It didn’t start very pretty, at least in terms of scoring points, but early on in the win over San Jose State, Utah was getting chunks of yards but just couldn’t punch it in for touchdowns. The Utes had three promising drives to open the game, but each time the drive would stall and Matt Gay would get a field goal. With that said, how about Matt Gay? He hit a pair of 50 yard kicks, including a 56 yarder! It’s incredible that the Utes have stumbled upon this kid.
After that, it was all touchdowns for the Utes (outside of the last field goal as the game was closing and the twos were on the field). Tyler Huntley had himself one heck of a game, with 341 yards on 30/43 passing and 4 touchdowns. He did have a pick and a fumble, both of which led to scores for SJSU. He is the first Utah QB since Brian Johnson to pass for back-to-back 300 yard games. That’s a long time.
Huntley’s go-to guy, Darren Carrington, had a great game with 153 yards on nine catches, and got into the end zone three times. This makes the 3rd consecutive game that Carrington has crossed the century mark. Huntley distributed the ball all over the field, with Samson Nacua getting the most targets, with 11, and also pulled in 59 yards of his own. Nacua did fumble the ball in the red zone, that hit the pylon and ended a scoring opportunity for the Utes. Raelon Singleton got into the end zone for the first time with a great catch. It was great to see Singleton get a scoring grab, he’s one heck of a receiver.
The running game is still spinning its tires, with the Utes gaining 160 on the game. Zack Moss only had 43 yards, but it did seem like he was dancing a bit too much with the ball, and his o-line wasn’t really blowing holes open for him. The young man needs to gain some confidence and just run with power. Having a back like Armand Shyne will be a big addition for the Utes if/when he gets healthy. Shyne has the ability to get those tough yards, and should take some pressure off Moss.
The offensive line was hit or miss in the game, mostly miss early on, and got into a pretty good grove from the 2nd quarter forward. This unit is going to be very important for the Utes as they move forward. If they do their jobs in the red zone, Utah will be very productive on offense. Also, if they keep the pocket clean for Huntley, he’s going to be a monster.
One real sign of improvement tonight was the penalties. The Utes only had six for 50 yards. That’s a real improvement over the first two games, by getting over 200 yards of total penalties in those games.
The defense had some lapses at times in pass defense. With that said, it was a very solid effort for the guys, as they came away with five sacks and turned over SJSU five times. Many of the turnovers put Utah in prime scoring position, where they scored 27 points off those turnovers. Utah punished three different QBs for the Spartans. The big concern for me coming out of this game is with Kylie Fitts. He got injured pretty early in the game, looking like some kind of concussions, or something like that. You combine him missing along with Chase Hansen, those are two big names missing. Hopefully Hansen will be back next week for Arizona, and I’m not sure if we’ll see Fitts until after the BYE (after next week).
Next week the season starts for real on the road in Arizona to kick off Pac-12 play. Hopefully this offense can tighten up a bit more, and the offense can stop the run, because the luck in Tucson hasn’t been good.