Chat with Utah QB Brett Ratliff
Utah has much talent at quarterback, with senior Brett Ratliff leading the way. He was the No. 1 quarterback during spring practices and will enter fall camp as the co-favorite to win the starting job. ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach put together a list of teams facing quarterback decision this fall. Go here to vote on some other quarterback decisions teams are facing.
Ratliff played in five games last season, throwing for 642 yards, with eight touchdowns and completing 62.3 percent of his passes. He led the Utes to two big wins at the end of the year. Utah upset BYU in overtime in his first start. Then he led Utah to a win over Georgia Tech in the Emerald Bowl to end the season.
So, send in your questions and comments now and join Brett in The Show on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:55 PM)
Brett will be here at 3 p.m. ET. Until then check out ESPN.com's college football index page for some stories about some key quarterback tandems for this season.
Buzzmaster (2:57 PM)
He's a little early. Let's get started!
Jonathan (Salt Lake City)
I've heard some good buzz about the team. What do you think your odds are on winning the conference?
Brett Ratliff (2:58 PM)
I think we have a really good shot. We have some young guys and we have some returning starters. It all depends on our first game. If we do well, then we have a shot of having a good year.
berger (Ogden, Utah)
Brett, what's it like fighting for a starting job at Utah, and what is it going to take to beat out brian johnson,and/or tommy grady. Also do you have alot of pride for coming this far, and maybe even starting at utah this year?
Brett Ratliff (2:59 PM)
The competition is great. It drives you to do your best every day. It makes you compete every day. If I do my job and do what I'm supposed to do and get my job done, that's what it's going to take to win the job.
Brett, what team are you most looking forward to playing this year?
Brett Ratliff (3:00 PM)
Definitely the first game against UCLA. I've been looking forward to that game since the end of last year. I can't wait for that game.
Sonny, IU '98 (South Bend, Indiana)
Do you know how good EA Sports made you and your team in NCAA 2007? Not only did Utah go unbeaten in the first season I played (I'm IU), but I'm in my 4th season and Utah is a perrienel Top 10 program now. You're getting major respect now. How does it feel?
Brett Ratliff (3:01 PM)
We have a lot of young guys, that looks good for the future. We're a really good team now. It's a video game, so it's hard to go by that. But we are capable of that and I think we're leading to that.
John (Arlington, VA)
How does Tommy Grady feel about the Oklahoma situation?
Brett Ratliff (3:03 PM)
I've talked to him about it a little. He doesn't really say much about it. He could be in a pretty hard situation. He came over here and battle for a job. If he were still there, he could maybe start this year. He might be regretting his decision a little bit, but I'm not sure. That's the way I would feel if I were in his situation.
At what point do you think the rest of the world will understand just how great the Utes really are?
Brett Ratliff (3:04 PM)
I think they kind of woke up and saw it in 2004. They were looking at us last year and we didn't have as good a season. This year, we're going to turn it around and show that Utah can play football and they'll have to start watching out for us.
Clint (Slc, Utah)
Did you get discouraged when you didnt play all year? Other than that interception after Brian went down, you performed brilliantly. I hope you start, the MUSS is behind ya.
Brett Ratliff (3:05 PM)
I did get a little discouraged, because I thought I was a junior and that if I wasn't playing this year, I wouldn't be playing next year. But I got over it very quickly. I had a job to do and that was to backup Brian. Anything can happen. And it did, and I had to come in and play.
Joe (Ogden, Utah)
Has the coaching staff made any play calling adjustments for the Red Zone offense?
Brett Ratliff (3:06 PM)
We haven't really changed that much. Last year, we just failed execution wise in the red zone. The whole team didn't execute when we got into the red zone. We were good between the 20s. I don't know why we weren't better there. We just have to execute better.
Sean: Taylorsville UT
What do you hope to accomplish this your Senior Season on the field and what are your plans when you graduate?
Brett Ratliff (3:07 PM)
My goal is to end up starting and win the MWC. Hopefully, offensive player of the year in MWC. Then hopefully on to the NFL. Those are pretty lofty goals, but that's what I want to do. If I can start this year, I think I can achieve those goals.
Tam - S. Jordan, Utah
I love you guys! I can't wait to drive to LA to see you guys whoop on UCLA. How intense is the QB battle right now? What makes you a better QB than BJ and Grady?
Brett Ratliff (3:09 PM)
The quarterback competition is pretty intense right now. We're all battling for reps. We're splitting them. I'm confident in what I can do. I'm poised in the pocket, nothing rattles me that much. When we need the play, I have the confidence to make that play.
Ryan (LA, CA)
If you got to schedule one road game for your team to anywhere in the country, where would you like to go play?
Brett Ratliff (3:09 PM)
You can't really beat UCLA, where we're playing our first game. That's a great team, great stadium. I'm going to stick with that one.
Darin (Provo, UT)
I'm a huge BYU fan, but am losing hope because we haven't beaten Utah in four years! Would you ever consider transferring to the Cougars?
Brett Ratliff (3:10 PM)
Of course not. I'm a Ute forever. You better just switch over to the good side and root for Utah. We don't plan on losing to them any time soon.
Lantz (Portland, OR)
How much emphasis does the coaching staff put on ball control and turnovers? Utah is undefeated in the last two year in each game it won the TO battle.
Brett Ratliff (3:12 PM)
It's a huge thing. We're always talking about ball security. We struggled last year with it. We were somewhere like 105th in the nation in fumbles lost. It's a huge thing, we're always working on it. We just try to protect the ball. We have to just keep getting better at that.
jbutts (salt lake city)
Brett i can harldy sleep i am so excited for utah football!!! i know with you behind the ball we will have a sweet season. what can you tell the ute fans that will help them this season to have confidence in you like they did last season?
Brett Ratliff (3:13 PM)
Our offense is going to be just as good or better than last season. Our defense is going to be good. We're together as a team. We're ready to go out and do what we have to do to win games.
Utah made a run at a BCS bowl game a few years ago. Do you expect to make a run like that again this year?
Brett Ratliff (3:14 PM)
That's definitely a goal for us. If we finish a team in the MWC finishes 12 or higher, we have an automatic bid. I think it all depends on how we do in the first game. We're really just looking to win the first game and then on to the MWC.
Don Youngstown, OH
If you could face one QB in the nation who would it be and why? who woulndnt you want to face and why?
Brett Ratliff (3:15 PM)
Oooh. I'd have to go with Brady Quinn. Everyone's talking about him. I think he's a great QB and he's on a great scheme. It would be a great competition to go against him and his offense.
Brett Ratliff (3:16 PM)
Be ready to come out and see some games and see some victories. Thanks for chatting.
Buzzmaster (3:17 PM)
Our thanks to Brett. He had to run and grab lunch as he was joining us between his two-a-day sessions!
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