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2021 Utah Utes: A Welcome Addition at QB
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

2021 Utah Utes: A Welcome Addition at QB

Everyone knows that Utah will bring a good defense with them everywhere they go. They always do. How good their season ends up always depends on how good their offense be. Coach Kyle Whittingham is entering his 18th year in Salt Lake City and he has a 134-66 record and no one knows about it. He is solid. The biggest recruit of 2021 will be the transfer of Baylor QB, Charlie Brewer, a four year starter, with over 10,000 passing yards on his resume. Those kinds of gifts don’t come along everyday. Will he be able to propel the Utes to the conference title?

Offense: As mentioned above, Brewer is just what the doctor ordered. He was very impressive in the spring game and there isn’t anything he hasn’t seen. He was up and down at Baylor but he was injured some and didn’t have much around him in a couple of those years. When healthy and with players around him, he is a quality QB. The wide receiving group returns Britain Covey who has 132 receptions in his career and TE Brant Kuithe is an All-American candidate. There is a dark cloud over the program with the offseason death of RB Ty Jordan who was killed in a gunshot accident on Christmas night. Will the Utes be able to use that as a rallying point? Micah Bernard is the top returnee but LSU transfer Chris Curry and Oklahoma transfer T.J. Pledger are nipping at his heels. All five starters return on the offensive line and if this group gels together Utah could be rolling.

Defense: The defense returns 9 starters from a group that led the Pac-12 in rushing defense and passing efficiency defense. Linebacker Devin Lloyd is back and he was among the leaders in total tackles per game and tackles for loss. The defensive line has good players in Mike Tafua and Maxs Tupai on the outside and Hauati Pututau and Viane Moala on the inside. The defensive backfield includes highly touted Clark Phillips III and Vonte Davis. So, as usual, the defense is solid and will get after anyone.

Non-Conference Schedule:

9/2 Weber State

9/11 at BYU

9/18 at San Diego State

The non-con schedule is not easy and a good team like Utah doesn’t need to be playing three patsies. They open with an easy warm-up against Weber State before the big rival game against BYU. They follow that up with a trip to San Diego State and that won’t be easy either. If they come through that 3-0 they are going to be pretty good.

Conference Schedule:

9/25 Washington State

10/9 at USC

10/16 Arizona State

10/23 at Oregon State

10//30 UCLA

11/5 at Stanford

11/13 at Arizona

11/20 Oregon

11/27 Colorado

The conference schedule will be a challenge as the Utes drew Oregon from the other division but at least they have them in Salt Lake City and that will be a key game. The other home games include must wins against Washington State and UCLA. The Colorado game should be a win and they really need to beat Arizona State. Road games at Oregon State and Arizona have to be wins and then there are toughies against Stanford and USC. If they can split those two games they will be in the hunt.

Summary: Utah has a chance to be really good and the good fortune of getting Charlie Brewer might be the guy to get them to the promised land. They will be a tough out as always and will be well-coached and fundamentally sound. The schedule is daunting and they can’t slip up and lose a game they shouldn’t. If they can beat Oregon and split the 2 road games at USC and Stanford they could win the league title.

Predicted Finish: 2nd Place in the Pac-12 South

Overall Record: 9-3

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