Seven turnovers will doom you almost every time, especially when you only get two back. That was the case for the Utes against Washington State on Saturday night. The Utes gave WSU the ball deep in Utah territory all night long, and the defense was able to hold WSU to field goal after field goal, with the exception of the touchdown in the 4th quarter. It could have been 21-0 early in the game, but Utah’s defense was able to keep Utah in it at 13-0.
The first quarter was awful for the Utah offense, just like last week against UCLA. They couldn’t get out of their own way, and couldn’t hold onto the ball (as was the case most of the game). From the 2nd quarter on, the Utes were able to move the ball pretty well. The biggest issue for the Utes right now has to be the offensive line. Tyler Huntley was getting blasted at times, and barely had time to set his feet for long stretches of the game. It seemed like it was Huntley versus the Cougars for most of the night, but he just kept balling out and ended the night with 305 yards. Yeah, he made some mistakes, but he did all he could to keep Utah in this game, some times with defenders draped all over him. Without the likes of Darren Carrington, who didn’t play with an injury, the Utes were searching for a play maker, and the other wide outs did a nice job, overall. If the Utes want to get that sixth win on the season, that o-line needs to play better, no question.
On defense, the secondary played so well, considering their opponent. Luke Falk threw for 311 yards, but needed 40 completions to do it, and he had 2 picks himself. This was a very promising performance for a very young secondary for the Utes. Without Marquise Blair, Chase Hansen, and Julian Blackmon for much of the game, I think the future is beyond bright for that crew. Also, considering that the Utes had started in minus territory on defense much of the night, they did one hell of a job not allowing WSU to pull away.
Next for the young Utes are the Huskies up in Seattle, who are coming off of a loss to Stanford on Friday night. It will take Utah’s best effort to win that game, and depending on who is available for the Utes, that may be a tall task. But, if Utah’s o-line figures it out and gives Huntley time to throw, and good lanes for Moss, they can make some noise.