Devin Kaufusi On Keeping Utah Football’s Family Attitude Alive In November

Nov 11, 2022, 12:12 PM
Moment of Loudness - Rose Bowl Game...
Devin Kaufusi #90, Bryson Reeves #19, and Tennessee Pututau #99 of the Utah Utes look on during a memorial for fallen teammates during the first half of the Rose Bowl game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football is still winning despite the many injuries on the team. The Utes are in a similar position to last year, attempting to stay in the running for a conference title, but this year they actually have one fewer loss than last year.

The offense has taken the brunt of the injuries with the tight end position getting beat up, quarterback Cam Rising missed a game, and the Utes have had to make a lot of changes to the running back position. Despite that, the team is still winning and taking care of business.

The Stanford Cardinal have had their issues this year but they do have one unique victory which was on the road at Notre Dame. The Irish also just beat Clemson, easily, so that shows that the Cardinal do have some life in them and are capable of big wins.

Utah defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi joins Unrivaled every week. This week he talked about this game against Stanford which has the Utes favored by more than three touchdowns. In typical Kyle Whittingham fashion, he is giving players a lot of reasons to be motivated for this game, which is on Senior night.

“He goes through and tells us that the reality is that we are bowl eligible, still in the running for the Pac-12 championship, reigning champs, it’s Senior night, and playing against Stanford,” Kaufusi said. “They have taken a lot of lumps and beat up, but they are a team that has the capability to win on the road. We saw them beat Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago, and some of these other games in the conference they have kept close.”

The Cardinal record isn’t great at 3-6, but it could be worse with that Notre Dame game being a two-point win, and the Arizona State game was just a one-point win.

Whittingham is pulling out all the stops to keep this team motivated.

Getting Tavion Thomas Back

This time of year can make things interesting with who is in or not in with the Utah football program. Guys may be looking at the NFL, transfer portal, life after football, or just other random distractions.

One player who has been in and out of the lineup for mostly unknown reasons is running back Tavion Thomas. He was back in the lineup and made some contributions on special teams in addition to running the ball a few times against Arizona.

“With Tavion it was the fruits of his labors from preparation throughout the week, “Kaufusi said. “He has been through his ups and downs, but from this week he found his vibe and attitude and he wanted to contribute to be part of this big win.

“To make that tackle [on special teams] was huge for him and for everyone on the team. As teammates, friends, and brothers, it was satisfying to see him have success.”

There were questions if Thomas was even going to return to the program, but the leaders on this team didn’t want him to go astray and made sure to express that he is an important part of the team.

“We just gotta love on him. That is our theme, and November gets tough for our guys,” he added. “Guys start thinking about next year or if they want to forgo games. Having that tight family unit and having that family feeling and support everywhere you go in the locker room. Rallying behind each other is the best part of college football and something special we have at Utah.”

Having Thomas back and making sure everyone on the team is loved makes for a great locker room environment. Plus, having a friendly and team environment where everyone gets along can only be a good thing and translate to success on the field.

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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