The Utes seem to have found themselves against Stanford last week, now on a short week, the Utes need to keep up the momentum against Arizona at Rice Eccles, and this is what I think they need to do to do just that.
Stop the run
With Arizona, at least defending them, I think it’s a pretty simple game plan. Don’t allow them success running the ball, and let them try to beat you through the air all day long. Tate and Taylor are a great running duo, but if Tate wants to sit back there and try to beat the Utes with his arm, he’s going to be doing the Utes a favor. For some reason Sumlin has turned Tate into a pocket QB, at least has tried to, and Tate just isn’t a pocket QB. If Utah can shut down the run, and put Arizona in 3rd and longs all game long, then they’ll be in a good position.
Repeat the Stanford game plan on offense
The Utes really found their identity and game plan against Stanford. Let Moss and Shyne run downhill, mixed in with Huntley, while playing some play action and getting some down field throws to Covey, Simpkins and crew. Watching Arizona this season, especially against BYU in the game one, they are prone to giving up yards off of play action, and Utah should be able to setup play action all game long. Utah doesn’t need to be cute, they just need to run at, through, and over Arizona all game long, pick up 5 yards per carry, and to burn them with the play action when it’s availbale.
Put them away
What we saw a few weeks ago with USC taking on Arizona, USC had a healthy lead, couldn’t quite put Arizona away and it turned into a much closer game than it needed to be. If the Utes see an exposed jugular with Arizona, they need to step on it. If they can build that multiple score lead, especially later in the game, they can pin their ears back and get after Tate. Utah’s a better team than Arizona, in all phases, and they’re at home, so they can’t mess around. If they let Arizona hang around, things can turn out poorly.