Was Utah’s Whittingham piling on?

Matt Gade, Deseret News

Matt Gade, Deseret News

            Kyle Whittingham is like a lot of coaches. He wants to improve his team, but says he wants to do it with class.

            That didn’t entirely happen last Saturday when Utah went into its 2-minute offense at the close of the first half with a 42-0 lead.  Yes, the Utes scored again. Weber coaches were incensed that the Utes would run up the score.
            Sound familiar? Whittingham was caught in a related bind in 2007 when he executed an onside kick on Wyoming with the Utes ahead 43-0. That prompted Cowboy coach Joe Glenn to direct a familiar hand gesture Whittingham’s way.

            War is such dirty business.

            In the Glenn incident, there wasn’t much excuse, as Whittingham admitted it later. He did as most coaches do and went for one more. You can never have too much cushion…unless you’re the team that’s trailing.  But the Weber State situation is a grayer area.

            In one sense Whittingham really could have held back. It would have hurt his preparation for conference play but done much for his reputation.

            I’ve seen him pull back in blowout games, inserting reserves quite early. But this one against Weber was scheduled specifically for practice. It’s true the game was over before halftime, so Whittingham was piling on, intentionally or otherwise. But he wasn’t piling on just to do be mean. He wanted to practice his 2-minute offense against real competition.

            In a harsh light, that’s what Weber signed up for., isn’t it? It played a Pac-12 school and got $400,000 for doing so. In return, you’re likely to get (a) injuries and (b) humiliation.

            If you don’t want those elements, don’t play the game.

              In this case I can see both sides of the story. Whittigham should have held off on the 2-minute drill, just to be generous. But Weber should have expected this was coming.

Vote here to let me know where you fall on the issue of piling on.

[poll id=”269″][poll id=”270″]


One comment

  1. Jefferson

    OK… so; look…….

    I’m a WSU grad and am fiercely-devoted to my alma mater (even though our football program is very lowly).

    So, I’m VERY protective of my beloved ‘Cats!! I will defend my school ’til my last dying breath! I BLEED PURPLE!! WSU is, arguably, THEEE finest institution of higher learning in the Intermountain Region, let alone in the State of Utah!

    But I totally AGREE with the Rockmonster that when WSU signed the contract for this game, they knew full-well what they were in for. So, while it tremendously hurts the collective ego of Wildcat Nation as to what happened to the Wildcats in that game, and we are still licking our wounds, I’m OK with what happened in the game. Coach Whit: I understand. It’s OK! Don’t lose any sleep over this issue.

    From my life-perspective, _anything_ that I could do as the little brother of my “big brother/football star” TO HELP *HIM* HAVE SUCCESS, I am willing and honored to do!! GO UTES! Bring great honor and respect to our state!

    And genuinely appreciate your “little brother” (WSU) for his sacrifice in helping YOU practice, to be the BEST “U” can be.

Leave a comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.