2012 Utah Utes Football Preview
2011 Record: 8-5 (4-5 PAC-12)
Head Coach: Kyle Whittingham, eighth season (66-25 all at Utah)
Projected Returning Starters: 18
Spring Game: April 21st (Red 22 White 21)
Notes: Following a 5-6 season in 2002, Ron McBride was dismissed as head coach. Since then, Utah has been 87-27. Urban Meyer was 22-2 in his two seasons in Salt Lake City, which had the 2005 NFL Draft’s top pick, quarterback Alex Smith, under center. Kyle Whittingham has been the top man at Utah since 2005, leading the Utes to a bowl game in each of his seven seasons, going 7-1 in those games (Whittingham coached the Fiesta bowl game following the 2004 season). In fact, Utah lost their first bowl game since 1996 (Copper Bowl vs. Wisconsin) in 2010, to Boise State. Despite injuries, especially to quarterback Jordan Wynn, Utah posted an overall winning record, tied for third in the PAC-12 South.
BVTSB Take: Utah enters the 2012 season as returning the most starters in the PAC-12, with 18. The Utes have three starters returning on the offensive line, Tevita Stevens, Sam Brenner, and Miles Mason, who combined for 38 starts. The tackles will be new, but Utah definitely has experience on the line. Quarterback Jordan Wynn returns this season, after only starting the first four games, he threw for over 700 yards and six touchdowns. Running back John White IV rushed for over 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns last season; expect White to have even better numbers in 2012. Wide receivers Luke Matthews, Kenneth Scott, and DeVonte Christopher all return – they combined for 1067 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns last year. Expect improved numbers from this receiving corps, especially if Wynn is healthy. Utah started 0-4 (USC, Washington, Arizona State, and California) in conference last season, but finished on a 4-1 streak (Oregon State, Arizona, UCLA, and Washington State; loss to Colorado). Utah’s first four conference games are at Arizona State, USC, at UCLA, and at Oregon State – its possible to salvage a 2-2, or even a 3-1 mark there. Games against California, Washington State, at Washington, Arizona, and at Colorado provide a lot of opportunities for wins. Utah faces Northern Colorado, at Utah State, and BYU in non-conference. The Utes are 3-2 against BYU since 2007. The home team is 7-4 in the last 11 meetings. Utah probably won’t contend for the PAC-12 South Title, but they certainly can finish in the top half of the division.
2012 Early Projection: 9-3
To see the 2012 PAC-12 composite schedule, click here.
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