The Pac 12 held it’s annual football media day on Tuesday and it’s a chance for each team in the conference to express their hopes and plans for the upcoming season. Every school was represented by their head coach and an offensive and defensive players. As for the Utah Utes they brought head coach Kyle Whittingham, RB John White and DT Star Lotulelei to address the media in California.
Here’s the video from their presser.
This is the takeaway from what they had to say:
1) The offense has to improve for Utah to take the next step.
Last year the defense was the backbone of the Sun Bowl winning team allowing just 19.2 points per game. For the Utes to take that next step the offense will have to be more prolific according to coach Whittingham. In order to do that, new offensive coordinator and former Utes quarterback, Brian Johnson will have to conjure up some creative ways to get their offense going in 2012. At 25, Johnson is the youngest offensive coordinator in the FBS and will install more of a spread offense in order to become more explosive. Quarterback Jordan Wynn returns as the lead signal caller after missing most of the season last year due to injury and paired with stellar RB John White, the Utes’ veteran backfield should help ease the transition to the spread offense.
2) Brian Johnson’s age should help in recruiting potential players to Utah.
The 25 year-old offensive coordinator is the youngest in the FBS but while he does not too much coaching experience he still can be a factor on the recruiting trail. Due to his young age, Johnson is able to relate to the young players he is recruiting and he is able to tell them of his own recruiting and playing experience. Sometimes all a young recruit needs is someone to relate to and Johnson is able to provide that, only three years removed from playing for the Utes himself. It might take a little while for Johnson to gain a strong foothold on the recruiting path but he has all the intangibles to become a forceful recruiter.
3) Utah will continue to play their style of defense despite the offensive style of the Pac 12.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the motto for the Utah defense as they had another great season last year finishing 20th in the country in scoring defense. Even though they are playing in a conference that specializes in explosive, spread offenses they still plan on playing smash mouth defense like they have in years past. They are big, they are physical and they like to hit people. Led upfront by their defensive standout Star Lotulelei, the defensive line sets the physical standard and they have one of the best in the country to send that message.