OUCH! I'm really frustrated after this game! Part of the frustation is that I feel Utah as a football program is better than Arizona State... yet we've been thumped by this "supposed" mid-tier team for the second straight year. It's one thing to get beat up by USC... but Arizona State... really?
I probably need a few days of perspective... by right now... I'd say this is one of the 5 worst performances of the Whittingham era. Here's my list....TOP 5 WORST PERFORMANCES OF THE WHITTINGHAM ERA
2007 UNLV defeats Utah 27-0
Five years later and there is still no explaining this loss. The one silver lining is that it ignited Whittingham and his staff... and ultimately the Utes went on a 23-1 run that included the Sugar Bowl win. Still, it's hard to believe a team like the 2007 UNLV Rebels stepped up and shut out Utah!
2010 Notre Dame defeats Utah 28-3
Yes, we were thrashed by TCU the week before... but we were still nationally ranked and expected to come in and thump a struggling Notre Dame team. Yet there on the soggy turf in South Bend... we couldn't even muster up one touchdown. Such a disappointment... and a terrible loss in what should have been a bounce back week in a historic venue. Utah football went from flying high and a top 10 ranking... to a pretty lowly state in a matter of just 8 days in the fall of 2010!
2006 Boise State defeats Utah 36-3
So Boise State turned out to be pretty good in 2006, but at that time they still didn't have a reputation for beating the tough teams (they went down to Georgia the year before and got blown out). Also... the Utes were still only a year and a half removed from the Fiesta Bowl... and we had playmakers like Eric Weddle that gave us a lot of optimism. It was late September and there we were, sitting at 3-1... playing an upstart Boise State team at home. I remember going to that game thinking it would be a tough test - but figured it'd be a pretty evenly matched game. Boy was I wrong! Utah got it handed to them that afternoon... at home, by a team from a weaker conference that many thought was inferior to us at the time!
2010 TCU defeats Utah 47-7
This loss was such an embarrassment on so many levels. The nation was watching, Gameday was at Rice-Eccles, the Utah Fan Base was jacked up... and Kyle's team comes out and just flops over. You could easily say this was second worst performance (clearly the UNLV loss takes the prize)... but the consolation here is that TCU was almost without question the best or 2nd best team in the country in 2010 as they rolled their way to a Rose Bowl Championship season.
2012 Arizona State defeats Utah 37-7
OK... maybe I'm over-reacting here... but we came out so flat... and had such a terrible performance... against a team that we were picked to finish ahead of in the PAC-12 South race. By midway through the 1st quarter we were out of contention for this game... and outside of one drive we had no offensive production. Even worse... our defense looked absolutely lost for most of the game. Yes... I know we were technically (slight) underdogs here.... but Kyle needs to have the boys ready for a game like this. In reality... as time passes... this is probably just a loss that fades into oblivion as time goes on and seasons roll by... but for now... I'm counting it as one of Kyle's worst yet!
2006 Loss to Wyoming
Inexplicable loss during a rough stretch in the Whittingham era back in 2006. I remember being so down on Kyle after this game! Losing to an inferior team always hurts!
2010 Loss to Boise State (Las Vegas Bowl)
By 2010 we knew all about Boise State. They were favorites going into this game... so it wasn't a terrible surprise they won. This loss hurt for a couple of reasons. 1- It ended the bowl streak. 2- We missed several opportunities early in the game that could have given us a chance (two dropped touchdown passes). In the end we didn't even find the endzone.
2009 Loss to TCU
Looking back... that 2009 team was pretty good. We lost to Oregon in Autzen stadium in what was a close game... then we went on a streak and waltzed into Fort Worth in Mid-November sitting at 8-1. Yes TCU was the favorite... but we scored an early touchdown and this looked to be a close game. But Gary Patterson's crew ended up running over us that night... and there was no excuse for giving up 55 points - our defense looked absolutely pathetic!
2011 Loss to Cal
Painful loss to a PAC-12 program - one that we had defeated in the 2009 Bowl game.... and many Ute fans (including myself) felt that Utah as a football program was on a higher level than Cal.
2011 Loss to Colorado
This loss hurt, and it cost us a chance to go to the PAC-12 Championship. Colorado was a terrible team... but they came to play on a cold November afternoon. Utah looked absolutely pathetic in the first half. This game would have probably made my TOP 5 list... but Utah made a game of it in the second half and had a chance to win - were it not for some missed field goals.