Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mountain West 2010-Utah Utes
2009 Record: 10-3 (6-2)
Head Coach: Kyle Whittingham (6th season, 48-17)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Schramm (2nd season) and Aaron Roderick (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Kalani Sitake (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Poinesttia Bowl, defeated California 37-27
Offense: Jordan Wynn proved any doubters wrong by putting up a solid campaign as a freshman in 2009, ending with a 337 yard effort in a bowl win over Cal. Terrence Cain had started early in the season, and returns to back up Wynn. RB Eddie Wide had a solid season at RB, gaining 1069 yards and 12 scores. The great news is that there will be a two headed beast at the position as Matt Asiata was granted a 6th year of eligibility after missing last season with an injury. Both players are huge play makers. Jereme Brooks is the lone returnee at WR. There is some depth at the WR position, but the group is very young. The line returns 4 starters.
Defense: The interior line is set with DTs Dave Kruger and Sealver Siliga returning, but the ends are both new. The entire LB coprs is starting fresh as well. Nai Fotu was supposed to anchor the new LB group, but blew out his knee in the spring. DT James Aiono will rotate into the middle of the line. LB JJ Williams did start for one season before going on a church mission. CB Brandon Burton returns in the secondary, and he is the lone returnee there.
Special Teams: Joe Phillips returns as the PK, and he is phenominal at the job. He connected on 22 of 24 FGs in 2009. Sean Sellwood had a very nice season as a redhisrt freshman last season, and returns to try to increase his 42.7 yard average.
Wins: 9/11 UNLV, 9/18 @ New Mexico, 9/25 San Jose State, 10/9 @ Iowa State, 10/16 @ Wyoming, 10/23 Colorado State, 11/20 @ San Diego State, 11/27 BYU
Toss Up Games: 9/2 Pittsburgh, 10/30 @ Air Force, 11/6 TCU, 11/13 @ Notre Dame
There are no guaranteed losses here, but the schedule is a bit difficult in patches. If the Utes roll up Pitt on opening night, than that will be a good designator as to how good the Utes will be the rest of the way. November gets interesting as well with TCu at home and a trip to South Bend.
Outlook: Very good, but not in TCU's class this season. That's not to say that the Utes can't pull out a win against the Frogs. This will be the last season for Utah in the MWC, as they won big time by being upgraded to the PAC 12 in 2011. That means that Utah will have an open opportunity to go BCS bowling every year without having to concern themselves with going 12-0. I predict that TCU will go to the BCS this season, while Utah will come to my home town of Las Vegas, and I'll be there to watch them play in December.