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Utah National Championship Game Odds
For much of the 2019 season the Utah Utes were a threat to make the college football playoff. Utah reached a national ranking as high as fifth in the country which was their best since ranking third in 2015. But in each case the Utes simply didn’t have enough to close. Head coach Kyle Whittingham has been the most successful coach in the history of the program. Whittingham had the unenviable task of replacing Urban Meyer following a 12-0 record in 2004 that ended up with a final national ranking of fourth in the country. But Whittingham emerged out of Meyer’s shadow with a 2008 campaign in which the Utes went 13-0 and had a final ranking of second in the land. Whittingham’s program was so strong that it was invited to join the Pac 12 Conference out of the Mountain West. After a rough start Whittingham brought the talent level up to par and has had a share of three South Division titles since 2015. Despite his overall success and his achievement of getting Utah into a power five conference some Utah fans are disgruntled with the way that 2019 finished. It also doesn’t help fan morale that a rebuild is expected whenever play does resume.
2020 Utah Utes at a Glance
National Championship Odds: N/A
The 2019 Utah Utes finished with a final record of 11-3 straight up, 9-5 against the spread, with eight of their games going under the total. Utah had national metrics of 36th for total offense, 65th for passing, 29th for rushing, 27th for scoring, third for total defense, 13th for pass defense, first for rush defense, and sixth for points scored. The Texas Longhorns took apart the Utes in the Alamo Bowl 38-10. Utah reached as high as fifth in the national polls but faded badly with two blowout losses in their final two games. Oregon thrashed the Utes 37-15 in the Pac 12 Championship Game. As the season concluded Utah’s lack of offensive fire power caught up with them.
2020 Utah Utes Regular Season Preview
Before the 2020 Pac 12 season was postponed until winter there were low expectations for the Utes. Most analysts have them barely inside the top 40. Of further concern is the Pac 12 itself. The league’s early announcement of postponement was a slap in the face to the few loyal football fans that follow the conference. By nearly all accounts players and coaches believe that the announcement could have been delayed until it was closer to opening day. Overall, the entire affair was seen as a rush to virtue signal to the Twitter mobs and coronavirus obsessed media. In the years to come it will be even more difficult to recruit in the Pac 12 Conference. The entire league has suffered from terrible TV ratings and poor attendance at most schools. Many of the top West Coast high school recruits are defecting to more dedicated college football powers in the SEC, ACC and Big 12.
Utah suffered staggering losses of personnel on both sides of the line after the 2019 campaign. Key departures include All Pac 12 quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss, who was nationally regarded for his size and power. Also gone is the Utes all-time sack leader Bradlee Anae. Now we will see just how well Whittingham has recruited and restocks the cupboard.
There was supposed to be a quarterback battle between graduate transfer Jake Bentley and redshirt sophomore transfer Cameron Rising but that has been perpetually put off by the coronavirus. There was also going to be a major competition held at the running back position.
Arguably the best player on the team is junior tight end Brant Kuithe. Last year he led the Utes in receiving with 34 catches good for 602 yards, 17.7 yards per catch, and six touchdowns.
The defense was wiped out with veteran departures so its quality will be in question until actual games begin, Utah is a team loaded with questions and no concrete answers.
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