UTAH UTES

How Utah Football Players, Coaches Have Handled Last Two Weeks With Game Cancellations

Nov 17, 2020, 10:01 AM | Updated: 3:35 pm

Utah players take the field to warm up as they prepare to play UCLA in a college football game in S...

Utah players take the field to warm up as they prepare to play UCLA in a college football game in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football has not played a game in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last two weeks the program has been hit hard by COVID-19 cases and players, coaches and staff members needing to isolate due to contact tracing.

Leading up to the season opener against Arizona on Nov. 7, the team continued to prepare to showcase their talent and begin their Pac-12 South Division Title defense. On Friday, Nov. 6, the game against the Wildcats was canceled.

After taking the weekend off, the team hit the practice field to prepare for the UCLA Bruins, a game that was pushed from Friday, Nov. 13 to Saturday, Nov. 14. Once again on Friday, the game was canceled.

The emotions running through the players and coaches as they continue to prepare for each opponent, just to have it canceled the day before the game. Head coach Kyle Whittingham met with the media on Monday and discussed what the team has gone through over the last two weeks.

“Well, it’s been tough, and particularly for the players and the coaches, you know, are probably a little more emotionally able to handle that,” Whittingham said. “But players, they’re competitive, they’re looking forward to competing, and to have the rug pulled out from under them at the last minute, two weekends in a row is difficult. But like I said, they’ve been very resilient and showing a great deal of resolve when they come back. So we’re in a good place right now, mentally, we still don’t know a lot about our football team because we haven’t had a chance to play yet. As far as their work ethic, their focus. their attention to detail, it’s all been very good.”

Devastating

That’s the word that Utah captain and star linebacker Devin Lloyd used to describe the past two weeks.

“Devastating,” Lloyd declared. “It’s really just the worst thing that could happen for you as a football player, especially now more than ever. We already knew our games were limited and then for it just to happen the way it did, you know, the day before, I mean, everybody’s mentality is, ‘oh, we’re good, we’re going,’ and it’s just taken away from us. The game we love is taken away from us. I mean, it’s definitely devastating. But at the same time, you got to take it with a grain of salt. You gotta look at the bright side, which is that we’ve gotten tremendously better in the two weeks that we had been practicing. We’ve gotten our mental side of just preparing for teams the right way, we’ve done that right, two weeks in a row. So now we really feel comfortable with that. Just, overall, you got to just look at the bright side and understand that our time will come when we do play. We just prepare the right way and ready to make it happen.”

Stay Motivated

Junior wide receiver Solomon Enis didn’t seem too bothered by the cancellations but noticed that he and his teams continue to stay motivated.

“The past few weeks has been a lot of hard work,” said Enis. “Just consistent hard work really. Can’t really do much about it. You just got to get ready for whatever game you play next. Emotionally, gotta stay motivated, show the guys that whatever comes our way we can face it. I think we’re doing a very good job right now. Just gotta keep working hard every week and just whatever happens happens.”

Enis is expected to have a breakout season in 2020 for the Utes.

Really Challenging

Junior running back Devin Brumfield is expected to be one of four running backs that will replace Zack Moss. Although Brumfield has been ready to play, it’s been challenging to have the last two games canceled.

“It’s really challenging, getting all worked up and get to the day before the game and lose that that. Guys can’t go out there and fight, to do what we work so hard for,” Brumfield said. “It’s been a long few months you know, we’re really prepared and whoever we get to line up against we’ll be ready.”

Brumfield is one of four running backs that will get a share of the workload in the backfield, along with sophomore Jordan Wilmore, freshman Ty Jordan and redshirt freshman Micah Bernard.

Going To Push Forward

From a coaches perspective, running backs coach Kiel McDonald said this was to be expected and that the team will continue to push forward.

“During this time, I mean, it’s to be expected, during the time of COVID is just one of those deals where you know that you’re going to go through adversity,” McDonald mentioned. “So you just don’t know how it’s going to come at you, when it’s going to come at you. So for the last two weeks, it’s just come at us, kind of at the witching hour. Last week, we were getting ready to go on a flight in about two hours, and we had to shut it down. So up here, we get chance to work. We’re workers. So it’s been nothing but good, we get a chance to continue to hone our skills and work on our craft. So I know we’ll be ready to go this coming week. But it’s been no setbacks, we’re just gonna push forward.”

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.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

wrigley field...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Hodge Delights In Debut, Dunn Returns To Milwaukee

Former Cottonwood Colt Porter Hodge had a memorable MLB debut when he finally took the mound in front of 35,000 fans at beautiful Wrigley Field.

4 hours ago

craig-smith-sits-in-thought-during-runnin-utes-game-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Adds Transfer From Eastern Carolina University

The Runnin' Utes got a little better after receiving a commitment from ECU transfer forward Ezra Ausar.

4 hours ago

Cam Rising Brant Kuithe Lander Barton Out For Season...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Quarterback Cam Rising To Put On Camp For Community

Utah quarterback Cam Rising (along with several of his Utah football teammates) will be putting on a camp for the community in June.

5 hours ago

60 in 60 Fan Vote (2024)...

KSL Sports

Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 Fan Vote (2024)

It’s that time of year again, Hans and Scotty G. are counting down the 60 best college football players in the state of Utah ahead of the 2023 college football season.

1 day ago

mark-harlan-will-serve-on-cfp-selection-committee-in-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletics Releases Statement Debunking Rumored ACC Courtship

Memorial Day weekend got off to an interesting start as rumors began to swirl that Utah was in the middle of a courtship with the ACC before even starting their journey with the Big 12.

1 day ago

Micah-Bernard-Utah-Utes-Rose-Bowl-Game...

Michelle Bodkin

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Running Backs

Today’s focus is on another group that has produced a lot of NFL talent for the Utes- Utah football’s running backs.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

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

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

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.

How Utah Football Players, Coaches Have Handled Last Two Weeks With Game Cancellations