Will Utes turn into Pass U. for first time in 30 years? ‘It’s certainly possible’

Utah quarterback Jake Bentley looks to throw during Utah’s fall camp. Bentley is one of three QBs battling for the starting spot. | Courtesy Utah Athletics

Not once in his 15 years as Utah football’s head man has Kyle Whittingham coached a team that passed more than it ran the ball in a given season.

For that matter neither did Urban Meyer in his two years as Ute coach or Ron McBride for most of his 13 years as coach. In fact, it’s been 30 years since a Utah team has passed the ball more than it has run over the course of a season.

How long has it been since BYU and Utah State passed the ball more than they ran it? Well, you only have to go back a year as both did it in 2019. In fact, over the past 30 years, BYU has passed the ball more in 16 seasons and run the ball more in 14 seasons.

But Utah’s style has been a run-first offense, not only for the last 30 years, but for most of its history. The one exception was the five-year period of the late 1980s when the Utes were a passing team every year under coach Jim Fassel.

With the Utes losing all-time leading rusher Zack Moss to graduation and sporting one of their best receiving corps in many years this season, could the U. turn into Pass U. this season?

Perhaps.

When asked point-blank earlier this week if the Utes might become a passing team this year, Whittingham wouldn’t say yes, but left it out there as a possibility.

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“We’re going to do what we do best and we’re still trying to determine what we do best with this new crew. We leaned on Zack Moss with a fairly heavy dose of run over the last few years. But it may change this year and we may throw the ball more, which is fine. There’s more than one way to get things done.” — Kyle Whittingham

“It’s certainly possible,” Whittingham said. “We’re going to do what we do best and we’re still trying to determine what we do best with this new crew. We leaned on Zack Moss with a fairly heavy dose of run over the last few years. But it may change this year and we may throw the ball more, which is fine. There’s more than one way to get things done.”

Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig was more bullish on the idea of Utah going to the air more when he recently spoke with the media.

“Every year is different — we take a lot of pride in our ability to adapt and adjust our personnel within the scheme,” he said. “That will always start with the quarterback position, but there’s no doubt with the depth and talent at the wide receiver and tight end position, is going to warrant the ball being in the air more than it was a year ago.”

Ludwig has been the offensive coordinator for five seasons under …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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