Utah Football Optimistic Heading into Game Versus UCLA


University of Utah sophomore linebacker Devin Lloyd (20) chases down UCLA sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) in an NCAA Football game vs. UCLA at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday November 16, 2019.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


After having what was supposed to be their first game of the season canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests, the Utah football team is remaining optimistic about their scheduled game versus UCLA. The game was originally scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13 but has since been moved to Saturday, Nov. 14. 


Scouting the Utes: 

Ranking: N/A

Record: (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) 

Last Week: Canceled vs Arizona

Last week was filled with disappointment after the season opener versus Arizona was canceled. While the team has reported consecutive days without a positive test, both the coaches and players are remaining optimistic about the prospect of playing come Saturday. The team did not practice this past weekend but was cleared to resume practice on Monday of this week.

While the team was upset about not being able to play on Saturday, according to defensive end Maxs Tuapi and cornerback Malone Mataele, the team is in good spirits and is focused on the Bruins. 

I think we still have a lot of energy. We are bummed that we didn’t get to play last week, but getting the opportunity to play against UCLA gives us energy and I think the boys are hyped about that,” Tupai said. 

“I think we are ready. We have a lot of young guys and a lot of experienced guys who are already in some shape or form. This week we have to buy in and critique the little things here and there. It is just about taking the right approach to this week – coming in hungry and ready to go against UCLA,” Mataele said.  


Hear it from Coach: 

There are arguments on both sides. Typically, the old adage is that you make your most improvement between games one and two, so they’ve got that on their side. As far as us, we’ve got a full game tape to watch, study and analyze from this year where they have nothing on us this year. Who knows. There are advantages both ways depending on how you look at it,” Whittingham said about if the Utes have an edge versus the Bruins since there is no film on this year’s team. 


Scouting the Bruins: 

Ranking: N/A

Record: (0-1, 0-1 Pac-12) 

Last Game: L vs Colorado, 48-42 

It was a shootout last week for the Bruins as they opened the season versus Colorado on Saturday night. But despite all that offense, the 303 passing yards by quarterback Dorrian Thompson-Robinson just wasn’t enough for the team as they fell in Boulder 48-42. Thompson-Robinson had four touchdowns and one interception in the loss. He was also 20-40 on his pass attempts on the night. 

Thompson-Robinson also led the team in rushing, accounting for 109 yards and one touchdown. On the receiving end, Greg Dulchich led the team with 126 yards on four receptions. He also accounted for one touchdown. 

Defensively, Stephan Blaylock led the team in tackles with 11 total (nine solo).  


Mascot Matchup: 

Once again it would look like the odds would be stacked against Swoop, facing off against both Joe and Josephine Bruin. Yes, they are two bears, but here’s the thing: their comically large heads seem really disproportionate to the rest of their bodies. I believe that if Swoop could knock their center of gravity off, he could take them. It might be playing dirty, but anything goes in a mascot matchup. 

Advantage Swoop. 


How to watch: 

This week’s game is set to kick off at 8:30 pm MST on Fox. Aaron Goldsmith and Brady Quinn will be on the TV call. Fans can also listen to the game live on The Home of the Utes, ESPN700 with Bill Riley and Scott Mitchell on the call. 


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