Utah Utes football: Erickson eager to return

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  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Dec. 2, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Sorry, I'm just not seeing the "great changes" in the Erickson offense as compared to last year's offense. Yes, Wilson was hurt, but what happened to those "3 PAC12 caliber QBs" we heard about at the beginning of the season? And none of the amazing stable of running backs ever stepped up to be a consistent 3-down performer. And Murphy's injury revealed that the "PAC12 depth" is still a work in progress. And Dres Anderson definitely regressed this season with FAR too many drops. And where were the rest of the recievers? How's Roderick working out for ya? Excuses? Maybe, but I would be VERY cautious about banking on Dennis (at retirement age) building this offense into a PAC contender. And just one word for those speculating that D Erickson will replace Kyle as the next head coach at Utah -- seriously???

    Nov. 29, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    Cougsndawgs, thank you, we have some common ground there. As for Fresno post-Carr, that's probably a safe assumption, but I don't know anything about the QB talent behind him or incoming, but I do know that they have a great offensive system and some very skilled receivers running it, so who knows for sure.

    Regarding your response to Uteology, I will concede Utah has underperformed in quite a few games in the last two years (and the CU game two years ago), but the grind of a BCS schedule cannot be overstated. I think you understand that as a UGA fan as well.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    So BYU has a better record against Big 5 teams since 2011. Thanks for that info...and don't try and sell us on the "we were better against them when we were only playing 2-3 of them per year". If you decide to take that road than you minimize and diminish all Utah accomplished before they were in the PAC...and that would be bad seeing as how they've done nothing since joining.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    As to coaches and jobs. Let's be a little realistic. Utah, the state, is a passing through state as far as coaching jobs go unless you have a tie-in. For BYU it is the Church. For the U and USU, unless you are alumni or have family in the area, the coaching positions here are places that you take with which you build a resume for a better job elsewhere. See the two previous coaches at both schools for example.

    IMO Coach Whittingham is a good coach and will do well over time.

    Utah's realistic goal is to be respectable and middle of the pack, and unless the West coast falls into the Pacific, they will not consistently get the top high school players in sufficient quantity to rise to the top on a consistent basis.

    The Y will attract some Mormon kids but not all of them. They, too, will be competitive and respectable but a BCS championship game? Not gonna happen.

    Look at intercollegiate sports as entertainment, fun for fall afternoons (and cold nights thanks to ESPN). Enjoy, rejoice and mourn to your hearts content. Life is more than football, apologies to Vince Lombardi.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    Yes, I'm saying BYU and USU don't compare to ND and Wisconsin at this point. I also thought you were just comparing 2013 schedules, so I apologize for the misunderstanding there. Michigan and Fresno State are formidable opponents...well Fresno won't have Carr next year so not so much for them. Fresno also only beat Boise by a point at home, so I do believe BYU is a better team than they are, so it would make sense for Utah to play Fresno rather than BYU when Michigan is already on the schedule. I think an ADs job is to get great competition but have a reasonable schedule in terms of difficulty, and I think that's why Hill scheduled the way he did in 2014...I don't think it had anything to do with fear of any opponent (Holmoe does the same thing), so I agree with you on that point.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 29, 2013 3:32 p.m.


    No your competition isn't the PAC12, they just want U to believe it is so you stick around to fatten up the elite programs. I doubt most of the power teams in the PAC look at U as "competition".


    If so then the same is true for BYU against Utah and other Big 5 teams since you have a losing record against both.

    Since 2011 vs non-Big 5 teams:
    Utah 8-1
    BYU 19-2

    Since 2011 vs Big 5 teams:
    Utah 8-18
    BYU 6-10 (Utah was 18-12 playing 2-3 BCS teams per season)

    Sinc3 2011 head-to-head:
    Utah 3
    BYU 0

    Nov. 29, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    Cougsndawgs, if you look back, CougarSunDevil tried to justify calling Utah's 2014-15 scheduling scared of BYU because it will include Michigan, Fresno State (two good teams) and an FCS team by comparing it to ASU's 2013 schedule, which also has two good teams and an FCS team. Is ASU's 2013 schedule a little bit better than Utah's? It would appear so, but not by the margin he attempted to make it appear. And are you calling BYU and USU (with Chuckie Keeton) marginally bad teams compared Wisconsin and Notre Dame? If so, then that's just a difference in opinion between you and I.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    LOL! CougarSunDevil is an unhappy byu fan hiding behind and masquerading as someone associated with the Pac-12. I would be unhappy too if I felt obligated to support the cougs but really wanted to support a team in the Pac-12.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    The valid point he makes is this: ASU OOC schedule, ND, Wisconsin, Sac State...Utah's OOC BYU, USU, Weber State. You don't see the point of that? If you don't than no amount of explaining will help.

    No your competition isn't the PAC12, they just want U to believe it is so you stick around to fatten up the elite programs. I doubt most of the power teams in the PAC look at U as "competition".

    Nov. 29, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Please, what valid point did you make? You made a self-contradicting argument and had it exposed. You then tried to pin something on me I never said and were exposed again. I don't blame you for taking your ball and going home.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2013 11:16 p.m.

    Why do almost every Utah fan automatically go to the "everyone else hates Utah" line? I make a valid point and cite some examples and you'd think, because I didn't align every thing just so, you'd think I cancelled Christmas. Enough is enough, I'm out. I'll leave Utah to their poor picked on selves.

    Nov. 28, 2013 11:00 p.m.

    FAX, any realistic follower of college football knows that game series agreements aren't made overnight. Just because it hadn't been announced before BYU not being scheduled doesn't mean Utah didn't already have the Fresno series in place. In fact, that's the number one argument used to explain BYU's schedule to start out their independence: schedules have to be made YEARS in advance and they had to throw together whomever they could find in one year, despite the assertion that independence had been planned for years before it being announced.

    Nov. 28, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    CSD, did I call BYU and USU cupcakes? No. I never did because BYU is always a pretty good team, and USU is a good team when they have had Chuckie Keeton playing. However, you're changing your own argument. You tried supporting the claim that Utah is afraid of playing BYU in 2014 (NOT this year, when they played BYU and USU), so they need 1 FCS team, by citing ASU's 2013 schedule which INCLUDES 1 FCS team. Your argument is all over the place and makes no sense. You may as well just say "ASU and BYU are my favorite teams so they're awesome and I hate Utah so they stink!"

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Nov. 28, 2013 7:09 p.m.


    "Judging by recent seasons" is irrelevant.

    Try to understand the timeline here.

    Hill didn't even know who he was going to replace BYU with for 2014 and 2015, all we know is that Hill was afraid that by scheduling BYU, he would be over-scheduling the Utes.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    Yes StGtoSLC, ONE game that was an FCS school, just like everyone else not called USC and Notre Dame. Utah's ooc games were Utah state, BYU, and Weber St. Three cupcakes and gimme games as Utah fans like to say, and you still didn't make a bowl game. Do Utah fans really want to compare ooc schedules? We just scheduled Texas A&M. You just scheduled Fresno state...way to go.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    Sports Are Great
    Salt Lake City, UT

    "So what are Erickson and company doing with all their extra time these holidays?"

    Hopefully doing some serious recruiting.

    It's always good to have the coug fans stop by. Maybe after taking the two years off that were dictated by Utah, you people will begin to realize that our (Utah's) competition is the Pac-12.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    I love that ute "fans" are consumed by thinking about byu, on both byu and Utah articles. Thanks ute "fans" for the interest. Happy bowl-less holidays!

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    So what are Erickson and company doing with all their extra time these holidays? Bowling at Brunswick? Watching byu and Utah state play football? Put PAC 12 stickers in more places? All of the above?

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    My goodness byu fans continue to amaze. Their (byu fans) never ending obsession over Utah is truly mind boggling. Even as Utah St is now demanding (and receiving) home and home arrangements with byu, you believe that Utah should be interested in byu, why? Independence is taking you people down the path to no where but holmoe is doing a marvelous sales job. You people need to accept the fact that Utah's competition is the Pac-12. They (Utah) will schedule their out of conference games as they see fit without remorse or compunction of its affect on byu. No explanations, apologies, or excuses necessary.

    For his part, Holmoe will salute and say..."thank you."

    Good to see that DE will stay with the Utes. Maybe he can exert his vast experience and influence on Coach Whittingham to shake the position coaching staff.

    Nov. 28, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    FAX: "In other words, BYU and Michigan are two 'really, really difficult games' and the Utes are too chicken to play two 'really, really difficult' OOC games in the same season."

    Actually, judging by recent seasons, BYU would be the easiest non-conference game. Fresno has been better than BYU the last two years. And no, there are no teams that schedule 100% of their non-conference slate that difficult. Would I exchange BYU for Fresno? Gladly. But I don't make those decisions. Weak argument, though, on your part.

    Nov. 28, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    "Unlike the sun devils who scheduled Wisconsin and Notre Dame for their out of conference games"...and Sacramento State. Come on. You should know better than that.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Nov. 28, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Elmer Fudd

    "Utah dropping BYU has nothing to do with Utah being chicken."

    Utah dropping BYU has EVERYTHING to do with Utah being chicken... Utah's good doctor Hill said as much when he said:

    "What we have to do is make sure we don’t come close to over scheduling," he said.

    In Hill’s mind, playing both Michigan and BYU in the same years would have put the Utes in that situation.

    "I can’t expect us to play 11 really, really difficult games in a season," he said.

    In other words, BYU and Michigan are two "really, really difficult games" and the Utes are too chicken to play two "really, really difficult" OOC games in the same season.

    Bottom line: the Utes are entering a severe bowl drought, with no post-season bowls in 2012 and 2013, and no bowls at all, not even a September bowl, in 2014 and 2015.

    BYU will have an 11-season bowling streak going and the Utes will have a 4-season bowl-less streak going the next time the Utes face the Cougars.

    See U in 2016 little brother!

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Good point Elmer. Why play a team you've owned for the last four years, right? No wonder ASU stopped playing Utah since ASU has owned Utah since 1978. It's a pity the PAC was too desperate to pick up the likes of Colorado and Utah. We should have held out like the big 12 is doing.

    However, yes, Utah saw how difficult their schedule was going to be, so they dropped BYU, because it would be too difficult. I don't see how you can get anything other than scared out of that move. Too scared to have an awesome schedule that, if they did well against, would be nationally respected. Instead, they chose to dumb down their schedule in hopes of a bowl game. So they are doing the same thing BYU does. Unlike the sun devils who scheduled Wisconsin and Notre Dame for their out of conference games...and look where the sun devils are!

  • Elmer Fudd Sandy, Utah
    Nov. 28, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    @ CougarSunDevil

    Utah didn't drop BYU to make our schedule lighter, they scheduled Michigan in BYU's place. Looking at the next two years schedule. Where is Utah dumbing down their schedule? If anything, Utah upgraded their schedule by adding Michigan and dumping BYU.

    @ CordonBleu

    Utah dropping BYU has nothing to do with Utah being chicken. Utah has nothing to gain by playing BYU, but BYU has everything to gain by playing Utah. I can see why BYU fans are so bitter about being dumped by their big brother the next two years. The Utes have already proven themselves against BYU and winning 4 in a row, 9 of the last 12 proves it. The way things are going, Utah would win the next two years if the two teams played again. Let's face it! BYU doesn't know how to beat Utah anymore. See you in 2016 little brother!

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    I think Cordon Bleu is right. Utah is the one who backed down from BYU the next two years, not the other way around. And the reason was because they already had a difficult schedule without BYU. Sounds like it is Utah dumbing down their schedule for next year. Couldn't handle the "most difficult schedule ever" dispute the boasting of some fans.

  • CordonBleu Park City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 9:14 a.m.


    "CG, seeing as how Utah has beaten BYU 4 in a row, and 9 of 12, the onus is on BYU to prove they belong on the field with Utah."

    Sorry to burst your crimson bubble, but previous results and no guarantee of future performance.

    From 1968 to 1971, Utah beat BYU four straight and lead the series 38-5-4.

    BYU won 18 of the next 20 games, most in dominating fashion.

    Since Utah is too chicken to play BYU in 2014 and 2015, the onus is on the Utes to prove that they would have been good enough to step onto the same field as BYU.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Go Utes, CA

    Completely agree. It's the skill positions that did the Utes in this season. Coaching changes have to be made and none is more glaring than the O-line. As of today, the coaches in place were put there by Whittingham. If Erickson is the OC (it's great to hear that he is sticking around...he showed this Utah fan that he is the real deal), give him the responsibility to make the offense his own. The receivers and defensive backfield...same situation.

    CG (in Orem Utah)
    "Utah has no way of proving that they're even good enough to step unto the same field as BYU." That's really funny sport. The memo you missed make two points that address your sad comment; The Utes:

    1) Are 4 of 4 and 9 of 12 with byu - there simply is nothing more to prove against the hapless cougs
    2) Compete in the Pac-12 not in byu's fantasy world

    End of story!

    Great to hear that DE is staying. Responsibilities and titles across the Utah coaching staff need to change.

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


    It is pretty hard to be much worse than 1-7 so good point by you.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Nov. 28, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    CG, seeing as how Utah has beaten BYU 4 in a row, and 9 of 12, the onus is on BYU to prove they belong on the field with Utah. Sorry to burst your bubble. Actually I'm not sorry, I quite enjoyed it.

  • CG Orem, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 12:30 a.m.


    Short of a bowl game matchup in the next 2 years, which is highly unlikely, since the Utes aren't even good enough to qualify for anything besides the couch potato bowl, Utah has no way of proving that they're even good enough to step unto the same field as BYU.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:58 p.m.

    The minute Utah hired Erickson was the minute I knew Utah wouldn't do well this year. He couldn't do it for Arizona state, won't do it for Utah. Look what happened to ASU in the last two seasons without him. I'd question the judgement of anyone who celebrates his employment with their school.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    What I read between the lines is that no matter what changes are made in the next 2 years, the Utes will be no worse than they are now, which is still good enough to beat byu. So why the incessant digging from happy valley?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    Lotsa things to read between the lines in that article.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 6:53 p.m.

    I hope he's still here when Harvey and Chase return.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Nov. 27, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    Whit should give Erickson free reign to replace the receivers coach, qb coach, and o-line coach. Then hold him accountable for the results.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    The PAC 12 utes have TWO coaches that each have proven they can take teams to undefeated top 5 seasons.

    It's only a matter is time until we go back to where we belong.

    Proud PAC 12 member

    Proud ute

    Proud Erickson and whittingham supporter!

  • mindgames Aurora, CO
    Nov. 27, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    Looks like Dennis Erickson is eager to return for more than the reason of unfinished business. In reading between the lines the opportunity to step in to become Utah's next head coach is on his mind. Wonder if he will keep his offensive coordinator around. Fat chance,

    Coach W. would be wise to give him his walking papers before he gets nudged out.

    Just sayin'.

  • Brad E. HERRIMAN, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    Dennis Erickson has already made great strides of improvement to our offense. Now we need to make him the official "offensive coordinator" and drop the "co." As for Brian Johnson, he needs to be the official quarterbacks coach. Brian's time for OC at Utah will come- But that time isn't today. Go Utes!!

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    Certainly Erickson wants a "do-over" year. How bad his offense has performed is nothing for his "moving on" resume. It wasn't the defense as bad as it was at times (more than 35 pts isn't a great defense,.. just okay). It was the turn-over plagued offense. And that's on Erickson or at least is not a sterling endorsement.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Nov. 27, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    Excellent news

    Erickson made great changes and we got a glimpse of what the offense can do in the first half of the season.

    Hopefully Wilson can return and the offense can keep making progress.

    Go Utes