UTAH UTES

Kyle Whittingham Gives Assessment Of Program Through Midway Point Of Season

Oct 18, 2021, 3:42 PM
Utah vs. Arizona State 2021...
The Utah football team runs onto the field before a game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Utah Utes on October 16, 2021, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, (Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah football program is officially halfway through their season after playing their sixth game of the 2021 against Arizona State.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff have had to get some things corrected early in the season but Utah football is looking really strong as they are riding a three-game winning streak.

At his weekly press conference on Monday, Whittingham said that this is starting to look like the football team he expected them to be at the start of the season.

“Yes, yes it is,” said Whittingham. “This is what we had in mind and what we envisioned and that just took us a little bit to get there.”

As the only remaining team with an undefeated conference record in the Pac-12, Whittingham assessed his program through the midway point of the season in all three phases.

Offense

After struggling to gain a rhythm on offense and even making a change at quarterback earlier in the season, Utah is starting to click on offense in both the passing game and the rushing attack.

“Offensively, I think we’re just starting to hit our stride,” mentioned Whittingham. “We sputtered in the first few games, but the last two or three we’ve started to work well to figure out who we are, who we got to get the ball to and how we’re going to give them the ball. Tavion Thomas is starting to emerge as more of a run threat which gives us more in the run game.”

Defense

Utah has always been in the top half in the Pac-12 Conference in nearly every statistical category and this season is no different.

“Defensively, I think that we’ve been fairly consistent throughout the course of the season,” stated Whittingham. “Certainly had some problems in the run defense early on. We seem to have shored that up so I just think that overall we’re trending in the right direction as a football team.”

Special Teams

With Britain Covey returning a punt for a touchdown in San Diego State but Utah giving up two kick return touchdowns this season, it’s been a mixed bag for the Utes.

“Special teams wise hasn’t been a lot of huge impact plays,” said Whittingham. “We did have the big punt return and of course we’ve given up some things in the kickoff return game so it’s been a little bit of give and take in the special teams. But I think we’re holding our own is probably a good way to say it in the special teams.”

Utah improved their record to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in Pac-12 play. They will hit the road on Saturday, October 23 to face Oregon State. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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