Keys to the Utah game

Birds are singing. The sun is shining. The flowers are blooming. The long cold winter is over. Some people count down the days to December 25th with a Christmas Count Down the OA household, we count down the days to the first day of college football.

OK, OA does. Mrs. OA hides the calendar every time OA turns around.

OA: Goddangit...where did my calendar go??

Mrs OA: Oh, I don't know.

OA: So help me to god, woman.

Mrs OA: Don't take that tone with me.


Mrs OA: (sigh). Can you at least put it away before company comes over?

OA: Yes, yes, yes, just GIMME IT!! TWO MORE DAYS!!

Mrs OA: I married a nerd.


And so it begins.

Today Utah comes to Oregon State and the dark days of summer are over.

The Utes bring a lot of talent and experience on offense. At quarterback for Utah, the prodigal son returns as superstar Brian Johnson is back to pick up where he left off. The "Yoots" (** trademarked by USMCBeav, we owe you a dollar twenty, Abu) will continue to run a variant of the spread option--left over from Urban Meyer's tenure, though no doubt it has evolved and been tweaked by the new members of the staff, including former Oregon Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig. Utah has the Mountain West's best receiving corps, but the offensive line has had some changes and is a question mark at this point. They have talent at the running back position, but have not shown a consistent weapon.

Defensively Utah appears to have some things to prove in the secondary. Up the middle they are average at best, they are replacing three all-conference stars, and their defensive line does not appear to be a good matchup for an offensive line of Oregon State's caliber.

On paper the game has the makings of a shootout.

The keys for Oregon State:

1 – Bring Pressure From The Backside

Johnson is a threat with both his arms and his legs, so it will be important for Oregon State to control the running lanes but keep him from getting comfortable and in a rhythm.


2—Limit the Big Play.

Utah does not have the horses to grind for 4 quarters. If Oregon State is to contain this high-octane offense, they will need to force Utah to find a consistent running game and keep their dangerous wide receivers in check.


3—Control the Clock.

One way the offense can help the defense achieve Key #2 is to keep the Utah offense on the sidelines and ice cold. Hand the ball to Yvenson Bernard and turn the game into a real meat grinder for the Utah defense. Take the big shots when necessary to keep the defense honest or to capitalize on a mismatch.

Look for the OA and Dnorz clan on the East Side in our new digs. Send your feedback, hate mail, tapes of Souldaddy on the Jenny Jones show and love letters to we will pay big money for the Jenny Jones show tapes.

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