When the coaches poll came out a few weeks ago, Utah was ranked #24 and Pittsburgh #18 and the season opening game between the 2 teams on Thursday, Sept. 2 seemed evenly matched.
Pittsburgh ended their regular season on a loss to in-conference rival Cincinnati as did the Utes to BYU.
Both teams boast great backfields in Dion Lewis (Pitt) and the Asiata/Wide tandom (Utah). Both teams have outstanding talent on the defensive line.
Both teams were questionable in their secondaries.
1. Utah wasn’t breaking in a new quarterback. Pitt was.
2. Utah had a veteran offensive line. Pitt replaced 4 starters from last years OL.
Both Utah a Pittsburgh gave up a long pass play for TD’s due to secondary issues, both teams utilised a fairly equal amount of run/pass plays.
In the end, the difference between the Utes success and Pittsburgh’s shortcoming was the Utes OL and veteran QB.
Jordan Wynn not only was not sacked once the entire game by one of the most talented defensive lines in the NCAA, but he was really only pressured a handful of times. He was intercepted just once in the end zone on a 3rd and goal route to TE Kendrick Moeai, but threw for 3 TD’s and 283 yards in just his 7th game.
Pittsburgh QB Sunseri also threw just 1 INT in the game. Unfortunately, he threw it in overtime on the very first play to SS, freshman sensation, Brian Blechen.
The Utes, having won the toss and selecting to play defense first, ran the ball down to the 10 yard line and senior kicker Joe Phillips put the chip shot away to seal the victory.
This win is Utah’s 18th straight home victory and marks the highest ranked opponent the Utes have played in a home opener. Kyle Whittingham is now 14-0 against all opponents he has over a week to prepare for (season openers, after bye weeks, and bowl games)
The Utes are now 2-0 against the Pitt Panthers. The other victory being the Utes first ever BCS bowl game/victory at the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2005.
Written by Dan Condie