Whittingham held his first weekly press conference of the season Monday. There he discussed Utah's game against Oregon State and the upcoming 2007 season.
Whittingham is talking about Yvenson Bernard, though it should be noted, Oregon State had a worse rushing attack last season than the Utes.
It looks as if Stroughter won't play, as Oregon State head coach Mike Riley said he's definitely out for the Utah game. Though who knows if that is a ploy to throw Utah off.
Firstly, I'm glad to see Whittingham isn't pushing these guys too hard. There is a fine line between being tough and being too tough. Last season Utah struggled against UCLA in the second half and that was attributed to the tough fall camp. They're hoping the team is fresher this season, which might end the midseason slumps we saw in 2005 and 2006.
Secondly, I hope the secondary does step up and that they have made great strides in camp. If the secondary struggles this season, it will spell trouble for Utah's young defense.
Not a surprise, as I reported this already. I expect Asiata to get most of the touches, but we'll see.
Matt Asiata hasn't had any live reps, and that has been because of the nature of his injury. But, I don't think that's going to affect him this week.
I don't expect to see Poston play as big of a role like he did last year. The fact Asiata hasn't had any live reps is a concern, but who knows how that will affect him against Oregon State.
On redshirting Darrell Mack
I don't know what to make of this, but I'm excited to see what Eddie Wide can do. I've heard nothing but good things about him and it would be great if he had a successful freshman season.
I haven't seen one specific example of the team's leadership and unity. I've noticed the general relationship between all of the players. They all get a long and that's odd for a Division I team with its size. Usually you get cliques or there are a couple that clash. But, I haven't seen that at all with us.
I really hope he's right here. It seems the team was filled with a ton of discontent the past two years and that hurt our play. I'm not ready to jump on this bandwagon just yet, but here's to the team showing some great player leadership in '07.
Brian Johnson returning is the best part of the 2007 season. I don't know if it'll mean more wins, but I can almost guarantee he won't be as frustrating to watch as Brett Ratliff was last year. With that said, Johnson did have his flaws, especially when it came to turning the ball over while running the option. If Utah is going to be successful at sustaining drives and scoring in the redzone, he will need to adjust and cut down on those sloppy turnovers.
I believe that no one really knows the landscape of the conference until the fourth or fifth week of play. It takes time for the dust to settle and to get a read on who's good and who's not so good.
I agree that Oregon State will tell us where Utah is. If they are blown out, I think it will be a very long season. A close loss won't be too upsetting and will give me hope and if the Utes win, well watch out. As for focusing more on conference games, with a schedule like this, you really need to. Utah could realistically win a share of the conference championship and finish with only 7-wins this year. Of course, we all hope for Utah to at least break even in their out of conference schedule and then win 6 or 7 conference games. But who knows, because this season can really go either way.
Here's to a win and a more upbeat press conference in week 2!