We'll make this short and sweet, because there really isn't much to say other than Utah got whacked again on the road. This is a bad road team. 0-5 on the season, having been outscored 140 to 63 this season away from Rice Eccles. Utah is an above average team at home. They're a bad team on the road. That's where we are right now.
Some have contended that Brian Johnson's play calling was improved over the last few weeks, and I agree. That said, the vanilla game he called was beyond frustrating and was the most poorly called game of the year. The players didn't execute, but even if they had, the bland game plan put too much on John White, and ignored weapons that we've seen emerge over the past few games.
While White had a tremendous game and kept the Utes in it, only 6 different players touched the ball for Utah (7 if you count Jake Murphy's 2 point conversion). The tight ends were ignored, and the versatile Karl Williams didn't get a touch. Throws to the tight end and fullback are generally easy throws for Wilson to make. When he's struggling like he did last night, there's no excuse for ignoring them completely when a few completions could have had both Wilson and the team growing in confidence.
The shots down the field came way too late. If you're going to go 3 and out again and again, at least try to stretch the defense with something deep in an attempt to move the ball in large chunks.
The defense was gassed thanks to the ineptitude of the offense. None of the position groups played very well, especially the safeties and linebackers, but when you're on the field for 22 more plays than the other team, it will wear on you. I'm not faulting the defense for this one. Even a good performance wouldn't have been enough.
Again, where does this leave us? The Utes head back home this week to face Arizona. The Wildcats are 0-3 on the road in 2012, but all 3 of those losses were against top 15 teams in Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA. Tough opponents, but the losses to the Ducks and Bruins were by a score of 115 to 10. Throw in the Stanford game, and the Wildcats are being outscored by 34 points per contest on the road this season. Colorado is the following week, and despite what happened last season, the Buffaloes are significantly worse than in 2011 when they shocked the Utes. That likely won't happen again.
No need to jump off the bandwagon yet. Getting to a bowl game is not only realistic, but still somewhat probable, as Utah will be a toss up or favored in both remaining games. So while everything may seem on the downslide after another lopsided loss, there's still reason for optimism up on the hill
Utes Lay Another Egg On the Road
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