QB strength means offense will continue to improve

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

Coming into this season, most Utah fans were skeptical about how productive the Utah offense could be. After all, the Utes have a new and inexperienced (at the Division-I level anyway) quarterback running the show and a new offensive coordinator calling the shots.

Three weeks into the season, I think the offense has proven that it can and will be just as effective as the defense.

So far this season, the Utes have earned 1,315 total offensive yards, which is almost 400 more yards than the opponents’ 918. The Utes lead their opponents in every offensive category: rushing, passing, receiving and kick-off and punt returns.

Although the numbers might say otherwise, the Utes have yet to look spectacular on offense this season but will only continue to get better as the team members learn to play well with one another.

The offense’s numbers show that the Utes can get the job done when they have the ball, something that is only going to improve as the season moves on.

The number one reason that the Utah offense will be powerful this season is Terrance Cain.

Three weeks ago, Cain was thrust into the national spotlight as the new quarterback of the BCS-busting Utes. In his debut against Utah State, Cain completed the first seven passes he threw as a Division-I player. Before the game was finished, Cain completed 20 of 30 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns8212;not bad for a first-timer. In the two games since his opening at Utah State, Cain has thrown 426 yards and made two touchdowns.

In all three games, Cain has only thrown three interceptions and has been sacked three times. Not only has Cain been, for the most part, effective in the throwing game, he has also run the ball 31 times for a total of 159 yards and one touchdown, which ranks him second in running yards on the Utah team.

Although Cain threw two interceptions at crucial times in the loss to Oregon, I don’t think it is any reason to start doubting the guy. Oregon is undoubtably the toughest defense the Utes have faced all year and the raining conditions couldn’t have helped the situation. As the season progresses, Cain will only get better, meaning the offense is only going to get better as well.

With a talented corps of wide receivers to throw to, including David Reed, Jereme Brooks and John Peel, Cain’s options down-field are almost endless, making Utah’s passing game even stronger.

Another reason the Utah offense is going to be potent this season is Matt Asiata. The man is a rushing machine. In three games, Asiata has carried the ball 71 times, more than the rest of the team combined, for a total of 304 yards and three touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Asiata wasn’t at full strength against Oregon this past weekend, and we saw how it affected the offensive game. Assuming Asiata gets and stays healthy, the Utes have the potential to have strong passing and running games.

As Eddie Wide and freshman Sausan Shakerin develop their running games more and more, the Utes will have even more options throughout the season.

Although the defense has been the more powerful of the two so far, the offense isn’t far behind and will be a major factor in the Utes’ success this season.

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