Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - Utah 25, Tulsa 13

Utah played Tulsa tonite in the Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. They won 25-13. I believe that the spread was 4.5 or something in favor of Utah. This is the first bowl game that I have missed in the last three years. For some crazy reason, Fort Worth, Texas two days before Christmas just doesn't excite me all that much. Either way, it looked like Utah had more fans than I expected to be there. Good for them.

For the most part is was a pretty good football game. ESPN's covereage of the game was much better than their coverage of the Las Vegas Bowl. The standard had been set pretty low though. Tulsa's quarterback (Smith) seemed to be off his game. From what I understand, he's usually a pretty good quarterback but he wasn't in sync today (although he was 20-27 for 158 yards).

On the other hand, Brett Ratliff had a solid game (23-34 for 240 yards), Eric Weddle was his usual self (i.e. amazing) and Utah's second best player this year - Louie Sakoda - was named the Player of the Game. When was the last time that a punter/FG kicker was the player of the game in a bowl game? He's been crucial all season, leadig the Utes to being #1 in net yards per punt. That doesn't happen by accident.

The Utes incorporated a couple of interesting plays. They pulled their old hook-and-ladder play out of the bag (from the Fiesta Bowl) and scored. That play was also the play of the day on CNN. Eric Weddle played quarterback for the Utes' last drive. He ran the ball 7 times and handed off once before scoring.

It wasn't a great season by Utah's recent standards. If they could just get rid of the mid-season slides then they would be set. Next year will be tough with UCLA, Louisville and Oregon State on the docket. I can't wait!

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