Who saw this happening? Not only did Utah win, but the game wasn't really in doubt throughout most of the second half. After an offensive struggle last Saturday against Boise State, the Utes bounced back in impressive fashion and handed TCU their first losing streak since the 2004 season. This was an important game for Utah and one they needed to win and now with the victory, they can move one step closer to recapturing that Mountain West Conference.
Utah's offense, while not great, played a decent enough game. It was expected that TCU -- one of the best defenses in the conference -- would give Utah problems, and they did. Utah only scored 20-points and was kept out of the end zone the entire second half. But what was more impressive from Utah was their defensive play and unreal kicking game by Louie Louie Sakoda. The defense yielded little on the night and Sakoda's leg kept TCU pinned deep in their own territory all night long. This gave Utah's offense a lot wiggle room when it came to its less than aggressive play calling in the second half. Utah obviously went conservative in the second half on offense and it paid off.
Brett Ratliff ended the night completing 19 of 32 passes for 233 yards. He did however throw an interception in the fourth, but Utah regained the ball on a Weddle fumble recovery. The game ball has to go to the defense, who came out fired up and kept TCU's offense in check the entire night. TCU finished with 310-yards, but 141 came in the final quarter when the game was already over.
Eric Weddle once again proved he's the best player at Utah and had the play of the night. With TCU getting a Utah turnover, Lonta Hobbs quickly caught a Marcus Jackson pass, only to have Weddle take it away on the tackle. Originally ruled an interception, Weddle was later credited for forcing the fumble. The play set up a Utah field goal for their only points of the second half.
The Utes needed this win and dominated pretty much the entire game. It wasn't an offensive explosion, but I don't think that was really expected after last week's offensive struggles. I was taken by surprise over this, because I really questioned Utah's ability to bounce back after a disastrous loss. Well they did and now they've got to build off of it. With this win, it's clear the Utes have the inside track on the conference title with CSU and BYU both coming to Salt Lake. While there may be some slipup games in the future, starting with next week's game against Wyoming, this was a big step in the right direction. Now let's keep it rolling.