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09/26/2015 - 1:49pm Wow.

I had the thought that BYU losing Tuiloma would make your run game easier but I had no idea that the Michigan staff would game plan this well against the BYU defense.  With Bronco chosing early to bring the safeties up for run support bringing the tight ends into play was the perfect counter andRudock is looking far better than he has in previous games.  After the first couple of drives I noticed the safeties playing back more and your offense has taken great advantage of running up the middle. 

There's no question that Michigan will continue to improve over the year.  Enjoy the second half and as a UM fan Ace Anbender said on Twitter, "oh, right, BYU is losing so everyone watch their knees and their nuts."

09/23/2015 - 4:00pm Very good analysis once again 96

Since we had a Friday game on the 11th a few of us went to the Boise State game in Provo on Saturday.  After watching the  UCLA game and Nebraska game on TV, here are a few things I've noticed about Tanner Mangum.  Sorry if some of this repeats. 

His pocket presence and running reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers.  Mangum won't typically look to run but he will if he sees the gap.  He's quick to slide or get out of bounds and doesn't take a lot of hits.  Mostly when you see Mangum scramble he's looking to extend the play, not gain yardage. 

Watching replays on the video board at the BSU game we counted at least three seconds that Mangum's roll to the right added to a play.  I'm guessing that the chance of finding a corner that wants to cover an extra three or four seconds is about the same as finding Bigfoot.  Now that we're three games into the season it will be interesting to see where his conditioning is just three months off of his mission. 

A couple of other items of note following the UCLA game, Adam Hine (HEE-nay) is starting to take over the running game.  With Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill both gone BYU's running game looked pretty dormant until UCLA.  Hine established himself as a valid, solid RB. 

Rumor locall has it that Travis Tuiloma could possibly be back although at what level no one is saying.  As mentioned after the Nebraska game, BYU losing Tuiloma is bigger than losing Hill.  BYU's lack of depth on the line was exploited by UCLA with three rushes of 59 yards on the final drive to claim the win.  Tuiloma's presence and capability to play at his normal level will be a real wild card.

Also, a note for NVACougar, we've been to Michigan twice and their fans are great.  Yes, you'll hear a little language there that you won't hear in Provo.  Yes, there will be Mormon and polygamy jokes mostly from the students but our experience was that if we laughed with them, they normally mellowed right out.  (We explained that we weren't the Mormons, you guys are so nothing personal if any of them remember that) Just make sure you don't wear your skin too thin or have your offense meter dialed in too sensitive and enjoy the experience that is the Big House.  

By the way, definitely recommend Zingerman's. We stopped there for lunch the day of the game.  When we went to pay for our food the cashier told us that a couple of Michigan fans said to tell us, "Welcome to Michigan." They had paid for it.

09/05/2015 - 10:47pm upvote for your name

and your avatar!

09/05/2015 - 10:43pm You get a couple of bourbons in me and I show back up again...

The landscape of your game with BYU changed today but not because of Taysom Hill. I think this will be the end of him in football. He's a Econ/Finance guy and has an open offer from the VC firm he interned with this year. I think he's gone. You play on Sunday if you recover from leg injuries, not foot injuries.

What I think will be the biggest loss for BYU when they meet you is the loss of Travis Tuiloma at NG. Bronco announced that Tuiloma is out 4-6 weeks with an unspecified knee injury. In watching the game Tuiloma limped off of the field which makes me think sprain or cartilage, not tear of a ligament.

Tuiloma isn't huge like most NGs but he has amazing lower body strength.  He's the not the kind of NG that is going to push guys into the backfield, rather he's the boulder in the middle of the stream that just stops the middle from moving and clogs everything up.  That being said, he still has the lateral quickness that if you try to counter him by sweeping he can push a guard into the tackle and blow plays up that way. Pick your poison.

After Tuiloma went out today NU ran the middle with little trouble.  I think your chances of being able to run on BYU went up considerably today. I have heard that RB play is an issue and it looked like it on Thursday. Tuilloma's injury may shift the advantage your way.

09/04/2015 - 4:24pm Upvote for the Kannaraville reference!

Pretty part of the state. A lot of the town looks right into Zion National Park.

09/02/2015 - 10:28pm Double post

Sorry.  New tablet.

09/02/2015 - 10:25pm I would recommend Gracie's or the Green Pig. Both are great

Lumpy's on Pierpont Ave. is the downtown Utes bar.  Go in there and you'll likely get a drink or two bought for you.

09/02/2015 - 9:48pm Does it come

with sister wife's what?  You must have accidentally hit enter before you typed in what belongs to the sister wife.

Or on second thought considering that I don't have or know a sister wife, whatever it is that belongs to her wouldn't come with the trailer.

09/02/2015 - 6:33pm Done and sorry

I went in to edit out a stray character in my signature and it apparently resized to full size. 


09/02/2015 - 6:19pm Takes me back to the days when we went to lovely Laramie.

Since Laramie doesn't have enough hotel rooms for a full team to stay in and its airport can't land the charter, the Utes would fly into and stay in Cheyenne.  Ron McBride started a tradition to do the Friday night walkthrough in the parking lot of the Chevron station next to the team hotel.

Urban wasn't too popular when he continued the tradition in 2004.  There was 4" of snow on the ground, the wind was about 30 miles per hour and it was 15 degrees.  Urban ran a one hour walktrough. The next night was the coldest game I've ever attended.

09/02/2015 - 5:39pm At least you screen shot the nice part of town...


09/01/2015 - 7:37pm 3.2 is for grocery stores & on tap

Stop by Squatters or Red Rock or any of the state liquor stores and you'l find plenty of fully leaded beers.

09/01/2015 - 2:49pm This is the trailer's 11th year

This is our 11th year of tailgating with the trailer, 18th overall.  The Shasta is in the northwest corner of the Guardsman lot just south of the tents they set up for the Campus Store.  Feel free to stop by and say hello.

09/01/2015 - 2:03pm Well, let's see...

The trailer is 12 1/2 feet long so you could fit four of them in the UM truck and still have 3' left over...LOL

09/01/2015 - 1:57pm Fortunately those days are long gone...

The package/locker concept went away in the early 90s. Now everything is metered.  Bars & restaurants can dispense either an ounce or an ounce and a half at their discretion.  Ask your waiter or bartender, some places will reset the setting to 1.5 if they normally only do 1 ounce.

09/01/2015 - 1:49pm It sure does! Panguitch Lake Fire Department

Panguitch is my hometown.  My Great grandfather was one of the original settlers.  This is the house I grew up in.  

Did you go to Bryce Canyon? One of the prettiest places around.

08/31/2015 - 11:06am That's right above us

N26, Row 13 8-12.  Stop by and say hi.

08/30/2015 - 10:09pm No. That is on the website but not correct.

According to Darrell who is in charge of tailgating for the Crimson Club the Guardsman lot and the west stadium lot will open at 6 a.m.

08/28/2015 - 12:27pm Here you go

Stove, oven & sink all work, icebox works but the drain hose is broken which isn't an issue as we use it to store wine & margarita glasses.  Seats in the back pull out to form two twin size beds.  Electric works from a 700 watt inverter and two deep cycle marine batteries. 

08/27/2015 - 6:57pm Back in my partying days, this is one of the best hangover cures




08/27/2015 - 6:47pm For Context

Sorry, I thought the context was widely known. Apparently Popular Mechanics magazine posts an event calendar every month. The writer that puts it together is a huge UM fan and thought it would be fun to put this in for the 3rd. The college football season begins as Michigan visits Utah in a cupcake game. At first a lot of the local media thought it was from an official UM publication and was taking it as a slap to Utah but now that it's been found to be from Popular Mechanics it's become a pretty widespread source of humor. There was rumor that Coach Whitt taped a copy of this to each locker with the note, "See? This is what Popular Mechanics thinks of you" to have a little fun with it.

08/27/2015 - 6:46pm Well, the doublewide is the best we can do while we work on

indoor plumin' to the stadium. We are li'l ole Utah, y'know.

No, that's our tailgate trailer, a 1961 Shasta Compact, hence the board name.

08/25/2015 - 7:57pm Yup, those are the original wings

The signature look of Shasta trailers in the 50s and 60s. These are straight out of 1961.

08/25/2015 - 7:02pm We have a converted Ambulance just down from our tailgate.

Between having amazing storage and 110v power outlets everywhere, it's probably the best equipped tailgate rig in the lot short of a motorhome.

But ours is cooler... :)

08/25/2015 - 2:13pm Don't put too much stock into replacing the coordinators

On the defensive side Kalani Sitake did leave but he's being replaced with former D-Line coach John Pease who was with the Utes for years. Utah's defense never was Kalani's. That's one reason he left. Utah has run the Fred Whittingham defense since Mad Dog came here in the early 90's. If anything changes, Pease is probably more aggressive than Kalani ever was.

On the offensive side, it's the best example of addition by subtraction I've ever seen. Dave Christensen was the definition of a locker room cancer there was. One player said that Dave was the guy that made Norm Chow look like someone you'd like to coach with. Aaron Roderick, who recruited Travis Wilson, will be calling plays that show Travis's strengths unlike last year.

Not as big of a deal as it might seem like.

08/20/2015 - 11:17am We talked with Travis's parents when we were in Tempe

Apparently he caught a glimpse of the down marker behind him and mistook the line of scrimmage marker for the upfield first down marker.

His dad told us that the coaching staff was pretty pissed at him until after he went back into the game, then they game him a ton of [poop] about it on the flight back to SLC.

08/19/2015 - 4:05pm Very well done

The school and the Tribe have an interesting and sometimes convoluted relationship.  I think your illustration is very respectful of the Tribe's history.

08/18/2015 - 11:30pm North 27? We are N26, row 13 on the aisle. Or better come

tailgate with us!



08/18/2015 - 4:33pm Forgot about one other place

High West Distillery in Park City has some great food. The lamb tangine is my personal favorite. The chef adapts the menu to pair with their craft whisky blends or their High West 7000 vodka.

08/18/2015 - 2:36pm I do that all of the time...

My girlfriend, two of her friends, a female neighbor and I went out to dinner one night and we put on an act that they were all sister wives.  It gets some looks.

08/18/2015 - 2:34pm A few more suggestions

While no one will ever mistake Salt Lake City as a bastion of liberalism, it isn't anywhere near as closed of a culture as many people think. In fact, I get a good laugh that the leader in the race for Mayor is a gay woman with an adopted child from Africa. No reason to my mind that you won't have a good time.

Can't agree more with the food and drink suggestions. I don't know if anyone has mentioned Gracie's but it's also a fun place and if you're staying until Sunday, brunch is great. Again, word of warning, Red Iguana and RI2 don't take reservations, they have 30-90 minute waits even on Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. and their food is worth every minute of it.

If you haven't booked your hotel, stay downtown. Airport hotels are cheaper but you'll pay more than you'll save in car rental or cab fare as the airport hotels are 15-20 minutes out of downtown. Personally I wouldn't bother renting a car. Essentially everywhere people have mentioned are easily accessible by the Trax light rail, Frontrunner heavy rail and a decent bus system including the Park City/Salt Lake interconnect. Additionally on game day your game ticket is your fare on every form of transit other than the interconnect. If you do rent a car, don't think of driving to the game. Ride the train.

The entertainment, arts and cultural scene in Salt Lake is more vibrant than many people think. As mentioned, there are many museums downtown. Don't believe the stereotype of the Mormons. If you like you can easily walk around temple square without being hassled any more than someone asking if they can answer any questions. The tour of the old Tabernacle is actually pretty cool.

As mentioned, bars are bars not clubs anymore but yes, if the establishment you're at has a restaurant, not a tavern or full-service license, you will need to order an item to eat to drink past your first drink. And, yes, hydrate heavily while you're here. Alcohol is a major contributor to altitude sickness which I wouldn't wish on anyone. In answer to PburgGoBlue, I have heard teams mention the altitude. It isn't noticeable in the first part of the game but by the fourth sometimes you'll see some effect.

Also, I've confirmed that the Guardsman tailgate area will open at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning. Feel free to stop by and say hi. You'll find that part of the fanbase that feels it's obligated to boo you but you'll find that most of the fans will welcome you with food and drink.

Welcome to Salt Lake City. Feel free to hit me or any of the other Utah fans in the mix with any questions you have!

08/17/2015 - 3:47pm Tailgating at Utah

Also just an FYI, I just confirmed with Darrell from the Crimson Club Athletic Fund that the Guardsman lot and all areas on campus will open at 6 a.m. on Thursday the third for tailgating.

08/17/2015 - 12:29pm Room Special Available

No idea if this is allowed or not so if it isn't, no worries in deleting it. Also I can't start new threads so if someone wants to post it as a new thread, go right ahead.

I spoke with the manager of the Hilton Garden Inn over the weekend. She's a friend of ours and tailgates with us. If you are considering spending a little extra time in the area, she has a special rate of $159 per night for anyone from that stays from the 1st to the 5th.

I don't know if this fits anyone's schedule but that's $40 per night off of the current going rate. There's a medical convention in town at the same time you guys are here so rooms are a little tight.

If you decide to stay there, just mention that you heard about it from Shasta.

08/16/2015 - 2:48pm A Few Quick Answers to Questions

I didn't see this until just now so I'll try to answer questions and comments, then I'll post a welcome to Salt Lake post that I normally do for visiting teams, particularly those that haven't been here before.

@umbig: Yes we are in Guardsman in the northeast corner.  You're very welcome to stop by and say hello!
@kawter: Typically the alumni association of the visiting school sets up a tailgate on the west side of Guardsman way. As far as bars downtown I like Gracie's, Lumpy's has been the unofficial Utah bar for years and is also downtown.  A little east of downtown are the newly renovated former dive Bar-X and it's next door neighbor Beer Bar.  Craft cocktails at Bar-X and artisan beers at Beer Bar. Both bars are owned by Modern Family's Ty Burrell and Food Network chef Viet Pham.
@preed1: I haven't heard officially about the tailgate times but tommya14 is correct.  Guardsman is the second largest parking lot available for students and the students have priority on weekday games.
@tommya14: Guardsman tailgate passes are not going to be an option unfortunately.  Guardsman only sells season passes and it has been sold out for over a decade.  Understand that isn't to say that you can't come in.  Anyone is welcome to come in, you just have to have a pass to park a vehicle in there.
Also, kawter, yes it is Salt Lake but the sedate tailgating is 45 miles to the south at BYU.  Were this a Saturday game we would be setting up our camp Friday afternoon. I think you and other UM fans will be surprised when you come to the game.


08/15/2015 - 2:23pm You won't be offended if my opinion disagrees, I hope?

08/15/2015 - 1:48pm Also single game tickets go on sale through the Utah

ticket office on Monday (801) 581-8849

08/13/2015 - 12:33pm I understand that injuries are a sore subject

I just saw the tweet this morning and it's the first I had heard about it.  I went through the forums trying to find out more information but couldn't find any.  Since I can't start a thread the only option I had was to post it here.

Sorry to bring up a sore subject, I'm just a visiting Utah fan that likes to learn as much as possible about upcoming opponents.

My apologies if this has been discussed in forums I didn't find.

08/13/2015 - 12:04pm Michigan DT Bryan Mone out of

Michigan DT Bryan Mone out of Highland High school in SLC may be out for the year with a broken leg. University hasn't made it official yet.

Was this player expected to contribute much this year?

08/12/2015 - 6:06pm Everyone should go to a Sugar Bowl at least once in their life

I've never been treated as well as when we were in New Orleans in 2008-2009.  Friendliest and most knowledgable people I can remember.  Genuinely glad that we were there.

08/10/2015 - 5:06pm Way too early but some preseason thoughts about 96Alum's preview

TL;DR in the last paragraph. 

Very well written preview and I can't say that there are huge amounts that I disagree with. Couple of things I'd add into the mix. 
Just as you said, this year's Utah is built like it always has been under Kyle Whittingham. Strong defense, strong special teams and an offense that's built to not lose the game. Utah finished 9-4 last year but easily could have been 11-2 or 3-9.  Two losses (Washington State & Arizona) were played in pouring rain which is always the great equalizer plus the Arizona game was played after OC Dave Christensen had been told he wasn't coming back.  By that time too many guys on both sides of the ball had already quit on Dave. 
Utah won many games it easily could have lost and lost games it easily could have won. The WSU game was a one point loss, Utah beat UCLA, USC and Oregon State by 2 points, 6 points in OT and 3 points respectively. They dropped an interception, missed two chip shots under two minutes in the 4th and lost at ASU in OT.  Oregon finished a blowout but was competitive to start. Utah would have been up 14-0 had Kaelin Clay not had his infamous drop. Stanford was an OT win on the road and Colorado was a four point win. 
I'm still trying to figure out if Travis Wilson wasn't good last year because he's not good or because he had an OC who's sole purpose in life was to tear him to pieces in practice. New play caller Aaron Roderick has been on the staff for Travis's career and knows his strengths.  Whitt says there is a QB competition between Travis and Kendall Thompson but also emphasizes that it's Travis's job to lose, not an even competition.  To my mind it's too much apples/oranges to base a forecast on Travis on last year's performance.
Offensive line seemed a lock until Friday.  Expected starter at LT JJ Dielman has been moved to RT but one of the local media guys who played in the NFL has repeatedly said it's because Sam Tevi has earned the LT spot.  Isaac Asiata is rock solid at LG and is the cousin of Minnesota Vikings RB Matt Asiata if you're curious.  (Fun fact if you want to impress your Viking fan friends:  Both Isaac & Matt's full name is Isaac Matthew Andrew A'Alia Asiata) Salesi Aiono returns at center and Salesi Uhatafe is big but unproven at RG. 
Booker you're spot on and anything I say here would contribute to TL;DR. 
Kenneth Scott is indeed a possession receiver of moderate speed but has established himself as the leader of the group. Cory Butler is a JUCO transfer that is quickly establishing himself as the speed guy and Tim Patrick returns from a really gruesome leg fracture that happened right in front of us last year.  He's your 6'5" guy you can lob jump balls at all day.  Siale Fakailotonga at TE is this year's announcer tongue twister.  That's all I know about him. 
Nate Orchard is another in a line of D-ends to make the trek to the NFL but I'm having a hard time finding weakness despite his loss.  Hunter Dimick deserves all of the praise he gets but right end Jason Fanaika could easily be this years Robin to Dimick's Batman just as Dimick was Boy Wonder to Orchard last year. And while the coaches are expecting big things from Lowell Lotuleilei my personal opinion is that the better player inside is Filipo Mokofisi.  Keep an eye on him.  He won't have gaudy numbers but he'll stop the middle every time.
Linebackers will be really fun for Ute fans as long as everyone stays healthy.  Jason Whittingham and Gionni Paul were both lost to injury much of last year but both seniors are back this year.  Jared Norris in the middle impressed last year.  The linebackers are key to the Fred Whittingham defense Utah runs. The scheme calls for pressure from the line & LBs while the CBs are expected to cover 1 on 1. 
Defensive backfield is really up in the air but the one constant is Tevin Carter who received an additional year of eligibility.  He's a strong safety who's tackling reminds me of Eric Weddle. Marcus Williams is a sophomore free safety and is something of a mystery but cornerback is where the greatest mystery lies. Dominick Hatfield embodies that mystery. His robbery charges have been dismissed but he's still off the team because while out on bail he got into a fight and was charged with assault.  There are multiple reports now that the assault charge will likewise be dismissed.  Whitt has now said that he has made clear to Domo a "clear and extremely stringent set of behavior modifications" that will have to happen for Kyle to consider Domo rejoining the team. 
Assuming he's not back for the game (and I think there's about the same chance of you guys rehiring Hoke as Domo suiting up for the opener) the corners are at this point up in the air.  No matter who plays, the corners will be inexperienced and will need the front seven to create chaos to cover for them.
Special Teams
I know most people don't like spending time on them but I am convinced that they will win at least one game if not more.  Punt returns are in the hands of true freshman Brittain Covey.  Size is a concern (5'8", 160 lbs) but the speed is there (4.45 40).  Former RB Bubba Poole is slotted as the kick returner but has to prove himself in camp. 
Andy Phillips lived up to his "Automatic Andy" nickname other than the ASU game connecting on 23 of 28 FGs last year.  He was 21-26 from 40+ and 3-3 from 51+.  Tom Hackett was amazing last year.  Of his 80 punts, 19 were inside the ten and 36 were inside the twenty.  Unofficially he was the best "field flipper" in the NCAA last year.
I'm in the "move along, nothing to see here" camp on the defensive side.  Like Bruce Dickinson, John Pease puts his pants on one leg at a time but when John Pease puts his pants on he puts players in the NFL. Bottom line, losing Kalani Sitake will hurt a bit in recruiting but Utah has played the Fred Whittingham defense since the early 90s and that won't change any time soon. 
Dave Christensen was a mistake from the word go and I have no idea why Kyle hired him in the first place. I've heard that multiple times DC and other coaches had to be physically separated in the locker room and by the end of October Kyle had told Dave he wouldn't be back. Roderick on the other hand is loved by his players and Devonte Booker came out and said that the feeling in the locker room is polar opposite of what it was last year.
TL;DR Version: 
QB: Which Wilson will we see?
RB: Outstanding
OL: Good
WR: Inexperienced
TE: ???
DL: Will be among best in nation
LB: Strong & Experienced
DB: Total mystery
ST: Very strong unit.
08/06/2015 - 1:16pm Your game with BYU just got easier

BYU's starting running back has withdrawn from school and will not play this year. He is expected to return for the 2016 season. There are reports that he was going to be suspended for the season for a violation of team rules.

Bear in mind that I'm not saying that the game will be easy.  If BYU's Taysom Hill is healthy, the offense revolves around him, not the running game.

08/04/2015 - 7:12pm There are four ticket reps but Will is my favorite

But if you get Melissa, Sam or Landon they'll take good care of you too.  I honestly don't know how much they can but they're a great crew and if there's anything humanly possible any of them will do what they can to make sure you have a good experience. 

Their direct line is (801) 581-UTIX (8849) or you can visit

Check the picture on the accounts reps & you'll get the Game of Thrones reference for Will. (And yes, Melissa is married.)

08/04/2015 - 5:25pm As far as I know, KSL doesn't verify any of its listings

Selling tickets is always a tricky business but one thing that I would recommend would be to have the seller take a picture of the full ticket(s) and a closeup of the bar code. The Utah ticket office should be able to verify if the ticket is legit.  

My rep - and all-around great guy - is Will Goldman.  He'll be glad to help you with anything you need.  When you talk with him, work in a Game of Thrones reference.  He's been mistaken for Peter Dinklage more than once.  He'll get a great laugh out of it.

If, however, the seller says they don't have the physical ticket yet, don't immediately assume it's a scam. The school mails them in phases and they only started on Friday.  In fact, I don't have mine yet. 

Also, if you're wondering about food, drink & things to do in Utah, here's one that I'd definitely recommend.  High West Distillery in Park City & at Blue Sky Ranch.  Here's a good read with its owner:…



08/03/2015 - 3:26pm Don't plan on tailgating in Guardsman

Guardsman has been 100% sold out since the early 90s.  You can contact the Crimson Club Athletic Fund to find out other options. 

Technically tailgating is allowed anywhere on campus.  You'll probably also hear that alcohol is prohibited on campus which is true on  any public campus in the state.  That being said, the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law is enforced on gameday. 

One last  word of advice, on gameday your game ticket is also your ticket on UTA's Trax light rail which has a stop just west of the stadium.  All but a couple of tiny parking lots on campus are reserved parking on gameday.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

07/18/2015 - 3:49pm A few observations on your well written observations if I may.
If you guys don't mind I'd like to come back later after camp has started with a more detailed look at the game from a Utah perspective but here are some comments on Alum96's observations. 
First, well written all around, Alum 96.  You are without question one of the best commenters on any board I've been on.
I don't know a huge amount about BYU so far but a few observations that I've been hearing from local sports radio people include concerns about lack of speed in their secondary, Hill being groomed to be more of a passer than a runner and Williams being in a position to be a real threat this year. Once again, BYU's offensive philosophy will be its "Go Fast, Go Hard where their OC Robert Anae attempts to have ten seconds or less between the dead ball and the snap.  Your defense will need to be ready to move quickly.
While it was a factor, money wasn't the key factor in DC Kalani Sitake leaving, in fact in the end Utah offered him more than OSU. At the point of the issue was that Kalani wanted to be known for his own defensive schemes in order to get more consideration as a head coach.  He felt that there was a perception that all he was doing was running Kyle's defense, not his own.  (In actuality, it isn't even Kyle's defense, it's Fred Whittingham's basic defensive scheme from the 90s but it still works)
As for Dave Christensen, the OC, the players, coaches and staff couldn't get him out of here fast enough.  The offensive players & coaches hated him and at I've heard of at least two physical confrontations in the locker room between Christensen and other coaches. Not only was Christensen a locker room cancer, he killed Travis Wilson's confidence last year.  A former player told me that Christensen was very vocal that the reason he was there was to stop Travis from f--king up. New OC Aaron Roderick and Travis get along great and A-Rod's scheme is very conducive to what Travis does well.
(By the way, Travis's parents tell us that he has promised not to mistake the line of scrimmage marker for the down marker again and go airborne four yards short of the first down.)
True, Utah lost Dres Anderson at WR but we also return Kenneth Scott at full speed from a broken ankle two years ago.  Scott said after the season he felt like he was only 75% all year. Also Bubba Poole who lost his RB job to Devonte Booker was quite impressive at slot receiver this spring but then again, it's spring ball. 
Defensive line is being talked about on PAC-12 network as one of the best in the conference with Hunter Dimick stepping in for Nate Orchard just as Nate did for current New York Jet Trevor Reilly.   Lowell Lotleilei is being mentioned in the same breath as older brother Star as a middle clogging NT.
The biggest question of all are the corners.  As you mentioned, Coach Whitt dismissed expected starter Dominique Hatfield after Hatfield was arrested for Aggravated Robbery and Possession of Stolen Property.  However, since then both charges have been dismissed and the DA's office has stated that they have clearly stated that the Aggravated Robbery charges will not be re-filed. Coach Whitt issued a statement that there is a possible window of opportunity for Hatfield to earn his way back on the team although I would still be surprised if he plays against UM. If there's a weakness on the defense, it's in the secondary.
Otherwise a very fair assessment regarding the sum being greater than its pieces.  It will be very interesting to see what happens in September.  Hopefully you can make the trip to Salt Lake City!  It would be great to meet you and all Michigan fans coming here.
07/01/2015 - 1:28pm Travelling to Utah

Hi all, 

The alcohol question always comes up when fans come to Utah for the first time. Technically possession of alcohol on any public university campus is illegal.  That being said, the cops don't enforce this law on gameday as long as those imbibing aren't over the line.  If you're walking around with a beer in hand they don't really care.  If you start with tequila shots at 6:00 am and aren't sure exactly how to stand up, they really care.  The one exception is if you're under 21. Minor in possession will get you at best a citation and at worst a quick booking in the county jail.  

As far as parking goes, BigBlue02 is correct.  Don't even think about trying to park anywhere near the stadium.  In fact I usually advise people not to bother renting a car.  All of the lots are reserved parking on gameday and parking is severely restricted in the neighborhoods around the campus.  Private lots are available but they're a pretty good hike from the stadium.  Salt Lake City has a good transit system with the Trax light rail system serving the stadium and it is seriously the way to get around if you're a visitor. What really makes it nice is that on game day your ticket to the game is your ticket on any Utah Transit vehicle, bus, light or heavy rail.

Enjoy your visit to Utah and I for those planning on travelling to any of the parks, I would list Zion and Bryce as the two must-sees with Cedar Breaks National monument in between the two.  They're both easily accessable from the 15 freeway and are both pretty amazing. 

Feel free to ask if you have any questions and enjoy your trip to Utah!

09/22/2014 - 9:10pm Nice meeting all of you and here's to a better rest of the seaso

Just a quick note to say so long until next year when the Maize and Blue heads west to open the season.  I know that this isn't a direct reply to the topic but I figure this is the best place I can find to post just a couple of thoughts.

First, a real thanks to everyone, particularly Alum96, who was very hospitable in the short time I've been here at mgblog.  You guys run a very knowledgeable board with perhaps the best pregame breakdown I've ever seen.  I look forward to coming back next year. 

Secondly, I really don't want to say much about the game.  I've been through years like you guys are having and they suck.  The only comment I'll make is that I didn't for one minute think that  Funchess was anywhere near 100% even when he was catching everything in sight in the first quarter.  Kid seems a real talent and I hope he gets healthy soon.

Third, as I said before, UM fans make gameday what a college gameday should be.  We didn't make the trip this year but I'm glad to say that I have heard nothing but the highest praise for Wolverine fans and the great way they treated Ute fans.  Here are a few bullet points from some posts on our board.   I'm sure the posters won't mind me mentioning them here.

  • This may just be my subjective opinion but Michigan fans are at least as good, if not better, hosts than ND fans. Everybody we talked to was not only nice but went out of their way to be good hosts.
  • Everyone at Zingerman's cheered every time someone in red walked in.  Free snacks and samples for all of the kids.
  • UM fan in blue paid for my kids' drinks and snacks at a convenience store on the way to the game.
  • The row of "bros" behind us turned out to be a lot of fun, they even shared their whiskey.
  • Family in front of us were extremely concerned about blocking my son's view.  They spread out as much as they could and told him to stand on the bench to make sure he could see.
  • I hope we can be equally as classy as UM fans were when they come to Rice-Eccles Stadium next year.

I could go on with more praise but this post is getting long enough as it is.  For our tailgate group, we hope to hook up with some Michigan fans to join us next year for tailgating before the game. 

Best to all UM fans and the team
Shasta & the Shasta Tailgate Crew

09/17/2014 - 2:44pm I think that was the name.

Sounded like he might be a game time decision and is a big part of the offense.

09/17/2014 - 1:57pm Very Interesting & Accurate Summary

The main reason for responding is to comment on an interview local radio just did with Dan Dierdorf.  What a great guy.  Spent a lot of time on the NFL and its situation and reminiscing about Coach Schembechler.  In talking about the upcoming game, he put the spotlight directly on both defenses.  In Dan's mind:

Michigan Defense:
Must:  Control Utah's run game.  Complimentary of both Poole & Booker
Can't:  Let the secondary bite on double moves & give up big plays.

Utah Defense:
Must:  Pressure Gardner.  Deirdorf mentioned turnovers in early UM games.
Can't:  Be sloppy in lane assignments.  Mentioned that's what happened in 1st half vs. ISU.

Also Dierdorf mentioned one injured player (it sounded like an RB) that may or may not play.  Dan said that if this player doesn't play, it will go from challenging to extremely difficult for UM to sustain long drives.

09/16/2014 - 1:50pm Depends on if it's bad Travis throwing the ball

or good Travis

Since his freshman year there has been a constant fight to teach Travis to throw with more of an overhead motion or at least a 3/4 release.  However, I think that by this point in his career, it's basically impossible to change a kid's throwing motion completely.  From what I recall of Travis in the past, if he has time and protection he's gotten pretty good at the high release but when Travis is under pressure, running or not, he tends to revert back to his best Dan Quisenberry imitation.

(If you're too young to remember...)