Utah Utes football notebook: New scheme may explain offensive struggles

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  • jefferysl Huntsville, Alabama
    April 19, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    Hedgehog is right about the general state of PAC-12 offenses this time of year. Washington's defense was dominant as well...which was a little unsettling in that we're trying to find out who takes Jake Locker's spot. Duckhunter's last post was an inciteful one about tight ends and backs catching out of the backfield in a WCO. Does Utah have a serviceable Tight End?

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2011 7:15 a.m.

    The basic problem with Utah's new offensive scheme is the Utes are relying on too very mediocre backups and an injured starting QB who was only average when he was healthy.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 18, 2011 10:53 a.m.


    You are the 1st person I have talked to that went that was at all optimistic about it. I'll take your word for it that they were able to do some good things and maybe it isn't dire.

    The guys I coach baseball with are ute fans and they went and they were not very happy with what they saw. They felt the line was not well suited to the scheme and that the lack of any good TE's plus rb's that struggled to catch passes out of the backfield did not lend themselves to a WCO. Any BYU fan can tell you that the WCO, especially Chows schemes, require a good TE, usually a couple of them, and rb's that can catch passes coming out of the backfield. I am sure the rb's can improve on that skill but the lack of some good TE's isn't a good thing. That is a position they will need to recruit better in the future.

    I actually hope they do well for the good ute fans I know but I have a hard time hoping anything good happens for wedgie.

  • utesovertide Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 10:23 a.m.


    I wouldn't call the offense I saw on Saturday "awful". Sure, it wasn't stellar. However, many of the Pro scheme plays worked, making the RB's look good. Many of the downfield run plays went for 5 yards or more. Half of the good passes were dropped, but the play itself worked and with some starting receivers in there that will change. The plays that looked bad were the spread plays. That contrast, I am sure, will give Norm Chow more to work with as he and Whittingham try to help the players see that the West Coast offense will work.

    I am concerned about the offense (the D looks just fine, and a bit better than last year, especially in the secondary) just like anyone else. But if anyone can put together an offensive team in the next 4 months its the Whit, Chow, Davis, Johnson combination.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 18, 2011 9:08 a.m.


    Why does it matter what the other teams did? All that matters here is how the utes offense did. I'll concede that defenses are generally ahead of offense in spring ball but that doesn't mean the offenses are completely inept. utah's offense was aweful and couldn't really do anything. You can put on a brave face and try to pretend everything is fine but you know it isn't and I know you know it.

    They might have been ok going against mwc defenses since those are notoriously bad but the main thing that sets the pac10 above conferences like the mwc besides depth is they have better defense to to bottom. But hey keep telling yourself its all going to be ok because one thing is for sure, we'll find out this fall.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    April 17, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    " But of course there is no way to discount last Monday's performance when they all played and still didn't do anything"


    I'm assuming you didn't read the ESPN blog concerning this weekends scrimmages. If you did, you'd realize that most in not all PAC12 teams played thier starting QB and most of the starting offensive units. Again, defense dominated in every game....if you want to use the utes prior scrimmage as your benchmark so be it.

    Thanks again for your daily dire, gloom and doom fixation on the Utes.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 17, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    No you wouldn't wedgie. If that had happened you would try to spin it the other way.

    But it is true Whittingham didn't play most of his main offensive players, although I think the reason is he knows they wouldn't have done any better than those that did play and doesn't want wide spread panic from the fanbase. So I'll go along with you and discount yesterdays performance. But of course there is no way to discount last Monday's performance when they all played and still didn't do anything. Whittingham himself said that scrimmage was the "most important of the spring" so that is probably the one we should look at for signs of how the offense is coming along. Based on that "most important" scrimmage it is obvious that the offense is not very good at this point. I have no doubt they will improve by the time the season starts but if I was a utah fan I would be concerned about it just like I, and most BYU fans, were concerned about BYU's offense last year. I guess we'll see what happens this fall.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    April 17, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    I would suggest all UofU naysayers check out Ted Miller's ESPN blog. He lists all PAC12 scrimmage results this past weekend.

    Do you see a common theme?

    All offenses struggled to score points and the defense's dominated. I would be much more worried if the Utah offense had scored at will.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    April 16, 2011 9:45 p.m.

    "Whittingham, thus, declined to make an assessment on the current state of the offense."

    Declining comment can certainly telegraph a lot. Doesn't it?