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 biggest key for success will depend on whether Utah can establish a good offense that consistently puts points on the board. Excluding Reggie Dunn’s amazing returns, Utah did not have many explosive plays this year and to be successful in the PAC, teams need an offense that can produce points consistently and make those explosive plays several times a game.
Allen “Dog” Martindale – Offense, offense, offense!
Dave Richards – Trick plays and special teams. Just kidding. Making efficient offensive plays by creating holes for the running backs. Defense must play hard and fast and not take any plays off. The Pac 12 will punish you on any mistakes minimizing those mistake is a must.
Kyle Ariotti –The biggest key is the offense. How can the young guys prepare themselves and how can Wilson progress during his sophomore season. Hopefully no sophomore slumps. He and Johnson will need to spend lots of time together in figuring out what is comfortable for Wilson as a QB.
Rob Richards – Key is getting to six wins. Likely need to sweep the state of Utah games to get to a bowl game. Need to beat USU & Weber at home and then beat BYU in Provo. I would expect to be favored in all of those games and also expect the Aggies to be the toughest test in that group. In league play, the Utes will need to find three more wins for a bowl game. Taking care of biz at home by playing well and winning the turnover battle in the road games should find 3-4 more wins. The Utes are going in the right direction. Whitt, Scalley & Sitake are good recruiters. Time will tell if BJ can handle OC role or if it simply requires more experience. He’s better than Doman. Ball security conservative is different than game plan conservative. The competition is too good now on both Utah’s and BYU’s schedules to think that tricky fake punts, onside kicks, or going for it on 4th when there is no reason to… is going to result in wins. These other teams play for 60 minutes and the WAC or MWC gimmick days are done. Gotta be fast enough to catch & cover ’em AND you’ve got to be able to tackle ’em. I like UCLA as the best team in the PAC12 – South next year, but would expect the Utes to be 3rd or 4th in the division (better than Colorado & in the mix with UofA, ASU and USC). I’m not sure the talent is there yet, but beating one of three or two of three a year will be progress. Crossover games will be tough next year with Stanford and Oregon, but you never know.
James “Deuce” Dyer – I think the Utes need to return to the idea of accountability. It seemed missing from every player and coach this year. Every one was willing to provide excuses or reasons why things didn’t go their way. Bottom line is good and great teams make their luck through hard work and determination. In my opinion I didn’t feel like any player or coach was held accountable for decisions they made. This doesn’t mean there needs to be a public flogging but when problems to continue to persist throughout a full season as penalties and other issues did this year, people aren’t getting the message or at the very least are responding to the message.