Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Utah Utes season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Utah Utes
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Utah Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
This is it, Utah. Your Pac-12 South window is open right now.
This is the time when the program has to pounce and take advantage of the uncertainty, the changes, and the rebuilding.
USC is USC, but Sam Darnold is gone and this isn’t the team the 2016 version was – and it’s a home game for Utah.
UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State are going through regime changes, and Colorado – while improved – can’t be a barrier if the Utes really and truly are dreaming of winning large things.
As the only program in the South to have yet to play in a Pac-12 championship, this is it. This is the opportunity to pounce before everyone else gets their spit together again.
It’s not like Utah can’t beat the big boys when they’re good, too, but this season, it’s all there.
The Utes have the offensive changes implemented from last season, and the upped tempo and downfield passing game should be a whole lot smoother.
Nine starters are back on offense, including QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zach Moss, the line – while needing to be tighter in pass protection – is loaded with veterans, and the receiving corps is loaded despite the loss of leading target Darren Carrington.
The defensive side has to improve the pass rush and has to be tighter late in games – the Utes allowed 104 fourth quarter points, and just 197 in the first three quarters combined – but the secondary has talent, there’s mass bulk on the interior of the line, and … it’s Utah. The defense will be fine.
No team in college football has a better kicking situation than PK Matt Gay and P Mitch Wishnowsky, and Kyle Whittingham and the coaching staff continue to be among the best and steadiest going.
Throw in a not-that-awful schedule, and Utah doesn’t have any excuses to not take down the South title.
This is the year to get to Santa Clara, or risk that window slamming down hard.