UTAH UTES

Utah Defense Looking For Better Results Against Florida In 2023

Aug 30, 2023, 10:11 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – Last season, Utah football lost a heartbreaker in the Swamp, 29-26. This season, the Ute defense is determined to do their part to make sure Utah doesn’t lose to Florida again.

Sloppy play- particularly on defense was a main culprit in Utah’s loss and team captains Karene Reid and Cole Bishop are doing what they can to ensure the defense does not repeat that performance.

Between having one more year of experience as a unit and emphasizing tackling a little more in fall camp, Utah is hopeful for better results once the clock strikes zero on Thursday night that will preserve one of the longest active home win streaks in the country.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Utah Defense Getting Back To Their Hard-Nosed Roots

Last year in Gainesville the Utah defense missed 27 tackles. That number was about triple what the Utes defense typically misses in a game. (Utah usually averages between 8 and 9 missed tackles per game.)

Part of the issue Utah faced last season was youth and/or new faces along the front seven. Another issue was taking it a little too easy practicing tackling in fall camp to preserve bodies. Finally, it would be ignorant if it went unsaid, but Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson was going to make people miss regardless of the first two points, but Utah didn’t do themselves any favors in trying to mitigate his athletic ability.

This year is going to be a little different. Richardson has moved on to the NFL and will be replaced by Graham Mertz who is a capable quarterback, but not near the athletic problem. Utah’s front seven is also returning a lot of experience and they took more time to work on tackling in camp.

Add in the hostile crowd will be for Utah and not against them along with the motivating factor of wanting to prove last year is not who Utah’s defense is to a conglomerate that doesn’t typically get to see them up close often, and you have a recipe for a potentially better outcome.

“In practice we are tackling more than we used to,” Bishop said. “Whether that’s people or dummies- you know, just working on your technique. There is a lot that goes into making a tackle- technique, angles- things like that. We’re just trying to perfect that and be ready to get them down on Thursday.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Everyone knows the Gators will be bringing in some elite talent Thursday night to Rice-Eccles Stadium. That’s not even a question. So will Utah. The key, however, will be for Utah’s elite talent- particularly on defense, to play to its capabilities which is something it didn’t do in game one last season against Florida.

“Just playing clean football,” Reid said. “Watching in the film room and clean up our assignment. Key word is clean on that.”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

olympic-cauldron-park-outside-newly-renovated-rice-eccles-stadium-2022...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Utes Athletes Set To Compete At 2024 Paris Olympics

All eyes turn to Paris, France, next week for the 2024 Summer Olympics and there will be a few former Utah athletes taking the big stage.

3 days ago

baseballs...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Justin Sterner Gets Second Cup Of Coffee With Tampa Bay Rays

The life of a minor league bullpen arm is rarely straightforward, as former BYU Cougar standout pitcher Justin Sterner can attest.

5 days ago

kai-roberts-micah-ashman-celebrate-utah-win-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Kai Roberts, Micah Ashman Recount High School Basketball Rivalry After MLB Draft

Former Utah baseball stars Kai Roberts and Micah Ashman recounted a high school basketball rivalry after being drafted to the MLB.

5 days ago

merit jones...

Brian Preece

Utah Baseball Starting Pitcher Merit Jones Selected By Minnesota Twins

The Boston Red Sox have selected University of Utah starting pitcher Merit Jones with the 608th overall pick in the 2024 MLB draft.

6 days ago

micah ashman...

Brian Preece

Detroit Tigers Select Utah Utes Closer Micah Ashman In MLB Draft

Micah Ashman is the second Ute to hear his name called in the 2024 MLB draft after the Detroit Tigers picked him in the 11th round.

6 days ago

Smith-Snowden-Utah-Utes...

Michelle Bodkin

Getting To Know Utah Football’s 2024 Schedule: Arizona State Sun Devils

It’s time to dive into Utah football's game six against another familiar former Pac-12 foe in the Arizona State Sun Devils

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah Defense Looking For Better Results Against Florida In 2023