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Pac-12 Insider: Despite Utah’s Youth, Don’t Count Out A Kyle Whittingham Coached Team

Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes looks on against the Arizona Wildcats from the sidelines at Arizona Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Pac-12 Insider Mike Yam is not counting out the Utah football program in 2020 despite so many young players joining the team.

Yam joined the Crimson Corner podcast to discuss the future of Pac-12 football and how the Utes look heading into the upcoming season…whenever the season starts. When Yam was asked who will be some teams to watch and his pick to play in the conference title game, he didn’t discount the young Utah football team. Yam’s favorites to win the Pac-12 crown is either Oregon or USC but mentioned some other potential favorites.

“I know it sounds like chalk,” Yam told KSL Sports. “I do think there is an opportunity for Cal to creep in, we’ll see what Jimmy (Lake) is going to do in Seattle (Washington), you can never count out a Kyle Whittingham team and I think Herm (Edwards) has some guys. They had a lot of injuries on their offensive line a season ago…and they (Arizona State) have a great quarterback as well. That’s another way to assess it, who are the teams that don’t have a lot of change?”

Listen to the full interview with Mike Yam on the Crimson Corner podcast, below.

Utah’s 2019 Team Looked Promising Two Years Ago

Yam covered Utah’s run last season that ended with an 11-3 record, a second consecutive trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game and an appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Seven Utes were taken in the 2020 NFL Draft. Yam knew two years ago that Utah would be a really good team in 2019 just by looking at the roster.

“I remember two years ago being in Salt Lake City for the opener, we had it on the Pac-12 Network,” Yam claimed. “I was talking to Kyle (Whittingham) and I was looking at his roster and looking at all of these different players. I asked Kyle, ‘do you ever think about your team two years from now?’ Because that roster was littered with sophomores and juniors and then all of sudden last year they were juniors and seniors. He (Whittingham) gave me a smile barely. I think deep down he knew where I was going with that.”

Yam believes Utah will have a strong team in 2020 despite having a young defensive unit with 9 new starters coming in. He isn’t counting out a unit coached by Kyle Whittingham until they have a disappointing season.

Yam Still Around Pac-12

Mike Yam was one of the first faces on the Pac-12 Network when the network launched eight years ago. With the postponement of fall sports and the economy hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Yam was one of many employees that was either laid off or furloughed.

Fortunately, Yam is still around the conference as a radio host for the Pac-12 and ESPNU channels for Sirius XM. He also recently signed a contract to be a host with the NFL Network.

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.