After its second loss of the season, the Utah football team is looking to bounce back against the UCLA Bruins this Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium to keep its Pac-12 South hopes alive.
Since the Utes lost in double overtime to Arizona last weekend, they lost control of the division. Now, to claim victory, they must win the final two games and they need USC to lose one of its final two games. UCLA is also still in the running, despite dropping last week’s match against Washington State. The Bruins must win their final two games if they want to play in the Pac-12 Championship game.
True freshman Britain Covey is ready to play in front of the home fans after being on the road for the last two games. He knows the team needs to forget about what happened in Tucson if they are going to find any success this weekend.
“You can come in sad thinking about the loss, and just not be as motivated or you can be shifted by the loss and be motivated by it instead of being decimated by it,” Covey said.
He hopes his team can also realize that if they come in with the wrong mindset, things can easily take a turn for the worse. However, Covey has complete faith in the leaders of the team to prepare them and will do his part to stay positive no matter what.
“It’s all about attitude,” Covey said. “It’s all about how you look at things. Definitely easy to come back after a win, but you really show what type of a team you are after a loss.”
While Covey will do whatever he can to get open, the defense is looking to improve after a lackluster performance last week. Whatever it needs to do to prevent UCLA’s offense from going off and driving down the field, the Ute defense is willing to do.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham thinks that the Bruins have one of the most complete offenses in the Pac-12. From their front seven to their quarterback to their running back, everyone is skilled and the Utah defense will need to play better than it has in recent showings if those guys are going to stand any chance.
“They got weapons all over the place so the biggest challenge is trying to figure out a way to slow down the offense because they really got no weakness,” Whittingham said. “Across the board they’re talented.”
Not only did the defense fall below the fans’ standards against the Wildcats, it fell short of its own standards. After allowing 37 points, the defensive players want to make up for their poor performance and know it will take a lot of focus and energy to get back to where they have been for the majority of the season.
“We got a lot of guys on our defense who are prideful, they take a lot of pride in what they’re doing and they’ll get themselves reeled back in,” Whittingham said. “We expect that they’ll rebound and come back and play well this weekend.”