KSL UNRIVALED

Devin Kaufusi: We Have ‘Four More Super Bowls’

Nov 2, 2022, 12:49 PM

Brant Kuithe - Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats...

Tight end Brant Kuithe #80 of the Utah Utes runs with the football after a reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the third quarter of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. The Utes defeated the Wildcats 38-29. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY –The first College Football Playoff rankings are out, conference races are heating up, and injuries are mounting as well and the Utah football team has a few important games left on the schedule.

Utah quarterback Cam Rising missed last week’s game against Washington State but Bryson Barnes lead the Utes to a win. Plus, there are multiple running backs out as well due to injury and other issues.

But every other team in college football is hurt and now is the time for everyone to step up and contribute.

Utah defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi joins Unrivaled every week. He knows how big a deal the home stretch of a season can be. It all starts with Arizona this Saturday.

“It is a combination of the two. It’s a home stretch and the last few games as well,” Kaufusi said. “Coach Kyle Whittingham always mentions that we have four more Super Bowls to play. Do all you can this week to prepare for this Super Bowl. Bumps and bruises do not matter, we have to toughen up and play and games to win.

“Arizona coming to town. They are definitely a different Arizona team from last year, offensively they are looking good. For us being banged up, it gets the whole team involved and the home stretch keeps everyone engaged.”

Keeping players in tune with what is going on late in the year can be tricky and playing Arizona doesn’t seem particularly difficult as the Utes are a large favorite. However, last season this game was closer than expected in a 38-29 victory. This time the Wildcats are not entering the game with just a single win but have an improved 3-5 record.

Players Having ‘Portal Thoughts?’ Utah Football’s Kaufusi Shares story

Playing an inferior team can allow the mind to wander and players not focus as they should. The Utes hosting the Wildcats this weekend could be a cause for concern if players don’t keep their eye on the prize of trying to repeat as conference champions.

“Towards the end of these last four games, guys start feeling sorry for themselves, or have [transfer] portal thoughts,” Kaufusi said. “But we need to focus on the task at hand and trust each other.”

It is a great time to be a college football athlete due to the opportunities on and off the field. It is easier to transfer with the one-time exception and name, imagine, and likeness playing a role as well.

Speaking of those “portal thoughts,” Kaufusi has family who is in the coaching ranks and he relayed a conversation about that changing world.

“He was down at a recruiting conference this past offseason in [Las] Vegas,” Kaufusi said. “Teams are apprehensive to shake hands after the game because a quick whisper in the helmet can have players enter the portal or move on.”

Focus is the key for teams that have championship goals.

Utah hosts Arizona this week and as seen from last week when Barnes basically came out of nowhere to start that game, it shows that everyone needs to focus and prepare as if they will be getting the start.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p .m. on 1280 AM 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 Have ‘Four More Super Bowls’