Utah's offense fails them in 27-22 loss to Colorado

Defense and special teams do their jobs, but Utes don't get a full team effort

Utah did Utah things last night in their loss to Colorado in Boulder. Good defensive performance? Yep. Special teams looking special? Absolutely. Offense forgetting to show up? Of course. This is Utah football.

The Xs and Os of last night are irrelevant. We saw it. The regular season it over. You don't make adjustments at this point. Utah is going to get ready for a bowl game and hopefully get the younger guys a lot of reps in practice. What Utah became on Saturday night and this season though, is what Utah is right now as a program.

Expecting Utah to be anything other than what they are and what they have been is foolish at this point. Don't get me wrong, this team could have won the Pac 12 South. They had the talent to do it. Utah has better players than Colorado. The Buffs were just a better team last night and are a better team overall. Utah just seems to get in their own way when opportunity presents itself (see play-calling and red zone execution). Whether it's stubbornness, coaching, or execution, it's a constant pattern of showing tons of potential, everyone getting excited, getting by on defense, special teams, and enough offense, and falling flat in November.

I'd expect changes in some form this offseason. They're necessary. Personnel changes on the coaching staff? Not so fast. The only thing I'd do is bring in a QB coach and either reassign Aaron Roderick to another position or just have him call plays. Generally your OC is also a position coach somewhere and you'd have to let one of your current coaches go or reassign them to an administrative role. Whittingham has done that before when he moved Aaron Alford in 2010, but it's not a common move. The more important thing for this team is to evolve offensively. Stop pretending you're something you're not. Your identity is as a smash-mouth football team. Don't be anything different. It's what you do well. Five big offensive linemen. Two tight ends. A power back. Maybe even a fullback. Snaps under center. Let the running game setup the passing game, but don't go away from the running game when it's on a roll. Being balanced for the sake of being balanced is imbalanced thinking. Be what your personnel says you are.

We've seen Kyle Whittingham evolve in his approach to how he runs his program over the past few years. They aren't wholesale changes and he's not blowing it up, but Whittingham has made changes to the way Utah recruits, the way they approach using younger players, and they way they approach their offense. He's tried to make Utah into something they're not though. It's time to evolve again, and evolve into what you are. You're an ugly, nasty, smash-mouth, run the football down their throat team. Be that, and embrace that, and Utah football has a better chance to take the next step that we've all seen them time and time get in their own way of achieving. Otherwise, enjoy the 7-5 to 9-3 regular season ride each season. That's not bad, but it's not where Utah wants to be. And if it's not where they want to be, it's not good enough.


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