Coaches' Corner: Andy Ludwig and Morgan Scalley
SALT LAKE CITY - It's a coordinator edition of Coaches' Corner on this Tuesday as Andy Ludwig (OC/quarterbacks) and Morgan Scalley (DC/safeties) look ahead to this weekend's matchup with No. 4 Oregon.
No. 24 Utah (7-3, 6-1 Pac-12) hosts the Ducks (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) in the team's Military Appreciation Game on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MT before an ABC national television audience.
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Andy Ludwig
On the first day of practice leading into Oregon…
"All games are big. It was a good Monday workday. We had the film review from last Saturday this morning and opponent introduction this afternoon. Just a typical work week with Utah football."
On Cameron Rising's development the last several weeks…
"Cam is a reflection of the entire offense. I think we're getting a little better each day in practice. That's showing up for us in our production on game day."
On what he attributes to similar growth with the offensive line…
"That group's commitment to becoming better, and to working every day. As we talked about with the quarterback, everyone's working, and the improvement they show in practice shows up each Saturday. We have to continue that this week."
On the depth at running back…
"It's a good group. The depth, and the quality of depth, really is a luxury for us. Each of those young men have specific skill sets. We're able to highlight those skill sets. They play hard. The game is very important to them.
"I'm pleased with the way they go about their business. They compete very hard every day, but are a very tight-knit group working together, as well as competing against each other for those touches on gameday."
Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Morgan Scalley
On junior linebacker Devin Lloyd being named to the Reese's Senior Bowl…
"That is awesome and well-deserved. We talk to our guys a lot about how preseason hype really doesn't mean anything. You don't ever put preseason accolades on your resume. But this is something that [Devin] will definitely be able to put on his resume, and something that he has earned. I cannot say enough good things about Devin Lloyd.
"It's the top of the tops right there. In terms of getting looked at and having the right guys looking at you, it's definitely a huge honor for him. You can't hide in this game, so the best thing is he'll be able to show what he can do. And what he can do is pretty special."
On assessing the defense going into the Oregon game…
"Progress every week is what you're looking for. We had a pretty solid performance against Stanford, pretty clean. This last week—[we had] drive extenders. Penalties, a couple blown assignments, [we need to be] cleaner in terms of assignment football. It's a big difference in how the game goes. I think they had nine series and five of those should've been three-and-outs, but they weren't. We just have to play a little bit cleaner. But youth will never be an excuse. That's on us as coaches to get them where they need to be. I think the coaches are working their tails off."
On Oregon running back Travis Dye…
"That guy is as tough as they come. You talk about an old school football player. His size is a big issue. He's not that big, so it's tough to identify him through the gaps. He's such a patient runner. Great balance, great vision and tough as nails. Usually your smaller backs, they go down fairly easy. He does not do that. He's got great balance, he can make you miss, and he's great out of the backfield catching the ball."
On the youth in the secondary…
"Zemaiah Vaughn showed up last week and had a very good game with a couple pass breakups. Cole Bishop is a guy that we've known has the ability to be something special…the Stanford game was kind of his coming out party. He's just continued to get better. Really, really good football player. Injuries are what they are, but if you look at the conference everyone's got injuries. You've got to be able to recruit to the depth. Right now, our guys are stepping up and doing a good job."
Previous Editions of Coaches' Corner
Nov. 2 - Jim Harding (OL) and Lewis Powell (DEs)
Oct. 26 - Sione Po'uha (DTs) and Freddie Whittingham (TEs)
Oct. 19 - Kiel McDonald (RBs) and Colton Swan (LBs)
Oct. 13 - Chad Bumphis (WRs) and Sharrieff Shah (CBs/Special Teams)
Oct. 5 - Jim Harding (OL) and Lewis Powell (DEs)
Sept. 22 - Sione Po'uha (DTs) and Freddie Whittingham (TEs)
Sept. 14 - Kiel McDonald (RBs) and Colton Swan (LBs)
Sept. 7 - Andy Ludwig (OC/QBs) and Morgan Scalley (DC/Safeties)