Who was good, who was bad, and what was ugly in the big Utah win in Iowa...
Utah- SJSU: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The running game
272 yards on 40 carries is a step in the right direction as both Wide and Asiata looked much better this week. Beau Burton and Tauni Vakapuna were solid in garbage time and Reggie Dunn's 43 yarder to open the scoring was the result of a great play call and good blocking. The offensive line deserves a lot of credit for the big yardage.
San Jose State had only 172 yards of total offense, with more than half of that coming in the last 20 minutes of the game with the starters out. Ute fans were nervous about the defense replacing 8 starters from a year ago, but this group looks to be even better than last year. Outside of Brandon Burton, they're a bunch of no-name, take care of your assignment players who put the team first. The coaches couldn't be happier at this point with the production they are getting.
This may have been a product of San Jose State looking like a high school team with their special teams, but the Utes continue to get better and better in the least glamorized part of football. Shaky Smithson was held in check without any big returns, but the Utes did block a punt, had San Jose State kick a punt off of one of their players that Reggie Topps returned for a touchdown, and were pretty solid in the kick coverage game outside of one long return that was mostly the product of good blocking by SJSU. Sean Sellwood is getting better each week and is bombing kicks consistently.
The Turnover Battle
The Utes didn't turn the ball over for the first time all season, but the takeaways are a concern that Kyle Whittingham noted in his postgame press conference. They're currently 92nd in the nation with a turnover margin of -3 with only 4 takeaways. The corners and safeties have dropped at least 5 would be interceptions this year.
Matthews was shut out against San Jose State and has only 4 catches on the season. Not the kid of production the coaching staff was hoping for.
San Jose State
Undersized and overpowered, the Spartans never had a chance against the Utes. Mike MacIntyre really has his work cut out for him in his first year on the job.
The Utes' Schedule
Utah's four opponents have a combined record of 3-12 with two of those wins over FCS schools and the third win over New Mexico, the worst team in the FBS. Pitt was supposed to be the Big East favorite, but has looked bad. New Mexico won't win a game this year. UNLV's only win might be against New Mexico. San Jose State's only win of the year could be their nail-biter over Southern Utah. Going forward, Iowa State doesn't look good, BYU is 1-3, as is Notre Dame. Wyoming can't score points. Colorado State is a three win team at best. The Utes desperately need their opponents to turn things around and have TCU, Air Force, and San Diego State keep winning.
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