While some Utah sports fans might feel like they’re on a Halloween-induced sugar high, others are experiencing some mental and gastric distress that has nothing to do with overindulging on their kids’ treats.
The Jazz, for instance, have lost four straight, and they haven’t given their home fans a reason to cheer at the buzzer in any of their four games at Vivint Arena.
Utah hasn’t lost this many in a row at home since 2013-14 while experiencing growing pains in a 25-win season. Even worse, the Jazz haven’t started a season 0-4 in their own digs since beginning their inaugural campaign in New Orleans with six consecutive defeats at Municipal Auditorium.
As usual, November isn’t treating the University of Utah football very well, either. The Utes entered their game at Arizona State this past weekend on a roll, with a No. 15 ranking, an experienced and versatile quarterback and a clear path to the Pac-12 championship game.
All of that, however, disappeared quicker than the full-size candy bars in every trick-or-treater’s bag after the Sun Devils stunned the Utes 38-20. Utah lost more than just the game, unfortunately, as star QB Tyler Huntley suffered a season-ending collarbone injury.
A frustrating football season — that started with so much hope — continued to frazzle fans of BYU late Saturday night. Knocking on the door of an upset victory at Boise State after a strong showing, the Cougars stumbled just shy of a game-winning touchdown when freshman quarterback Zach Wilson was sacked as time ran out on the visitors. (It could be worse. BYU could play on a horribly ugly blue field like the Broncos, much to the eye-piercing chagrin of anybody who has the misfortune of watching a BSU game on TV.)
Now that we got the bad news out of the way, here are five good things that are happening on Utah’s sports scene:
The BYU women’s volleyball team is having a phenomenal season, having won all 22 games including a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Stanford. The Cougars are ranked No. 1 in the polls and in the NCAA committee’s pre-tournament rankings. San Diego accomplished something against BYU that the Cougars’ previous six opponents didn’t — the Toreros actually won a set in an eventual 3-1 defeat.
In an unbelievable season, this sequence here might be the most unbelievable play of the entire season.
2. When it comes to football success on the FBS level in the state this season, Utah State is second to none. The Aggies continued their dream season late Saturday night with a dominating 56-17 win at Hawaii for an eighth-straight victory. That helped USU jump to No. 14 in the AP Top 25, which marks the highest ranking for the program since the Aggies finished No. 10 after a 9-1-1 season in 1961. USU ended the 2012 season as the No. 16 team.
3. Weber State’s football team is having one of its best-ever seasons, and the pollsters have noticed. The Wildcats moved up to No. 3 in the nation in the STATS FCS poll, marking the first time in school history that the team has been ranked in the top three. WSU (7-2 overall, 5-1 Big Sky) has won four games in a row and faces rivals Southern Utah and 24th-ranked Idaho State on the road to finish the regular season.
4. Real Salt Lake is in the middle of a two-game series against Sporting KC, and the two teams are headed to Kansas City tied 1-1 to see who advances in the MLS playoffs. But it’s worth revisiting two beautiful goals that helped RSL squeeze into the postseason.
First, this beauty from Albert Rusnak:
And you’re going to be hard-pressed to see a prettier shot than this one by Damir Kreilach:
5. And last but not least, five more fun things: BYU professor/former Davis High standout runner Jared Ward shook off an injury to somehow finish sixth — with the best time of American runners — in the New York Marathon, the BYU women’s soccer team won the WCC championship and faces TCU in the 2018 Women’s College Cup, ex-West High star golfer Tony Finau continues to tear it up on the PGA Tour, Taysom Hill continues to be an X-factor for the New Orleans Saints and if you’re college’s football season hasn’t gone the way you’d like, celebrate the fact that the basketball season is officially upon us.
By the way, Jazz fans, considering there are still 72 games left in the season, don’t be surprised if your team is among the five good things to celebrate about Utah sports for the next six months.
The Jazz’s social media team is staying positive.