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With a victory Saturday, Kyle Whittingham would match another record

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Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham greets a fan as the team arrives for a game against BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. With a win Saturday at Arizona, Whittingham could tie the record for most victories for a head coach in Utah football history.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

This article was first published as the Ute Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday night.

Last week, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham reflected on what it means to be the second-longest tenured coach in college football.

Utah, Arizona TV

Utes on the air


Utah (6-3, 5-1)

at Arizona (1-8, 1-5)

Saturday, Noon MST

Arizona Stadium

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: ESPN 700


“Blessed. Fortunate. Very blessed to have the talent-level of player we’ve had come through here and the character and the assistant coaches that have come through here. I’m fortunate to be a part of the whole thing and surrounded by really good players and coaches,” he said. “At its core, coaching is about relationships and relationships with your players and assistant coaches. I can’t say how thankful I am for the opportunity and longevity that I’ve had. It’s been a great 17 years as the head coach and 10 years on top of that as a defensive coach.”

After last Friday’s resounding 52-7 pounding of Stanford, Whittingham moved closer to a new milestone.

With a win this weekend at Arizona, Whittingham would tie the program record for coaching wins in a career. He has posted a 140-69 record at Utah. Ike Armstrong (1925-49) produced a record of 141-55-15.

What does Whittingham think about being so close to becoming the winningest coach in school history?

“It does things in terms of feeling fortunate and blessed for all the great players that I’ve had the chance to coach and have come through here and put that record together. It’s not my record,” he said. “It’s a culmination of a bunch of really good players and a bunch of really good assistant coaches and a bunch of good support from the administration all tied together. That’s how I look at it.”

Numbers game

1: Utah’s rank in the Pac-12 in third-down stops — opponents are converting only 35.4% on third downs.

25: Victories all-time against Arizona with a win on Saturday.

6-1: The Utes’ Pac-12 record this season if they can win Saturday, marking the first 6-1 Pac-12 start for Utah since 2019.

From the archives

Extra points

  • How Tavion Thomas led one of the most prolific rushing nights in Utah football history (Deseret News)
  • Utah football gets commitment from Idaho ATH Tao Johnson (Deseret News)
  • What does Kyle Whittingham think about this true freshman safety? ‘He’s going to be special’ (Deseret News)
  • Highlights, key plays and photos from Utah’s 52-7 win over Stanford (Deseret News)
  • Runnin’ Utes show off depth, shooting ability in win over Westminster College (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers

Utes have made a living defensively finding and developing ‘tweeners’ like (Cole) Bishop; kids who have the speed and athleticism to play off the LOS, but the size and physicality to play up and defend against the run. Whether you call him a safety, corner or linebacker doesn’t really matter. Kids like Bishop give the defense real flexibility and match up advantages. He’s one in a long line of these hybrids, which includes Devin Lloyd, who can cover, defend a gap or edge rush a QB.

— Atkins

I’m as dumb as any fan out there when it comes to my team (at least I can admit it, but that’s a different story) and this Utah (basketball) team has a lot of potential. They have a great coach, a fair amount of experience, and some quality talent. Also, when you add in how well the Pac-12 did in the tourney last year, the entire conference will get the benefit of the doubt come March. So, this team could absolutely make the tourney with around a .500 record, some solid wins, and a bit of luck.

— Not_paying_for_the_Trib

Up next

Nov. 12 | 3 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Arizona | @Tuscon, Arizona

Nov. 13 | Noon | Football | vs. Arizona | @Tempe, Arizona | Pac-12 Network

Nov. 14 | 1 p.m. | Women’s volleyball | vs. Arizona State | @Tempe, Arizona | ASU Livestream