3 Biggest Questions Facing Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    After moving into a new conference, what are the biggest questions Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is set to face at Big 12 media days?

    Entering his 20th season as head coach of the Utah Utes, Kyle Whittingham is set to coach the football program in its third different conference affiliation since he took over the reins from Urban Meyer in 2005.

    After a dozen seasons in the Mountain West Conference from 1999 through 2010 and then 13 years as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, Utah officially joined the Big 12 on July 1, 2024.

    That same day, Utah announced Whittingham’s long-term successor in current defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, a move set to dominate the questions Whittingham will face at Big 12 Media Days.

    Three Most Significant Questions for Kyle Whittingham at Big 12 Media Days

    1) What Makes Morgan Scalley the Right Person To Lead Utah?

    Upon the announcement Scalley would be the football program’s head coach in waiting, Whittingham said, “(he) is an exceptional football coach, and his naming as the head coach in waiting at the University of Utah is a testament to that.”

    “It is a distinction he has earned not only because of his outstanding coaching abilities but also because of his selfless dedication to the program as well as the Utah Athletics family.”

    A former All-American safety for Utah, Scalley will begin his ninth season as the team’s defensive coordinator in addition to coaching safeties since joining the staff full-time in 2008.

    Scalley has led the Utes to finish in the top half of the Pac-12 in total defense seven times, ranking second in the country and first in the conference in 2019.

    2) What Can We Expect From Cameron Rising in 2024?

    Utah finished the 2023 season outside of the AP Top 25 despite ranking 14th in the preseason with high hopes for a berth to the College Football Playoff.

    The offense was nearly unrecognizable from the one they featured when winning consecutive Pac-12 titles in 2021 and 2022. Utah was a bottom-three offense in the conference in terms of yards per game (348.4) and yards per play (5.1).

    One reason for that is the absence of QB Cameron Rising, who suffered a significant injury in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

    Despite hopes of a return during the 2023 campaign, Rising never did see the field though a return to full health in 2024 might help springboard the offense. TE Brant Kuithe, a top target for Rising, also missed the 2023 season because of injury but is expected to return to full health.

    3) What Does Dorian Singer Bring to the Offense?

    Utah’s most impactful pick-up out of the transfer portal should be WR Dorian Singer of USC. The 6’0″ playmaker had a disappointing season for the Men of Troy but is only one year removed from being an AP First-Team All-Pac-12 receiver with Arizona in 2022.

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    Singer recorded 66 catches for 1,105 receiving yards to rank second in the conference while snagging six touchdowns in 12 games for the Wildcats that season.

    Rising, Kuithe, and Singer could have the makings of a dynamic trio that should make Utah’s 2023 offense look like a one-season struggle.

    2024 Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Kyle Whittingham, Utah Head Coach

    • Date: Tuesday, July 9
    • Time: 3:20 p.m. ET
    • How to Watch: ESPN+

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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