The Utes are bowl eligible for the 3rd straight year as they beat Oregon State in the wind and rain in Corvallis by the score of 19-14 in one of the ugliest game you've ever seen. The conditions weren't perfect and the performance was far from it as well, but Utah found a way to get the win, again.
Welcome back Joe Williams. 179 yards on 34 carries is more than impressive, especially considering he hasn't done anything football related in a month. Williams was a monster in the first half, looking like the Joe Williams we expected to see when the season started. The senior back ran out of gas in the second half, but who wouldn't after carrying it that many times. With how poorly the passing game was today, Utah got maybe their best offensive performance from one player this season. Combine what he did with Cory Butler-Byrd's play out of the backfield, and the Utes were more than efficient in running for 275 yards.
Speaking of that passing game, YIKES! The wind and water played a factor, but 4 of 13 for only 42 yards out of Troy Williams is reminiscent of what we've seen the last couple of years. Williams was inaccurate throughout the game, but he was a factor running the ball with 40 yards on 15 carries, and may have had the play of the game with his scamper into the end zone from 5 yards out to put the Utes up by 12.
The play calling in the second half of this game was atrocious on offense. Maybe it was due to personnel, but Utah ran the same predictable runs time and time again with Oregon State shutting them down. It was as ugly a half of offensive football we've seen out of Utah.
Defensively, the Utes got the job done. They weren't great, but they didn't have to be as the weather and Oregon State's ineptitude, along with their top offensive weapon leaving the game after touching it only once when he went for 22 yards, helped the cause. Chase Hansen was a monster and the defensive line was stout again. Just another week for the D.
The pile of broken bodies continues to pile up as both Marcus Williams and Sunia Tauteoli left the game. Williams was in a big leg brace and Tauteoli was carted off. That doesn't look promising from a 'will they be able to play?' perspective next week. Devonta'e Hnery-Cole saw the redshirt come off. That was a bit of a surprise, but it's got to make you think that they plan on using him a bit going forward, and it probably means that Troy McCormick will be out for awhile.
Utah continues to play up or down to their opponents each week this year. That's not necessarily a disturbing trend. It's just a trend, but one that has to have the coaches pulling their hair out each week when the Utes are taking on a highly inferior opponent like they were in Oregon State. If it's just a coincidence that this keeps happening, then Utah would have probably lost to at least 9 other teams in the conference with how they played. Maybe 10. Thankfully for them, it was the Beavers on the schedule this week.
Either way, the Utes found a way to win again behind Joe Williams, a defense that was good enoughm and some bad Oregon State special teams. It wasn't pretty, but with this 2016 Utah squad, it rarely is. So what do you do after a win that's uglier than a naked Danny Devito? You scratch your head, you thank the football gods that you're bowl eligible, and move on to UCLA.