During the last two weeks his team has been routed by a combined score of 118-35, but is Coach Ron McBride down in the dumps? "I'm not down at all," he says. "I am more committed than I've ever been. I'm happier than I've ever been here, because I know what the h--- I have to do now . . . It makes me get up earlier in the morning and stay up later at night."
That might be difficult for McBride, because he had already been burning the candle at both ends. Since adding the offensive line coaching duties to his head coaching duties early this season, he has worked 14-hour days. He rises at 5:15 daily, holds a staff meeting at 6, sits through more meetings and film sessions throughout the morning and early afternoon, squeezes in a luncheon/press conference a couple of days a week, attends practice in the late afternoon, watches more film and then leaves for home at 8 or 9 p.m.Even McBride, a diagnosed workaholic, admits, "I can't keep this up every year. Nobody could."
As for the recent routs, McBride says, "All it means is that we've got a few more problems than I thought we had." McBride hints that those problems won't be remedied fully by anything but good recruiting. "We know pretty much where they are and who they are," he says. "We've just got to get them."
MUSICAL QUARTERBACKS, CONT.: Yes, it's true. For the seventh time this season the Utes have changed their starting quarterback. Junior Mike Richmond will start in place of sophomore Jason Woods, last week's starter. That will give them five starts each.
Says McBride, "We're waiting for Jason or Mike to step forward and say `The job's mine and I'm not giving it back.' "
SICK BAY: No one can say defensive end Jimmy Bellamy doesn't love football. Last week Bellamy came down with chicken pox and was left behind when the Utes flew to San Diego State Friday morning for a game the following night. But on Friday afternoon - two days after the sickness first began to take its toll - he was trying to find a way to San Diego. He planned to take a bus from Salt Lake City to San Diego, but the school's equipment managers refused to give him his pads and uniform.
"He called my wife trying to find out how he could get in touch with me (in San Diego)," says defensive line coach Sam Papalii. "He wanted to get my OK. She said he was as serious as a heart attack. It sounds like Jimmy. He is very competitive. He wanted to play."
ADD QUARTERBACKS: The Utes aren't the only ones making a quarterback change. New Mexico will start sophomore Marcus Goodloe in place of its record-setting veteran, Jeremy Leach, Saturday against Utah. Leach, a three-year starter, threw for 622 yards against Utah last year and is the sixth most prolific quarterback in WAC history, but he hasn't played particularly well this year. Goodloe has played in all but two games this season.