What Oregon State HC Jonathan Smith Is Saying About The Utes

Oct 20, 2021, 3:01 PM
Jonathan Smith - Oregon State vs. USC...
Oregon State Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith during a college football game between the Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Utes will head to the Pacific Northwest to battle a much improved Oregon State program on Saturday afternoon in Corvallis.

Since Jonathan Smith has been the head coach at Oregon State, Utah is 2-0 against the Beavers. The first meeting was in 2019 when the Utes beat OSU 52-7 in Corvallis. In their meeting last season, Utah had to scratch and claw their way to a 30-24 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

With Utah standing as the only remaining Pac-12 team with an undefeated conference record, while OSU is 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play, this has the makings of a great matchup on Saturday.

Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith held his weekly press conference on Monday and answered a couple of questions about the Utes.

“Probably playing as good as anybody in the league right now, got a bunch of respect for the program,” said Smith. “Still, thoughts and prayers with that program with the tragic adversity they’ve gone through. Coach (Kyle) Whittingham has been doing it at a really high level for a long time and and we know we got a challenge coming in here Saturday.”

Why Smith Thinks Whittingham Has Had Longevity In His Career

Smith took his first head coaching job when he took over the Oregon State program in 2018. He has that program trending in the right direction and hopes to duplicate what Kyle Whittingham has done at Utah. Smith was asked why he thinks Whittingham has been so successful at Utah.

“I think a lot of it he’s got an identity and what they recruit and the type of players they recruit into a scheme that’s been established, really on both sides of the ball, but especially defensively,” mentioned Smith. “He’s been consistent with that scheme and had a ton of success with it. They got a great fan base, home field advantage has been there for a long time and so that continuity has paid off and he’s got a real well established identity about that program.”

Oregon State Facing Cam Rising

Cam Rising is 3-0 this season as the starter and has played extremely well in the last two weeks and was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.

“He is throwing the ball accurately,” stated Smith. “This guy is athletic. He’s extended some plays, managing that offense really well. The decision making he’s shown in the last few weeks. I mean, these guys are playing good football. They really are that you watch that second half how they just took over that game I can say it really all three phases. But a lot of times offensively starts with the quarterback for them and he’s doing a great job.”

On the other side, Utah’s defense held ASU to just 97 yards and no points in the second half. Coach Smith was asked about facing that talented defense the Utes have.

“I mean it starts at the line of scrimmage,” mentioned Smith. “They can affect the passer and play the run really well. Play some tight coverage and challenge you in man but also mix in a good disguise behind some zone defense, and so they can create havoc in different ways blitzing or not blitzing, and just playing tight coverage.”

Utah and Oregon State will square off in Corvallis on Saturday, October 23 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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