Well, not exactly what we all expected. I'm pretty sure that all of you are as disappointed as I am. Now, I'm writing this because I don't think it is doom and blue for Utah football. To be clear, I'm not trying to make any excuses about the game in this post. And I would like congratulate the Washington Huskies on a very solid win. But if Jordan Wynn returns, I still think we can have some success and good times. (I'm not saying we'll win the Pac-12 South).
Now, I want to go into what the recipe of disaster was in this game and I'm going to start with the first half. The first thing I noticed was that the offense didn't capitalize on the defense's turnovers. And obviously Utah had a sloppy start in this game, the opening fumble was unacceptable. We saw disciplinary problems that we haven't seen all season. Particularly frustrating were the two personal fouls on Utah's defense. (Most notably the unsportsmanlike foul). Yet we did manage to make some plays through the air and we also managed to slow Washington's impressive running game down. (Again, this is first half). Utah was winning the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, but yet we stalled in the red zone. (Some credit is due to Washington's defense for making those critical red zone turnovers, especially the fumble). Nonetheless, the negatives showed their ugly faces at the worst possible times.
Okay, now a little more about the second half. This paragraph is very important. Yes, we all know that Jordan got hurt and Hays threw a pick right away. But there is more to this and it's not all entirely related to Jordan Wynn's injury. Remember those turnovers our defense came up? Remember how I was saying that the offense didn't capitalize on those? Now, think about all of the SHORT DRIVES that our offense had. (Including the good ones). Now think about the LONG DRIVES Washington's offense had. Our defense would create a turnover, giving the offense a short field. (This results in a short drive). When our offense stalled in the red zone, it took away the purpose of the turnovers in the first place. OUR DEFENSE'S TURNOVERS ACTUALLY HURT US. Because if you don't take advantage of a turnover, the only thing it does is put your own defense on the field for a longer time. Not to discredit the Washington offense, but didn't anyone notice that the Utah defense tackled better in the first half than in the second. That means one of two things, and really it probably means both. One, Tired defense, (as I explained above). And/or two, Wynn's injury. (This can demoralize a team and it probably changed Norm Chow's play calling).
Bottom line is, in the first half, we shot ourselves in the foot....in the second half...Washington dominated us. The reason why we lost this game is not just because of Jordan Wynn's injury...but also because Washington used the silent killer. TIME OF POSSESSION. Some of this was Washington's game plan, some of this was the offense stalling, (not a good combination with a defense known for creating turnovers), and some of this was Jordan Wynn's injury. All I'm saying is, the final score doesn't tell you the difference between these two teams. Utah could have won this game but it wasn't meant to be. We can still win several games if Jordan Wynn returns, but it will never be easy. Most Mountain West teams do not have the athletes to create this recipe for disaster. We have been welcomed to the Pac-12 indeed.