Utah dropped their final regular season game 27-22 against Colorado on Saturday, finishing the regular season 8-4. It was a disappointing way for the team to end the season that began with so much promise. Now Utah will wait to see which bowl they are headed to.
The offense could not get anything going all game. Joe Williams couldn’t find the second level all night, finishing with 97 yards on 27 carries and fumbled twice. Both fumbles were critical, one coming in the red zone and another that turned into a scoop and score for Colorado. Troy Williams really struggled, completing only 32% (13-40) of his passes. He had 2 interceptions, but one was a hail mary to end the second half. In Williams defense, the receivers also dropped quite a few catchable balls.
In the red zone, Utah was atrocious. The offense had first and goal five times and only managed to score one touchdown. The lack of red zone production has been a problem all season, and it will be interesting to see if Whittingham sticks with his “no wholesale changes needed” approach this offseason.
The Utah defense once again played well enough to keep Utah in the game until the very end. After Colorado was able to do some things on offense to start the game, Utah was able to make the adjustments needed to hold the Buffs offense to only 20 points and 378 yards, both well below Colorado’s season averages.
Utah sold out to stop the run, playing in zero coverage for most of the night and it worked. Colorado averaged only 2.8 yards per carry on the ground. The trade off was Utah got burned for some big pass plays, but at the end of the day Sefo Liufau only threw for 1 touchdown (thanks to a few drops by his receivers). It wasn’t Utah’s best defensive performance, but on a night when they weren’t getting any help from the offense, they kept the team in the game and held the opponent in check for the most part.
It was a good night for special teams. Boobie Hobbs got loose to start the game with a 55 yard punt return for a touchdown. Kyle Fulks had a 93 yard kickoff return that almost went for a touchdown. In the kicking game, Andy Phillips was 3 for 4 on field goals his only miss on a 45 yard attempt. Mitch Wishnowsky was also solid, punting 6 times for 254 yards.