Nov 9, 2013 Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes punter Tom Hackett (33) kicks the ball down the field during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the fourth quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Arizona State Sun Devils won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Football: It Really Is No One's Fault

Nov 9, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes fans show their spirit during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Arizona State Sun Devils won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks ago, I wrote this article, trying to explain that sometimes there is no one to blame.  And I don’t think a ton of you read it.  Because yeah losing sucks and Saturday was wildly frustrating in so many ways, but sometimes there isn’t anyone to blame.

We spent an entire spring and fall with an offense designed around Scott and Dres, Murphy and Tonga.  And now three of those four are out for the season.  On top of that Travis Wilson is clearly struggling to do some things because of his hand and probably some confidence issues.  If you take all of that, well we’re just deep enough yet to adsorb those kind of losses at one position, not when you play quality teams every week.

Think of it another way, Utah would have been a lock to beat every MWC team and still probably a favorite against Fresno St., even now.

Right about now a bunch of you are about to scream, WHAT ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE.  And this is the second part of this is, that all the problems become interconnected.  When Utah had the guys for a dynamic passing game, teams were wary against blitzing us, because Travis would have a hot read and they’d lose.  But now, all teams have to do is have a safety on top of Dres and the rest of our guys can be covered one on one while we get blitzed to death.

The few times ASU didn’t put a safety over Dres Utah made them pay.

Now a ton of you are about to scream about offensive play calling.  And I’m about to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong.  In fact, this might have been one of the best offensive game plays I’ve ever seen.  First allow me to point out that Arizona St. is a very good defense, at or near being a top 20 defense.

Utah found a way to run the ball effectively.  The Utes created the only kind of game they could win, a slug fest where they could count on their defense.  In fact I’m sure that is why Kyle went for the two point conversion, he knew points would be at a premium and a 50% shot to get one more seemed pretty good.

In addition, think about this, if York doesn’t pick up that personal foul (and man it was stupid) Utah likely gets points on that drive, points that would have been enough.

So without an effective throw game, Utah found a way to move the ball, keep Arizona State’s offense off the field enough to allow our defense to play a nearly heroic game and it was almost enough.

All of this in a game where before the season many of you thought we couldn’t win when we were healthy.

If that is not almost the definition of a great game plan, well I don’t know what is.

I want to win too.  But it is important to recognize sometimes when the team is giving you all it can right now.

And I really think they are.

Sometime’s it’s no ones fault.

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Tags: Arizona St. Sun Devils Football Pac 12 Utah Utes

  • UofUman

    This was the most calm, reasoned piece I have read since the game ended. Ok, I have backed off the ledge and now just hope for 3 things. 1) Don’t take any serious injuries against the Ducks. We never had a chance against them and now after the Stanford loss there is going to be blood in their eyes this week. 2) Get the defense to play against WSU like they just played against ASU. If that happens we will get a desperately needed road win. 3) Come out against Colorado and make us proud regardless of the season situation. I do not want to end the home season with a loss again. I don’t care if it is a meaningless game, we need to play like it is for the NC. Lets make the Buff feel like we should be a rival.

  • THEeyepatch

    I would put a little blame on the O-line that can’t seem to stop anybody. You have to protect your QB, especially if he’s hurt. I know why they ran it trying to run out the clock but when the game was on the line, Travis was rusty and give credit to the ASU secondary, they covered good. Not having a TE threat has really hurt the Utes this season. That’s where depth comes in and the Utes aren’t there yet.

    Here’s too Utah giving Oregon a scare. Cheers!