Well that was easy. Utah avoided the FCS curse that hit so many schools last week and plowed through Weber State by a score of 70-7.
Led by Travis Wilson who threw for 264 yards on 14 of 19 with 3 touchdowns to go along with 93 yards on the ground and another 2 scores, the Utes piled up the most points they've scored in a game since 1973.
Defensively, pretty much everything went right. The front four was dominant, making 7 sacks and accounting for 11 tackles for loss. Outside of a small stretch late in the first quarter and into the second when Weber was able to move the ball using the zone read and misdirection, everything went as planned.
We could dive into the stats and X's and O's of the game, but have to remember that this was still Weber State, and Utah was VERY vanilla in their schemes on both sides of the ball.
What can take away from Saturday's blowout is this:
1) Travis Wilson is the man. He's so much more comfortable this year than last and is really commanding the offense. Looks calm and poised out there. While he was very efficient in the pass game, the play that stands out to me is the first long touchdown run, where he saw a HUGE opening to his right, decided to keep it, and took off. Wilson doesn't make that play last season because he doesn't recognize the opening. A true sign of a quarterbacks growing up.
2) The offensive line still needs work. Sure, they toasted a bad Weber front, but still gave up six tackles for loss, with most of those coming earlier in the game. Once Utah had success through the air, and Weber started looking defeated, they gave up and the Utes line was able to take over. What Utah needs to do is control the line of scrimmage from the outset instead of wearing teams down. Now that we head into Pac 12 play against bigger and deeper defenses, the Utes won't be wearing teams down like they did against USU and Weber. A big part of that will be getting Jeremiah Poutasi healthy. He just doesn't look right out there with no bend and slow feet. The Utes will need him to be at or near 100% going forward if they want to beat Oregon State and BYU.
3) The defensive line is good, and could be special. Palepoi was great on Saturday, and Reilly does what Reilly does, but the depth that is emerging, especially out of the young guys, is very exciting. Sam Tevi was tossing people aside, Pita Taumoepenu oozes upside, and guys like Hunter Dimick and Daniel Nielson made an impact.
4) We're still unsure about the secondary. Weber didn't pass the ball and didn't have any weapons to do so, so we can't much away from Saturday's romp. It was good to see the younger guys get more reps, but with the passing game that Oregon State throws out there, the guys will be tested. They can't be dropping easy interceptions against Sean Mannion like Eric Rowe did Saturday.
5) The tight end use is still up in the air. Two guys and they've been rarely used. Not that they were needed against Weber, but the lack of throws there is something to note. Does Dennis Erickson have something up his sleeve? Is he hiding the tight ends and will break them out this week against OSU? I would anticipate yes.
6) Focus. After the big and emotional win over USU last week, Utah buckled down and showed up prepared against Weber. No letdowns and that's the mark of a well coached team.
At 2-0 the Utes are exactly where they need to be right now. Oregon State lost to an FCS team and then struggled at times against a bad Hawaii team. BYU did beat up on Texas, but the Utes match-up well with the Cougars on paper. Neither game will be a pushover, but you have to be fairly confident that Utah is a better and more complete team than both Oregon State and BYU at this time. A 4-0 September with a 1-0 record in conference wouldn't be the worst start before they hit the gauntlet of October starting with UCLA on a Thursday night.
Utes Put Up 70 On Weber State
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