Friday, September 25, 2009

Flag Friday - Cincinnati Reds III

This is one of my favorite pennants. I got it after the Reds swept the Oakland Athletics in the 1990 World Series. Go Reds!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oregon 31, Utah 24

All good things must come to an end sometime, right? It's been so long since Utah lost that I almost forgot what it felt like when your team loses. The one benefit with this loss, is that I almost expected it to happen. Utah has yet to prove this year that they are capable of beating any team that will finish over .500. They show glimmers of greatness, but way too many mistakes and freshman miscues (even though they have very few freshmen seeing playing time). The good news is that the team appears to improve every week and after this week's game against Louisville, the Utes have lucked into a much-needed early bye week.

Everybody expected Oregon to be a better team that the one that showed up to play against Boise St. After working through their self-imposed difficulties, they are turning out to be a pretty good team. A real test will be whether or not they can compete with Cal this week.

I think that the Utes will be able to bounce back against Louisville. They will be happy to be home, but they will still make mistakes that will allow Louisville to keep the game closer than it should be. My prediction is Utah in a close one.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flag Friday - South Dakota

If I remember correctly we were at Mount Rushmore on July 4, 1991 for the 50th anniversary of the enormous mountain carvings. Unfortunately, I haven't been back since. Maybe next year...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Utah 24, San Jose State 14

Yikes. I almost forgot all about posting about this game. In a way, I think that it is good that I waited to put my analysis down because my opinion of the game has changed quite a bit since last weekend. Watching the game was depressing because the Utes offense, kicking game and pass coverage were all sputtering. It turns out, that the Utes had plenty of offense, they just couldn't get anything done. They turned the ball over twice, turned the ball over on downs at the goal line and missed 3 field goals. What I didn't realize during the game is that they moved the ball up and down the field fairly well, but were unable to turn those yards into anything.

Utah's defense had its bright spots. They only gave up 22 yards rushing on about 23 attempts. The weakness was in their pass coverage. I didn't realize just how good Brice McCain and Sean Smith were (Utah's cornerbacks from last year). They play in a position where you only notice them when they do something wrong. Last year few teams even challenged the corners because the Utes defense was so solid.

San Jose State impressed me (much like USU did last week). I didn't think they would after their first week shallacking by USC, but they seemed to improve from quarter to quarter and were able to keep up with Utah for most of the game.

Can Utah keep up with Oregon? I think that they can - but I'm not sure that they will. Autzen Stadium is a notoriously difficult place to play and the Ducks have a chip on their shoulder after being embarrassed by Boise State. If Utah wants to have any respect this year, it's a game that they've got to win. In order to do that, they'll have to bring a better team than either of the first two weeks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flag Friday - Jr. Jazz

Oh yeah, Jr. Jazz. But what is Smokey the Bear doing on the pennant? In two places, no less.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Utah 35, Utah State 17

In the Utes first game of the 2009 football season they took on the Aggies of Utah State. While the Utes didn't deliver the solid pounding of previous years they had control of the game and allowed many of their young players to gain critical game experience. The game actually turned out much like I expected it to. I had a feeling that the Aggies would be better than in years past and that Coach Anderson would use some wrinkles to try and throw the Utes off. While I had heard about their young speed and talent, I was surprised and impressed to see it in person. The Aggies will win some games this year and have the potential to be a pretty good team next year.

Both teams made a few first-game/young team mistakes. Impressively, the Aggies forced Utah into three turnovers and had a couple decent drives as well. They came out of the gates swinging and had the Utes on their heels. The brightest spots for the Utes were the offensive trio of David Reed (WR), Terrance Cain (QB) and Matt Asiata (RB). Together they accounted for more than 600 yards of total offense (obviously the WR and QB stats overlap).

This week the Utes travel to San Jose to meet the Spartans in another game that they should win without too much trouble. The following week they travel to Eugene, Oregon to take on the Ducks in a game that lost a lot of its luster after Boise State delivered a smackdown on Oregon. With Boise State beating Oregon so easily, I see that game as a must-win for the Utes to remain respected nationally. The Ducks are not the team we thought they were.

From here on out, go Aggies!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Flag Friday - Final Four (Seattle)

This is another pennant that my parents brought home from their visit to the Final Four when it was in the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington. The four teams participating were: UCLA, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and North Carolina with UCLA winning it all.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ute Football

I'm sitting here on TRAX riding to the first game of the year and I couldn't be more excited. Â Since probably a week after the Sugar Bowl, I have been looking forward to this game.

My thoughts on tonight's game:
Obviously Utah should have no problem with Utah State. The Aggies have some great young talent and (I think) the right coach for the job. These next few weeks are critical for them. I won't be surprised if Utah struggles to put them away as easily as everybody expects. Utah by 21.

My thoughts on the season:
Beast case scenario is that Utah wins every game and goes undefeated and to the BCS yet again. That would be nice.

Worst case scenario is that Utah loses every game or to Utah State, San Jose State or New Mexico.

My prediction is that they will win most games and lose maybe 3 games (to Oregon, TCU, and one other game - that they probably shouldn't have lost - not BYU).

It's going to be a good year in the MUSS! Row 6, 25 yard line!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre