A Salt Lake City native and Utah alumnus, defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley is in his 16th season on the Utes’ coaching staff and eighth as defensive coordinator. One of the brightest minds in the business, Scalley has well-established the R.S.N.B. identity among his defense: relentless, smart, nasty, ballhawks.
• He continues to coach the safeties, a role he has held since first joining the
coaching staff in 2008.
• Despite missing several key defensive pieces, Utah has absolutely locked it down on the ground with an FBS-best 78 rushing yards allowed per game. Four of seven Utah opponents this season have been held under 100 rushing yards, tying for 11th-most by a Power Five program.
• In addition to the team’s success on the ground, Utah is third in the Pac-12 and No. 21 in FBS in pass efficiency defense (114.12). Under Scalley, Utah has led the league in pass efficiency defense twice and finished top-three in four different seasons.
• Overall, the Utes are allowing 295.4 total yards per game; it ranks second in the Pac-12 and ranks 14th nationally. The Utes held Weber State to 127 yards in Week 3—the fourth time with Scalley as DC that Utah has held a team under 130 total yards of offense.
• At just 15 points allowed per game, Utah ranks second in the Pac-12 and 11th in the country. In a three-game non-league schedule that included two Power Five opponents, Utah’s 31 total points allowed were the fewest since 2019.
• Five of Utah’s opponents have been held to 14 points or less, sharing third-most in FBS this season. It trails only Michigan (8), Iowa (6) and Ohio State (6). Of the four aforementioned teams, Utah was the only one to play two Power Five opponents in non-conference.
• Utah allowed no more than 21 points against its first six opponents; it’s the first time under Scalley and second under head coach Kyle Whittingham (since 2005) that the Utes have accomplished such a feat.
• Utah has finished in the top-half of the Pac-12 in total defense six times in the past eight seasons, ranking second nationally and first in the league in 2019. The team averaged 334.1 yards against in 2022—ranking second in the Pac-12 and No. 18 among the Power Five.
• Rushing defense has been a particular point of pride for Utah under Scalley; in his seven prior seasons as coordinator, Utah has led the Pac-12 five times in rushing defense (2016, ‘18, ‘19, ’20 and ‘21). It includes ranking third in the nation in 2019 when Scalley was a Broyles Award finalist.
• The Utes have finished atop the conference both in sacks and tackles for loss in back-to-back years and three times under Scalley. Entering Week 9, Utah’s 25sacks are tied with Oregon for the Pac-12 lead and the Utes sit third in the league with 50 TFL.