Stoked. Absolutely stoked about last night’s victory over Pittsburgh.
I wanna break down a few aspects of the game (while keeping this less then a novel length)
First of all, Jordan Wynn. What an opener for him. Granted, his second half was a little sloppier than his first, but I will take 3 TD’s per INT any day. (when the INT doesn’t blow the field position) and in this case, it didn’t. His pocket presence was outstanding! He used his blockers on the O-line and thus was able to avoid any real pressure from Pitt’s talented D-line.
Which brings me to the O-line. Jordan Wynn was not sacked once! Pittsburgh has NFL bound talent on their defensive line and Wynn really was only pressured a handful of times all night. They also made it possible for the Asiata/Wide duo to run for 112 yards.
The absolute biggest surprise for me was how well the defense played. Pittsburgh RB Dion Lewis was on every preseason Heisman watch list. The Utes came into the game with a very deep and talented defensive line. Lewis was a freshman last season and his lowest total rushing yards all season…78 yards. Utah’s defense only gave up 75 yards rushing to Lewis on 25 carries. 25 CARRIES!!!
And you know what the best part is? The leading tackler for Utah was Chaz Walker, first year as a starter at LB. Every LB that started last season for the Utes were seniors. This was the biggest worry I had about Utah’s defense. Not anymore. Name another running back that the Utes will face this season as talented as Lewis…give up? Yeah, there isn’t one.
The Utes secondary was also a question mark with me. And although they only had one or two plays where coverage was blown, they also limited Pittsburgh’s production through the air. In fact, the biggest, most influential play for the Utes was an INT by Brian Blechen, freshman SS in OT.
The Utes biggest need for improvement is special teams. The only bright sides for the Utes were place kicker Joe Phillips and the kicking/punting coverage.
The Utes punting was horrible! They had, in order, a muffed punt return for a turnover, a blocked punt for a turnover, and a shanked punt that have Pittsburgh the field position to drive 30 yards for the game tying field goal as time expired.
Overall, my expectations have been exceeded by the Utes and I am confident that they will be 7-0 going into the Air Force game in CO Springs.
Written by Dan Condie