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Utah Utes aim to catapult their season off of Stanford upset

It starts with a battle in Arizona. We chat with Sean Reynolds of Block U to learn more about the Utes.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

1. What were the biggest reasons Utah was able to upset Stanford? What were the biggest positives to take away from that contest?

I think Utah is a good team and when you're a good team, you generally stand a good chance of winning a game like this. Let's not pretend this was a fluke - the Utes have proven, even in defeats, they're capable of going toe-to-toe with most programs ... especially at home.   I think the biggest positive is the fact Utah finally won a legitimate Pac-12 game. Prior to their win over Stanford, the Utes' best win was against a so-so UCLA team in 2011 that ended up firing their head coach. Stanford now becomes the biggest win the program has seen since the Sugar Bowl in 2009 and establishes their position as a rising threat in the conference. It took two and a half seasons, but I think it shows Utah has finally arrived.

2. Utah has been looking for a signature win since joining the Pac-12 and they now have it. How confident are you in the leadership of Kyle Whittingham?

I've always been confident (well, not always - I did question his leadership back in 2007). This only solidifies my belief that he's one of the country's best coaches. I guess my biggest concern was that he somehow would stagnate at Utah, especially if he couldn't grab a season-defining win. Well...

3. Midterm time: Grade your players! How is each unit performing based on your level of expectation coming into the season?

The offense gets an A. They were abysmal the past two seasons and their turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable. The defense, which looked like a solid C at best after the first couple weeks, has really turned it around as of late - defending well in their last three games. I'll give them a B-, but I believe they will only continue to improve. Finally, special teams are a mixed bag. Andy Phillips is one of the best kickers in the country, but Utah's kickoff coverage is extremely suspect and that brings down the grade a bit ... which I'd put at a B- too.

4. Midterm time: Grade your coaches! How are the position coaches all performing based on your level of expectation coming into the season?


Kyle Whittingham gets a B, Dennis Erickson a A- and Kalani Sitake a B- (I'm not going to go and grade every position coach, so, don't ask me to!).   As for their performance, Erickson is doing better than expected and Sitake, even though he had some early question marks, seems to be about where I thought he would be.

5. Utah ramps it down a notch as they get ready to battle Arizona. What are you looking for from the Utes this weekend in terms of overall improvement?

I just want a win. I don't care if it's ugly or not - just win.