The Utah Utes (2-1) fell to the Washington Huskies (2-1) on Saturday night. If you watched, then you know that there was more bad than good.
The offense needs an identity
Utah’s offense has not lived up to the hype. Under the leadership of four starting returners, the Utes are not scoring and they’ve turned the ball over too many times. Utah beat Northern Illinois 17-6. The Utes scored one touchdown, one field goal and scored off of an interception (the following kick was good which brought the score to 17). In the game against Washington, Utah’s only score came off of a 4-yard run from Zack Moss. It’s simple. If you don’t put up numbers, you don’t win. A lot of fans point their finger at Tyler Huntley for the lack of production on offense, but I point my finger at the entire line. The o-line hasn’t found their identity, stability and they haven’t gelled together yet. Sure, Huntley hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in two games, but he ranks fifth in the Pac – 12 and in the top-30 in the nation in completions per game (21.6). When it comes to the drops against Washington, they weren’t all Huntley’s fault. Guys literally had the ball in both of their hands and couldn’t hold onto it. The loss to Washington also showed us that someone else besides Zack Moss and Britain Covey willhave to step up and make some plays. Someone! Anyone! Zack Moss played on Saturday with a noticeable ankle injury. In Head Coach Kyle Whittingham’s press conference this week, he noted that Armand Shyne should have gotten “a few more carries.” Moss ranks third in the Pac -12 and in the top-30 in the nation in rushing yards (283) and rushing yards per game (94.3). He is fifth in the conference and in the nation’s top 30 in yards per carry (6.3). As for Covey, he needs to avoid direct shots. He got banged up a bit in the game against Washington. Covey said that he is tough and he can take it, but right now, the Utes are relying on him to be healthy. Hopefully Moss and Covey get some much-needed rest during this bye-week.
The defense is dominant
Defense. Defense. Defense. Although it’s not 100 percent perfect, Utah’s defense looked excellent against Washington, as they have in all three games so far. In Saturday night’s Pac – 12 opener, Utah only allowed 327 yards of total offense, 172 rushing yards, and 155 passing yards. With those kind of numbers and holding the Huskies to 21 points, Utah should have won this game. Something that was good to see was the defensive pressure on Washington quarterback Jake Browning. Browning only connected on 14 of 24 passes for 155 yards and he had an interception. Even with this, the defense wasn’t perfect and struggled against the Huskies’ run game. Myles Gaskin lit up the field in the first half and finished the game with 143 yards on 30 carries.
Special teams is back – finally!
Britain Covey had five punt returns Saturday night and totaled 77 yards. He averaged 15.4 yards per return. Let’s give it up not only for Covey but for his blockers who did a great job. There also wasn’t a fumble on a punt return this week. Mitch Wishnowsky seems to have gotten his groove back. Witchnowsky punted the ball five times and averaged 45.6 yards.