UTAH UTES

Urban Meyer Made Utah Football Competitive In ‘Everything’ After Watching USC Practices

Dec 5, 2020, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:15 am
Utah head coach Urban Meyer speaks to the crowd after his team's 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh in th...
Utah head coach Urban Meyer speaks to the crowd after his team's 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh in the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl at the Sun Devil Stadium on January 1, 2005 in Tempe, Arizona. Meyer will leave Utah to become the head coach at Florida. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images).
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah head coach explained how he made the Utes football team competitive in practices and in everything they did.

Meyer was named the head coach of Utah football in 2003 after a successful stint at Bowling Green. He led the Utes to a 10-win season in 2003 before an undefeated campaign and a BCS Bowl win in 2004.

The former Utah head coach explained how he made the Utes competitive in practice and in the off-season. It all started when Meyer got a hold of some USC practice film from former Trojans head coach Pete Carroll.

Meyer explained that time in Utah football history on the FOX Big Noon Kickoff pregame show on Saturday morning.

“I get to Utah. I had a good friend on the (USC) staff and a high school coach actually out here in LA. He said ‘you ought to see these practices.’ I snuck a little practice tape and I was like ‘my gosh,'” Meyer said. “I made Utah competitive in everything. We called it for the run for the BCS, every drill became competitive. Matter of fact, Mike Gundy came to see us – head coach at Oklahoma State – in the offseason, after we won our first league championship. We’re watching, he’s like, ‘I have never seen people go so hard.’ You want to know why, Reggie (Bush), because they were competing.”

Meyer got the best out of his players. There were times that players wanted to quit. Stories have been told throughout the years of how hard Meyer’s practices were.

KSL Sports hosted a roundtable with members of the 2004 team back in May. Former Utah wide receiver John Madsen talked about how he wanted to quit the football team but Meyer wouldn’t let him.

“I literally went up to Urban’s office and said ‘I appreciate you giving me the opportunity but I don’t think I love football, man. I am not going to do this,”‘ Madsen said. “Urban told me to shut the door in his office and sit down and told me that if I walked out of that room he was going to fight me. He said ‘look John, I have coached football for 18 years and you have more raw ability than anybody and I will not let you quit.’ He sat me down and I had tears streaming down my face because I was not mentally tough back then.”

Former Utah All-American safety and current defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley talked about how different Utah was under Urban Meyer.

“From the first weight room session, you could tell it was going to be different,” Scalley said. “They chained the doors shut, they put black paper over all of the windows. The group in front of us was the offensive linemen and defensive linemen and all you could hear was screaming. They unchained the doors and the guys come walking out with throw up on their shirts. I never had butterflies going into a weight room and that had me going.”

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

Cam-Rising-Huddle-Utah-VS-Stanford...
Michelle Bodkin

Three Things To Watch: No. 14 Utah Vs. Colorado

No. 14 Utah will be in Boulder this weekend to take on Colorado to finish out the regular season.
1 day ago
Tavion Thomas - Utah Utes vs. Stanford Cardinal...
Michelle Bodkin

Tavion Thomas Announces His Season Is Over, Will Be Preparing For The NFL

Utah running back Tavion Thomas announced Friday afternoon his time with the Utes is done due to a toe injury he sustained at Oregon.
1 day ago
Utah Utes running back Zack Moss (2) runs in the second Utah touchdown of the game against Arizona ...
Michelle Bodkin

A Trio Of Utah Running Backs Teamed Up To Help 50 SLC Families With Thanksgiving

A trio of Utah running backs teamed together to provide and handout 50 turkeys to deserving Salt Lake City families ahead of Thanksgiving.
2 days ago
Oregon-Ducks-Utah-Utes-Football...
Ben Anderson

Utes Drop In Latest Big-PAC Power Poll Ranking

The University of Utah Utes dropped in week 12 of the Big-PAC Power Poll after their loss to the Ducks in Oregon last weekend.
2 days ago
Marco Anthony - Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats...
Michelle Bodkin

Runnin’ Utes Battle Hard, Can’t Get It Done Against Mississippi State

Utah engaged in quite the battle Wednesday evening, but ultimately couldn't get it done against Mississippi State.
3 days ago
Kennady McQueen - Utah Utes vs. Xavier...
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women Clinch Nail-Biter In Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship

The Utah women's basketball team advanced to 6-0 at the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship after clinching a nail-biter against Ole Miss.
3 days ago
Urban Meyer Made Utah Football Competitive In ‘Everything’ After Watching USC Practices