Whittingham Expecting More From Utes’ Red Zone Offense

Nov 12, 2018, 4:12 PM
Utah Utes quarterback Jason Shelley (15) and offensive lineman Lo Falemaka (69) celebrate after She...
Utah Utes quarterback Jason Shelley (15) and offensive lineman Lo Falemaka (69) celebrate after Shelley scored, putting the Utes up 10-0 over the Oregon Ducks after the PAT, during the game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Even though the Utah Utes beat Oregon 32-25 last Saturday, head coach Kyle Whittingham was disappointed in his team’s inability to punch the ball into the end zone.

“It went right down to the wire due to our red zone inefficiency,” said Whittingham. “I think if we would have been efficient in the red zone, it wouldn’t have been close.”

Expecting to get touchdowns when the Utes are inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, they converted just twice in six such opportunities against Oregon. According to Whittingham, the reason for that may have been a conservative attitude that came with putting redshirt freshman Jason Shelley, who has been serving as the backup all season, in under center.

“In hindsight, we probably should have gone a little more to the perimeter and should have thrown it down there some,” said Whittingham. “But with a first time starting quarterback, you don’t want to turn the ball over down there, so that was the reason for being conservative.”

Although he admitted that the play-calling may have been on the safe side with Shelley at QB, Whittingham was impressed with Shelley’s play.

“His poise and composure. The moment wasn’t too big for him. He was able to function just like he is in practice. He is unflappable in practice and that is how he was on Saturday afternoon.”

With another week of practice against the Utah defense, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation in red zone defense, it’s not unreasonable to think that Shelley will improve his comfort level close to the goal line. So far this year, Utah has allowed just 13 touchdowns on 31 opponent chances in the red zone. The Utes’ opponent this week, Colorado has allowed 17 TDs on 35 opponent opportunities inside the twenty.

The No. 21-ranked Utes and the Buffaloes will kick off Saturday from Boulder at 11:30 a.m. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.



  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Michelle Bodkin

A Few Thoughts On Utah Football’s First Week Of Spring Ball

Utah football has wrapped up their first week of spring ball and by all accounts it sounds like the team has gotten off to a great start.
22 hours ago
Jeremy Mauss

Utah Football Eyes Winning Third-Straight Pac-12 Championship

During the first day of spring football, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham preached about winning a third straight Pac-12 title.
22 hours ago
Michelle Bodkin

Lynne Roberts: I’m Incredibly Proud Of My Team

Despite a tough loss to LSU in the Sweet 16, Utah head coach Lynne Roberts could only speak about how proud she is of the Utes.
3 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah’s Elite Eight Hopes Dashed By LSU

Only one escaped Bon Secours Wellness Arena alive, and unfortunately it wasn't Utah whose Elite Eight hopes were dashed.
3 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

Former Utes Talk NFL Draft Process

Pro Day is a wrap for the Utes and now it's time to wait and see where the rest of the NFL process takes the hopefuls till Draft Day.
3 days ago
Chandler Holt

Utah Ute Senior Brandon Carlson Declares For Upcoming NBA Draft

Utah Utes Senior Branden Carlson took to Twitter to announce that he will be declaring for the upcoming 2023 NBA draft.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Whittingham Expecting More From Utes’ Red Zone Offense