Wilson, Asiata, Scott, Hackett Reminisce On Roller Coaster 2015 Utah Football Season
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 2015 football had everything from being ranked number two in the country following a dismantling of the Oregon Ducks in Eugene to a disappointing loss away from home at USC. Quarterback Travis Wilson, offensive lineman Isaac Asiata, wide-receiver Kenneth Scott and punter Tom Hackett recently sat down with KSL Sports Utah insider Trevor Allen to discuss the rollercoaster ride that was the 2015 Utah football season.
The season began with a nationally televised game against Michigan in what was Jim Harbaugh’s first game in charge as the Wolverine’s head coach. Utah started well and was able to beat Michigan at home in front of one of the loudest Rice Eccle’s crowds in recent memory, the team celebrated by eating cupcakes in the locker room. Prior to the game, a Michigan newspaper suggested that the Utes play similar to cupcakes and assumed the Wolverines would walk all over Utah. They were wrong.
The Oregon Game
The first conference game began with an away trip to Eugene, Oregon. It was this game that put Utah in the national spotlight. A 62-20 victory stunned the home crowd and catapulted to number ten in the country.
College Gameday took notice of the massacre that occurred in Oregon a week prior and visited Salt Lake City for the matchup against Jared Goff and the Cal Bears. Goff would throw six interceptions and gift Utah back-to-back Pac-12 victories and 5-0 on the season.
“What defense were you guys running?”
“Goff came and found Morgan Scalley, the defensive coordinator, after the game and asked him what defence Utah was running. Scalley responded with a basic “cover 2″, it goes to show just how good Utah was at disguising their looks,” Hackett said.
Utah was all of a sudden ranked as the second-best team in the country.
It was here that cracks started to appear. Utah was preparing for a trip to the Coliseum, a venue in which they had not won since 1920.
Days prior to the game the odds were released and an unranked USC team was favored over the second-best team in the country. It was just the motivation Utah needed to defeat the Trojans. Or at least, that was the sense in the locker room.
For the first time all season the sideline had a sense of panic to it. It was unnerving. Wilson would throw multiple interceptions to Cameron Smith, the defense had no answer to the firepower of USC’s offense and special teams was no factor. Utah lost and came crashing back to reality.
“In my honest opinion of the 2015 season, our biggest downfall was the hype,” Asiata mentioned. “We didn’t handle it the right way.”
Wins against Oregon State, Washington and Colorado followed with losses against Arizona and UCLA gave the Utes a 9-3 overall record.
They were then paired with BYU to square off in the Las Vegas Bowl, the same bowl game in which they participated in following the conclusion of the 2014 season.
Utah would go up 35-0 early, only for the Cougars to claw their way back. Utah would ultimately hold on to a 35-28 victory.
“That first half reminded me about the Oregon game, it got a little nerve-racking down the stretch but a wins a win and that’s all that matters,” Wilson said.
Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.
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