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Andy Ludwig returns as Utah OC, high expectations to follow

A little over 10 years after the 2009 Sugar Bowl, the play caller for the 13-0 Utes is returning to The Hill. In an announcement to be made as early as Friday morning, Utah Football is expected to bring back Andy Ludwig as the offensive coordinator.

After a conducting a nationwide search that included names like Steve Sarkisian, Rich Rodriguez and current Utes assistant head coach Jim Harding among others, Kyle Whittingham will bring back the OC that he previously shared the most success with.

In taking over the reigns at Utah, Ludwig plays the successor to Troy Taylor, who left the Utes for a head coaching gig with hometown Sacramento State. Ludwig inherits a wealth of weapons assuming they can get back to full strength. Zack Moss is one of the nation’s premier returning backs in 2019 and Tyler Huntley has shown flashes of brilliance marred by untimely injury. Plus, an ever-evolving receiving core of: Covey, Nacua(x2?), Dixon, Enis, Simpkins, Thompson, etc. Add in a slew of talented freshman tight ends alongside senior Jake Jackson. The tools are all there for Ludwig to repeat the success he had in his first stint with the Utes. A stint that lasted longer and yielded more wins than any other in the Whittingham era. A stint that, in its conclusion, set off a decade-long coordinator carousal at the University of Utah.

Ludwig returns after tenures at Cal(OC/QB), San Diego State(OC), Wisconsin(OC/QB) and Vanderbilt(OC). Ludwig saw fairly steady success at each of those programs. In fact, most offensive units improved measurably under his direction. Vandy’s 2018 offense accrued 397.8 yards per game, the Commodores’ highest mark since World War II… Seriously.

It may seem too good to be true, an open OC position on a team with this much returning talent… A team with an elite defense to back them up. That’s exactly what Ludwig is getting though, and with a Pac-12 South division up for grabs, he won’t have much time to waste in getting to business. Expectations will be high, both from the fans and from the head coach.

More on this story to follow on ESPN700SPORTS.com. Follow along on Twitter @ESPN700 and @Larsen_ESPN.


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