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Brad Rock: Will new Utes offense mess with defensive success?

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Cooper Bateman runs the ball as he looks to pass during University of Utah football practice in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — The question came straight out of left field. Literally. We were standing in shallow left on the Ute baseball diamond after a football practice, this week. The team was working out there to avoid wear on its regular turf.

I asked Kyle Whittingham if he, like the late, great LaVell Edwards, would evolve from a primarily defensive coach into an offensive guru. Whittingham deftly directed the conversation toward new offensive coordinator Troy Taylor.

“We’re certainly glad Troy’s here and the offense is making progress,” Whittingham said. “We haven’t played anybody yet, so we’ll reserve judgment on how things are going until we get into the season.”

Pardon Whittingham’s wait-and-see attitude. He has employed nine offensive coordinators in 10 years.

“So far, we like what we see,” he said. “The players are working hard and it’s going to be a new-look offense, no doubt about that. It will be a vastly different look from what it’s been.”

Does that mean a productive one? An entertaining one?

“We’ll see,” said Mr. Mystery. “The bottom line is you’ve got to execute, no matter what kind of offense you run. You’ve got to execute, take care of the ball and make plays.”

That indeed would be a change. The Utes were seventh in total offense, eighth in scoring, ninth in passing and 10th in passing efficiency in the Pac-12 last season. They could use some…

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