Utah-UNLV: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Who was good, who was bad, and who was ugly against UNLV?

The Good

Jereme Brooks
4 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown, but his biggest contribution was helping Terrance Cain get comfortable with a few nice grabs after Cain started off by misfiring on his first couple of passes. Brooks is an elite slot receiver and teams are going to have trouble stopping him all year.

Offensive Line
Two games in and no sacks allowed. UNLV wasn't able to get any kind of pressure on Terrance Cain. The offensive line is getting a good push and opening up holes for Wide and Asiata on a regular basis. The Zane Taylor injury won't be an issue the next two weeks as the Utes take on poor teams. The coaches might let him rest up and get fully healthy before they hit the meaty part of the schedule.

Shaky Smithson
Shaky is a big play guy, as evidenced by his punt return for a touchdown and his 55 yard touchdown catch. There were a few other returns that he almost broke for TDs in returning 5 punts for 128 yards. He'll take another back at some point this year.

I'm now on the bandwagon. These guys can play. Chaz Walker was an animal again with 16 tackles. He's currently tied for first in the country with 13.5 tackles per game. Matt Martinez had a career high 12 tackles and Chad Manis chipped in a personal best of 7. Who finds a seat on the bench when J.J. Williams returns?

The Bad

7 penalties for 70 yards is just too much. It's an improvement over the Pitt game, but numbers like that won't fly at Air Force and against TCU. John Cullen picked up his second personal foul in two games for piling on well after a play. Dumb.

Quarterback Pressure
Omar Clayton could have spent the first 4 seconds of every play in a lounge chair watching because the Utes weren't getting any kind of pressure, especially from the defensive ends. Lamar Chapman did pick a sack and half on blitzes, but no one else was able to get to the mobile Clayton. This needs to be fixed before the Utes take on the very mobile Austen Arnaud of Iowa State in a few weeks.

The Ugly

Two punts blocked in two games and two others that could have been blocked. When he gets the kick off, Sellwood is bombing them, but he's injured and could miss this week. The formation has to be changed. It is as simple as that. The current formation allows the guys trying to block the kick to get a full head of steam when coming in on Sellwood and his blockers. Block them earlier.

Defense Third and 4 or Longer
The Rebels converted multiple 3rd or 4th down and 4 yards or longer opportunities in the game. Omar Clayton converted a couple of those with his legs, but the defensive needs to get better pressure on third and long. Blitz maybe?

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