Monday, September 22, 2008

Utah 30, Air Force 23

The Good

Utah's offense was very productive against Air Force, averaging almost 7 yards per play. The Utes had two backs (Mack & Asiata) run for more than 100 yards. Their defense was also stellar, holding the Falcons to only 53 yards on the ground (their lowest total since 1980). Utah's defense forced a safety and two interceptions, with one occurring in the last minute of the game to seal the win for the Utes. Brian Johnson's passing game looked the best it has all season. Most of his throws were crisp and he had more zing on the ball than he has all season. His only interception was the result of a lucky defensive tip by Air Force. The mere fact that Utah beat the Falcons is a positive because Air Force is the only team in the Mountain West with an overall winning record against the Utes (as I read somewhere, the Falcons are to the Utes as the Bobcats are to the Jazz).

The Bad

King Louie (Sakoda, the punter) missed two field goals. One of them can hardly be blamed on him because he was kicking into a fierce wind. The second (from 54 yards, with the wind at his back) had more than enough leg, but his aim was a little off. This one was on him. Utah also got burned a bit by the pass. This was because the Utes sold out to stop the run, by packing the box with one or two extra guys. Forcing Air Force to beat you through the air is always a good plan, considering they had 0 completions against Houston the week before they played the Utes.

The Ugly

Brian Johnson was sacked 5 times. For a senior quarterback he has been making a lot of bad decisions in the pocket. Add to those sacks two fumbles (both by Johnson), with one being returned directly for a touchdown and the Utes know what they need to be working on this week. This game should not have been as close as it was. But, every year, the Utah - Air Force game comes down to the last drive, this one was no different.

This week the Utes meet mighty Weber State from glorious Ogden, Utah. The triumphal return of Mac (aka Ron McBride). This game comes at a good time for the Utes, because they've got loads of things to work on and improve upon before they will be a true Force.

No comments: