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As Utes prep for regular-season finale vs. Buffs, plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Says head coach Kyle Whittingham, ‘I couldn’t be more proud, pleased, grateful for the staff that we have. They’re a bunch of excellent football coaches’

SHARE As Utes prep for regular-season finale vs. Buffs, plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving
Utah Utes quarterback Cam Rising (7) hugs coach Kyle Whittingham at the end of the game against Stanford on Nov. 12, 2022.

Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising hugs Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham at the end of the game against Stanford Cardinal in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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

Utah is coming off a tough 20-17 loss at Oregon Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

As the Utes get ready to close out the regular season at Colorado, maybe it’s time to reflect on things for which to be grateful.

The last time Utah played at Colorado, in 2020, it was during the pandemic and no fans were allowed to watch the game in person on a snowy, cold day at Folsom Field in Boulder.

This season, fans have turned out in droves to watch college football in person.

Recently, Utes linebacker Karene Reid expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play with his brother, Gabe, who transferred to Utah from Stanford. Gabe Reid led the Utes in tackles against Oregon with eight.

“It’s been amazing. I can’t believe it’s almost done. It’s been such a blast that I’ve lost track of time,” Karene Reid said. “When I see him making plays, it’s as if I’m making it. I’m so happy for him and his success. I’ve seen him work ever since we were little. To see that pay off for him has been amazing.”

Coach Kyle Whittingham recently expressed appreciation for his coaching staff.

“I couldn’t be more proud, pleased, grateful for the staff that we have. They’re a bunch of excellent football coaches,” he said. “They are coaches that care about their players more than just the football field. They care about them in every aspect of their lives. When players know you care about them, they’re going to play hard for you.”

In case you missed it

Utah’s basketball team earned a gritty victory in the opening round of the Fort Myers Tip-off in Florida over Georgia Tech. The Utes went up by 19 points early on only to watch that lead evaporate.

But in the end, Utah won 68-64.

“We did earn it. It was a roller coaster of a game. We saw about everything in that game, from both teams,” coach Craig Smith said. “What a great start. I thought we had a good finish, but not so good in-between. But there were a lot of really good things from tonight.”

Five Utes scored in double figures, led by Gabe Madsen’s 16 points.

Numbers game

17: Points Utah scored against Oregon, a season-low.

10: Points Utah’s offense scored against Oregon.

3: Interceptions thrown by Utah quarterback Cam Rising against Oregon after throwing just four all season going into that game.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Utah defensive back Malone Mataele entering transfer portal (Deseret News)
  • As of now, which bowl is Utah projected to play in? (Deseret News)
  • Nixed: Oregon, QB Bo Nix deal big blow to Utah’s Pac-12 championship hopes (Deseret News)
  • Highlights, key plays and photos from No. 10 Utah’s 20-17 loss to No. 12 Oregon (Deseret News)
  • ‘The colors, the team, the guys they had’: Why playing at Autzen fulfills childhood dream for Utah’s Micah Bernard, Devaughn Vele (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

The game was a bit of a mess everywhere. Most glaring to me was Cam’s poor play. I don’t see him as a fit anywhere in the NFL. Selfishly, I hope he realizes the need to sharpen things up one more year and *maybe* get a shot in the future. Up next: two games I don’t care about — Colorado and some bowl game other than the Rose Bowl. Kyle’s done a good job getting us all to the level where our mindset is the conference championship and the Rose Bowl — which is where we *should* be setting our sights. Love Whit and the coaching staff and the team. We just fell short this year.

— MrReasonable

Thank you Whit for last year going to Rose Bowl. That was fun!!

What NFL team would want Rising? He looked terrible last night. He is not consistent in his passing. He is a tough kid and runs well, but that’s not the NFL game.

How ridiculous we are on kicking team. We can’t kick a field goal.

— azgop

Up next

Nov. 25 | 3 p.m. | Volleyball | vs. Colorado | @Boulder, Colorado | Pac-12 Mountain

Nov. 26 | 2 p.m. | Football | vs. Colorado | @Boulder, Colorado | Pac-12 Network

Nov. 26 | 6 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. St. Thomas | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network