Utah Utes football report card: Utah defense saves the day as offense sputters

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    Sept. 4, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    Hedgehog, Toledo isn't FCS, they're in the MAC, which is FBS. And there were officially two sacks in the game, one of them a sack-fumble, plus another scramble that McGhee got back to the line of scrimmage, not much different from a sack. The team averaged 2.6 yards per carry and the QB averged .5 ypc. Tell me how that is a bad showing by the front 7. Or start by telling me something that makes sense.

  • SteelerNation Layton, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    Has Wynn's throwing motion always been like this? Something is wrong with it. He isn't bringing his arm up high enough when releasing. He's cocking his arm funny and just doesn't look right. I'm a Ute fan, but not sold on Wynn. He has to show something, especially after his surgery.

  • Common Ground Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2011 12:28 a.m.

    Contrary to what some have posted here, from where I sat the defense looked slow - Montana State had a lot of success running around the ends and consistently beat our guys down field. We also didn't put a lot of pressure on their QB. But Montana State looked like a very quick team and with the good field position our defense provided (especially from the first interception and the blocked punt), I think this win belongs to the defense.

    Wynn needs to read the defense quicker, look more for down field receivers and throw crisper passes. The tight ends need to gain more yards after they catch the ball - admittedly, they were usually catching the ball in traffic and at least they caught it. The offense usually develops slower than the defense and Chow certainly has the credentials to fix it. Nobody should give up yet.

  • Hegdehog Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    @Kosta Fesenko
    "The defense is fast and has a lot of playmakers."

    The only playmaker on defense was Brian Blechen. The DII team only had a couple of decent athletes and one burned you for a 47 yd catch and the other kept your front 7 at bay without a single sack the entire game. The DL was supposed to be a strength this year.

    If they can't put any pressure on a DII QB, they won't be able to vs. the P12.

    "I tend to agree. (Though Michigan was a good opener.)"

    Was that TIC or were you serious? An OT squeaker against the worst Michigan team in over 100 yrs? Michigan, btw also lost later that year at home to Toledo who was an FCS team with a losing record.

    I think the Northern Arizona opener a few years back was a good one though.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 6:49 p.m.

    "Utah's speed in defense and White's running ability were great, but that was about it. Not impressed. Not enough to compete against good BCS teams"

    Utah's speed on defense was okay, I think they looked fast to you because they were going against a lower division team. Next week against USC you'll get a little dose of reality on how ordinary the team speed is for Utah on defense.

    White did look fast though. He looked like a lightning bolt on his TD run. He will be fun to watch this year. The only other running back that even attempted a carry was Vakapuna and I'm surprised he didn't do better than 1.5 or so ypc going against a smaller, slower FCS defense.

    @Mormon Ute
    "Funny how many BYU fans we have gloating on these Ute articles when they haven't even taken the field for a game yet."

    Nothing funny about it. I'm certain we'll see you, Hedgehog, Chris B, Naval Vet, mgr63, Uteology, Howard S, etc all out in force posting on BYU articles after the game on Saturday. It goes both ways. Don't need to complain about it.

    It's just a fact of life in Utah.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    Adam, "Did I really see Utah run a fake punt against Montana State?"

    Lots of Americans get Wyoming and Montana confused. Apparently Coach Whitt does, too.

  • Adam Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    Did I really see Utah run a fake punt against Montana State?

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    Kosta Fesenko: "We never seem to have good openers."

    I tend to agree. (Though Michigan was a good opener.)

    Last year against Pitt was sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

    2007 against Oregon State was some of the worst tackling I had seen since BYU against Utah in 2004.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Sept. 2, 2011 2:10 p.m.


    Excellent comments. Please post more often.

  • BlameItOnTheOfficials Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    The win wasn't anything more than what was expected. This was against Montana State afterall. I'm not impressed with the prospects we have for the season based on what I saw.

    We certainly didn't make a statement in this game.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 2, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    A "B-"?

    Nope. I don't think so. Maybe if the MSU team we beat 27-10 was "Michigan" State or "Mississippi" State, then yeah, definitely in the "B" range. But we played "Montana" State. Inflating our grade only serves to provide false security. Give us a "D+". Or maybe a "C-"; thanks to Defense and Special Teams. We earned it.

    Now let's get out there and work harder.

    Go Utah! Beat USC!

  • davidutefan Evanston, WY
    Sept. 2, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    Show me a team (any team) that doesn't have questions and make mistake in its first game. The offense built a big lead and pretty much ran off tackle the rest of the noght. The D was stellar until late when they looked tired from being left on the field too long. The O-line was horrible. No way to even try to sugar coat that. Let's just hope another weeks practice lets them gel as a unit. The team speed was impressive. Utah will be fine.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    No question about it, a lot of work to do next week.

    Funny how many BYU fans we have gloating on these Ute articles when they haven't even taken the field for a game yet.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    I am more optimistic than down about the game. We never seem to have good openers. John White seems like a real player. The defense is fast and has a lot of playmakers. Having Cullen back next week will be very nice and should help an already strong run game.

    Bad things are obvious; gotta get better in the passing game. Wynn needs more reps with the guys and they need to stretch the field vertically, otherwise, they are just going to stack the box.

    If that one aspect can be improved, I think Utah can win their next two games, and be successful this season.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    Running back gains 150 yards, and they give the effort a "C"?

    Either the writer set his expectation bar too high, or he earned his "journalism" degree at that school down south.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 2, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Thank you to all the BYU-loving football experts out there who feel the need to analyze, break down, and give advice to a team you supposedly don't follow and supposedly don't care about. What would we do without you?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    If Utah didn't want to give any film to USC and BYU then why didn't Utah play the second team in the second half?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 6:30 a.m.

    @MidMajor4ever I hope your right, but how did Wynn get sacked then? why did Wynn run his own ball? Big risks to a recovering quarterback.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 5:41 a.m.

    Up 24-0 going for a punt fake and I suddenly MISSED Joe Glen and Wyoming. I am not sure that the Utes didn't pull out a lot of the playbook yesterday. They looked so dominate in the first half I didn't even bother watching till halfway through the fourth quarter when I saw an update suggesting the Utes either went conservative or Montana State figured out how to tackle and block.

    That blocked kick was hilarious. I am just glad none of the upside down Utes got hurt.

    Utah isn't supposed to win next week or the week after, but that is okay. They STILL should be able to make the P12 championship being in the weaker division.

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2011 12:44 a.m.

    @MidMajor4ever "Anyone who knows Coach Whittingham and understands football should realize that the playbook wasn't opened tonight for Montana State."

    I don't think it's going to matter too much if Coach Whitt does finally "open up the playbook" next week against USC if your QB can't execute the plays/throw the ball more than 10 yds down-field.

    As of right now, that's your biggest concern.

    Go Cougars!

  • MidMajor4ever Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 11:41 p.m.

    Anyone who knows Coach Whittingham and understands football should realize that the playbook wasn't opened tonight for Montana State. Utah didn't want to help USC prepare for next Saturday's game in L.A.

    Utah will be just fine. Go Utes!

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Sept. 1, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    A little while back I predicted in a post on a Utes article the following for Utah's first two games:

    > vs Montana St - laugher for Utah

    > @ USC - blown out by USC

    After watching tonight's game on KJazz, I'm definitely sticking by my USC prediction.

    Utah's speed in defense and White's running ability were great, but that was about it. Not impressed. Not enough to compete against good BCS teams.

    Please make some corrections for the USC game.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:47 p.m.

    Wynn's throws had no zip. It could be a long year.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    JD Tractor -

    Regarding: "not too much excitement anymore for Utah, Pac 12 honeymoon is over."

    Can you honestly say you believe your own comment following a game where Utah came out and showed the vanilla version of their offense? Don't you think Utah held back just a bit once up 24-0? Think they just might want to throw a few surprises at USC?

    You sound like someone desperately hoping Ute fans would be disappointed. And whether there's the slightest disappointment or not, saying the Pac 12 Honeymoon is over before we've even played a Pac 12 game? Get real.

    And even when a down year comes, Ute fans will get to watch great football games/teams almost every week of the season. Because of that, the honeymoon may never end!

    I'd keep your focus on the Mississippi heat, humidity and football team versus wasting your time hoping Ute fans will get disinterested. It aint happenin'!

  • Smack Jefferson City, MO
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:16 p.m.

    No, JD Tractor, you have a few things wrong. "Desperately looking for bright spots" describes Iowa State watching video after getting mugged by Utah at Jack Trice Stadium last year.

    After winning a game 27-10, you don't have to look too hard to find the bright spots. In fact, most of the game was pretty bright. The defense was fairly fierce--only giving up a few big plays. The run game was solid--White ran for 135 yards. The kicking game was good, although the punting could have been stronger. And special teams did well.

    But if you are implying that Utah has some issues to take care of, you are definitely correct. The offensive line has to stiffen up significantly, Wynn needs to dig deeper, and the passing has to get better.

    As for excitement, there is plenty. The tough competition ahead is a reason to be excited. Of course its possible that the Utes could lose--heck they could have lost to Montana State if they had failed to show up--but to quail now, when the stakes go up, would be silly.

    Go UTES!

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Sept. 1, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    Would have limes to have seen it. Consistent diet of wife's honey-do's instead.

  • utefan56 st george, utah
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    yeah since we're grading....since this article didn't tell me anything i couldn't see for myself...uhhh lets give it a D-

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    I sure hope that second half was designed to lull the Trojans into a false sense of security for next week. If so it probably worked.

  • JD Tractor Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 1, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    Utah struggles against a FCS team, desperately looking for brightspots. Up next, USC, not too much excitement anymore for Utah, Pac 12 honeymoon is over.