Utah Utes football: Offense looks to be more explosive against Utah State
SALT LAKE CITY — Although efficient in racking up 414 yards of total offense and 26 first downs in last week's 41-0 win over Northern Colorado, the Utah Utes did so without any real "chunk yardage."
There wasn't a whole lot of "Boom goes the dynamite!" in the season-opener.
Of the 76 plays the Utes ran, the biggest producers were a 28-yard run by John White and a 23-yard pass from Jordan Wynn to Jake Murphy.
"The one thing that lacked in our offense Thursday was the explosive plays," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson noted that the Utes have a lot of playmakers and they need to get those guys the ball in space.
"We've got to break more tackles. We've got to throw and catch on the deep ball better," Johnson said. "So it's some stuff definitely to improve. By no means have we arrived as an offense."
Even so, Johnson noted that the offense did do some good things. The Utes averaged 5.4 yards per play and broke a Rice-Eccles Stadium record with a 21-play scoring drive that took 10:43 off the clock.
"Those things don't happen very often," Johnson said while explaining the difficulty of succeeding in such lengthy possessions. "In order to score more points we've got to get a little bit more chunk yardage."
"We all have the talent," Matthews said. "So it's really just going out there and putting it together."
While noting there were a couple of near misses on long throws to DeVonte Christopher last week, Wynn acknowledged the need to put some big connections together.
"Collectively as an offense we've got to find a way to get more plays down the field," Wynn said.
ROAD TRIP: In Utah's weekly press release, Whittingham noted it would nice to see some red in the stands Friday night at Utah State.
"The Aggies are well coached and play with great effort. In addition, Logan can be a difficult place to play and we anticipate a big crowd in Romney Stadium," Whittingham said. "We're hoping that a good number of our fans will make the trip up north to cheer us on."
UTES IN THE NFL: Utah is well represented in the NFL with 21 former Utes opening the season on active rosters. When including practice squad and injured reserve players the number swells to 26.
"That's a good showing for us," Whittingham said. "Our guys make a nice transition to that league."
Whittingham is especially pleased that running back Matt Asiata made the 53-man roster for the Minnesota Vikings.
"He had setback after setback and just kept fighting," Whittingham said. "That's a great success story."
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