It’s been a longstanding tradition in Utah’s football program under coach Kyle Whittingham.

It’s called “Bloody Tuesday” — the designation used for Tuesday in-season practices, the longest and most grueling of the week before a Saturday game.

“We just had a nice ‘Bloody Tuesday.’ It was a grinder. It was hot. It was good.” — Utah DB Clark Phillips III

Coming off a tough 29-26 loss at Florida, and with the home opener coming up Saturday (11:30 a.m. MDT, Pac-12 Network) against Southern Utah, this week’s “Bloody Tuesday” was particularly meaningful, as temperatures soared above 100 degrees and the Utes tried to move on from last weekend’s disappointing defeat.

“We just had a nice ‘Bloody Tuesday.’ It was a grinder. It was hot. It was good,” said cornerback Clark Phillips III. “Every day getting better, honing in on the details and perfecting this thing so we can go out there and dominate this weekend.”

Phillips explained the purpose of “Bloody Tuesday.”

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“Bloody Tuesday is one of those days of the week where we try to simulate it the most like the game, try to make it super violent, super crazy,” he said. “It’s the longest of the week in terms of practice length.”

Cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah said “Bloody Tuesday” has been used by Whittingham for years. 

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“‘Bloody Tuesday’ has been the moniker of this practice forever. Coach Whitt makes certain that everybody feels it, from warmups to the time when you run wind sprints to the live tackling sessions to the repeated, long special teams. You feel it. You feel exactly what ‘Bloody Tuesday’ feels like. And after you walk off the field, and if you’ve committed yourself to this practice day, you feel good.

“You feel like you can begin to exorcise some of the demons that plagued me on Saturday and begin to get ready to at least put together an absolutely wonderful performance on film on Saturday. But it takes this level of work and grinding to get the results you want on Saturday.”

Shah added that the atmosphere during “Bloody Tuesday” is different after a loss than after a win. 

“The vibe is much more of a concerted effort for physicality. People are chippy. Bad attitudes. And I love it. I love the violence. I love people on edge,” he said. “An extra level of physicality, because that’s what was missing on Saturday. That’s good. You want these practices to begin to mimic some of the things you hope will show up on the Saturday that’s coming.”

Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III gets excited during fall camp at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. | Hunter Dyke, Utah Athletics
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