like Virginia, Indiana, and Vanderbilt, than they'll ever be like USC, Texas, and Alabama.

    You can take the Utes out of the WAC, but you can't take the WAC out of the Utes. It's who they are. A perennial bottom-dwelling program that only managed to win 2 WAC championships in 37 years.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 1, 2014 11:22 p.m.

    No spin can change this

    The utes are not bowl material.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 1, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    @christina

    utah is not usc. lol

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    CougOrUte..Naah
    Nibley, UT

    Actually a better comparison would be the Colorado State vs Colorado game. As far as talent level Utah=Colorado / Fresno State=Colorado State. Fresno State comes to Utah and wins 34-24. I don't believe Utah is quite on USC's level yet. The Utes did do well against the Bengals though.

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

    As far as talent Utah is not equal Colorado. Well not according to Scouts and the NFL. Colorado talent is equal to BYU, Utah's talent is more on the Arizona level according to those two sources.

    Fresno State is replacing an NFL QB with a Junior who has less than 200 yards passing. Who beat out their more experienced Senior QB and both were used interchangeably in the USC game. Having two QBs in the rotation is not good for any offense.

    Unless the Fresno QBs make a drastic change in one week I don't see them putting up 34 on Utah's defense with a one dimensional offense. Utah's run defense has something to prove, and if previous years are any indication they should be much improved in stopping the run game on Saturday.

  • PacUtes Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    All predictions...are just that...predictions.
    I am a Utah fan, obviously. I don't predict other than the bowl game at
    the end of the season.
    Let the Utes get to 2-0 next week, then we will discuss whether 2-1 or 3-0
    after that.
    Meanwhile, PAC-12 is still much better than waiting (praying) for the
    Big-12 to call, isn't it?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    Fresno used 2 QBs at USC, which means they have no QB this year. Here's the stats from the USC game:

    Burrell: 11/19 92 YDS 0 TD 1 INT 54.4 RATING
    Connette: 7/17 68 YDS 0 TD 3 INT 9.1 RATING
    Team: 18/36 160 YDS 0 TD 4 INT

    Utah should win this game by 3+ TDs, that is if our defense has figured out how to stop the run by next week. They were horrible against Idaho State and Fresno gained 157 yards rushing against USC.

    Go UTES!

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    So predictable.

    One game into the season and Worf says, "PAC-11 (can't bring himself to say it) is highly over rated. Ten wins - two losses. (One loss a three point victory by a B1G 10 opponent.)
    Close games - some were and correctly unexpectedly close. However, judging by how many Utah players played and how vanilla their defense and offensive play calling was close games might be more likely. (Not every team feels like they have to play their starters running their play fast; play hard offense with less than 5 minutes to go when they have a 28 to 10 lead.)

    Second no surprise: On another post a BYU fan said how interesting it would be to see them be the only undefeated team and how the selection committee would make their choices for the 4 team championship play-off.

    And we have this to look forward to for the next 3 months.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    One down (or up as it was a win), next up Fresno State (a definite step up from week 1), then Michigan (ratchet up another big step). Great Non-conference schedule! And as some have said we are no USC; conversely, they are no Utah!

  • clehman Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    Thank you for the article once again, Dirk. The Trib seems to give its writers the weekend off after games.

  • Jumbojimbo Cheyenne, WY
    Aug. 31, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Better be careful Chris B. I would hold off mocking all the so called WAC teams until after the Fresno game. It would be extremely embarrassing to you if Utah loses. No comment you say this year will matter. Good luck.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Fresno runs a lot of read option. I think Utah will be more than ready.

  • East Coast Ute Storrs, CT
    Aug. 31, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    Hard to tell from the game yesterday whether Fresno should be a cakewalk or SC should be a nightmare, or maybe somewhere in-between. Saturday should answer some questions.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    We'll see.
    But right now I can see Utah starting out 4-0, 3-1 at worst.

    After watching Virginia vs UCLA yesterday.
    I see byu starting out 1-3, 2-2 at best.
    byu, you're no UCLA.

  • TroyTown Anaheim, CA
    Aug. 31, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    It's interesting how christina refers to non-P5s as WAC teams; must have something to do with reliving Utah nightmares from when the Utes were regularly man handled by fellow conference mates.

    Unfortunately for her, not much has changed. Utah is still regularly man handled by fellow conference mates.

    As Vegasbob said:

    U are no USC.

  • CougOrUte..Naah Nibley, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 6:10 a.m.

    Actually a better comparison would be the Colorado State vs Colorado game. As far as talent level Utah=Colorado / Fresno State=Colorado State. Fresno State comes to Utah and wins 34-24. I don't believe Utah is quite on USC's level yet. The Utes did do well against the Bengals though.

  • Vegasbob North Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 31, 2014 1:31 a.m.

    @ CB

    To paraphrase a former famous politician:

    You are no USC.

    Keep looking ahead Chris. Beat Fresno State and Michigan in the Big House. Keep dreaming.

  • Cali blue Coalinga, CA
    Aug. 31, 2014 1:17 a.m.

    Good luck.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    worf,

    Virginia is an amazing team - they're better than your team - just ask the scoreboard

    Utah will go bowling, will beat fresno like the wac team they are, and will beat your team whenever we play next.

    Go UTES
    Go Pac 12

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Aug. 30, 2014 11:05 p.m.

    Sorry guys, it is going to be a long year.

    Fresno 24 Utah 17

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2014 10:48 p.m.

    See what pac 12 USC did to the #1 WAC Fresno team today?

    USC 52
    Fresno 13

    Last year the Pac 12 went 14-1 against the WAC. That's all we need to know for this game.

    Utah 37
    Fresno 17

    Cant wait til the P5 start ONLY playing P5 teams.

    We will start 3-0 and have a 7-5 or 8-4 season if we can stay healthy. Loved the energy I saw on Thursday. Fresno will be a slightly more challenging team - but its still a bad WAC team.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Aug. 30, 2014 10:32 p.m.

    The utes might have a bowl game this year:

    * UCLA had only one offensive touchdown against Virginia.
    * Washington struggling with Hawaii.

    The PAC 11 is highly overrated.

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Aug. 30, 2014 8:50 p.m.

    Good Luck Utes on the game this week. I hope we continue to develop the offense so it is there when we need it against the PAC12 opponents.