The University of Utah's latest loss not only left the Utes feeling frustrated, it also left them hurting, as well. "We're beat up a fair amount," said trainer Bill Bean Sunday, the day after Utah's 28-10 loss to Wyoming.
Safety Sharrieff Shah injured a thumb and probably will undergo surgery today. Fullback Dean Witkin suffered a concussion. Noseguard Greg Reynolds sprained a knee. Tackle Mike Murray and linebacker Anthony Davis both sprained ankles. Halfback Steve Abrams, who strained a thigh muscle earlier in the week, started the opening series, but then rarely played again.The Utes have only a week to recover before meeting Colorado State Saturday afternoon in Fort Collins. They have a bye the following week.
Bean thinks Davis, Murray, Shah and Abrams will be ready to play against CSU (Shah will wear a cast). As for Witkin, "We'll continue to monitor him through the week to see if he can play," says Bean. The trainer also rates Reynolds as questionable for the CSU game.
With the season nearly half finished, the Utes' prospects look grim. They are 2-3 overall, 0-2 in Western Athletic Conference play and riding a three-game losing streak, with all of the losses coming on their home field. They have just two remaining home games, against UTEP and BYU.
In the meantime, the question remains the same: Can the Utes, who are averaging a meager 15.5 points and 315 yards per game, develop a productive offense before the season is finished?
"It's frustrating," says quarterback Mike Richmond. "It seems like a slow process. But we're getting better each week."
The Utes, who managed 216 yards against Wyoming, led 10-7 at halftime Saturday night, but were shut out in the second half.
"The first half was good," said Coach Ron McBride. "It was an even game. But in the third quarter they did some things defensively that were smart. We didn't adjust."
Asked what he was most disappointed with, McBride said penalties (nine of them) and the offensive line. "We're still lacking in the front line," said McBride. "It all starts up front."
The Utes tried to establish a running game to slow down the pass rush. It worked early, but in the end the Utes had just 69 yards rushing - six yards below their already poor average.
The passing game has been no more effective. The Utes threw for 147 yards Saturday. So far this season the Utes have thrown one touchdown pass and seven interceptions.