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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dave Christensen, Utah's newest offensive coordinator is introduced during a press conference at the University of Utah football practice facility on Tuesday, Jan. 7. 2014.
Pac-12: Utah's Whittingham still seeking offensive success

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham introduced former Wyoming coach Dave Christensen as his offensive coordinator Tuesday, while making a point not to "bash" the current staff members who formerly held that title.

During the news conference in the Utes' football complex, Whittingham also said, "We've still got to get better. I don't think anybody in this building would disagree with that."

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Christensen's spread offense is "a great fit schematically" with what Utah is already doing, Whittingham said, adding that his motivation was to hire the best person available and give him the proper level of responsibility, regardless of the perception of continual change of coordinators.

Whittingham had a staff opening after special teams/tight ends coach Jay Hill became Weber State's head coach. That vacancy occurred shortly after Christensen was fired at Wyoming after five seasons.

The most recent impression of Christensen's offense came in a 35-7 loss at Utah State. Christensen cited significant injuries to the offensive line by the season's end. "When we were healthy, we were pretty decent," he said, noting how the Cowboys produced 34 points and 602 yards in a season-opening loss at Nebraska.

In 2014, Christensen will become Utah's sixth play-caller since Andy Ludwig's departure after the 2009 Sugar Bowl. The previous list includes Dave Schramm, Aaron Roderick, Norm Chow, Brian Johnson and Dennis Erickson. Of those five, only Chow - who became Hawaii's head coach - was never demoted by Whittingham.

The Utes improved slightly in 2013 under Erickson's direction, but ranked only 10th in the Pac-12 in total offense. That's why Whittingham was willing to make a second demotion in two seasons, after Johnson was the coordinator in 2012. Erickson called the plays this past season, when he and Johnson were labeled co-coordinators.

Their roles now iare coaching the running backs and the quarterbacks, respectively. Whittingham said Erickson told him, "I don't need titles."

Asked about the findings of his self-study of the program after another 5-7 season ended six weeks ago, Whittingham said, "Don't turn the ball over and take it away."

The Utes ranked 11th in the conference with a minus-9 turnover ratio, with 25 turnovers and 16 takeaways - including only three interceptions.

The relationship between Whittingham and Christensen dates to the early 1990s at Idaho State. Utah opens the 2014 season Aug. 28 against Idaho State.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Live Q&A on UA football with Daniel Berk
» Rich Rodriguez on UTSA
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Byrne, staff worked hard to get 50K for UA opener
» UA football: Breaking down the wide receivers

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Todd Graham says discipline can slow triple-option
» ASU football practice report from Sunday
» VIDEO: Looking ahead to ASU's road game
» Goal-line stand highlights 1st look at defense

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal Bears hang on for win at Northwestern
» Cal football notebook: Freshman QB Rubenzer an effective secret weapon
» Cal opens at Northwestern with a much different look on defense
» Fact box: Cal at Northwestern

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU Buffs aim to fix defensive alignment issues to fix run defense
» CU Buffs freshman WR Shay Fields gets off to impressive start
» Opening game loss a blow to Colorado's goal of a bowl bid
» CSU roars back to beat CU 31-17 in Rocky Mountain Showdown

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» The physical game is a pride issue for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks as No. 8 Michigan State comes to town
» Royce Freeman on being 'tentative,' performing better and first time playing at Autzen Stadium (video)
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Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford overpowers UC Davis in season-opening win
» Stanford opens 2014 season without a No. 1 tailback -- again
» Fact box: Stanford vs. UC-Davis
» Stanford prepares for UC Davis as memory of stunning 2005 loss lingers

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Live chat with UW volleyball player Krista Vansant
» With suspension over, Huskies quarterback Cyler Miles gets nod to start
» Husky men eye deep run in NCAA soccer
» First look: Eastern Washington Eagles

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Vandals, Florida mull rescheduling options
» Cyrus Coen returns to the practice field
» New depth chart for Nevada
» Labor Day is the right name for every day of the football season



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