Utah football notes: Tempo on pace for Utes

Published September 9, 2009 9:57 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and his new offensive coordinator Dave Schramm sat down and discussed some of their goals for the offense in 2009, an uptempo style that gave the Utes about 80 plays a game became something the Utes wanted to accomplish.

So far, so good for the Utes.

Utah ran 80 plays in its opener against Utah State, putting the Utes near the top of the list of number of plays by teams in the opening week. Vanderbilt had the most, running 95 plays for 620 yards in its 45-0 win over Western Carolina.

The reason for the emphasis is simple, Whittingham said.

"If we can get close to 80, that just means we get more production because we've got the ball," he said.

The Utes used a quick tempo in 2008 too, and averaged 70.2 plays a game.

The difference is last year the Utes used more of a two-minute offense, while this year the team is using more of a traditional, no-huddle style.

"We said, 'Hey we got good results,' " Whittingham said. "Plus a lot of people in the country are using it; it's a trend right now."

Respecting the man

Saturday is the first meeting between Whittingham and San Jose State coach Dick Tomey , but Whittingham is familiar with Tomey through his coaching connections with former Ute coach Ron McBride .

Tomey, who is in his 29th season (181-136-7) and fifth at San Jose State (23-26) is 4-4 vs. Utah.

He was 3-3 at Hawaii and 1-1 at Arizona.

"I had the benefit of learning a great deal about his philosophies and how he works through coach McBride," Whittingham said of Tomey. "We brought a lot of that to Utah, particularly in recruiting philosophy. I have the utmost respect for him."

Taking it easy

Utah defender Koa Misi , who is expected to play against San Jose State after sitting out the opener with a back injury, continues to look good in practice. The Utes are being careful with the senior, allowing him to participate in about 75 percent of the plays.

However, Whittingham said there are no restrictions with Misi, the Utes are just being cautious with him.

lwodraska@sltrib.com" Target="_BLANK">lwodraska@sltrib.com

High-volume offense

SchoolPlaysYardsAvg. per play
Texas A&M906066.73
Southern Miss896317.09
North Texas845126.1
Middle Tennessee812993.69



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