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Utah falls to Washington 21-7 — goes back to the drawing board on offense

NCAA Football: Washington at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I have no idea what I just watched, but between a flurry of terrible calls by #Pac12Refs, a comedy of errors that kept Utah out of the end zone, and mind boggling play calling, I feel punch drunk. The Utes lost their Pac-12 opener Saturday night to Washington and fell to 2-1 on the season. The crazy thing, is that Utah had so many opportunities to really do something in this game, but couldn’t get out of their own way (with some zebra help).

First off, the offense has to go back to the drawing board, and it all starts with Troy Taylor. This is the most puzzling games he’s called, and completely forgot about Zack Moss for most of the game. The stud running back for the Utes had 13 carries for 67 yards and Utah’s lone touchdown. He should have almost double that in carries in a game like this. Utah had the ball in scoring territory twice in the 4th, and Moss was MIA. What made the matters worse was the fact that when Utah did get something going, they would either turn the ball over (3 on the night), or a penalty would negate a big play. Oh, drops also reared their head again tonight too. It’s beyond maddening, and the Utes have to use this bye week to figure out how they want to attack teams, because what they’re doing isn’t working. Huntley was 20 of 38 on the night with 138 yards and one pick. Huntley should not be throwing the ball that much when you have a running back as good as Moss. Utah only gained 261 yards on the night.

As for the defense, man, they were nails most of the night. They gave up some big ones to Gaskin and some tosses to Browning, but they were nasty a lot of the night. So nasty that two players got ejected for targeting, and while one looked legit (the Blair one), the one on Fotu was a joke. Utah wasn’t able to get a couple of plays reviewed for similar plays on their side of the ball, especially when Huntley gave himself up on a slide and a dude launched at him while he was sliding. The defense was attacking Browning most of the night and was in the backfield often. They forced Browning into one of his patented turnovers, but Tonga couldn’t quite control the ball all the way to the end zone and bumbled it out of bounds before he go there. Utah held UW to 327 yards on the game, and forced UW into the one turnover, but they had a second which was whipped out by a bogus roughing the passer call.

This is a championship quality defense, no doubt. Can the coaching staff figure out the offense to match? That doesn’t look promising based off of the past, but we’ll find out more in two weeks at Washington State.