ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was happy to get the win, but not entirely happy with Utah's performance in beating Michigan 25-23. The one big area that bugged him? Penalties.
The Utes were penalized 15 times for 137 yards. The Wolverines were penalized eight times for 53 yards.
"We were doing a good job and I looked at the scoreboard and it was only 12-10," he said. "It shows you what untimely turnovers and penalties can do. It kept the game close."
The most damaging penalties for the Utes came in the fourth quarter when they were called for a 15-yard facemask penalty and a 15-yard pass interference penalty on Michigan's final scoring drive.
The Utes received a guarantee of $800,000 for playing at Michigan, but expenses will take a chunk out of that fat paycheck. The plane charter cost $111,000 and the bus cost $4,000. Hotel rooms for the traveling party of an estimated 135 people, including 71 players, cost approximately $38,000. Food is estimated at $36,000 and an extra $1,000 was figured in for miscellaneous expenses. The one cost not known is the fuel surcharge, which could be around $3,000, leaving the Utes with an estimated profit of somewhere around $607,000.
No patsies here
Utah has had some challenging opening games in recent seasons. Whittingham believes opening with teams such as Oregon State, UCLA and Michigan is the price the Utes must pay if they want to get noticed nationally.
"The SEC plays such a rigorous conference schedule, most can afford to schedule down for the first couple of games," he said. "It's understandable for them to do that, but we have to take these opportunities when we get them."
Robert Johnson and Kenape Eliapo suffered injuries and will be evaluated later.