CRIMSON CORNER

Urban Meyer Knew 2004 Utes Were Going To Be Special After Finding Out About Players’ Weekly Cookout

Jul 22, 2020, 2:37 PM
The Utes won the Fiesta Bowl 35 - 7 against the Pittsburgh Panthers in Phoenix, AZ on January 1, 20...
The Utes won the Fiesta Bowl 35 - 7 against the Pittsburgh Panthers in Phoenix, AZ on January 1, 2005 (Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Urban Meyer knew that the 2004 Utah team was going to be special when he found out about how close his players were.

Meyer was in his second season at Utah and was talking to his captain Morgan Scalley on a June afternoon when he found out about what his players did as a team every week.

It was organized by Scalley and Utah defensive tackle Steve Fifita.

“Morgan Scalley and Steve Fifita, Steve Fifita was was a really struggling player for us. Very talented,” Meyer told KSL Sports. “I was walking out in a June afternoon, and I’m talking to Morgan Scalley and he goes, ‘Coach, I gotta run, we’re having a cookout.’ I said, ‘great, where you guys going?’ (Morgan) said the whole team is going to a park and they do it once a week. I was like, ‘really?’ He said, ‘yeah, it was organized by Steve Fifita and myself.’ I was like, ‘tell me about it.’ All the players go, all barriers are broken down. We’re one team, we are the Utah Utes.”

Listen to Meyer’s full interview on the Crimson Corner podcast, below.

‘This Team Can Be Really Good’

When Meyer found out about that weekly cookout the players had, Meyer got into his car and called his wife, Shelley.

“I get in the car and I call Shelly kind of emotional because that’s all we talked about is, you know, building the team and a family atmosphere. I said, ‘if I don’t screw this thing up, we have a chance to be really good.’ Because now we’re starting to get that love and ownership that great teams have,” Meyer said.

Utah went on to win the Mountain West title and capped off a perfect season with a 12-0 record and a win over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. The Utes were the first non-BCS school to win a BCS bowl game.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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