Monday, September 01, 2008

Utah 25, Michigan 23

Utes win! Utes win! This game should not have been as close as it was. Utah simply dominated the first half with Johnson throwing for over 250 yards and holding Michigan to only 4 yards on the ground. Throughout the first half, it felt as though Utah was up by a couple of touchdowns - but they had so many penalties that they were never able to really pull away from Michigan.

They took a 12 point lead into the locker rooms at halftime. The Michigan coaches made dramatic changes at halftime which led to en entirely different game in the second half. Utah struggled to move the ball while their defense held strong until Louie Sakoda had a punt blocked. This gave Michigan the momentum they needed to grab a couple quick scores and close in on the Utes. In the end, Utah's defense returned to their first half form and they kept the Wolverines at bay through the end of the game.

Anybody that didn't give the Utes at least a fighting chance didn't know what kind of a team the Utes are this year. This win will benefit them immensely (and has already) due to their exposure on national television and the mere fact that they beat Michigan (the winningest college team of all time) at the Big House (regardless of whether or not Michigan is any good this year) (/end overuse of parenthesis).

Utah will most certainly jump into the polls and has already made's bowl projections list as this year's BCS busters, picked to crash the Fiesta Bowl once again. To be honest, I'd rather not see the Utes on this list so early. There's a lot of football yet to play, and it is incredibly difficult to run the table. The good news is, BYU looked very extremely beatable with their mistake-laden play against NIU.

This week, I expect the Utes to come out with a vengeance against UNLV. They were embarrassed (to put it mildly) last year and won't let that happen again, especially not on their field.


Sam said...

That was a great win, especially because a whole lot of my classmates here at UNC went to Michigan. Fantastic!
My one concern with these Whit coached teams is that they lack discipline. They make too many penalties and do not put teams away. For whatever reason they always start to run out the clock in the 3rd Quarter!! They gotta start playing the whole game.
Other than that, they played great D and I think the running game is going to get better. Good stuff.


JTENMAN said...

It's a bit early for this list, I agree. Give it at least 2 more weeks. Utah always comes to play the good teams. It is the average team that they always struggle with for no reason. I was glad to see BYU struggle with NIU though. This will be a big measuring stick for the Utes this week. Utah should come out and pound UNLV. These are the games I get the most nervous for as a Utah fan.

Sam said...

I agree about the bowl projection list too. They start project bowls when the season ends. Let them play a little bit more, then we will see where everyone really is.
Seeing that I am out in Carolina, I did not see the byu game. How did they struggle? Listening to people in my ward out here you would have thought they beat Georgia in dominating fashion and should be number #1.

tysqui said...

Well, don't get me wrong Sam, BYU should definitely be #1, but there are just a few areas they need to work on. Against Northern Iowa they pretty much moved the ball at will. Max Hall and Dennis Pitta could not be stopped. Most of there mistakes were made by freshmen or sophomores and included coughing up the ball at bad times. So it's really a mixed reaction out here (kind of like the Utes - good win, but bad penalties and turnovers).

Ben said...

that's what sucks about living east of the mississippi, sam. the stupid "cougar-nation" is as strong as they are clueless as to the meaning of "quality" win. somehow the 2A farm school they knock heads with is somehow translated into a USC-type formidable foe. i'll never understand the zoobie way of thinking...(nor do i care to).

alisquire said...

I guess you haven't seen Utah fans acting like they've won the national championship after beating a mediocre Michigan team...

People are stupid if they consider NIU a quality win. Maybe they're happy to have finally won an opening game? Don't know.

Sorry to talk smack on your blog, hon!

sdande said...

I was in Chicago enjoying a deep dish pizza at giordano's and had to convince the waiter to switch the t.v. to the "michigan" game(they wouldn't allow anything but the cubs to play in there so I had to convince him lots of people wanted to see michigan...he wouldn't have listened to me if I said Utah). I was impressed with what I saw, which was the last 1/2 of the 2nd and the first 1/2 of the 3rd. I saw a poised, confident quarterback in Brian Johnson, a couple of great runs by Matt Atiata(sp?)and a great kicking game. The defense looked pretty good too. The jury is still out though because I'm not convinced Michigan was a very good team. I didn't watch the BYU game but was disappointed to hear they were only up 27-17 in the 4th before pulling away. I love ESPN predicting the UTES in the puts the bullseye on the them rather than on BYU and will allow the Cougs to be shielded from what happened to TCU when they were annointed the BCS busters a few years ago! I'm actually pulling for the Utes to go undefeated because it will be that much sweeter when the cougs beat them in rice-eccles this year! ;) Oh and ya'll better watch out for Utah State! :)

sdande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sdande said...

Hmmm...ND beats Michigan after barely beating San diego st and Coach long saying he wasn't sure whether cal poly or ND was better...maybe its not that big of a win after all. Gotta say 59-0 over UCLA is much more impressive than 25-23 over Michigan...but I get ahead of myself. UCLA might end up being horrible this year as well. As for tonights game, go UTAH STATE! :)

tysqui said...


Condolences on your Aggies embarrassing play tonight.

UCLA always has troubles playing in Utah and is horribly overrated (see last year), but Oklahoma 55, Washington 14? BYU only beat Washington with prayer. That result is far more embarrassing than a storied program like Notre Dame beating another storied program like Michigan in a rain-drenched battle.