Utah football report card: Chase Hansen, Utes defense save the day in rough win over NIU

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Sept. 11, 2018 6:08 a.m.

    Pretty sad that we say the same thing year after year. Offense is terrible and defense is stout. When do we start to look at the top down and make a determination of change. If we are to seriously compete in college football do we not need strong coaches on both sides of the ball? Is Whit not responsible for this issue year after year? Is he not given the reigns to choose who he wants for his OC? Troy, I’m sure you’re a good guy, but you need to get your offensive linemen to play harder, your receivers to get open, and your QB to make faster reads. Simplify the offense if you can’t establish these or make a change at QB to see if you can establish these.

  • CO Ute Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:54 p.m.

    Just a reminder, when the Utes ran the power running game and didn’t do much on offense, many fans posted that they need to open it up. Now they have a new offensive scheme, I see posts about a power running game.

    If the offensive line doesn’t improve quickly, the Utes will be around .500 this year. If they come together this team could be very good. Harding needs to get the linemen together and Taylor needs some new play calling. Also would be nice to see receivers hold onto a few more throws.

  • Mountainman38 Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 10, 2018 12:33 p.m.

    Utah's OL pass protection has been a chronic problem for over five years and QB's such as Wilson and Williams suffered numerous bruises to prove it, as well as all of the holding penalties. In the past the run blocking was good enough to win a lot of games. The Utes have a good stable of running backs if the blocking is there.

    Hopefully this game will be a good learning experience for the OL going up against a superior DL before meeting a similar one like Washington has. Usually the run blocking has been good, but if that is not there, can OC Taylor find an alternative?

    Can the defense slow down Browning, Gaskins and company? Thank goodness Pettis is no longer around to plague the Utes.

  • brian of ohio Kent, OH
    Sept. 10, 2018 10:32 a.m.

    I was at the game. I want to make a few points from being there.

    I don't know how much the broadcasters mentioned it, but there was a ton of wind in that stadium. There were two Wishnowsky punts I literally saw the ball get whipped around right when a bit of wind hit. His 4th quarter line drive punt literally got hung up. With no wind, that ball goes 20 more yards - I was right in front of it. I don't know how much that affected the passing game but.

    While I felt like the Offense and special teams played awful, the O line is a large part of that reason. The second reason is that NIU tackled extremely well. I don't know why, but once their D-line got a hand on Huntley, Moss or anyone else, they tackled them at that spot. No after contact yardage and no missed tackles for longer plays. We need to play harder for more yards and give NIU credit for incredible fundamentals. The part that is on Huntley is not getting the ball to a check down receiver since there was no time to throw.

    It is too early to bench Huntley. Especially since a large part is due to the Oline and dropped passes. Give a third game and then use the bye week to get a new QB is necessary.

  • Leeroy Jenkins Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 10:00 a.m.

    Completely agree with you, UteMiguel. Taylor needs to stop trying to be cute with the fancy finesse/RPOs, and just ground and pound with the Oline and Moss to open up the passing game.

    Not sold at all on Huntley, either. I noticed last year too when Huntley was hurt that the offense just seemed more confident and in rhythm with Williams running the show. Huntley is very athletic, but doesn't seem to process information quickly. Also, he seems to be a 'me' guy, and is determined to get the lion's share of calling his own number.

    If that's truly the case, there's two more than capable guys waiting behind Huntley that need to be playing.

  • MendonMick Mendon, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 8:49 a.m.

    I completely agree with Miguel! Our strength should be our running game! RUN RUN RUN Forrest! RUN!

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Sept. 10, 2018 6:05 a.m.

    The fix seems simple to me. Abandon read option. Go to power run by Moss 20 times a game. The running game will be much more effective, which will open up the passing game. This simplifies things for the O line as well.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 10, 2018 2:32 a.m.

    Full disclosure: When I said, "And these are just options from my high school days." To be fair I should have disclosed that we were using the single wing formation!

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 5:35 p.m.

    I turned the game off after the 1st quarter. I was getting too angry. I do believe NIU is a solid team but I expected much more from Utah. The O-Line is very concerning. This was a game the O should have progressed but they slipped backward. I am not hopeful for this coming week. Still, I love the Utes!

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 4:45 p.m.

    Somewhat similar comment. Our o-line looked putrid! (How can that be with 4 of 5 starters returning?) But what do you do when the defense is rushing as if there were no resistance? (and there wasn't) Did the offense call for plays to get the ball out quickly? Slants? Button hooks? Backs sliding out? Safety outlets? Delayed runs? (I don't know when Utah ever ran a true "draw".) And these are just options from my high school days.

    Night vs Day in one week? It has to be if Utah is to not be eliminated from the PAC-12 championship in the first week of conference play. Good luck, Utes!

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Sept. 9, 2018 1:57 p.m.

    Grades are about right. Offense was pretty well missing. Would liked to have seen Shelley at some point to see if he could get the offense going. What is with the special teams this year?

  • 8 in a row! Ogden, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 1:28 p.m.

    F for the offense... when your QB accounts for half of the rushing attempts that’s a complete failure. If Huntley would get more if his weapons involved he would even look better. He’s what you call a ‘puck hog’. When he runs, it’s no surprise to anyone. Maybe it’s coaching...

    A- to B+ for the defense... with the inept offense... we expect the defense to score at least 2 or more touchdowns a game to make up for the offense. After all, the coaches have been putting the better players on the defensive side of the ball for years.

    B- for special teams... so far, both kickers have taken themselves out of the national conversation. Not so special.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 9, 2018 10:45 a.m.

    We’ve seen this same movie and this team since 2004. No matter how many offensive coordinators Whit has hired the results are always the same.

  • soulkracker Kansas City, MO
    Sept. 9, 2018 9:14 a.m.

    The offensive line is frankly, offensive. It was painful to watch. They need to think about this game and the collective performance, as this won't cut it in league play, as they let Northern Illinois make fools of them. I know they are better than that, and need to dig deep and they will rebound. The Troy Taylor magic has still not shown up. So far, and from his arrival, living far below the hype. I am never usually this negative, but was very frustrated by what I saw, and something is just not quite right. Have a few days to figure something out as it won't be the Huskies of Northen Illinois, it will be the Huskies of Washington, and I think they are just a slight notch above in talent! C'mon Utes, find your groove fast!