Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
U of U Sports
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

» E-mail Matt Piper

» E-mail Kyle Goon

» Subscribe (RSS)

Breaking down Utah's 'D' and who makes it so good

Crank up the grills and get the projections going, game day is finally here!

It doesn't even matter who the opponent is, does it? It just feels great to kick off another football season.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Utah's defense is supposed to be the team's strength once again. Here is a look at the defense, the movers, shakers and guys who need to prove themselves in the coming weeks.

Defensive line - Even with the loss of Junior Salt to a season-ending foot injury the line is the strength of the team. The Kruger brothers are solid and Trevor Reilly, who will play at end and linebacker, will be a blast to watch. Nothing more needs to be said about the talent of Star Lotulelei either.

The guys I am interested in seeing are Nate Fakahafua, the left end, and backup Tenny Palepoi, a JC transfer. Fakahafua looks stronger than ever at 6-3, 250 pounds. The sophomore is regarded as one of the team's all-around great athletes. It's time to see if he can be a big playmaker now that he has a year under his belt.

Linebackers - Keep an eye on Jared Norris and LT Filiaga, listed as co-starters at rover. Both are freshmen and have a lot of potential. This game will go a long ways in deciding which one we'll see a lot more of in the future.

At middle, watch sophomore V.J. Fehoko, he talks a big game and without a doubt is one of the most charismatic players on the team. But can all that charisma and talk lead to some big plays on the field? I know defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake loves his potential so don't be surprised if he develops into one of the Utes best players at creating big plays.

Jason Whittingham is another developing linebacker. The freshman is the nephew of Kyle Whittingham, but definitely earned his spot in the two-deep.

As for the corners, Mo Lee is solid, but I want to see who is going to emerge from the backups to help Lee and Ryan Lacy. From camp, Wykie Freeman made some nice plays so he could be that next guy.

The safeties are an interesting group with Brian Blechen out. Starter Eric Rowe is going to be a big-time player, but Tyron Morris-Edwards, Terrell Reese and Michael Walker all are expected to contribute. My hunch is that Reese, a 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore, will make himself noticed the most.


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Utah Football Schedule
Utah Basketball Schedule
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.