Jeffrey D. Allred,
Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham waits for the start of the game in Provo on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Utah won 19-13.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s homecoming game against Stanford on Oct. 7 will kick off at 8:15 p.m., and be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1. Monday’s announcement means the Utes will play at 8 or later for the fourth consecutive game. The lone exception, thus far, was a start time of 5:30 p.m. in the season opener against North Dakota.
“I don’t know what the deal is. It’s kind of like everything else you don’t whine or complain about because you have no control over it, so you just go ahead and do it,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “If anything, we’re in a routine. We know it. We’ve got the routine down. I think we’ve settled into a pretty good Friday-Saturday routine where the players are used to it. It’s become second-nature to us now.”
At Pac-12 Media Days in July, conference commissioner Larry Scott commented on the situation. He acknowledged it’s a balancing act to migrate more games to the evening for increased broadcast exposure.
“I understand there are tradeoffs and it creates challenges in terms of some of our fans that want to attend games,” Scott said. “Games end late at night. So we make sure there is a good spread of events.”
Scott explained that two-thirds of the Pac-12’s games are still played during the day.
TOPS IN TAKEAWAYS: The Utes are tied for the national lead in turnovers gained with 14. Through four games they’ve intercepted nine passes and recovered five fumbles.
Whittingham isn’t surprised.
“We emphasize that every year, every week and every day. That is our M.O. on defense,” he said. “It is the most important thing to us. Turnover margin is the most important stat in football and our guys are doing a very good job of taking the football away.”
SHYNE TO REDSHIRT: Whittingham said that he thinks junior running back Armand Shyne, who suffered an unspecified injury in training camp, is going to redshirt this season.
“It will be so late when he does get cleared so it doesn’t really make sense to play him when he gets…