University of Utah Game 8 – Cal

“Everything was great except for the fact we shot ourselves in the foot several times and that made it difficult to walk.” ~Some Cowboy in the 1800s

Let me get my opinion on a couple of things out there first and foremost:

  1. I’m very happy that the Utes went to Travis Wilson so early. I love Jon Hays. I love how much effort he put into the game and how he fought until the final whistle, however, there is a reason why he was a division II quarter back without a football team. He had reached his ceiling and it was time to start the Wilson era at Utah. Yes, Wilson looks like a true freshman at times but he is already making throws Hays could never make and that gets me really excited for the future at the U.
  2. I also love knowing we are playing so many young guys on both sides of the ball. Let’s get these guys developed sooner. We will have growing pains now but that will only pay off as the team grows and gets used to playing in the PAC 12.
  3. You can put me in the camp of those who scoffed at Mark May and Trev Alberts and the “week in, week out” argument that have since been corrected. I now see the error in my ways and have corrected those thoughts.
  4. Even though the offense has only put up 10 touchdowns in 6 games (I don’t count Northern Colorado) the offense is showing signs of improving. Wilson and York are adding a different dynamic and Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson going more to a true spread option is helping that.
  5. What are killing this team are mental errors. They’ve lost the last two games because of stupid, stupid, inexplicable errors. From Kruger lining 3 yards into the neutral zone allowing UCLA another opportunity to score to DeVonte Christopher dropping the ball on the 3 yard line (after two quarterback sneak attempts at the goal line). The team lacks discipline. Even though penalties have come down this year, the penalties they earn are usually at the worst of times, usually coming on 3rd downs and extending drives. It is jaw dropping the frustration I experience at these moments.
  6. All that being said, I’m still optimistic at this team getting to bowl eligibility. The Utes have had the second strongest strength of schedule in the nation and it only gets easier from here to the finish.

What is just amazing about last week’s game at Oregon State is Utah held the beavers to just 227 yards of total offense. Utah had the ball for 10 more minutes as well. With those types of numbers you don’t expect a loss but when you make the type of errors Utah made, you can understand how that loss to a top ten team happens and why it caused me to be so negative on twitter. We had a shot to win it!

This weekend Cal comes to town to face the Utes in the annual black out game (this year is complete with black helmets). Remember when Cal coming to town was the biggest game on the schedule outside of BYU? My how times have changed as this is one of the “worst” home games on the schedule this year.

Cal has had just as many issues with their team as Utah. Their biggest issue is just inconsistency. They nearly beat Ohio State at the Horseshoe but lose to Nevada at home. Sure, that makes sense.

All I want to see from Utah this week is sound fundamentals on defense. Is it any wonder our defensive backs haven’t performed as well since Blechen’s return? Once he starts playing better, the rest of the corps will as well.

I want to see them taking proper angles and instead of going for the Sports Center hit; just going for the tackle. Star has been an absolute beast this year requiring double and sometimes triple teams most games. Could one of the other defensive linemen please help Star out this week?

I want to continue seeing Wilson progress. This is his first home game as a starter and the crowd will be behind him which will help his performance. Will Brian Johnson go with York more this week who is averaging over five yards per carry, which is three yards better than John White IV this year?

Will Johnson call a balanced game this week?  Last week Wilson threw 28 times last week compared to the 45 rushing attempts to various running backs as well as Wilson.

If we see these variables, the Utes win this game. I like how our defense matches up against Cal and I keep waiting for the offense to start putting points up. You could visually see the team deflate with Christopher fumbled at the 3 yard line last week. Does the team recover from that loss and get their first PAC 12 win of the season?

Yes!

Utah 28 – Cal 17

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