Utah Football Playing With Impalpable Energy As Pac-12 Slate Progresses

Oct 19, 2021, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Midway through the third quarter Britain Covey caught a pass from Cameron Rising before being tackled out of bounds at the Arizona State 11-yard-line. When he stood up, he flexed both biceps while standing over the Arizona State cornerback. Flags flew and Covey was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Why did Covey flex? He has had numerous opportunities over the course of his career to flex and exert authority over his opposition but has never acted in such a way until last weekend.

It got me thinking.

What if Covey’s flex was a direct reflection of the energy that Utah is playing with? What if Utah is playing with such instinct that their brains are not operating at their usual flow?

Utah has endured two tragedies in the space of a 10 month period. The team has had to galvanize and respond with one and another, nobody else, just themselves and the response has clearly been felt across the country.

Furthermore, the impact quarterback Rising has had since his inception against San Diego State in week 3 has been admirable. Rising, even when he wasn’t starting, was rallying the troops on the sideline regardless of the score. Very few players in this version of College Football, in the role of backup quarterback, can express that sort of positivity. It is rare.

Normally under Kyle Whittingham, you can expect a team that is disciplined. A team that rarely gives up unnecessary penalties, a team that is robotic in its mannerisms’.

But since the Pac-12 slate began with a 24-13 win against Washington State on September 25, Utah looks and feels like a different Whittingham-led team. The passing of Lowe on the morning of September 26th was unimaginable. But the team somehow found a way to unify, and following a much-needed bye week, Utah stomped all over the USC Trojans for the first time in its history at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Then last weekend Utah found themselves down 21-7 at halftime and responded with 28-unanswered points for a 35-21 win over then-ranked Arizona State.

Without question, the tragedies of the past year have given Utah an added reason to play with unmatched energy. But the personalities of the group have also aided Utah’s quest for Pac-12 supremacy. Utah looks like it is playing football with no hesitation, rather, relying on instinct to take them to the promised land.

Utah is a different animal this year. They are an inspired, passionate, and overpowering beast.

Energy is a powerful property.

The Podcast

Tom Hackett and Steve Bartle discussed this subject, among others, on this episode of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast.

Join Hackett and Bartle every week as they discuss the happenings of the Utah football program.

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