Ute fans call for change

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

Last weekend against the Wyoming Cowboys, when the U’s hopes of an undefeated conference record were dying to the beat of a 31-0 shellacking, a chant started from Ute fans. It began as a dull and ominous toll, but as it reached more ears, it started to snowball into a roaring chorus, with more than the majority of U fans joining in.

The chant?

FI-RE LUD-WIG, clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, FI-RE LUD-WIG.

The chorus of jeers refers to Utah’s offensive coordinator, Andy Ludwig, who came to the U two seasons ago after holding the same position at Oregon.

Ludwig’s play-calling thus far has been skeptical, if not laughable, and has caused many Ute fans to pursue their suicide of choice.

Evan Orton, a sophomore in pre-pharmacy, is one of the many fans who are disappointed with the Ute’s play calling.

“It’s just ridiculous. I could tell you exactly where the play is going to go at any given time. It’s like Ludwig is playing Candyland, and everyone else is playing Scattergories. The level of thinking and creativity just isn’t there,” Orton said.

Well, that’s one opinion. Let’s check in with Iver Olsen, a junior studying materials science and engineering.

“I don’t think things have been clicking right. It seems like when we’re on, we’re on, but when we’re off, we are terribly off,” Olsen said. “The offense looked good against TCU, but with Wyoming, it just seemed like we were predictable.”

Olsen makes a pretty fair point. Wyoming may as well have set up camp in the Utah huddle because it knew exactly where the Utes wanted to go with the ball in any given situation. The U offense was held to an abysmal 144 total yards and failed to mount any kind of scoring drive until the end of the game. The total was significantly below the season average of 319.3 yards per game.

Adam Hiscock, a freshman engineering major, prefers an alternate take on the situation.

“He has been doing a terrible job the entire season. Urban Meyer pretty well handed him an offense on a silver platter, but Ludwig apparently doesn’t like to win, so he went with his own crap,” Hiscock said.

Comparing this season with the magical season of 2004 may be a bit unfair, but deal with it-because once the Utes busted the BCS, expectations should have risen above merely winning the Mountain West.

“It just seems like we don’t take as many chances downfield,” sophomore Colt Niemann said. “How many deep passes have they thrown this year? Not very many. Casteel and Richards are great receivers, so why not give them more opportunities to make plays?”

Despite what fans think, coach Whittingham stays behind Ludwig and his play calling.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in Andy Ludwig and what he does. People say play calling and this and that. Those are the same plays we led the Mountain West Conference with and were 11th in the nation (in total offense) last year,” Whittingham said. “I don’t believe it is play selection. We’ve got to be better executing what is called.”

Cough?bulls***?cough. Whew, sorry, I had something caught in my throat.

Seriously, where do you draw the line for what your players are accountable for? We have good players. There is only so much they can do, though.

Now we just need somebody with a clever scheme to step in and throw a little flavor in the offense?AND THROW THE DAMNED BALL DOWNFIELD.

Lennie Mahler

U football fans in the MUSS section watch painfully as the team loses to Boise State 36-3 on Sept. 30. Ute fans have been taken on a rollercoaster ride this season with a series of unpredictable wins and losses.