The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Adams: Plain and simple, UCLA wanted it more than Utah

Kiffer Creveling
Utah Senior Travis Wilson (7) evades UCLA defense in the game at Rice-Eccles Stadium where the UCLA Bruins beat the Utah Utes 17-9 on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015

It was an all too familiar story for Utah dropping from contention for the Pac-12 South crown after its 17-9 loss to UCLA on Saturday. The Utes, who were viewed as a potential College Football Playoff contender just two weeks ago, came up short yet again in their quest to perch atop the Conference of Champions.

So why did Utah, a team that hardly loses inside the confines of Rice-Eccles Stadium, fall to an unranked UCLA team that just lost to Washington State in the Rose Bowl just the week before? Well, with Pac-12 aspirations still in play for both teams when the game kicked off, the harsh and simple truth is that the Bruins wanted it more and it was apparent right from the get-go.

On UCLA’s first drive, quarterback Josh Rosen came out guns blazing, finding his receivers over the top of the Utah secondary on a number of occasions for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Clearly pumped up, the Bruins could be seen on the ensuing kickoff dancing and jumping around to the music playing at RES as the Utes stood still.

It was just the first drive of the game, but maybe that was the telling sign that it was going to be a rough outing for the Utes.

I mean, think about it. When you were watching the game on Saturday, did you see any sort of fire behind the eyes of the Utah players? Did you see players giving everything they had in order to get to a potential Pac-12 Championship game?

Sure, there were the rare occasions when some of the players on the Ute defense would get pumped up after a big stop or play, but that’s really all the emotion we saw all night out of the Utes. I hate to play the bad guy, but it’s almost as if they didn’t realize that they could have taken back the driver’s seat they lost just the week before in the Pac-12 South.

I’m not the only one, either. Former Ute receiver Kaelin Clay took to his official Twitter account echoing nearly the same sentiments.


Don’t get me wrong, I know that these guys are competitors. They do not like to lose any week, especially with so much on the line. There’s a reason why every player for Utah walked into that locker room following Saturday’s loss not speaking a word. They knew what they had lost and by no means do I believe that they didn’t try, or thought this game would be easy.

What I’m saying is that throughout the entirety of the game, the Bruins wanted to win more than the Utes. Whatever head coach Jim Mora did to prepare his team for this matchup, it clearly worked as UCLA showed up ready to play.

The growth of this program is obvious, and Kyle Whittingham has Utah in a good position moving forward. But if the Utes are going to make that jump to elite status, they need to learn not only how to close out opponents and games, but how to finish off promising seasons as well.

For now, the question of “what could’ve been,” an all too familiar phrase for Ute fans, continues to linger in their minds.

[email protected]


Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *