Whittingham, Utes Focused On 2023 Pac-12 Season

Aug 8, 2023, 6:37 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utes found a new home for the 2024 season in the Big 12 last week, but head football coach Kyle Whittingham is only focused on the 2023 Pac-12 season ahead.

Naturally, curious minds want to know what Whittingham and his team have to say about the big change after 13 years, but they just aren’t ready to give it today. Or really for several months.

“We’re all about the Pac-12 this year, this season,” Whittingham said when asked about it. “That’s it. We’re excited we’ve got a landing place for the future, but we’re all focused on this season, this schedule, and namely the Florida Gators. We’ve got them in what? 17 more practices- 23 days, so we need every bit of that. We’ve progressed in the last week. We’re eight practices in right now, but a lot of work to do and we need every last one of these 17 practices.”


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Utes Getting Better Every Day

Whittingham mentioned he found out about the move to the Big 12 after a call from university president Taylor Randall and athletic director Mark Harlan, but insisted he’s been focusing on the things he can control. For instance, making sure his mostly back-to-back Pac-12 Title winning returners are up to speed and ready to try again in 2023.

“The install- we’ve got just about the entire defense and offense- not quite completely, but we’ve got a lot of the install done,” Whittingham said. “We’re starting to sort things out in our two-deeps and the quarterback situation is still in flux. No update there. We are in the exact same position we were last week. Cam is under the same restrictions and the other three guys are taking the reps.”

First Scrimmage Coming Up This Week

Whittingham added the Utes are about to have their first scrimmage of fall camp this week, with hopes of buttoning up a few more roster details.

“Our first, extensive live work will be on Thursday,” Whittingham said. “We’ve got a big scrimmage on Thursday. Hopefully by Monday, we’ll have a pecking order and can continue to progress with the quarterback position. Cam is in the mode he’s in until the doctors tell us he can progress from there.”

More About How The Backup QBs Are Doing

Whitt says there is trust amongst each of the quarterbacks competing for the backup job behind Rising, but the coaching staff is waiting to see who really separates themselves in the next few days.

“There is trust in all three of those guys,” Whittingham said. “It’s just how they are going to separate themselves and that will come with the next six practices or so. Hopefully then we will have things in a little bit more of a pecking order.”

The Comfort Level Between Cam Rising And Andy Ludwig

There is a possibility Utah could be down to the wire making a decision on Rising’s ability to start against Florida in 23 days. Thankfully, Whittingham says that OC Andy Ludwig and Rising have a strong understanding of each other to where they would trust him to go out there with little reps if needed.

“There will be a time when that gets a little tenuous,” Whittingham said. “We get a week out and he’s still not ready to roll- if that happens then, we have to make some decisions, but you are right. There is a level of confidence and comfort there between those two guys. Cam knows the offense inside and out and there isn’t really any learning curve. It’s just physically having the rust knocked off.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Whittingham, Utes Focused On 2023 Pac-12 Season