Defensive concerns

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    • #174387
      13 11

      Ute Fan

      I have some unfortunate predictions that I feel pretty confident about regarding our defense. I think they will get shredded against USC, UCLA, and Oregon. Oregons offense in particular concerns me the most. They might run for 300 without breaking a sweat. 

      Stats love this team right now. We are top 10 in every major metric. This is in large part due to how well our defense rates. I think it is a facade built on facing very limited offenses. To this point, both offenses with a pulse we have played have put up over 400 yards. We could not stop Florida, and we made plays in the redzone against OSU, but they moved it up and down pretty easily. And both of those offenses are relatively limited compared to whats coming up for us.

      This is why I think our defense is going to be torched by the actually good offenses we play

      First and foremost, we are undersized. We get pushed around in the run game and are generally physically outmatched. I did notice we adjusted in the second half against Oregon State to go with more size on the DL with Pepa and Vimahi, so it will be interesting to see how this develops. We did look much better against the run in the 2nd half. Theres a glimmer of hope there.

      We get absolutely anihilated by misdirection. You saw it against UF and OSU. They would show to one side, and then gash us going the other. I think this is stems back to our lack of size. our defense is pressing and being over aggressive because they are outmatched physically and they feel they need to beat their man to the spot to get the short stops, which leads to a major lack of positional discipline and a vulnerability on the edges. You get our front going one way, and then hit the other, we have no shot.

      Our secondary is very gettable outside of no. 1. Broughton looks like hes not all the way back from his injury and is getting beat badly by mediocre receivers. Point blank, guys are open all day long, we just havent played a QB capable of making us pay for it. The Mario Williams/Addison matchup is going to be very tough. I was high on our secondary, with all of our guys healthy, but ive been really surprised how soft they are.

      We have an offense who is capable of winning a shootout with any of these teams, but if they dont show up, any one of these games could get ugly for us. All 3 will put up 35+, and maybe well over 40. I really, really hope they prove me wrong. But I think this is a 9-3 defense at best.

    • #174391

      Ute Fan

      I think Utah has some playmakers on defense to make up for it. Which means in film they are seeing what offenses tend to do and then they recognize what is happening live. Winning breeds confidence and Utah made enough plays to destroy Oregon st’a offense.

      I think Caleb Williams is the most dangerous and intelligent qb Utah has left. Oregon doesn’t worry me other than it being on the road. Nix tends to make the same mistakes and screw up big. 

      I do agree that Utah’s offense needs to score 30 or 40 to take pressure off the defense. I think I expect 35 a game. With Kuithe out and the problems at RB I genuinely have concerns. When teams are forced to throw to keep pace it plays into strengths Utah has. 

      I like Utah in every game rest of the way. Oregon and USC defenses are poop. 

      Great take though. Thumbs up. 

    • #174392

      Ute Fan

      What part of 29 points (that Florida scored) indicates to you that we couldn’t stop them?

      our defense has not been great. We have a tendency to be overrun plays, but of all the problems to have on defense that might be the easiest to fix. If we can keep the same energy level but kick the discipline up a notch we’ll be fine.

      I refuse to believe that DTR is anything but an average pac12 qb.

    • #174393

      Ute Fan

      Expect UCLA to go at Fillinger with RPO.

      • #174442

        Ute Fan

        Fillinger has a lot of potential and shows signs of greatness – but IMO, he should be getting less playing time than he does. He Reid and Ellis seem to be our best on the edges. The play against Oregon State where OSU’s QB ran a weak block against Fillinger to spring a TD was another example. Fillinger was out of position and then did not seem to give the effort I would expect to blow through the QB’s weak block.

        • #174528

          Ute Fan

          I don’t think he was out of position. He had to follow the down block to prevent the formation of the cutback lane/to prevent getting kicked out. With how far the down block moved, he was left with something like 2/3 of the field to cover, which is an impossible task given the speed difference between him and a full speed reverse.

          I am curious why Diabate crashed so hard inside. Was it a bad read, or a called blitz.

          To me, it looks like we got caught in blitz.

    • #174404

      Ute Fan

      Utah has won 11/12 in conference the last two years.

      doomsday all you want, a damn win, is a damn win. Is Utah a perfect team? No, no they are not. I would argue though that they haven’t played a complete game yet on either side of the ball, but are close to the top of the league on O and D.

      it’s sucks having a team this damn good, so that we need to find little telling signs of cracks in the team. 

      are that a Playoff team, I personally don’t think so. They are the class of this conference though, and that’s not worth bitching about.

    • #174407

      Ute Fan

      These are interesting points on the defense being possibly undersized, and the consequences of that.  If you are right, then its a good sign that Scalley subbed more size in the second half vs OSU.  It shows they have enough confidence in the 2s to at least try a different approach.  Remains to be seen if it will work.

      I am not nearly as concerned about the secondary.  One of the reasons Boughton looks bad is because he is simply not Phillips and everyone is throwing to his side of the field.  For obvious reasons.  The problem is that anyone less than Phillips will inevitably get beat several times when they face that many attempts.  Is there a legit problem with Boughton?  Maybe.  We will soon find out.

      One of the reasons OSU put up 400 yards is that they were on the field a lot.  We scored fast off multiple turnovers.  I wouldnt worry too much about the OSU yardage stats.  They had a decent running game, but it was hardly disastrous.  Also, red zone defense is still defense.  There have been many excellent Utah defenses that would give up yardage only to slam the door shut in the red zone.

      Outside of Florida, the defense looks good.  Multiple analytics approaches agree on this.  We had run gap discipline problems vs Florida but the pass defense was actually quite decent all things considered.  We are extrapolating bad defense based on one truly bad game of run defense in our very first game on the road against an SEC opponent.

    • #174410

      Ute Fan

      Ute defense historically has been tough in the red zone. Keep in mind, across all positions, Utah is still a very young team. I do agree thre is run stop weakness. IMO, LBs are collection of inexperience, lack of depth, and some talent deficiency. What happened to Calvert and Medlock?

    • #174413

      Ute Fan

      I share concerns about the D as well. And the o line.

      But this was surprising. I’m not totally sure how this metric is calculated.


    • #174414

      Ute Fan

      You bring up great points and I agree with a lot of what you’re meaning to say minus the doom and gloom aspect. There were multiple times in this last game that had OSU had an elite QB in, we would have given up some very big pass plays. I can see a cause for concern there. 

      However, I feel like Caleb Williams is the only QB we will face that has the talent to be an elite QB. But he’s only a sophomore and imo hasn’t hit his peak yet. USC is also very weak in the trenches. Whit and Scalley know he’s tough to bring down and I think we learn from the Florida game and keep him contained.


      DTR is in his 5th(?) year in Chip Kelly’s system. He just simply isn’t an elite QB that’ll burn us with his arm. He’s athletic as hell but is a mediocre QB at best. Whitt and Scalley seem to know how to prepare for Chip Kelly as well. He hasn’t beaten while at UCLA.

      Nix is also nothing special. He can have great games don’t get me wrong but seems to fold in big moments. 

      Lastly our defense is very young still. They seem to learn and grow each week. Rising is a great leader and most of these guys have played in a lot of big moments. The doom and gloom needs to stop lmao. We haven’t put together a complete game yet this season which doesn’t concern me but excites me. The Oregon games last year are the perfect example of how good we can be. Most of those guys are back this year. I’m very excited for this 3 games stretch. We are going to find out how good we can be. 

    • #174526

      Ute Fan

      RBMW, wow a lotto digest, I think I’ll go throw up.

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