Utah Utes - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/Utes Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) Pac-12: No lingering drama between Sarkisian, Shaw http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58365284-89/1-0-washington-shaw-game.html.csp If you’re looking for a juicy coaching subplot to Stanford-USC, look elsewhere. Last year after Stanford beat Washington 31-28, then-Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian accused the Cardinal of faking injuries to slow down his offense. David Shaw fired back saying, “If we didn’t do it against Oregon, why would we do it against Washington?” The salvo stirred up the Pac-12 this season. But is there still beef? “We never talked about it again,” Shaw said Tuesday. “It was over, it was in the past. … Actual... If you’re looking for a juicy coaching subplot to Stanford-USC, look elsewhere. Last year after Stanford beat Washington 31-28, then-Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian accused the Cardinal of faking injuries to slow down his offense. David Shaw fired back saying, “If we didn’t do it against Oregon, why would we do it against Washington?” The salvo stirred up the Pac-12 this season. But is there still beef? “We never talked about it again,” Shaw said Tuesday. “It was over, it was in the past. … Actual... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 58365284@www.sltrib.com Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:57:01 MDT Kragthorpe: Oregon faces defining game vs. Michigan State http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58365586-89/oregon-state-michigan-game.html.csp The college football world is waiting for another opportunity to dismiss Oregon as a novelty act. Whenever the No. 3 Ducks play a tough, traditional opponent such as No. 7 Michigan State, the game becomes a referendum on Oregon’s style of play and the entire culture of the program. So Oregon will have something to prove again Saturday, when the Spartans visit Autzen Stadium for the biggest nonconference game of the season involving a Pac-12 school. This is a classic matchup of style and substanc... The college football world is waiting for another opportunity to dismiss Oregon as a novelty act. Whenever the No. 3 Ducks play a tough, traditional opponent such as No. 7 Michigan State, the game becomes a referendum on Oregon’s style of play and the entire culture of the program. So Oregon will have something to prove again Saturday, when the Spartans visit Autzen Stadium for the biggest nonconference game of the season involving a Pac-12 school. This is a classic matchup of style and substanc... 58365586@www.sltrib.com Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:46:02 MDT Utah football notes: Travis Wilson helps first-grader in cancer fight http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58361294-89/whittingham-junior-yards-week.html.csp When Utah quarterback Travis Wilson torpedoed over an Idaho State defender for a touchdown last Thursday, as fearless as ever, he wasn’t even the most courageous guy on the field. That would be Rose Springs Elementary first-grader Matthew Burr, an honorary captain for the Utes due to Wilson’s involvement with the Jessie Rees Foundation, which helps kids fighting cancer “Never Ever Give Up.” Wilson said he learned about NEGU as a counselor at the Elite 11 camp for top prep quarterbacks in Beavert... When Utah quarterback Travis Wilson torpedoed over an Idaho State defender for a touchdown last Thursday, as fearless as ever, he wasn’t even the most courageous guy on the field. That would be Rose Springs Elementary first-grader Matthew Burr, an honorary captain for the Utes due to Wilson’s involvement with the Jessie Rees Foundation, which helps kids fighting cancer “Never Ever Give Up.” Wilson said he learned about NEGU as a counselor at the Elite 11 camp for top prep quarterbacks in Beavert... 58361294@www.sltrib.com Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:55:39 MDT Utah football: Utes aim for cleaner game against Fresno State (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58361800-77/state-utah-game-fresno.html.csp Maybe the scent of blood in the water was simply too strong. The Utah Utes’ defense had begun with two three-and-outs against Idaho State, pushing back the Bengals offense for sacks and negative yards. They looked invincible. And that was when the mistakes started. While a 56-14 scoreline leaves plenty of good feelings about a performance, Utah linebacker Jason Whittingham spent Monday afternoon’s rap session with the media talking about what the defense could’ve done better. It ranged from ov... Maybe the scent of blood in the water was simply too strong. The Utah Utes’ defense had begun with two three-and-outs against Idaho State, pushing back the Bengals offense for sacks and negative yards. They looked invincible. And that was when the mistakes started. While a 56-14 scoreline leaves plenty of good feelings about a performance, Utah linebacker Jason Whittingham spent Monday afternoon’s rap session with the media talking about what the defense could’ve done better. It ranged from ov... 58361800@www.sltrib.com Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:26:29 MDT Utah Football: Vegas thinks Fresno State may be match for Utes http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58359131-77/state-utah-fresno-usc.html.csp Few would argue, given the available evidence, that Utah is better than No. 15 USC, but is USC really 31 points better than Utah? Vegas says so. Days after the Trojans pummeled Fresno State 52-13 at the Coliseum, Utah is favored by a mere 7.5 points at Rice-Eccles this Saturday (Edit: That line had jumped to -10 by Monday morning). This, on the heels of the Bulldogs being outgained 701 to 317 yards. Vegas either believes USC is very good, Utah is not-so good, or degrees of both. Fresno State is ... Few would argue, given the available evidence, that Utah is better than No. 15 USC, but is USC really 31 points better than Utah? Vegas says so. Days after the Trojans pummeled Fresno State 52-13 at the Coliseum, Utah is favored by a mere 7.5 points at Rice-Eccles this Saturday (Edit: That line had jumped to -10 by Monday morning). This, on the heels of the Bulldogs being outgained 701 to 317 yards. Vegas either believes USC is very good, Utah is not-so good, or degrees of both. Fresno State is ... 58359131@www.sltrib.com Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:57:43 MDT Utah football: Cleaning up run D, offensive line top priorities http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58352299-77/offensive-utes-athleted-game.html.csp Here’s a term Kyle Whittingham used Thursday night that he might want to copyright: “out-athleted.” When Kaelin Clay slipped through the fingers of would-be tacklers as he danced to the end zone on returns, he “out-athleted” Idaho State. Devontae Booker “out-athleted” all the linebackers he cut past or bowled over by leaning into them. The offensive linemen that Nate Orchard ripped through as he got 2.5 sacks? All of them, “out-athleted.” That’s something that happens against an FCS team, which ... Here’s a term Kyle Whittingham used Thursday night that he might want to copyright: “out-athleted.” When Kaelin Clay slipped through the fingers of would-be tacklers as he danced to the end zone on returns, he “out-athleted” Idaho State. Devontae Booker “out-athleted” all the linebackers he cut past or bowled over by leaning into them. The offensive linemen that Nate Orchard ripped through as he got 2.5 sacks? All of them, “out-athleted.” That’s something that happens against an FCS team, which ... 58352299@www.sltrib.com Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:41:51 MDT Kragthorpe: Utes’ Travis Wilson shows courage in return to field (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58349920-89/wilson-yards-game-return.html.csp Utah quarterback Travis Wilson sprinted to his left, dived through the air and extended the football beyond the goal line. In that moment Thursday night, late in the first quarter of Utah’s 56-14 victory over Idaho State at Rice-Eccles Stadium, any remaining issues regarding Wilson’s will to play football were answered. Those questions about how Wilson might approach his return to the field seem silly now, don’t they? He’s the same, competitive QB as ever — maybe even more so, after his career ... Utah quarterback Travis Wilson sprinted to his left, dived through the air and extended the football beyond the goal line. In that moment Thursday night, late in the first quarter of Utah’s 56-14 victory over Idaho State at Rice-Eccles Stadium, any remaining issues regarding Wilson’s will to play football were answered. Those questions about how Wilson might approach his return to the field seem silly now, don’t they? He’s the same, competitive QB as ever — maybe even more so, after his career ... 58349920@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:26:21 MDT Monson: Not much excitement in Utes’ opener http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58349194-89/utah-utes-football-bengals.html.csp OK, then, the gimme is out of the way. The only gimme. Chances are that Thursday night’s top-popping result — a 56-14 curb-stomp of Idaho State — will be the Utes’ only six-touchdown win of the season. And that lopsided showing probably made everyone at Rice-Eccles Stadium, outside of Utah’s coaches, glad the rest of the Ute games will be a whole lot more arduous, gut-wrenching — and entertaining. Kyle Whittingham said it straight with these words afterward: “Not sure how much more we know abou... OK, then, the gimme is out of the way. The only gimme. Chances are that Thursday night’s top-popping result — a 56-14 curb-stomp of Idaho State — will be the Utes’ only six-touchdown win of the season. And that lopsided showing probably made everyone at Rice-Eccles Stadium, outside of Utah’s coaches, glad the rest of the Ute games will be a whole lot more arduous, gut-wrenching — and entertaining. Kyle Whittingham said it straight with these words afterward: “Not sure how much more we know abou... 58349194@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:05:05 MDT Utah football: Utes rout Idaho State 56-14 in season opener (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58348181-89/utah-yards-clay-seconds.html.csp An FBS team handing an FCS team its 45th consecutive loss may not rank among college football’s storied triumphs, but the biggest winners Thursday night were the Utes who returned to the field after an extended absence and played a key role in the 56-14 blowout. Junior quarterback Travis Wilson, after an intracranial artery condition made him off-limits for contact since November, passed for 265 yards and one touchdown and showed characteristic fearlessness in catapulting an Idaho State defender... An FBS team handing an FCS team its 45th consecutive loss may not rank among college football’s storied triumphs, but the biggest winners Thursday night were the Utes who returned to the field after an extended absence and played a key role in the 56-14 blowout. Junior quarterback Travis Wilson, after an intracranial artery condition made him off-limits for contact since November, passed for 265 yards and one touchdown and showed characteristic fearlessness in catapulting an Idaho State defender... 58348181@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:03:18 MDT Utah football: Utes secondary struggles early against ISU http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58350078-89/arias-early-isu-secondary.html.csp Early in the first quarter, a false sense of security had already set in. Utah’s defense seemed well on its way to cruising against Idaho State’s experienced attack. A catch here, a run there — well, things changed. A 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive dinged some of that confidence. And the secondary in particular had a lot to answer for. While coach Kyle Whittingham said he was most upset about giving up big runs in unmanned gaps, but the Bengals’ Justin Arias picked the Utes apart for a time, c... Early in the first quarter, a false sense of security had already set in. Utah’s defense seemed well on its way to cruising against Idaho State’s experienced attack. A catch here, a run there — well, things changed. A 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive dinged some of that confidence. And the secondary in particular had a lot to answer for. While coach Kyle Whittingham said he was most upset about giving up big runs in unmanned gaps, but the Bengals’ Justin Arias picked the Utes apart for a time, c... 58350078@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:03:18 MDT ‘Utah Fan’ not a fan favorite in debut of new fight song lyrics (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58349583-89/utah-fan-fight-song.html.csp As “Utah Man” echoed around Rice Eccles Stadium, it was clear that old habits and traditions die hard. Despite a more politically correct push in the offseason, altering lyrics from “Utah Man” to “Utah Fan,” among other changes, fans largely stuck to the version written in 1904. Standing next to the Utah student section, students clad in both white and red belted out “man” following the team’s opening touchdown of the night, just as they’d always done. Deanna Collins, an English teaching majo... As “Utah Man” echoed around Rice Eccles Stadium, it was clear that old habits and traditions die hard. Despite a more politically correct push in the offseason, altering lyrics from “Utah Man” to “Utah Fan,” among other changes, fans largely stuck to the version written in 1904. Standing next to the Utah student section, students clad in both white and red belted out “man” following the team’s opening touchdown of the night, just as they’d always done. Deanna Collins, an English teaching majo... 58349583@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:44:11 MDT Utah football: Kaelin Clay, Utes special teams star in win (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58349208-89/clay-special-teams-field.html.csp As fast as Kaelin Clay ran on his punt and kick returns for touchdowns, it was almost surprising he wasn’t still catching his breath after the game Thursday night. Scoring twice on returns in Utah’s 56-14 romp against Idaho State, Clay said he wasn’t bristling from not starting on offense. “I pride myself in special teams,” he said. “It’s a unit that kind of goes unnoticed. I pride myself in that.” For a phase that goes “unnoticed,” special teams made a lot of headlines in the victory. And Clay’... As fast as Kaelin Clay ran on his punt and kick returns for touchdowns, it was almost surprising he wasn’t still catching his breath after the game Thursday night. Scoring twice on returns in Utah’s 56-14 romp against Idaho State, Clay said he wasn’t bristling from not starting on offense. “I pride myself in special teams,” he said. “It’s a unit that kind of goes unnoticed. I pride myself in that.” For a phase that goes “unnoticed,” special teams made a lot of headlines in the victory. And Clay’... 58349208@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:41:45 MDT Utah football: Utes rout Idaho State, 56-14 in opener http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58348813-89/utah-idaho-state-yards.html.csp The Utes got what everyone expected — a win. A big, honking 56-14 win. But Utah’s opener was not without a dash of tension. Fans hoping for a demolition from start to finish were disappointed as Idaho State drove into Utah territory aiming to tie up the 7-point game. But soon after Eric Rowe blocked the Bengals’ 30-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter, the wrecking ball was unleashed. Kaelin Clay electrified Rice-Eccles fifth-biggest crowd with both punt and kickoff returns for a touchd... The Utes got what everyone expected — a win. A big, honking 56-14 win. But Utah’s opener was not without a dash of tension. Fans hoping for a demolition from start to finish were disappointed as Idaho State drove into Utah territory aiming to tie up the 7-point game. But soon after Eric Rowe blocked the Bengals’ 30-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter, the wrecking ball was unleashed. Kaelin Clay electrified Rice-Eccles fifth-biggest crowd with both punt and kickoff returns for a touchd... 58348813@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:11:05 MDT Utah volleyball: No love from Pac-12 coaches, but Ute coach likes her depth, experience http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58345527-89/pac-utah-launiere-coaches.html.csp Nobody plays to win the preseason coaches poll. Utah volleyball head coach Beth Launiere admits that she thinks her team’s Pac-12 ranking — 10th — belies the strides her program has made. But, she said after acknowledging that it may sound like typical “coach speak,” the ranking isn’t what’s important. “You just go out and try to get it done.” The Utes have steadily improved since changing leagues in 2011, from 11-20 to 14-19 to 21-13. Last season, they finished seventh in the Pac-12 and won an ... Nobody plays to win the preseason coaches poll. Utah volleyball head coach Beth Launiere admits that she thinks her team’s Pac-12 ranking — 10th — belies the strides her program has made. But, she said after acknowledging that it may sound like typical “coach speak,” the ranking isn’t what’s important. “You just go out and try to get it done.” The Utes have steadily improved since changing leagues in 2011, from 11-20 to 14-19 to 21-13. Last season, they finished seventh in the Pac-12 and won an ... 58345527@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:06:17 MDT Utah football: Whittingham, Christensen come full circle vs. Idaho St. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58340283-89/utah-idaho-whittingham-christensen.html.csp Were it not for their time at Idaho State, Kyle Whittingham and Dave Christensen wouldn’t be coaching together at Utah. Were it not for their time at Utah, Spencer Toone and Steve Fifita wouldn’t be coaching together at Idaho State. Between the four, such symmetries abound. It’s been almost a quarter-century since Utah’s head coach and offensive coordinator first bonded as assistant coaches in Pocatello. Thursday, their reunion tour begins against the team that gave them their start. And on the... Were it not for their time at Idaho State, Kyle Whittingham and Dave Christensen wouldn’t be coaching together at Utah. Were it not for their time at Utah, Spencer Toone and Steve Fifita wouldn’t be coaching together at Idaho State. Between the four, such symmetries abound. It’s been almost a quarter-century since Utah’s head coach and offensive coordinator first bonded as assistant coaches in Pocatello. Thursday, their reunion tour begins against the team that gave them their start. And on the... 58340283@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:52:17 MDT Monson: Utah football coaches are coaching for their jobs http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58336511-89/utah-whittingham-coach-football.html.csp On the brink of a new season, times are uncertain for Utah football. For the guys who run Utah football. Anybody who thinks Kyle Whittingham isn’t under extreme pressure to make headway in the Pac-12 — right now — by delivering a winning record, anybody who thinks urgency isn’t throttling toward redline levels up on the hill, hasn’t sneaked a peek at the terms of his staff’s contracts. Like the sharp edge of a switchblade, they are short and unforgiving. Even specific assistant coaches and coor... On the brink of a new season, times are uncertain for Utah football. For the guys who run Utah football. Anybody who thinks Kyle Whittingham isn’t under extreme pressure to make headway in the Pac-12 — right now — by delivering a winning record, anybody who thinks urgency isn’t throttling toward redline levels up on the hill, hasn’t sneaked a peek at the terms of his staff’s contracts. Like the sharp edge of a switchblade, they are short and unforgiving. Even specific assistant coaches and coor... 58336511@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:40:17 MDT Utah football: Travis Wilson eager to go live Thursday http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58339904-89/utah-wilson-state-football.html.csp He hasn’t played a game since Nov. 9, and he’s only gone through one full-contact practice in that time. Travis Wilson knows there are some skeptics out there who question if he’s truly ready to re-start his football career when the Utes open the season Thursday against Idaho State. For the junior quarterback, that switch has already flipped on. “It’s really when I got to play in that scrimmage and I was live again, it was definitely good to just get in that mindset of ‘Yeah, I get to play foot... He hasn’t played a game since Nov. 9, and he’s only gone through one full-contact practice in that time. Travis Wilson knows there are some skeptics out there who question if he’s truly ready to re-start his football career when the Utes open the season Thursday against Idaho State. For the junior quarterback, that switch has already flipped on. “It’s really when I got to play in that scrimmage and I was live again, it was definitely good to just get in that mindset of ‘Yeah, I get to play foot... 58339904@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:22:43 MDT Utah football: Utes excited for opener — even if it is Idaho State (video) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58335045-89/utah-state-idaho-game.html.csp If Idaho State beats Utah in its season opener, it will end a six-game losing streak to the Utes, a 20-game losing streak to FBS opponents, and a 44-game losing streak to teams not playing in Pocatello, Idaho. It’s been that bad: The average second-grader did not yet exist the last time the Bengals won a game on the road ­— October 2006, against Northern Colorado. So big-time college football returns to Salt Lake City on Thursday night, but only sort of. Still, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham ... If Idaho State beats Utah in its season opener, it will end a six-game losing streak to the Utes, a 20-game losing streak to FBS opponents, and a 44-game losing streak to teams not playing in Pocatello, Idaho. It’s been that bad: The average second-grader did not yet exist the last time the Bengals won a game on the road ­— October 2006, against Northern Colorado. So big-time college football returns to Salt Lake City on Thursday night, but only sort of. Still, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham ... 58335045@www.sltrib.com Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:38:51 MDT Utah football: Stakes high for Whittingham in 4th Pac-12 season http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/58317181-77/utah-season-whittingham-fall.html.csp Expectations among Utah fans tend to fall within a narrow range for 2014. The optimists say they’ll start 4-0, beat Oregon State, Arizona and Colorado and finish 7-5 to snap a two-year bowl drought. The pessimists say they’ll go 5-7, and thus, the sky will fall. This seems to be the feeling in Salt Lake City: A magical season is 7-5. A disastrous season is 5-7. Who knows? Maybe three regular seasons spent going 17-19 will cramp your imagination. But with better depth at quarterback, more talent ... Expectations among Utah fans tend to fall within a narrow range for 2014. The optimists say they’ll start 4-0, beat Oregon State, Arizona and Colorado and finish 7-5 to snap a two-year bowl drought. The pessimists say they’ll go 5-7, and thus, the sky will fall. This seems to be the feeling in Salt Lake City: A magical season is 7-5. A disastrous season is 5-7. Who knows? Maybe three regular seasons spent going 17-19 will cramp your imagination. But with better depth at quarterback, more talent ... 58317181@www.sltrib.com Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:12:55 MDT Ute players, coaches gain three wins, countless memories on Pac-12 China tour http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/utes/58326295-89/krystkowiak-loveridge-players-stars.html.csp Upon arriving in Shanghai, the first thing Jordan Loveridge noticed was the decorative lighting, like he was in a super-sized Las Vegas. And then he saw the people. So many people. Loveridge had heard there were 24 million people in Shanghai, but seeing it is another thing, he said. Motorists — many on scooters — navigated busy streets at high speeds while Loveridge wondered how they could possibly avoid crashing. I guess they develop a talent for it, he thought to himself. They have to. Lover... Upon arriving in Shanghai, the first thing Jordan Loveridge noticed was the decorative lighting, like he was in a super-sized Las Vegas. And then he saw the people. So many people. Loveridge had heard there were 24 million people in Shanghai, but seeing it is another thing, he said. Motorists — many on scooters — navigated busy streets at high speeds while Loveridge wondered how they could possibly avoid crashing. I guess they develop a talent for it, he thought to himself. They have to. Lover... 58326295@www.sltrib.com Sat, 23 Aug 2014 17:42:10 MDT