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.

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