clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chase Hansen beats NIU 17-6

NCAA Football: Weber State at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s all just agree to never talk about this game ever again. This game was almost no win scenario for Utah, and they almost didn’t win period based off of a bunch of sloppy play. The Utes came out flat and really didn’t have energy most of the game. Of course, when you’re playing in front of like 35 people, it’s hard to blame them.

The offense went through stretches of moving the ball well, they gained 354 yards on the game, but then they’d just go dry for a long spell. The Utah offensive line has got to be better, there’s no doubt about that. They struggled in both phases of the game, and had a hard time staying in front of the speedy NIU defensive line. Tyler Huntley had a solid game, he went 20 of 31 for 286 yards, but he could have used a little more help from the big guys, and Siaosi Mariner had a giant drop late in the game that would have moved the chains in the red zone. NIU was keying on Zack Moss, and he had a solid first half, but was basically shut down in the second. He ended the game with 66 yards on 16 carries, but did punch in a touchdown. Moss was shaken up in the fourth quarter with a sore ankle, but he did come back into the game. That’s something to look for going into Washington. Britain Covey was electric in the receiving game, and he picked up 129 yards on 8 receptions. Covey picked up a couple of big plays, including a dynamic 48 yard catch and run. He’s just getting rolling. Jaylen Dixon had another big catch of 40 yards, and it looks like he may get some more targets moving forward.

Defensively, after some struggles in the first quarter, they locked down NIU. The Utes held NIU to 228 yards on the game, and I’d wager most of that came in the first half. Chase Hansen was the man tonight, as he had 12 tackles and led Utah with 2.5 tackles for loss, including 2 sacks. He almost singlehandedly shut down NIU in that fourth quarter. He closed the door on the Huskies with a pick six that would turn into the final score. The following possession he was in the backfield knocking down the NIU QB and causing havoc. The Utes forced their first two turnovers this season tonight, including that pick six by Hansen. Chase also picked up a fumble that was forced, where it looked like Utah was going to put the foot down, but they couldn’t do it. The Utah defense needs to continue to clean some things up too, since some guys did find some open spaces in the secondary.

Special teams has a LOT of work to do, and that hurts to say. Utah had another blocked field goal, the second in as many weeks. Matt Gay also missed another field goal early in the game, not helping out a struggling offense at the time. There was also another turnover on a punt, where the ball came down short and hit the back of a Utah’s player leg and NIU jumped on it. Utah would have had great field position if they would have fielded that punt properly. Sounds like Covey needs to better direct his blockers so they get out of the way faster.

All-in-all, it’s a win, but just barely thanks to Chase Hansen, who had huge mark on this game. Next up is Washington at Rice-Eccles, and Utah has to be better if they want to win that game, and I expect them to be a lot better next Saturday.