2012-13 Football Previews – (Pac 12) – Utah Utes
The Utah Utes took a major step up in class last year when they joined the PAC 12 Conference. No longer would the team have breathers every other week like they did in the Mountain West. The Utes went 8-5 on the season, and 4-5 in the PAC 12.
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PAC 12 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Utah Utes
Head Coach: Kyle Whittingham
2011 Record: 8-5
Utah Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win BCS Championship: +45,000
Utah Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win PAC 12 Conference: +3,700
Utah Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>
It would be easy to say that wasn’t particularly impressive, but if you look at the major leap they made and how they finished the season, the Utes built a nice base to build on.
The Utes won four of their last five games last year, and it was evident that this team was starting to get accustomed to their tougher schedule at the end of 2011. Kyle Whittingham has done a nice job developing a winning program. The Utes won the fourth quarter in a big way last year, and that is often a sign of a team that is well-coached.
The Utes secondary is one of the best in the nation. The two safeties are both very versatile and they will be team leaders for the defense this year. Brian Blechen and Eric Rowe are the best one-two punch at the safety spot in the PAC 12. Ryan Lacy is a senior cornerback who has lots of experience against good receivers. This team will be tough to throw on in 2012.
Star Lotulelei has the potential to be the most dominant defensive tackle in the country. Most experts expected him to go pro since he was a projected first round draft pick, but the Utes are thrilled to have him back. The defense Utah plays dares opponents to run the ball, and when they run the ball they are forced to deal with Lotulelei.
Utah has usually had issues at the wide receiver spot, but don’t expect any of those same problems this year. The Utes have the deepest crop of receivers in school history. DeVonte Christopher is an absolute star, and the Utes will likely have 8 or 9 guys who see the field regularly.
The interior of the offensive line is solid, but the two tackle spots are a major problem. Jordan Wynn has had injury problems each year at Utah, and if the Utes don’t find some more reliable players on the corners he could be sacked quite a few times again this year.
The Utes are usually very good at the linebacker spot, but this year the team is lacking a bit in this area. The middle linebacker job is wide open this offseason, which is a bit concerning since they are typically the leader on the field for the defense.
2012-2013 Utah Utes Football Prediction: 9-4
The Utes are a team that I think could surprise quite a few people this year. They’ll have far more balance on offense than normal, and the defense has some major star-power. Keep a close eye on their home game against USC on October 4. It’s a national television game, and the crowd will be rocking. This team came on at the end of last year, and I think that translates into a solid season in their second year in the PAC 12.
8/30/12 TBD NCOL
9/7/12 8:00 PM ET @UTAST
9/15/12 10:00 PM ET BYU
9/22/12 TBD @ARZST
10/4/12 9:00 PM ET USC
10/13/12 TBD @UCLA
10/20/12 TBD @OREST
10/27/12 TBD CAL
11/3/12 TBD WSHST
11/10/12 TBD @WASH
11/17/12 TBD ARZ
11/23/12 TBD @COL