Whittingham, Utes Not Taking ASU Situation For Granted

Sep 19, 2022, 1:35 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm
Kyle Whittingham head coach of the Utah Utes talks with Herman Edwards head coach of the Arizona St...
Kyle Whittingham head coach of the Utah Utes talks with Herman Edwards head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils at Rice-Eccles Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- The Sun Devils are coming off a disastrous weekend where they lost to Eastern Michigan and head coach Herm Edwards was relieved of his duties. While being in turmoil is nothing new for ASU since the NCAA started investigating Edwards and the Sun Devils for recruiting violations last summer, the most recent news certainly adds an extra element of suspense to the Utes’ upcoming matchup.


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Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is happy with the momentum his own team has gained since a disappointing first outing nearly three weeks ago. Now the key will be for the Utes to not take ASU’s situation for granted and keep their momentum in full swing.

Preparing For The Sun Devils

Coming off a dominating performance against San Diego State- especially defensively, Whittingham and crew now turn their attention to in-conference foe, Arizona State. Whittingham said in his Monday press conference that it will take another good week of practice from his team due to the talent the Sun Devils bring to the table.

“On to conference play now,” Whittingham said. “Straight to conference games starting with Tempe against Arizona State. They have a lot of good players. We’ve looked at film and there is no shortage of talent. A tough one Saturday night, but we’ve got to be ready and have a great week of practice just like we have the last two weeks.”

Arizona State will be facing an interesting situation Saturday night as they move forward from the Herm Edwards era with interim head coach Shaun Aguano. Whittingham doesn’t believe ASU will present anything different than what they have currently been doing partly due to Edwards letting his coordinators run the show, and because of time constraints.

“Herm put a lot of faith in his coordinators to do their thing and I don’t think we’ll see a lot of change based on the head coach as far as schematics in one week,” Whittingham said. “Now if they had a BYE week maybe you’d see more of that, but just going from Saturday to Saturday there isn’t a whole lot you can change in that period of time.”

As for what the Utes can expect from ASU, Whittingham acknowledges playing a team in coaching turmoil can be tricky. It’s always hard to say whether a team will continue to crumble in the face of that kind of adversity or rally and conquer the world.

“I think it’s like being around a wounded animal, it’s dangerous,” Whittingham said. “Often times you see where interims come in and they circle the wagons and give a supreme effort the next week. We don’t know what to expect, but we aren’t taking it for granted though.”

Adjusting To Their Own Adversity

Utah will also have to do some minor adjusting after losing their first player for the season. Running back Chris Curry didn’t play a lot of snaps, but he was starting to come into his own before going down in the third quarter of the San Diego State game last weekend. The Utes will now be shifting some of his responsibilities to players like Jaylon Glover, Ricky Parks and Charlie Vincent in Curry’s absence.

“It does change the dynamic a little bit at running back,” Whittingham said. “Tavion is still the lead guy, but Jaylon Glover becomes more prominent. We’ve also got to elevate Ricky Parks or Charlie Vincent to be that fourth back.”


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