Utah-Pitt: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Who was good, who was bad, and who was ugly against Pitt?

The Good

John Cullen and Tony Bergstrom
The two tackles shut down the best defensive end duo in the country, holding them without a sack. Cullen was particularly impressive in keeping Greg Romeus away from Jordan Wynn.

Devonte Christopher and Jereme Brooks
Christopher got his chance once Shaky Smithson decided to put grease all over his hands before the game and fumble repeatedly and he made the most of it with 8 catches for 155 yards and touchdown, proving that he could be that number 2 guy along with Brooks. Brooks was sensational in the first half with two touchdown catches and was unstoppable over the middle.

Defensive Tackles
Dave Kruger was good, but Sealver Siliga was great. He could be the best defensive tackle in the Mountain West as he blew up the interior of Pitt's offensive line all night long and made it tough on Dion Lewis.

Linebackers
I've been ripping the linebackers for weeks and they made me eat my words as they shut down Dion Lewis. Chaz Walker was great as was Chad Manis. If they play like this all year, the Utes will be tough to beat. Did get a lot of help from Sealver Siliga and Dave Kruger.

Brandon Burton
Burton was unbelievable holding Jon Baldwin to 2 catches for 8 yards through 3 quarters. The fourth quarter was a different story, but Burton was still very impressive.

Brian Blechen
True freshman in his first career college game and all he does is shadow Baldwin all night and help shut him down, and then make the play of the game with an interception in overtime. Amazing.

The Bad

Penalties
11 penalties for 99 yards won't get it done. The personal foul on John Cullen was a bunch of BS. The personal foul on Greg Bird for taunting was inexcusable and a killer, setting up Pitt for a scoring drive. A false start on Zane Taylor and a holding call on Tony Bergstrom were out of character for each player. Disciplined Kyle Whittingham teams don't commit this many penalties and Whitt was not happy about it after the game.

Jordan Wynn on the Blitz
Every time Pitt blitzed, Wynn seemed to panic and either force a pass or make a bad pass. He did get rid of the ball quickly to avoid the sack, but was noticeably shaky when Pitt sent 7 guys after him.

The Ugly

Shaky Smithson
Two fumbles the first two times he touched the ball, including one on a punt return that he never should have tried to catch. Trying to make too much happen doomed the Dream Shake as he didn't return to the field for a play from scrimmage and didn't return to kick returning duties until later in the game.

Turnovers
Usually the team that loses the turnover battle loses the game. The Utes were able to avoid that this time, but their three turnovers turned into 3 points for Pitt, and took at least 3, and what should have been 7, off of the board for Utah.

The punting game
A blocked kick turned into the first points of the game for Pitt as Dion Lewis scored a few plays later. Shaky fumbled a punt leading to 3 more points. Sellwood had two solid punts, but his last punt was a 25 yard shank that gave Pitt the ball at midfield for their game tying drive at the end.

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