Brad Rock: Ute quarterback dealing with fall from grace

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  • Samurai Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:41 p.m.


    You think? Of course losing to top 25 ranked teams OSU, UCLA, and ASU by a combined 11 points has every Ute player, coach, and fan up in arms. A Top 25 ranking, having an undefeated or one loss season, and the chance for a more prestigious bowl have all gone swirling down the drain with every late game collapse, every gift wrapped interception. Throw very winnable games versus Zona and SC into the mix, and it's easy to see why Ute frustration is at "DEFCON 3."

    While not on the same level, I'm sure you can relate losing 4 consecutive rivalry games to said DEFCON 3 frustration.

  • Samurai Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Football can be similar to golf. Some days, you'll hit every fairway, but miss every four foot putt. Other days, you can putt lights out, but miss every fairway.

    Here's to hoping that the Utes can figure out how to "drive for show, and putt for dough." The Utes had ASU against the ropes. That fourth quarter turned out to be much like a missed four footer. And those are the missed putts that hurt the most.

  • CG Orem, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 10:02 a.m.


    "On Sep 17 he was rated a top 25 QB, coming off an outstanding performance against Oregon State with over 420 passing/rushing yards on offense."

    Wilson's early Top 25 passing efficiency rating was built on his "monster" 242.51 PER versus Weber State; his PER versus Oregon State was only 130.41, and his PER for the season is only 129.65. In his last 5 games (since BYU), his PER has been 94.80.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    I think Ute frustration is at DEFCON 3.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:30 p.m.


    The writing was on the wall a month ago when Wilson threw 6 picks against UCLA; it just took you a little longer than most of us to recognize how mediocre Travis really was.

    In his last 5 games:

    59 of 122 (48%), 709 yards, 7 TD, 13 Int, 94.8 rating.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:38 p.m.



    July 7, 2013
    "I think by game 3 we'll know if Wilson is our QB for the future. The good thing this year is we finally have the much needed PAC-12 depth at QB."

    Sept. 17, 2013
    "As far as Wilson, he's a legit dual-threat QB. I think so far he's proven that he's a legit PAC-12 QB."


    What's your point?

    In July, I believed what KW was saying. I wasn't at practice so I couldn't judge for myself.

    On Sep 17 he was rated a top 25 QB, coming off an outstanding performance against Oregon State with over 420 passing/rushing yards on offense. The next week he went out and schooled BYU.

    Since then Wilson looks anything but a top 25 QB.

    That's why the article says, "Ute quarterback dealing with fall from grace".

  • phantomblade Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    Sunday, July 7 2013
    Deseret News

    "Whittingham said the Utes might have two quarterbacks in the “upper echelon” of the Pac-12 in projected starter Travis Wilson and Adam Schulz--and freshman Brandon Cox is actually listed as a co-backup with Schulz, according to the university’s athletics website."



    July 7, 2013
    "I think by game 3 we'll know if Wilson is our QB for the future. The good thing this year is we finally have the much needed PAC-12 depth at QB."

    Sept. 17, 2013
    "As far as Wilson, he's a legit dual-threat QB. I think so far he's proven that he's a legit PAC-12 QB."

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    So was whit just lying to the media when he said that the utes were loaded at qb this year? This has been the worst qb management that I have ever seen at any university. Utah fans can no longer get after Bronco for any failings at qb management.

    Utah is in serious trouble the rest of the season with qb play like this.

    Chris B has been noticeably absent from this article. I'm lovin it.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    Layton, UT

    Travis is 19 years old, I'm not ready to throw him under the bus. taysom is 23.


    He was 19 the first half the season too when he was playing great. Playing poor is one thing, but he's losing winnable games.

    Now he's a liability to the team, he deserves to be benched. Then he need to earn a PAC-12 starting role.

    Right now he's anything but a starting QB.

    Nov. 10, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    Tators, this is one of those rare occasions I'm going to say you are absolutely right. This season has been a complete reversal in Utah's team strengths from the start of the season. Against Utah State and Oregon State, the defense could not make a clutch stop to save their lives. Now the offense can't capitalize on a defensive stop to save their lives. I'd feel much better about the team's bowl chances if there were a midseason easy non-conference game about now, like how Georgia looked to right their ship yesterday, or having the timing of the Colorado game switched with either Oregon or Washington State. The offense just needs to get the muscle memory of what consistent scoring feels like back. Not optimistic that Oregon is the game to do that in.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    There are some similarities between Utah's and BYU's teams right now. Both have solid defenses but weaknesses with their offensesive lines. That seems fairly obvious that those weaknesses contributed to both teams losing yesterday.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    I guess Dennis Erikson isn't the genius that all the ute fans thought he was. "We are going to the Rose Bowl now. He is the missing link that will take us to the top".
    Cellar Dwellers for life. The one sport U is quickly falling to Zero Sport U. Good luck in Basketball playing all those top notch teams in the 5%filled HC. To bad u won't even break even when trying to add in the concession sales.

    LOL !

    Nov. 10, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Ok the Utes did play well but this just shows what we have seen for the last 5 years. Whit is a great defensive mind but offensively he is clueless. 25 year old offensive coordinator last year. What a disaster!!!. The line is a mess -- our quarterback is running for his life but the great coordinators are making him throw incredible passes. No more slant patterns in the entire playbook. It's like they just hit delete. You think the defensive game planner don't see this in the last few weeks. Pin your ears back and lets go because Travis has to throw and incredible pass for a reception and usually on the run. Lets make Travis throw the most difficult passes in the playbook because he had a few interceptions. Makes it easy for the defense because they don't even have to cover the middle of the field - they always shade to the outside. What a mess. The whole offensive coaching staff has group think.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Utah's opponents aren't idiots. They watch film and quickly figure out that several of Utah's O linemen are fundamentally unsound. Big and imposing for sure, but poor to bad technique, especially with pass blocking. O linemen have to be smart and make adjustments, especially with blitz pickup. I'm not saying Wilson doesn't bear some of the burden here, but seriously the Utes have got to find smarter, more fundamentally sound O linemen to complement what is almost always a very good defensive front.

    The guy who said Finn should be on the hot seat is right. He picked these guys and started them and unless the cupboard is bare on the hill, he needs to rethink who gets on the field.

    Nov. 10, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    I'll say it again - 3 years into the PAC12 and the supposed recruiting boom we were to see, and we have a starting QB who has completed 14 passes the last 3 games and our backup apparently is so bad we have to leave the starter on the field? That's real quality, real depth.

  • SoCalUte Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Time to give someone else a chance. The O line can't mentally get into blocking, if they don't have confidence that the QB and the offense can produce anything.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    After having watched the game again this morning, I found it interesting that the commentators were making note of the fact that to them, it was obvious that Travis Wilson was not able to throw the ball accurately. They were posing the question before half time. and openly asking when is Arizona State going to realize this and stack the box against the run? and pressure the QB. That is exactly what they did in the fourth quarter. Under pressure Travis makes poor decisions. Yes, he wasn't given a lot of time but he chose to throw the ball in play rather than out of bounds or eat it for a loss. All I know for sure is that something is different now from a couple of months ago. I have been hopeful that the Utes could gain the six wins to become bowl eligible, that looks much less likely now. Not impossible but much less likely.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    Utes Fan
    Well said, I could not agree more. The issue is that the OL is near inept and Wilson has lost his confidence to throw the quick pass. He hesitates briefly and the window of opportunity closes. Of course, it doesn't help that he is being smothered play after play by the defense.

    Nov. 10, 2013 2:04 a.m.


    Typical BYU comment. "Truth is, Travis has always been a mediocre quarterback." Hm...He started as a true freshman half way through the season last year and actually did a decent job, given the circumstances. He kicked butt for the first half of the year and was injured the last few games. Let's see a quarterback play crazy good with a hand that can't grip the football. A mediocre quarterback would be none other than Taysom Hill. You beat Texas? wow...that's..uh...almost impressive. Houston? mediocre. Boise St.? mediocre at best.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:52 a.m.

    I hope Utah can beat Washington State and Colorado and go bowling. They could use the month of practice and healing of injuries. So lets keep hope alive for the Mickey Mouse Bowl. Maybe a rematch with BYU will aid the frustration or make it worse.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:50 a.m.

    Even with this terrible season, Utah was one Jake Murphy shoe length in the end zone away from overtime with UCLA, a ball though the hands of Walker on defense in the overtime loss (51-48) to Oregon State, a one point loss today against ASU when Wilson was 6 for 21 and 2 INTS, and the USC game, although not close was dominated by Utah's defense. Utah had 3 lousy points in that game. Even in Arizona, Utah was down 28-24 with the ball on the Wildcat 10 yard line looking for the winning TD with three minutes. This season hurts and doesn't improve recruiting to say the least.

    Hopefully next year Wilson can get right or Conner Manning is ready to be a star. If Erickson is around next season then I think Utah gets things turned around for the better. Jake Murphy and Tonga will back at TE (hurt this year), Kenneth Scott will come back to ease double teams on Dres Anderson and maybe Brian Blechen is not a lost medical cause.

    Utah is a young team that will return most the starters. Losing Trevor Reilly will be a blow though.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:43 a.m.

    There are no answers this season. Travis Wilson is lost. I feel bad for the adversity he is going through but Utah's defense deserves much better.

    Whittingham has to get some QBs on the roster. It destroyed Utah for three seasons when Wynn was a mess with his shoulders and no QBs were on the roster to aid that. I like the freshman QBs Utah has but they aren't ready yet and now it's too late to ride that train.

    Last year just sticking with Hays would have gotten Utah to at least a bowl game. This year it made no sense to try a freshman QB again like with Wilson last year. So Utah put the ship in Wilson's hands only to see him lose his best friend, get a hardcore sickness, the hand issues, and now the complete loss of confidence. Travis completed 3 passes against Arizona, 5 passes against USC, and today he had 6 completions. That's 14 throws caught in three games. That is insanely awful. Utah wins the last two games easily with average QB play.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:39 a.m.

    It could have been worse, Wilson fumbled at the 2 yard line but we recovered. Leading the team with 40 yards rushing doesn't make up for his horrible passing game.

    Wilson is a liability to the team, he has been since the Arizona game. I was hoping that would change this week since we were told that his injured hand was 100%. But then again that's what they said about Wynn for 3 years.

    I can't understand how Shultz is a PAC-12 backup if he can't even beat out a QB that is begging to be benched. The coaches went into the season with no QB plan B again?

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:01 a.m.


    Whiny excuse. Did Travis get younger as the progressed?

    In September, Utah fans were singing Wilson's praises, but now suddenly, he's tanked.

    The truth is, Travis has always been a mediocre quarterback.

    Coach Whittingham was obviously just blowing smoke when he bragged about Utah's QB depth last spring, claiming that the Utes had two upper-echelon PAC 12 quarterbacks.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 11:08 p.m.

    Coaching. It isn't happening. They aren't getting any better. Must be the pac12.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:54 p.m.

    Travis is 19 years old, I'm not ready to throw him under the bus. taysom is 23.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    i cant remember a time when Utah has turned the ball over this frequently. They are uusually the one taking the ball away from the other team.

    Tough loss to take.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    As frustrating as Wilson's performance was, one MUST look at all the parameters:

    No tight ends. Yea, the backup plays sometimes, but really isn't experienced enough to make a difference. The OL needs help from tight ends, and Travis needs a few more options to throw to. Kenneth Scott being injured is huge also. The short of it: Travis has NO time to throw, and with Dres double teamed, the other receivers rarely get open and so Travis has no time to throw to nobody. Don't place too much blame on him.

    Still, one would think some offensive adjustments could at least do enough to win a game. Nothing fancy, but just a few 1st downs in the 4th quarter were needed to win, but it couldn't be done due to horrible OL play.

    If I were Utah's OL coach Dan Finn, I would be afraid for my job.

    I feel bad for Travis. And I feel bad for the defensive players who kept a incredibly prolific ASU offense to under 300 yards.

    Disappointing, yes, but they can bounce back.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    Losing by one point to a team like Arizona State?

    People are over reacting!

    I'd say, this was a good game.