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.