We wanted to try something a little different as this off-season is getting underway. We asked ten questions of some of our most loyal Ute fans about the state of the Utah football program as well as what they say in 2012 and hope to see in 2013.
Many of you who follow this blog will know our good friends of the blog Dog and Deuce already. But there are a few new faces. Kyle Ariotti and Matt Coleman are co-workers of mine. Dave Richards is a long time friend and his brother Rob and I have had many spirited debates about BYU and Utah sports. But most importantly, each is a dedicated and passionate Utah football fan.
We will post one question with each response every day for the next ten weekdays. Make sure to check in every day to get your University of Utah Utes update from our roundtable of Utah loyalists.
Matt Coleman – The defense needs more speed and athleticism with the linebackers and secondary because when teams got to the edge, bad things usually happened this past year. There also needs to be some big time recruiting for the defensive line because of the void that it will have with Star graduating.
Allen “Dog” Martindale – One thing we know about Kyle Whittingham is that he knows defense, and so does Kalani Sitake. The defense underachieved this season, but I think they will be stronger in 2013. Its tough losing Star, but if the Utes can get improvement at the linebacker & corner positions I think they will be fine.
Dave Richards – I think the defense will maintain even with the loss of “Star.”
Kyle Ariotti – The defense needs to get nastier! We are losing Star and one of the Krugers, but we still have the other Kruger along with Fakahafua. They need to be the beasts and examples this off-season to help the young guys prep for the next year. They just need to get nastier!! (Linebackers especially).
Rob Richards – Tough losing a top 5 pick to the NFL right out of the middle of the D-Line. I like Coach Sitake and trust him to keep improving as the ‘athlete’ talent keeps getting better. Tough to blitz some of these spread offenses, but like the offense, they will need to take chances to be successful. That is the role and plight of the underdog. I would not expect to be favored in many games next year. Therefore, you can’t expect to stand there and go toe-to-toe with some of these teams. Got to create turnovers on defense and if possible score off those turnovers. Some teams are better coached at that than others and I’d like to see the Utes be more aggressive that way.
James “Deuce” Dyer – I’m not sure the defense will be worse than this year but you are losing a few key starters in Star Lotulelei, Moe Lee, Dave Kruger, Reggie Topps, and Ryan Lacy among others. So will they be better I’m not sure but probably not worse. It helps to have Rowe and hopefully a determined/inspired Blechen returning as well. Real question is can they replace Star/others on defensive line and can LBs get better this off-season.