Utah Routes UNLV- What Does It All Mean?

What exactly did we learn from the Utes win over UNLV?

The Utes beat a bad team, but that wasn't the biggest development to come out of the weekend. The losses and/or poor play by the teams in front of them in the polls allowed Utah to make the jump to 14 in the coaches poll. This is a higher ranking than the Utes had through two games in either 2004 or 2008. If the Utes run the table they'll be in a BCS game. If everything breaks right, this team is high enough at this point to get into the national championship if no more than one non-BCS team is undefeated.

The quarterback situation won't be an issue at any point. Terrance Cain is a pretty good quarterback, but it's very apparent that he isn't Jordan Wynn. Cain missed on passes that Wynn would have made numerous times. Wynn commands the huddle and the offense with much more confidence than Cain.

The offensive line might be ever better than originally thought. I figured in fall camp that they'd be one of the top 10-15 or so in the country, but I can say with confidence that they are in somewhere in the 5-10 range. These guys are that good. Schlauderaff and Taylor would start for every single team in the Pac 10, and maybe the country. Bergstrom would start for every team in the Pac 10. Stevens and Cullen would start for probably 6-8 Pac 10 teams. This might be the best and most consistent offensive line in Utah history. Enjoy them.

The linebackers won't be a problem. I know they get a lot of help from the defensive tackles, but Chaz Walker, Matt Martinez, and Chad Manis have been stellar. The biggest question mark coming out of fall camp is now a strength. Their emergence could be the difference between the Las Vegas Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.

Shaky Smithson is confident. It says a lot about his character and confidence to come back from the game he had against Pitt to do what he did in the receiving game and return game against UNLV.

Luke Matthews needs to step up. Two catches in two weeks. Hopefully he'll be the receiver opposite Jereme Brooks this week to step up ala Christopher in week 1 and Smithson in week 2.

The defensive ends are not there yet. UNLV has pretty good tackles, but Junior Tui'one, Derrick Shelby, and Christian Cox didn't do anything the entire game to put pressure. If they give Andy Dalton or Ryan Lindley that kind of time, they'll put up huge numbers.

The punting game needs a formation change. Putting three blockers in front of the kicker is an awful idea. The success rate is much lower than the traditional formation. Having the kicker roll out and kick it is more preferable in my eyes. Don't be surprised if this has been changed by Saturday.

Each game is going to get a feature back. It may depend on who they are playing each week and the strengths and weaknesses of that opponent, but the coaches appear to want to use one player more than the other so far through two games. New Mexico is so bad that it could be Tauni Vakapuna this week.

UNLV wasn't much of a test and won't receive one for the rest of the month. It's time to fix mistakes, get younger players experience, and get healthy as they cruise through the next few weeks of their schedule while moving into the top 10 of the polls.

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