some thoughts

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    • #43908

      Ute Fan

      Tough loss, mostly because it felt so winnable even with all the mistakes.   This team has definitely shown some promise but makes a lot of errors.  Stanford is a good team and has only lost to 2 top 15 teams (USC,SDSU).  We had every chance to get a win.  We held them to 13 points under their season avg.  Normally they run for 260, only 196 against us.  We can still win a lot of games going forward.  The only game from here out that really looks like a blowout is UW.  Everything else should be within a TD which means if we can make a few plays more than the other guys we can win any of them.  

      USC offense is struggling right now and Darnold is trying to make up for it by pushing plays that he normally wouldn’t need to.  Thats a huge advantage for our defense.  Their line has yet to gel with the new guys coming in for the injuries and our dLine is getting good pressure which is turning into TOs but not as many sacks.  This is a morgan/pease game plan.  Sitake was big into sacks but scalley/pease use pressure to create TOs and it wins ball games.  Totals sacks went down with pease/scalley but TOs have gone way up.  We live and die by TOs right now, unfortunately, because our offense is still in shambles like so many other years.  We will never win a pac12 game where we are -2 in turn overs.  

      ASU is very winnable game and we will likely be 7-10 pt favorites going into the game even if we lose the USC game.  They will get throttled next week by UW.  

      Oregon is likely a toss up but with their QB out they are looking very pedestrian on offense and have yet to show any defensive qualities that would keep them in the game.  If their new QB can’t get comfortable fast we should be able to with this game as well.  

      UCLA has the 120th worst defense in the country.  They are a good match up for us this year.  We have a strong secondary.  We get a lot of pressure with 4-5 man rush and this helps create TOs.  This should be a win.   

      WSU is a tough game but statistically they would likely only be favored by 5-7 pts right now.  It will be interesting going foward to see how our common opponents do.  Any game within a TD is winnable and its a home game with hopefully huntley back to 100%

      UW is killing everyone.  We will be lucky to get 7-10 pts in that game.  It will take a perfect game to keep that one close.   

      Colorado does not look good right now on either side of the ball.  They have moments where they can look good and then go straight back to middle of the road.  Montez is more erratic than the games he played in last year for some reason and nowhere near as dynamic as sefo was.  This should be a win as well. 

      In my mind that makes 4 more “should be” wins (col, ucla, oreg, asu), 2 tight games (usc, wsu) that could go either way, and 1 sure loss (UW).  Honestly we will probably go 3-1 in the first category and 1-1 in the second and still lose to UW.  That gives a final of 8-4 and 5-4 in conference.  If huntley comes back and is as healthy and accurate as before is probably worth 1 more win.  9-3 can win the south.  The south is wide open still.  

      Usc will lose 2 more for sure with the way their offense is playing.  They did not look like a top 15 team against osu.  

      Ariz still has usc/wsu/cal/ucla that are all possible losses.  I don’t see how they come out of that better than 2-2

      UCLA still has UW/utah/USC/Arizona.  Again 2-2 at best from those 4.  Probably 1-3 given how they have played so far.  

      ASU has UW/Utah/USC/Arizona that all look like losses with how ASU has played.  probably will get 1-3 on some freak performance.

      colorado already has 3 losses.  They wont win out to get to 6-3.  

      6-3 is still a very real possibility for us especially if huntley can get back to full steam quickly.  


    • #43910

      Ute Fan

      Hey pop,

      This is a very comprehensive breakdown of the ‘state of the utes’ right now – I have some thoughts about your thoughts.

      Disagree that our DLine is generating pressure against a Pac12 caliber Oline. Against Stanford we had 0 sacks, 0 QB hurries, only 6 TFL and went -2 in the turnover margin linky. We are just +0.8 in turnover margin on the season. I don’t think we are getting adequate pressure on the QB, I don’t think we are generating turnovers like we did last year, and I don’t think having Fitts and Anae back will fix all of our ailments on the DLine. I do agree that our model of DLine play is better today than it was with ‘Sack Lake City,’ but we aren’t executing as well as we have in years past.

      I also wouldn’t call our secondary ‘strong’ except in potential. We are allowing 205 passing yards per game, and allowed 34 +10 yard plays, 16 +20 yard plays, 8 +30 yard plays, 3 +40 yard plays and that s**tty +50 yard run to Love. Given that our rush defense ranks 20th in the nation at 109 yards/game, I’m guessing most of those big plays are through the air.

      We have 7 games left; if we win the four you predict (col, ucla, oreg, asu) we get to 8 wins. So, I think we win those four, and lose the other three (usc, wsu uw). If we do better than that, I will be very happy given the flaws of this team.

      Go Utes!

    • #43911

      Ute Fan

      We will see about the turnovers, but right now we lead the conference in INTs(9), second in forced fumbles and first in total tos (15). Also that’s with only 5 games. The other 5 game teams are ranked 10,11,12th in total tos.

      As for the secondary they are 3rd in passes defended and first place in both opposing qbr and completion percentage.

      So those areas right now are pretty strong statistically speaking.

      • #43921

        Ute Fan

        Awesome response – thanks for the banter.

        You can’t talk about stats without some sort of normalization of numbers. Simply saying we lead the conference in TOs without mentioning the TOs we allow is misleading. We are slightly ahead of our opponents in TO margin, and given that the toughest part of our schedule is in front of us, you’ll forgive me if I’m less than optimistic regarding our prospects to grow this number. You are right – we will see.

        Regarding the secondary, that’s great that we are first in passes defnended, but again, this stat is not very meaningful without context – for example, how many passes (opportunities) have we defended and how does that compare to other teams? How many times do we let the receiver get behind our corners? How often does soft coverage up front give up yards. This problem can be solved by a normalization, a la yards per game – and, including stats on length of plays can be helpful for the latter question.

        Do you have a source for your numbers? I’m always looking for new and credible places to get information.

        Please don’t take my comments to be overly harsh, critical or pessimistic. I see a lot of positives with this team, and am excited to see their development. I am really hoping that we improve steadily this season, instead of regress. I think we are trending that way. I’m optimistic for the future, but now have no illusions about our current abilities. That’s really all I’m trying to get across.

        Thanks for the banter – go Utes!

    • #43914

      Ute Fan

      Oregon Utah is likely a toss up but with their QB out they are looking very pedestrian on offense and have yet to show any defensive qualities that would keep them in the game.  If their new QB can’t get comfortable fast we should be able to with this game as well.  

      FTFY :). Replace Oregon with Utah in your comment and the analysis is exactly the same unfortunately.

      • #43916

        Ute Fan

        Many of us are most pesimistic after a loss but pop does have some optimistic words.  

        Hopefully we can shake this one off and have a decent showing in the Colisseum this Saturday.   A win would be thrilling of course, but I’ll be encouraged if we can play well enough to make it competative and give the team confidence heading into the second half of the season.



    • #43927

      Ute Fan

      I appreciate the responses. I don’t take it harshly at all. I get my data from

      As with anything stats related I agree its all about normalization and what those numbers may say about the future. For example, USC numbers looked amazing until they lost their best WR and 3/5th of their oline. So they still lead the conf in a lot offensive stats but definitely do not look that good in game since losing those players.

      For passes defended/game we are 3rd.
      We are 5th in passes broken up.
      We are 3rd in pass yds allowed (200/gm)
      We are 1st in opposition QBR allowing a qbr of 99 on avg.
      Tied for 1st in INTs (9)
      Tied for 2nd in TDs allowed passing (4)
      3rd in yds/att allowed (6 yds/att)
      3rd in total yds allowed
      1st in opp completion percentage allowed (52%)
      tied for 1st in opp completion total
      4th in turnover margin (+4 6overall in 5 games). WSU is +6, UW/stan +7. (all through 6 games)

      The best normalizer, in my opinion, for all those things however is pts allowed which we are 2nd (18.4/game). UW is 1st at 10.2/game.

      I guess thats a long winded way of saying, I think the defense is doing well statistically. I also think we will be in a lot of games and have a chance to win almost every game.

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