The season is teetering on the edge right now for the Utah football program, after an embarrassingly bad offensive performance against San Diego State for the first 3 1⁄2 quarters of the game. Now at 1-2 on the season, and losing two games to G5 programs has this season at Defcon 1.
The issues, I think, begin and end with the offensive line. Sure, there are some issues defensively, but if the offense can generate some yardage and first downs then the defense can play looser. Right now the margin for error is zero. The offensive line’s inability to generate a solid pocket for the quarterback for much of the game and running lanes for running backs has really bled over into other positions on the offense. Charlie Brewer was shell-shocked out there, so much so that he was pulled for Cam Rising. Credit to Rising for rallying the troupes to force overtime. The Utes were dead in the water, and Rising took the offense on his back and both on the ground and through the air gave the Utes a spark to score 14 points in the 4th quarter to force the overtime. Unfortunately they couldn’t string enough stops and plays together in the ensuing three overtimes to get over the hump.
Right now, I don’t know what kind of team Utah is on offense. Are they a running team? It sure doesn’t look like it. Are they a passing team? Maybe, now that Rising came in and sparked the team through the air. We won’t be able to find out for certain until this offensive line figures it out. Micah Bernard and TJ Pledger had some nice moments, but they just have guys draped all over them. It’s a simple game plan to beat Utah right now... bring heat because they can’t counter it. I want to give the guys some credit, because it seemed like they did play much better for the last half of the 4th, but it was a trainwreck long before then.
The defense also needs to find a way to generate some havoc plays. The lack of turnovers and sacks, and just inability to disrupt the opposing offenses right now is striking. They did give up some big plays on the ground and did appear to wear out over the course of the game, but somebody has to go and rip a ball out or do something to make a major impact on the game.
It’s a major soul-searching time for the Utes right now because right now they’re not a very good football team. They have a lot of talent, but the pieces are all moving in different direections. If this doesn’t get fixed fast, there are not going to be a lot of wins in this 2021 campaign.