Erickson vows to bring up-tempo style to Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The latest stop on Dennis Erickson's coaching tour of the Pac-12 brings him to Utah as co-offensive coordinator, where his marching orders are simple: help the Utes score more touchdowns.
The 65-year-old Erickson, who won two national titles as Miami coach and has been a head coach at three Pac-12 schools, intends to implement an up-tempo offense that is trending throughout college football.
"If you look at probably the top 10 offenses in college football, all of them run 75, 80 plays," Erickson said at a news conference Wednesday. "Well, you can't run 75, 80 plays if you're in the huddle."
Two weeks removed from hip-replacement surgery, Erickson has no desire to be a head coach again but looks forward to helping Utah get to the next level. Erickson still has plenty of ties to Miami but called the West his home after serving as head coach at Washington State (1987-88), Oregon State (1999-2002) and Arizona State (2007-11).
He was let go by Arizona State after the '11 season.
Asked if there is extra motivation playing the Sun Devils on Nov. 9, Erickson quipped, "Do I have to tell the truth?"
The stats also tell the truth about Utah's offense over the past two years since joining the Pac-12. The Utes have averaged 25.9 points a game last season, a long way from the 49.6 Oregon put up in 2012. The Utes were 105th in the nation in total offense (324.42 yards), and last in the Pac-12 in passing as they finished 5-7.
There also were questions about offensive coordinator Brian Johnson's play-calling last year after Norm Chow left to be Hawaii's head coach.
Whittingham went after Erickson, who will implement the no-huddle game into his one-back, shotgun spread formations. But going no-huddle is easier said than done.
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