Academically Ineligible is very excited to introduce a new voice to the team as he brings a brilliant analytical breakdown each week for our faithful Ute fans who have suffered through all the BYU for the few nuggets of Red. Chris Enger is a well-known name in the podcasting circuit as host of three shows: The BYUofU Show, The RSL Show, and also on Soccer Newsday. Each show is awesome in its own respect. If you’ve thought of becoming a soccer fan, and more specifically an RSL fan, you need to check out the RSL Show podcast. He makes soccer very accessible to the newbie fan. He is going to provide our loyal Ute fans with a weekly insight into the Utes next game. Check him out @fuegote and @RSLShow
Game 2: Utah @ Utah State
After a performance where Utah was expected to win by 40 or more points and did, the Utes are facing what could be the toughest Utah State Aggie team they’ve seen in quite some time.
The Aggies are coming off a frustratingly successful 2011 campaign where the majority of their losses came in the closing minutes of the game. It must have felt like a giant kick to the nether regions each week.
Utah State has started their 2012 campaign beating Southern Utah University soundly, so the Aggies are feeling pretty confident going into the 110th “Battle of the Brothers” rivalry game this week against the Utes.
The Utes are coming off of their glorified scrimmage against Northern Colorado. If anyone tells you the game was more than a practice, it would be a lie. The game was an excellent opener to shake off some cobwebs and fine tune areas that need improvement without having to face the same crew they’ve faced all summer long.
Utah Offense v USU Defense
Last week against Northern Colorado, the Utes ran out an extremely low key offense. They ran the ball, passed to some tight ends and went deep a couple of times. With John White averaging over five yards per carry, what more did they need to do?
This week, they’ll have to reveal more as they face a familiar face in Gary Anderson and his defense. They aren’t the largest bunch but they are quick and that’s been the forte of the defenses put together by Whittingham, Sitake and Anderson.
With the defense keying on John White IV, it should allow opportunities for Wynn and his bionic shoulders to go deep or at least continue to hit his large tight ends. Utah has some studs on offense; it’s just a matter of Wynn getting them the ball.
Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson also faces his first real test this week. The 25 year-old OC rolled out a plethora of personnel and formations against the Bears last week but now we get to see what he can do against a defensive mind like Anderson before next week’s huge encounter against BYU and Bronco Mendenhall’s quick defense.
The Offensive line had the most issues last week and is still trying to find its early season groove. It’s cliché to say the trenches are where the game will be won but if the O-line can control the USU 3-4 defense and adjust to the blitzing packages they’ll likely see then White and Wynn could be in for good afternoons.
Utah Defense v USU Offense
Chuckie Keeton is the real deal in this state and I can make a case on saying he’s the best quarterback in the state right now. He torched the SUU defense with two scoring drives longer than 90 yards. He only had 27 rushing yards (which is low for him) but he threw for 304 yards, two touchdowns while only missing on three of his 25 attempts, one of which was an interception.
His receivers may be small in stature but they make up for their small size with blistering speed. These guys can run and run fast. Utah will have to be disciplined and play these guys smart. This isn’t your typical Utah State offense.
Usually offensive lines have the weight advantage over the defensive line but with the Utes and Aggies, there really isn’t a size advantage which makes speed the most important strength. The Utes have speed and size in their favor which, in tandem with the speedy linebackers, will put some pressure on Chuckie.
Defense Ends Nate Fakahafua and Joe Kruger will have their hands full in reading the read option and keeping contain on the backs as well as Keaton. The rest of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the defensive backs. They must play aggressive without over committing and allowing the deep pass. Keaton threw some great looking deep passes that were just out of reach of the defenders.
I love the front seven of Utah over any offense outside of Oregon’s offense right now and predict that the Utah defense will handle its business.
This game will be much closer than battles in years past which will cause much consternation among Utah fans but I see the Utes winning by 10 points. Wynn silences some of his doubters and John White IV rushes for 145 yards.
Utah’s defense will have all that it can handle and although they won’t be able to keep the Aggies out of the endzone, they will do a good job containing Keaton as a primer to the other mobile quarterback in the state, Riley Nelson.
Utah: 27, USU 17.