The 2014 season was the best season Utah has had as a member of the Pac-12, and arguably one of the best in program history. Even 10 years ago, Utes fans would have never believed that in one season Utah would beat Michigan, UCLA, USC and Stanford. Well, that was due in part not only because of a dominating defense and special teams, but also because of an extremely productive running game.
During the 2014 season, the Utes rushed for almost 2,500 yards as a team, averaging just shy of 200 per game. Of course, that was due primarily to an improved offensive line, as well as the addition of "The Beast," aka "
Devontae Booker (senior):
The aforementioned Booker has decided to return to school for his senior season, especially after the mass exodus of running backs
Booker is the ultimate building block going into 2015, and as long as they get consistency at quarterback, and of course a competent play caller, the Utes could take another step forward.
Bubba Poole (senior):
Arguably one of the most underutilized weapons in 2014 was Bubba Poole. While Booker was, and is, no doubt the man, Poole was a nice change of pace, and provided an excellent option when he was in the game with Booker at the same time. Poole rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns, but saw a majority of his usage early on in the season, and some sporadic moments through the conference season, most notably in the Oregon game.
Whoever the offensive coordinator ends up being in 2015, hopefully, he can find a way to use Poole more with Booker. Poole has proven that he can gash defenses, although he is not an every down, workhorse back.
Troy McCormick (RS sophomore):
Troy McCormick may be the Utes best kept secret. For the last couple of fall camps, we've heard how explosive and dynamic McCormick can be in the open field. While I expected to see him more in 2014, the flashes he gave us in the Vegas Bowl against Colorado State should have
In 2015, I'm hoping to see him used in a similar manner to the role I want for Bubba Poole. Although, I think McCormick could be split out more in the slot and play a DeAnthony Thomas type role. As McCormick matures and gains experience, he may be the Utes primary weapon once Booker is gone.
Marcel Brown (incoming recruit):
Marcel Brown (6-0, 212 pounds), a three-star-rated running back by Rivals.com, will be joining the Utes roster in 2015 and should add some depth to the position. Brown is supposed to be a running back similar to Devontae Booker and should make a nice addition to the squad, and, hopefully, be ready to possibly take over once Booker and Poole are gone.
Monte Seabrook and
Running back may be the deepest position on offense going into 2015, and Devontae Booker is the reason why. With most of the offensive line returning with the running backs, Utah's running game should be just as potent, if not more so during the 2015 season.