BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Utah Playing Well But Only Playing in One Half Each Game

Utah has two quality wins already this season, but they have yet to play four quarters of football in either game...

The University of Utah is 2-0 and beat Michigan at Michigan to begin the season and it seems that nobody cares. Locally all the talk this week has been about the controversy regarding the ending to the BYU vs. Washington game. Very little has been spoken about how the Utes avenged the loss to the rebels last season. Nationally the Utes have fallen out of the non-BCS discussion partly because of the BYU vs. Washington game, but more due to East Carolina's start this season. The Pirates have two marque wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Overshadowing the victories the Utes earned over the Wolverines.

The Utes should be higher in the polls than their current position of #22 in both polls. There is no reason why Fresno St should be ranked above them, and there is a case that Utah should be ranked higher than BYU. (I don't see a way of arguing that any non-BCS team should be ranked higher than East Carolina, they should be in the top five in the nation.) Yet, the Utes are stuck at #22. The Utes also don't have any big name teams for quite some time on the schedule. This hurts the Utes, because the Horned Frogs on November 6th are the next big game they do have. (The Utes play Oregon St. as well, but the Beavers are looking very poor this year) BYU gets the first crack at the Horned Frogs before the Utes play them, and depending on the outcome of that game the Utes might only have the contest against BYU to prove they belong in the national picture.(That is only if BYU goes undefeated also)

Yet, this speculation is a looking far down the road in the season. Right now the Utes have another problem to worry about. They need to be able to put together a complete game of football. In their first game against the Wolverines the Utes were moving the ball at will. They scored sixteen unanswered points in the second quarter to take a commanding 22-10 lead going into halftime. In the second half it was a different set of circumstances for the Utes. The offense stopped moving the ball. They started to turn the ball over, and the only points scored came from great field position due to the play of the Utes special teams and defense. Michigan came within a missed two-point conversion of tying the game. One half the Utes looked unbeatable, but the second half they look out of step.

Move forward to week two, the Utes looked to correct their problems from the Michigan game against the Rebels of UNLV. Yet, the game was reversed. The Rebels stayed with the Utes in the first half, and the Utah offense wasn't able to produce on the field in the first half. Brian Johnson looked lost at times, and was throwing the ball into coverage. He was lucky to only have a single interception in the game. Yet, in the second half the Utes looked like a team that was determined to put the hammer down on the Rebels. The offense really started to click, and exploded in the third quarter slamming the door on any hope the Rebels had in coming back in the game.

If the Utes could put together a complete four quarters of football they would be able to compete with any team in the country. Do the Utes have to play perfect for an entire game to win? No, they are talented enough to give a B effort and beat the majority of teams on the schedule. If the offense isn't playing well Louie Sakoda's rule for the team is huge. He is able to pin other teams with his punts, and he has great range with his field goals. His game allows the Utah offense to struggle.

The Utes defensive line is hurting, and that could be a problem for the Utes. Michigan's offensive line was very young, and the Utes were able to handle the rushing attack of Michigan. Yet, they did have a hard time stopping a powerful runner like Frank Summers of UNLV. Now with the injury to Lei Talamaivao who broke his fibula and is out for the season, and Kenape Eliapo being out 6-8 weeks with a broken foot the Utes are forced to play some freshman at the key line position. This is where the softer schedule of Utah will help them develop the talented younger defensive linemen.

Anything but the BCS will be a huge disappointment for the Utes. They have the personal they need to run the table and play in another BCS bowl game. The most important thing for the Utes is to use the softer portion of the schedule to develop the young D-linemen. Plus, prove that they aren't only able to get up for the big games and just mail in the lesser game, but that they are now ready to be the front runner in the conference and return to their 2004 form.

9 comments:

scott said...

UNLV is not a quality victory.

Mark said...

Yeah, I might have taken some poetic license when I attached the "quality victory" label to the Utes beating UNLV.

Anonymous said...

Maybe beating them wasn't quality but the way they did it was. They absolutely crushed the rebels in the second half.

Mark said...

That is a very good point. The second half was some amazing football from the U of U. I used quality to begin with because the first conference game is always very important.

Scott said...

Agreed! Although, UNLV was who we thought they were...

Larr said...

scott you asked why I don't like your opinion? Look at what you just said, downplaying utah's win this week. Was
it a quality win, yes, why? Because as mark said it was the first conference game and they are redeeming themselves from an embarrassing game last year. This week proved the Utes aren't going to play to the level of their competition this year, which has been a huge problem for the utes in the past. But you can't see that. You can't see past your byu bias. Was byu's "win" big oh yeah. Monumental for bronco, showing that he can win on the road early. Am I a byu fan, HECK NO never will be, I hope they lose every game by 50! but i can look at the Washington game and say it was a quality win. If utah beat usc you would have a reason why it wouldn't be quality. That's why I don't like you opion!

Scott said...

No, I agreed that it is important to win the first conference game, not that it was a quality win.

Ummm, Utah's win over Michigan was quality. Did I ever say otherwise? Did I ever say BYU's win was quality? No. They played a terrible Pac 10 team. If BYU is so good, then they should beat bad teams easily. This proves my earlier comments on the blog that a lower BCS Conference team would finish near the top of the WAC or MWC.

Utah's win, although important, was not quality. The same goes for BYU, although BYU's win is better than Utah's.

Scott said...

Utah playing a "quality game" does not mean that it is a quality win. I was responding to the 3rd comment as well. In reality I was giving Utah props when I agreed in my comment. UNLV is a poor football team, although not as poor as USU. There is not BYU bias in that comment.

Larr said...

Dude scott you did it. I am done with this blog because of you. You are ignorant and biased. Sorry man I just can't take you anymore!