KSL UNRIVALED

Devin Kaufusi: ‘We Played With Our Hair On Fire’

Nov 24, 2021, 10:46 AM
Utah vs. Oregon Fans Storm Field...
Students celebrate on the field after the Utah Utes defeat the Oregon Ducks in an upset at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City , Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah took care of business on Saturday to upset the now-former No. 3 team in the country Oregon, 38-7.

The victory was pure domination from start to finish with Utah playing arguably its best game of the year.

This was a huge statement win and the victory clinched the Pac-12 South title and a potential rematch against Oregon in two weeks down in Las Vegas.

The game plan for Utah was pretty simple on offense with going big sets and running Tavion Thomas and other backs along that strong side and it worked with Thomas scoring three times.

As for the defense, it was all about not allowing quarterback Anthony Brown to get comfortable and not allowing Travis Dye to have a big game as he was averaging over six yards per carry and had 12 touchdowns. On Saturday, Dye had just six carries for 29 yards in the loss.

Utah’s Devin Kaufusi who joins Unrivaled each week laid out how the coaches planned to stop the Ducks this past week, and it was all about being prepared.

“It was about doing your job. Once you know your job, assignment, and alignment it is all about your tenacity,” Kaufusi said. “We talked about playing with your hair on fire, so that was our emphasis on the defensive line. Slant left, slant right, hit it with your hair on fire, that was the message all week.

“They struggled to pick up those slides. We just got in his face and made him make throw. Great athlete, we felt he couldn’t throw the deep ball that well. He could stand in and deliver a strike when needed, but it was taking care of what he can do with his feet and put them in third and longs.”

Kaufusi went on to say how they slowed down Dye in the backfield by not allowing him to have a big game and made this Oregon offense unsettled all day and not have many great plays with a sound defensive scheme.

Utah Seems More Excited About This Season

There is so much for Utah fans and the team to be excited about this season as they are back in the Pac-12 title game again. Compared to last year during the COVID-19 season, this year is so much more refreshing. Last season, this Utah team didn’t choose to go to a bowl game and with games being canceled it seemed like a matter of endurance to finish out the year.

Now, this is a completely different team that is hyped and doesn’t seem to be slowing down as they are peaking at the right time.

“I agree 100% that I feel fresh. I know it is the competition snd natural competitor in everyone on this team. We all know we can play hard and well. When we are on the field we are making the most of our reps. Everyone has really bought in and feel the energy that is rolling with the season and peaking at the right game.

“Everyone is responsible and taking care of their body and not doing anything stupid and having no off-the-field issues. That game was the perfect feeling and vibe of everyone being bought in and believing in the process in the goal of winning a Pac-12 championship.”

The season still has a bit of football left with Utah taking on Colorado this Friday afternoon with another chance to get better and notch a win. Then on Saturday they will wait and see who they will play in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 championship game.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-7 p .m. on 1280 The Zone and 97.5 FM or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Devin Kaufusi: ‘We Played With Our Hair On Fire’