After this loss it's easy to blame the coaches because it's their duty to not only get the players ready for the game, but to make the proper adjustments when they are warranted. Sadly, it seemed neither of those were accomplished Saturday afternoon. Not only did Utah come out unenthusiastically, the coaches decided against making the needed adjustments to get back into the game. I remember remarking to a friend during the game that Utah's offense continually passed on first down and then ran on second down to put up an often third and long situation. That considerably lowered the possible plays for the Utes offense and made it that more predictable. For that, the blame falls on offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig's shoulders.
The Utes offense had too many quick three and outs and often coughed the ball up in their own territory, giving Boise State a short field on every score during the game except one. In fact this game reminded me too much of last year's New Mexico game, without the offensive production that put up 27-points against the Lobos. Instead, the Utes offense either fumbled away a drive or tossed an interception too deep in their own territory. How the heck is Utah's defense supposed to defend against that, especially when the offense -- when they actually didn't turn it over -- were forced to punt every single drive? Clearly Utah's problems Saturday afternoon came on the offensive end of the ball. Was it all Ratliff? No, but a big bulk of it was. However, it's Andy Ludwig's job to prep his quarterbacks and he failed in doing that. Ratliff isn't nearly as bad as he looked Saturday, but if Ludwig continues to fail at his job, he won't look any better Thursday.
Looking at the stats, it's clear that Utah gave Boise State the game. The Broncos played well and you can't dismiss this win, however it was bad mistakes made by Utah that put Boise State in position to win the game. If I'm Coach Whittingham, I ask Ludwig to draw up an offensive game plan that's built around the run for Utah's next game. Going to the air against a solid TCU defense might yield the exact same results as Saturday and Utah does not need that. In fact, the Utes running game was fairly positive, with all things considered. The Utes averaged 4.8 YPC, yet only had 139-yards on 29 carries. If the Utes had ran the ball 49 times -- like Boise State -- we may have had a different outcome, or at least a closer game. Sadly, Ludwig decided the best option was to continue going through the air, even though that was not working. The Utes never adjusted to the successful aspect of their offense and because of that they never positioned themselves to make a comeback.
I'm not about to say Andy Ludwig should resign and I know it won't happen anyway. However against TCU the offense can't continue to struggle or it'll be a catastrophic disaster. Ludwig needs to realize that his offensive schemes just aren't cutting it and they're more predictable than the ending of the Titanic. Sadly, it doesn't seem he realizes that Utah just very well may be a sinking ship, slowly descending into the abyss of college football. If he isn't going to fix things, I'm not above throwing him overboard to save the ship. And Kyle Whittingham shouldn't be either.