UTAH UTES

Instant Replay: Kyle Whittingham Puts Over/Under On How Many Grandchildren He’ll Have

Sep 1, 2023, 5:39 PM

Utah Utes Florida Gators Kyle Whittingham Grandchildren...

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - AUGUST 31: Kyle Whittingham head coach of the Utah Utes walks off the field with his wife Jaimie after their game agaisnt the Florida Gators at Rice Eccles Stadium August 31, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Football head coach Kyle Whittingham was mic’d up during the pregame of Utah and Florida’s season opener.

When Whittingham was talking with a member of Florida’s coaching staff, he gave a funny sound bite on the number of grandchildren he’s expecting.

“Eight grandkids. Nine and ten on the way,” Whittingham said. “It’s growing exponentially. The over/under is 12 if you want action.”

If coach Whittingham was setting the line for the game, he did a great job.

Utah pulled out a 13-point win over the Gators at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

RELATED: Utah Football Fires Back At Florida Player Who Made Joke About Rice-Eccles Stadium

Whittingham is currently the third-longest tenured coach in college football, only trailing Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.

Three Takeaways From Utah vs. Florida

Takeaway No. 1: Sack Lake City Is Back

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said the defense was the story of the game and it’s hard to argue that when looking over the numbers.

Florida walked away with only 13 rushing yards. They did rack up 333 yards passing, but they only had one touchdown that came in the fourth quarter to show for it.

The Utes also brought back “Sack Lake City” posting five sacks for a loss of 47 yards for the Gators. The Utah defense also brought in one interception.

“The defense was suffocating,” Whittingham said. The defense was the storyline of the game. Didn’t allow them to get a touchdown until the fourth quarter and had a bunch of sacks.”

Takeaway No. 2: Utah Can Manage Without Cam Rising

The Utes will not want to go the entire season without QB1 Cam Rising, but they can certainly manage a game or two without him.

Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson did a good job managing the game in Rising’s absence. It wasn’t always pretty, but both had moments where they showed they can be trusted to get it done.

Barnes’ moment came his very first play of the game- a 70-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver Money Parks that pretty well set the tone for the rest of the game.

Johnson on the other hand did his best Anthony Richardson impression for the Florida defense, rushing his way 27 yards for a touchdown.

“I thought Andy [Ludwig] called an excellent game,” Whittingham said. “We had the two-quarterback system. Nate came in for some select plays and I thought Bryson Barnes did a nice job. What? A 67% completion- 160 yards. Not gaudy numbers but didn’t turn it over and he ran the offense.”

Takeaway No. 3: Utes Kicking Game Appears To Be In Good Shape

One of the biggest hangups for the Utes the past few years has been a poor kicking game.

While there is still a lot of football left to be played, it appears Whittingham and company have found their guys in punter Jack Bouwmeester and kicker Cole Becker.

Bouwmeester averaged 51.8 yards per punt in Thursday’s opener with Florida and Becker showed he has the leg to hit 50-plus yard field goals for Utah if needed.

“I thought the punter did outstanding,” Whittingham said. “I thought Jack Bouwmeester really hit the ball well tonight. The placekicker did a pretty good job.”

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Instant Replay: Kyle Whittingham Puts Over/Under On How Many Grandchildren He’ll Have