Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham talks to the media during Pac-12 Media Day.
July 23, 2014
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--The annual preseason media poll was announced today at the Pac-12 Football Media Day at Paramount Studios and Utah was picked to finish fifth in the South Division.
A media panel of voters who cover the Pac-12 predicted UCLA would win the 2014 South Division race, followed by USC, Arizona State, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Utah has finished fifth in the Pac-12 South for the past two seasons after tying for third in its inaugural season in 2011.
Oregon was projected to win the Pac-12 title game. The 2014 Pac-12 Championship Football Game between the champion of the North and South Divisions will take place on Friday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. PT in the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The game will be televised by FOX.
"We're not surprised to be picked where we were, but we certainly feel we're a better team than we were last year when we lost three or four really close games," said Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham. "We have two main objectives this season: keep the quarterback healthy and win the close games. If we do those, we could surprise some people."
After a promising 4-2 start in 2013, Utes slid to a 5-7 finish when quarterback Travis Wilson suffered first an injury to his throwing hand and then a season-ending concussion. Wilson is healthy heading into the start of fall camp on Aug. 4 and one of six scholarship quarterbacks available--including three with NCAA game experience.
Anderson averaged 83.5 yards per game as an honorable mention all-conference wide receiver in 2013 and is the leading returning receiver in the Pac-12. He caught 53 passes for 1,002 yards as a junior and his 18.2 yards-per-catch average led the Pac-12 and ranked 12th nationally.
Orchard figures to be one of the top defensive ends in the league. The senior has played in all 37 games since his true freshman season, with his 23 starts coming in the last two seasons.
Utah's training camp will run from Aug. 4-23 and the first press conference of the season is scheduled for Aug. 25 in the Spence & Cleone Eccles Football Center. The Utes open the season at home on Aug. 28 against Idaho State in a Pac-12 Network televised game.
Below are the results of the preseason media poll (points 6-5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses):
North Division 1. Oregon (37) 232 2. Stanford (2) 192 3. Washington 142 4. Oregon State 125 5. Washington State 87 6. California 41Utah associate sports information director Brooke Frederickson is chronicling the 2014 Pac-12 Media Day on Instagram
South Division 1. UCLA 231 2. USC (1) 181 3. Arizona State (1) 163 4. Arizona 119 5. Utah 82 6. Colorado 43