Utah’s offense the weak link



They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Well, if Utah is the chain, then the weakest link is obviously the offense.
In the first two games, the offense saw success and plenty of it. This was a positive sign for Utah fans, but please, I beg you to find a Power 5 school that would have struggled putting points up against Idaho State and Fresno State.
So throw those two games out the window and look at what the offense has done. In two games against Michigan and Washington State, the team itself has only put up 54 total points. The two-week total is less than what the Utes put up on the scoreboard in each of its victories against ISU and Fresno State.
A closer look into the 54 points shows an even more disturbing trend — only 14 points have come from the offense. In case you aren’t a math wizard, that’s one offensive touchdown in each game. Not a very good statistic for T-Willy and company.
I feel like I am adding insult to injury here, but to make matters even worse, the Ute offense failed to reach the Washington State red zone at any point during Saturday night’s game. That is absolutely pathetic.
Throughout the first half against Washington State, Rice-Eccles Stadium was rockin’ as the Utes were up against their Pac-12 opponent, but on the field was an inept offense trying to go up against a real defense — a defense that isn’t even best in the conference, I might add, but saw success against the Utes.
During the offseason, new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen brought over a new offensive scheme — a faster, more upbeat offense. This was supposed to spark a new generation for Utah offenses as fans were hoping to see something similar to what Oregon runs in Eugene.
However, on Saturday night, what I saw was an offense that doesn’t have nearly the talent the Ducks have. I saw a team that, despite having a ton of momentum heading into the game, simply could not make plays against a real opponent, at least not on the offensive side of the ball. I saw the downside to the uptempo offense, as the defense was on the field for nearly the entire game.
Now, in Utah’s defense, its last two games haven’t been played in the most ideal conditions. In Ann Arbor, the Utes were nearly flooded out of the Big House, and the rain and wind sure did play a factor against the Cougars, but that’s still no excuse.
Besides the running game, every other facet of the offense has looked terrible. Wilson’s performance was not good, and he knows it. But that said, who would have played well with the offensive line breaking down the way it was? The Ute slinger had no protection back there, and with Mother Nature playing in the game as well, Wilson had no chance.
This is all without mentioning some of the dropped balls by the receivers. I mean, I’m sure the rain had some sort of effect on the gripping of the football, but some of the throws that were dropped should be catchable in a tornado for those guys.
Maybe I am being too hard on Utah. Maybe they just need some sunshine and good weather to have an exploding offense. The Utes may just go into sunny California and upset a top-10 ranked UCLA squad this weekend, and everything I have said in this column will be proved wrong.
But with cries for Whittingham’s job circling around on Twitter, as of right now, the new “uptempo offense” is the real problem, as it has looked less than pedestrian. If Utah has any shot of making it to the postseason in 2014, the offense needs to be corrected and perfected.
[email protected]