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    • #153122

      Ute Fan

      A couple of key plays stand out in this game that had an outsized influence on the outcome:

      – The long pass to Howard in the second quarter. It was third and long, USC was up 10-7, and had USC stopped Utah there, it would have been the second straight 3 and out for the Ute offense. That completion was a huge boost to the offense’s psyche and seemed to loosen up the defense. It also led to a TD and 28 unanswered points by Utah. Single moments like that can have an outsized influence on a game – that was one such moment.

      – Obviously, the flea-flicker before the half. Before the timeout, we all saw what looked like a run up the middle to pick up the first down on 4th and short. Let’s assume that Rising had gone with the original play call (I don’t think we know what it was, but it was likely a run up the middle), Utah was effectively playing for a potential field goal – which is no guarantee. That’s fine, but the TD on the flea flicker was such a big turning point in mentality for both teams right before they went into the locker room. Huge huge play.

      Couple of other thoughts: 

      – USC fans were streaming out of the stadium very early in the third quarter. The USC team obviously did not fully give up, but you have got to imagine that players lost some of their motivation seeing that. USC is a team with so much talent that they can turn it on very quickly. Keeping them from getting momentum stymies that extra gear that they have. That was critical in this game. Avoding that big play momentum was clearly one of Utah’s main goal on defense, and it worked fantastic.

      – Thomas looked much more polished running the ball. He showed incredible natural ability in the early games this year, but looked very rough in how he ran and carried the ball. Not just the fumbles; he looked reckless generally. Because of that, I favored Bernard. But Thomas appears to have taken some coaching to heart because he ran much smoother and in control. Really excited for what he can do. If he can continue to run like that, I favor him over Bernard and fear for the defensive backfield that has to bring him down.

      – The final plays were fantastic. Utah goes to victory formation and USC calls a timeout. Then Utah gives them the middle finger and nearly scores. There was an exchange between Whit and USC’s interim coach after the game. No visible anger (Whit kept a stoic poker face), but Whit definitely held the handshake extra long and said some additional words beyond “good game.” Maybe nothing related to the ending plays, but possibly. Would love to know what was said.

    • #153123

      Ute Fan

      I paid attention to USC a little bit this past weekend. Maybe reading into the final timeout a bit but feels like Donte Williams is over emphasizing the mantra of never quit. The whole “Fight On!”  SC attitude so to speak. I think he quickly realized how dumb it looked seeing how Utah could score and embarrass SC even more. 

      • #153130
        2 2

        2008 National Champ
        Ute Fan

        I didn’t fault Williams for calling the timeout. As long as there is still time on the clock, anything can happen. Think back to 2008 against Oregon State (the only game I’ve turned off before the final whistle) where Utah got two scores in the last minute. Williams needs to coach his team exactly as he did.

        The difference was that Whitt would normally have still taken a knee two more times and handed the ball back. So it was nice seeing both coaches say “This game isn’t over”. Getting the first down on that pass play effectively meant that SC could not get the ball back so there was no reason for Williams to call any more TO’s. I wouldn’t read any more into it than what you saw on the screen.

        • #153131

          Ute Fan

          Ya. I agree. However it was a nice way for Whit to remind USC (and Utah fans for that matter) that USC didn’t just run out of time and that they just came up a little short. It was a blatant signal to show that Utah was the better team and we could have scored more if we wanted to.

          I loved that Whit called that play. I think there’s an unwritten rule in sports that as soon as the losing team calls uncle, the winning team takes their foot off the gas. There’s some exceptions but Whit needed to send the message that on this day, Utah was vastly superior to USC.

    • #153134

      Ute Fan

      The over the shoulder to Covey and other down field passes loosened up the running game and helped to OL overall. 
      Downfield passing is what triggered our 28 point onslaught and got SC on their heels not knowing what was coming. 
      If the coaches let Cam do Cam we can start to turn into a balanced team and not have so many predictable run plays then third and long where OL gets bull rushed. 

      with Cams elusiveness I am hoping the coaches see that we have something here that can throw a wrench in our opponents defensive schemes towards us. 

      this week is such a tough test and will show if we go back to old school or move forward with the new school offensively. 

    • #153135

      Ute Fan

      I agree, the pass to Howard may just be the play of the game because of its impact. Rising gave us the story in the flea-flicker. He misunderstood the call that came in and thought it was the flea-flicker. The Utah coaches noticed they were not running the called play and called timeout. When they asked Rising what he was running oddly they decided to run it anyway. Given we had shown what was thought as an interest in an inside run it became the perfect play for the moment. USC’s last timeout was not a never give up thing. It was the inability to do math to see with 50 seconds and three timeouts there will not possibly be enough time to run 3 plays required to score 16 points. Whitt provided a teaching moment for the interim coach. The greatest harm was to the remaining USC fans that were determined to wait for the last whistle to leave. For them it was quite a WTF moment to see that they can’t even accept a victory formation in a smart way.

      • #153136

        Ute Fan

        USC called time out, not Utah.

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