Utah football: Utes preparing for hostile crowd
Utah State's Romney Stadium has a capacity of just 25,513, but the Utes are taking the challenge of playing in Logan just as they would any major, hostile environment.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said his team would practice with loud music blaring over the fields, a tactic the Utes employ whenever they are going into a loud environment.
The Utes have been very good on the road in recent years in such environments, such as winning at BYU and playing USC to a close game last year.
Whittingham said the key was his team's ability to focus.
"It's something we stress to the football team," he said. "When the ball goes in the air, we put all that stuff out of our minds and focus on doing your job."
Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn said he likes to play in difficult environments.
"It's in environments like that you find out who you are," he said. "You have people yelling at you when you are sitting on the bench and saying things. We do a good job of rising up. I don't know why that is."
I know you
Wynn is going through his usual preparations for facing Utah State's defense, but the junior does feel he has a certain advantage in facing the Aggies on Friday.
Utah State coach Gary Andersen has kept a lot of the same philosophies and tactics he employed while he was at Utah working in coach Kyle Whittingham's system.
"They do some different stuff, run the 3-4 front more than we do, but its similar coverage," Wynn said. "But like coach Whitt said, in essence I've been going up against this defense the last four years. Coach A could call something I've never seen, but it's not necessarily a guessing game."
The Utes have more than 20 former players on NFL rosters, with Miami boasting five of them. Linebacker Koa Misi, corners R.J. Stanford and Sean Smith, defensive tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Derrick Shelby all made the Dolphins' final roster.
Whittingham was particularly proud that Stanford made a roster as well as former Utah player Matt Asiata, who is with Minnesota.
"He has overcome a lot of setbacks, so that is great for him," Whittingham said of Asiata.