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Utah football moves up in AP, USA Today polls

The Utes say there are still “a lot of things to correct” after a Week 1 win over Weber State

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Weber State Wildcats tight end Justin Malone (88) is upended by Utah Utes safety Vonte Davis (9) in PAC-12 football action between the University of Utah and Weber State at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham had a “laundry list” of things he wished his team did better on opening night.

But the Utes did enough in their 40-17 season-opening win over Weber State to move up in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll on Tuesday.

After starting the season unranked, the Utes now sit at No. 18 in the USA Today poll. Utah, meanwhile, moved up three spots, to No. 21, in the AP poll.

“Good to get the season started off with a win. It was a game that we did a lot of good things after watching the film, a lot of things to correct like we thought after the game,” Whittingham said when he assessed his team’s Week 1 performance Monday. “But certainly some positives to take away. I thought Charlie Brewer played well. He did a nice job throwing the football, he was very accurate, made good decisions.

“We didn’t run the ball quite as effectively as I thought we would. But give credit to Weber State, Jay Hill and their staff. They’re a well-coached, tough, disciplined football team. … Overall, we came out in pretty good shape, and gotta get ready for the next one now. The season marches on.”

Whittingham will hope to have a few more things ironed out before his team takes on BYU on Saturday night in Provo.

The Cougars, who beat Arizona 24-16 on Saturday night, remain unranked, but were among the teams receiving votes in both polls.

Pac-12 honors for Devin Lloyd

Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd has been named the Pac-12′s defensive player of the week after a standout performance against Weber. Lloyd had a career-high 12 tackles, two of them for losses, an 8-yard sack, a forced fumble and an interception.

“Devin Lloyd played outstanding,” Whittingham said. “He played exactly how we need him to play. He’s a leader of the defense. His stats were exceptional. That’s who he is. He’s a really good player. Nephi [Sewell] opposite him played well. He wasn’t quite as productive as he’s been in games in the past. But he’s a good solid linebacker, and a really good player. I think the linebacker corps overall did a nice job.”



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