Utah Football: A Loss by One

Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Football team played host to the 22nd ranked Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday, and almost came up with another top-25 upset. Too bad almost only counts in “horseshoes and hand grenades”. Utah seemed to control the game, until they gave up a 12 point lead in the 4th quarter. Some things went well for the Utes, while others lead to their demise and an unfortunate 20-19 loss.

He Said: I feel like this game could be front runner on the segment “Come on Man”. Wait, they only do that for the NFL? Phew! There were a lot of things that I think went well but some costly mistakes lost them the game.

  • Read this next section very carefully! I want to start off with the two point conversion. My head almost exploded listening to all the griping going on in my section after the touchdown and the score read 7-6. After the touchdown the Utes don’t just line up for the field goal, they get up to the line in an evolved version of the “swinging gate”. The purpose of this is to see if the defense will respond to how they line up. If the defense lines up to defend that, they move into the field goal unit as usual. If the defense doesn’t respond they run a play from that formation. Obviously they felt like Arizona State didn’t line up to defend it properly. The problem is that ASU just made a good play and stopped it. I 100% understand the reasoning behind that play. Imagine how people would have praised Utah had that worked and they won by a pont? Chew on that for a bit
  • Defense: I think the Defense played extremely well. Considering the Utes held a team that averaged 45 points per game to 20, how can I complain? Going into the 4th Quarter ASU only had 7 points. I can’t really blame a defense for giving up a few points against a powerful offense after your own offense goes 3-and-out 3 times in a row. But I will get to the offense later. All around the I don’t see how anyone can say that the defense didn’t leave it all on the field.
  • Controlling the Ball. A lot of criticism is being thrown on the Utah coaching staff for the offense in the 4th quarter. It’s very easy for people to say they could have coached that game better. But how many would actually want to? In my opinion the 3-and-outs were what killed the Utes, but I kind of get it. Holding on to a lead is hard in a football game. A football coach has a couple of options of how to handle it. Either you keep the ball on the ground and try to bleed out the clock, or you try to move down the field through the air and increase your lead. I personally think you need to bleed the clock, the problem is that when you don’t get first downs, you don’t bleed the clock as much as you want to. First downs are necessary to chew up clock, and the utes could not get a first down. Again, I’m not saying I could be a better coach, but sometimes I feel like a few passes are vital when the ground game isn’t working. Stopping the clock with a potentially incomplete pass is a necessary evil to buy yourself more time. But that’s just how I feel

She Said: As disappointed as I am that we walked away with a loss yesterday. There were still some good points. Not every team can go up against a team in the top 25 and give them a run for their money. The Utes did an excellent job against a strong opponent.

  • The offense – While a lot of people are throwing Travis under the bus for that game, I believe that he played well. In the first half, he was forced to run the ball when he was under pressure and didn’t have options. He was the reason we were able to get quite a few first downs. He was also able to get a nice throw down to Dres Anderson for a large gain. Did he make some mistakes, most certainly. But with the pressure that ASU was putting on our offense, he was able to remain composed.
  • The defense – It has been said many times, defense wins games. And our defense really kept us in the game. At the start of the season it looked as if we weren’t going to have a typical powerhouse defense, but they have turned things around and they play their guts out.
  • Special Teams – Andy Phillips and Tom Hackett deserve to be recognized for their talent. There isn’t much you can say except that they are clutch. Without those boys, we would have been in a very different position yesterday. It is so nice to not have to worry about how the kicking/punting game will go.

We are Utah fans through and through, we love our Utes. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, we still watch our boys play. While it may be easier to be a fan of a team that wins, we know that we have to stick through the bad times to fully enjoy the good times.


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  • LEH

    Nice write up. “We are Utah’s fans through and through…” I completely agree. Which is why I don’t understand how we only get 8,000 fans to our basketball games. Especially the students. How can 6,000 of you go to football games yet barely 100 of you go to hoops games? Alex and Michelle, please tell me you’re going to ball games too and you’re not just Utah Football fans through and through.

    • AlexandMichelle

      We haven’t been to a game yet this season, but have tickets for this Friday. We love watching the Running Utes! Thanks for taking the time to comment and read!

      Go Utes – Michelle