Utah Football: At A Crossroads


Utah Football Fans, here are a couple of notes before I move on to the main post.

Last Night Sucked, I’m not going to kid anyone about that.

But for any of you who suggested firing Kyle Whittingham, you’re a special kind of stupid.

Next, for those of you bashing Brian Johnson, tell me genius, you have a bad O-Line, your star back is hurt and you have a bad QB.  Tell me what plays will work against a good team?

Finally, for those of you lighting up twitter bitching about the offense, while the defense went virtually ignored, I must ask, do you watch games or do you just look at the score and then knee jerk into bitching about offense?

Now on to the post…

The defense last night was ugly.  They looked unprepared and out of position.  Kalani Sitake flat out got his ass handed to him for a half.  But Kalani has called enough good games for me to say, it was just a bad defensive game and if we look better against USC, accept that it happened.

The offense, I’m not terribly upset with one exception.  John White is clearly hurt.  Whatever this injury is, he’s a half-step slower and not cutting nearly as well.  Which means that behind a bad offensive line, we’re not doing him any favors and he’s not doing us any favors.  I don’t know what is keeping Kelvin York out of the line up but we have 11 days to fix.  Do you hear me.  FIX IT.

The thing is, before the year we all said what could derail this season.  One was bad offensive line play and two was Jordan Wynn getting hurt.  Perhaps we should have known when Marc Pouvave got hurt and we had to redshirt Carlos Lozano that it was a much different season.  And any of us who thought Jon Hays would be a wildly better QB, we were deluding ourselves (me included).

So that brings us to that Crossroads.  What do we do now?  Because we aren’t going to win the South and there will be no Rose Bowl this year.

We need four wins for a bowl game, so assuming that we beat Colorado and Wazzu, and if we don’t I’m going to riot, we have to find four wins out of USC, UCLA, Cal, Washington, Oregon St. and Arizona.  In order of likely hood you have to figure it goes, 1. Cal, 2. Washington 3. Arizona 4. (tie) USC, Oregon St. and UCLA.  A Bowl Game is a must for the extra practice time it provides.

So how do we get there?  Do we hunker down with Jon Hays and try and gut this thing out, my instinct is that is what Kyle will try to do.  Or do we use the next 11 days to get Travis Wilson up to speed, hope that maybe his intangibles might give us a little something extra with this bad o-line.  Two weeks ago, I was against this, but maybe its growing on me.  And here is why.

1. Jon Hays is Jon Hays.  He’s tough, he tries his guts out.  But at the end of the day he we destined for Nebraska-Omaha.  We’re not going to get more out of him.  In a game where we were blown out, we didn’t throw the ball because we just can’t.

2. We need a spark on offense, and I’m not sure where else you turn.  Travis can make things happen on his feet.  Between now and USC we can put in a package of plays that Travis can run and take some pressure off of the O-line.  I don’t think that is unreasonable.  He doesn’t even have to be the guy full time.  But a much bigger dose of him might help.

No matter what we do, this isn’t going to be a great season.  You can’t have a bad O-line and have a great season.  You can’t have a Nebraska-Omaha QB in the Pac-12 and have a great season.  I’m high on the future, we’re going to get another round of O-line talent and next year the problems should be solved.  We’ll be young but talented at the QB spot and the talent will just keep upgrading everywhere.

But this year is going to hurt and no amount of coachin’ em up is going to change that.  So put your seats and tray tables in their full, upright locked position, we’ve got turbulence and then a rough landing.