The University of Utah football program won a collective victory last week after won his first Pac-12 championship on December 6.
That winning lap ended Saturday as Utes returned to practice in preparation for the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day (2pm, ESPN). At this time, 38-10 victory over Oregon was in the rearview mirror, and comprehensive preparations for one of the biggest, most celebrated games in show history are underway.
Utes coach Kyle Whittingham noted Monday that his team will practice every other day this week, coinciding with final exams on campus, and kick things off from there.
“So far, we’re on the right track,” Whittingham said Monday afternoon after a practice session at Eccles Field House, where only shoulder pads were available. “The preparation so far has been very good. We play for 19 days, so it’ll be here before you know it. ”
Whittingham returns to a popular comparison he’s made over the years, like preparing a bowl with spring practice.
That comparison comes from the fact that Utah is allowed 15 spring practice, a rough estimate similar to Utes will lead to January 1st. Furthermore, bowl prep will provide more time with what. Whittingham calls “developed players”, which basically means players who don’t play much or are wearing red shirts.
As for questions and issues related to depth chart players, a big topic of conversation over the past week has been how Utes, who are young and skinny in high school, intend to cope. with Ohio State’s trio of All-American wide recorders. , Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Wilson and Smith-Njigba are both over 1,000 meters in the season, while Olave is just 64 metres. Meanwhile, Utah’s corner situation outside Clark Phillips III became a revolving door due to injury. All-Pac-12 full-back JT Broughton was lost for the season in September, while Faybian Marks and Zemaiah Vaughn have both been lost to injury in the past five weeks.
Whittingham said he doesn’t expect any injured full-back to be available against the Buckeyes, but noted that he and his staff are considering a position change or two to help increase depth. position before the game.
For what it’s worth, despite injury and youth, Utah puts out just 195.3 yards per game, good for third in the Pac-12 and 24 nationally. Behind redshirt freshman defender CJ Stroud with 3,800 yards and 38 touchdowns, Ohio State is averaging 364.9 yards of passes per game, first in the Big Ten and fifth nationally.
“He’s a great leader, he’s calm under pressure, he moves well in the pocket, he’s just a real talent,” Whittingham said of Stroud. “He has it all.”
More NFL draft decisions coming soon, Whittingham OK with Pledger, Covey timing
Within days of each previous weekend, fourth year student returns to TJ Pledger and Redshirt junior wide receiving/returning specialist, Mr. Covey announced they would be entering the NFL draft in April.
By the time those announcements were made, less than a week after the Pac-12 championship match and as soon as the preparations for the Rose Bowl began, Whittingham was fine. The 17-year-old head coach then admitted it was already clear that other similar decisions would come from the players in the days and weeks to come.
“I think any time is fine now, and they decided to do their thing early,” Whittingham said. “There are some guys in the process of deliberation. If they decide to come out, it could be in the next week or two, or even after the bowl game. There’s really no set time for that, only when players have made their definitive decision and are ready to be definitive about it, then they go ahead and announce it. “
Late Monday, another fourth-year student, Cole Fotheringham, announced on Instagram that he will be in the NFL draft.
In addition to Pledger, Covey and Fotheringham, American defender Devin Lloyd will waive his final year entry condition to move to the NFL, while All-Pac-12 offensive lineman Nick Ford is expected to do. follow.
Close-ended Brant Kuithe, who flirted with the NFL a year ago, said Monday that he will announce his decision “soon,” while re-running Tavion Thomas, who has 1,041 yards of javes and 20 runs. hit the ground, said he will wait until after the Rose Bowl to make his decision.
Utah’s Rose Bowl Ticket Allocation Increases As Sales Stay Steady
The Utah Department of Athletics on Monday afternoon announced that it had sold 29,000 Rose Bowl tickets through its box office, while the school’s ticket allocation, originally 27,800, is now 33,000.
That 29,000 figure comes as Crimson Club Levels 1-3 are eligible to purchase tickets for the first three days of this week, starting with Level 3 on Monday. Level 2 will increase on Tuesday and Level 1 on Wednesday. If tickets are still available after Wednesday, the sale will open to the public on Friday at 10am
Between Utah going through the Crimson Club levels, Utes fans gobbling up tickets from Ohio State’s allotment, which has been open to the public since December 6, and resale sites, there’s been much speculation about the numbers. Utah fans will be at the Rose Bowl.
Speaking at 12:80 a.m. early Monday, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan made an educated guess of 60,000 Utah fans at the Rose Bowl. Harlan points out that’s based on the most recent ticket sales figures he has at his disposal.
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