Pac-12 Conference Football Preview: Utah Utes (Part 1: Offense)

The Utah Utes did fairly well during their first Pac-12 season in 2011. Utah finished the year with an overall record of 8-5 and a Pac-12 conference record of 4-5. In their first four Pac-12 games, the Utes went 0-4 as they lost to the USC Trojans, the Washington Huskies, the Arizona State Sun Devils, and the California Golden Bears. In their last five Pac-12 games, the went 4-1 as they beat the Oregon State Beavers, the Arizona Wildcats, the UCLA Bruins, and the Washington State Cougars, but lost to the Colorado Buffaloes on senior night by a score of 17-14. Utah finished the 2011 season with an overtime win in the Holiday Sun Bowl against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets by a score of 30-27.

The Utes will need to look to their offense if they would like to do better in the Pac-12 in 2012. Here’s a look at the averages they had per game and their rankings compared to the other schools in Division I:

  • Nov. 19, 2011; Pullman, WA, USA; Utah Utes running back John White (15) celebrates a touchdown against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

    Total: 310.8 yards (109th overall)

  • Passing: 190.0 yards (96th overall)
  • Rushing: 137.6 yards (80th overall)

The biggest question for the Utes entering this season will be about who they should start at the quarterback position. The two players in the middle of this question are seniors, Jordan Wynn and Jon Hays. Last season, Utah needed to start these two quarterbacks because of an injury that happened to Wynn in their game against Washington. Wynn threw for 727 yards on 66 completions and threw for six touchdowns and two interceptions in the four games he played last season. In Wynn’s absence, Hays threw for 1,459 yards on 120 completions and threw twelve touchdowns and eight interceptions.

But who should start for Utah in 2012? Right now, the answer to that question is Jordan Wynn. Wynn will start the season at quarterback for the Utah Utes because he was the starter before and he will be the starter now. During his sophomore year, he threw for 2,334 yards on 186 completions and threw for seventeen touchdowns and ten interceptions. Making Wynn the starter for the 2012 season is the safest bet for the Utes because of how familiar he is with the team already. Last season was Hays first year with Utah after transferring from Nebraska-Omaha while last season was Wynn’s third year at Utah.

A huge bright spot for the Utes entering the 2012 season will be their starting running back, John White. Last season was White’s first season at Utah after he transferred as a mid-year junior in January 2012. In his first year at Utah, White rushed for 1,519 yards and he broke Utah’s 29-year-old single season rushing yards record. He also has fifteen rushing touchdowns.

The Utah Utes are very excited about White entering the 2012 season and they should be. In July of 2012, it was announced that White is a candidate for the Doak Walker award in 2012. Also, White is an All-American candidate and could possibly be a key member of the Heisman Race this upcoming season. Only time will tell, but John White will be a lot of fun to watch during the 2012 season.

For more stories on Utah, check out Hoyo’s Revenge.

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Topics: All-American, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, California Golden Bears, Colorado Buffaloes, Doak Walker, Doak Walker Award, Gerogia Tech Yellow Jackets, Heisman, Heisman Race, Heisman Watch, Holiday Sun Bowl, John White, Jon Hays, Jordan Wynn, Oregon State Beavers, Pac-12, Pac-12 Conference, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Utah Football, Utah Utes, Utes, Washington Huskies, Washinton State Cougars

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