FanPost

How much potential does Utah have?

   This year was rather surprising to me.  It started out better than I expected.  I was pleasantly surprised by our young defensive backs.  Especially Brian Blechen, who I am very excited for.  It is true that these defensive backs didn't have a lot of tests this year and I agree they didn't look great against TCU, Boise State, or even Notre Dame.  But I think there are reasons for this that I will explain later.  Throughout the season, Utah seemed to execute at a very high level...consistently.  The Wyoming game wasn't Jordan's greatest game but everybody has a bad game.  We had a few problems with Air Force but that's expected since Air Force always gives us a great game and Utah seems to have some trouble against triple option teams.  (Unless they have more than one week to prepare for them).  Than along came TCU, an elite football team with arguably the best defense in college football.  If you go back to that game, it really wasn't that bad at first.  Initially, it looked like it was going to be a defensive battle, like the 2008 meeting.  Yes, TCU scored on their first drive...but that kind of thing happens, big deal.  Utah adjusted and slowed TCU down...for a little while.  But then TCU made two huge plays, one of which resulted from a sloppy tackle attempt by Utah, which put TCU up 14-0.  But then the Frogs, being the great team that they are, made the critical play of the game shortly after the sloppy tackle.  Somebody comes from Jordan Wynn's blind side, (so Jordan can't see him), and then strips the ball.  When that happened, the plane crashed for Utah.  A very large portion of football is mental.  TCU seized the momentum early and Utah seemed to panic.  A few big plays happen and all of the sudden Utah starts making mistakes they didn't make all year.  Ever since then, Utah has never really looked the same.  But Utah probably had one or two weaknesses before the TCU game that were unknown at the time.  The one I couldn't ignore has to do with QB Jordan Wynn.  I think Jordan is a very intelligent quarterback.  I think he throws well, usually.  But he does have a weakness and TCU took advantage of it.  When Jordan Wynn goes deep, he has a tendency to slightly under throw his passes.  Now, I don't mean he throws too short for the receiver to catch it.  I mean it hits the receiver's belly as opposed to his chest.  Why is this a problem?  It's a problem because if you slightly under throw the ball on a straight route, it's not going to hit the receiver's belly...it's going to hit the defensive back's chest.  Before the Utah-TCU game, one of TCU's coaches told their defensive backs to turn around when Jordan goes deep for that very reason.  Other than that, I don't really think Utah had any real weaknesses.  Some thought our defensive line wasn't playing as well as they needed to be playing.  I don't know if that was really a problem.  The only other thing I saw with Utah that could have been a problem was the inexperience of the pass defense.  Don't get me wrong, our pass defense is very athletic.  But according to a sports analyst, on TCU's first touchdown against Utah, they did something with their routes to confuse Utah.  So you can argue that our safeties and corners still have a few things to learn.  But Utah had a whole new list of problems following TCU.  Penalties, missed opportunities, etc.  They didn't do these things all the time, but they did it more than they should have.  Their execution was inconsistent, particularly on offense.  I think this just goes to show how much of the game is mental.  Shortly before the BYU game, one of Utah's players made a comment about the locker room being different ever since the TCU game.  Utah's players were probably angry about everything, frustrated with each other, chaos in the late season being the result.  So I think if Utah can forget about the frustrations of this season, play like themselves, and if Jordan can improve on his long ball, I think Utah will be very good.  I've also heard rumors that Utah is attracting good quarterbacks, so things will be interesting.  Hopefully everything will be figured out by next season, Utah will be tested right after their first game. We've got USC to deal with, and then BYU.  GO UTES!!! 

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