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Lack Of Offense Puts Whittingham Third Among Pac-12 Coaches

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 7: Head coach of the Utah Utes Kyle Whittingham watches from the sidelines during the second half of an college football game against the Stanford Cardinal on October 7, 2017 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Head football coach for the University of Utah Kyle Whittingham came in at number three in a ranking of Pac-12 coaches by College Football News and Athalon Sports. Could lack of production on the offensive side of the ball be the reason he missed the top spots?

CBS Sports has Whittingham, the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12, at number four, while Bleacher Report has him sitting at seventh.

On most lists, Whittingham comes in behind Chris Petersen, the obvious choice from the University of Washington, and Mike Leach who heads Washington State. He and UCLA coach Chip Kelley flip-flop.

The Utes finished second in the Pac-12 last year behind Petersen’s Huskies in a defense-heavy game that ended with a score of 10-3.

Whittingham returns nearly that whole team for the upcoming season. The Utes also begin the season with a healthy quarterback in Tyler Huntley who missed the last five games last season with a collar bone injury.

Hopes are high for the team. Some early pre-season predictions have them making the Rose Bowl and potentially even the College Football Playoff.


Lack Of Offense

“He probably deserves to be there at three because of his offensive output (or lack of),” said Jason Buck, host of Rivals Podcast and former BYU defensive end.

Buck pointed out that in order to move up the list Whittingham needs to “figure out how to recruit quarterbacks and get the offensive output up.”

Under Whittingham quarterbacks for the University of Utah have included Travis Wilson, Brett Ratliff and Brain Johnson, among others. None of those quarterbacks have moved on to become NFL stars.

Utah football is known for its strong defense, in fact, one of their team sayings is “We play great defense, we play great special teams and we take care of the ball on offense.”

“Kyle does a lot of things great, but it takes both offense and defense to win,” said Scott Mitchell, co-host of Rivals Podcast and former University of Utah quarterback.

You can listen to the full discussion about Pac-12 coaches on Rivals Podcast below.  

If you enjoyed this analysis, subscribe to Rivals wherever you get podcasts or on the KSLSports app.

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