What in the wide world of sports happened on Saturday? After a dominating performance in Provo only two weeks prior, the same Utah team showed up to Rice-Eccles Stadium and laid an egg. An opening kickoff fumble returned for a touchdown, four other turnovers including two inside the 5 yard line, and bonehead penalties at inopportune times led to their 31-14 demise. And to make this all sound even more grim, starting quarterback, Jordan Wynn, will be out for the next 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury leaving Juco transfer, Jon Hays (Butte College), to start his first ever Division 1 football game against top 25 ranked Arizona State this coming Saturday. Let’s hope he starts channeling his inner-Brett Ratliff (Butte College) right about now…
Utah – 54, BYU – 10….What in the world just happened? In one of the most bizarre games in the history of the rivalry, the University of Utah absolutely destroyed BYU in every facet of the game, forcing 7 turnovers, racking up 500 yards of total offense, and then finishing the game with 47 unanswered points. Say what you will about how and why this all happened, but in the end, Utah just has better players and better coaches than BYU.
12 of the last 14 years the BYU-Utah game has been decided by 7 points or less. The last 6 games have been split evenly. Utah is 4-3 in Provo during the last 14 years. Normally we have a full season to prepare for this game, and we usually have a pretty good idea about each team. This year, there are more uncertainties than ever before. After an offseason of hype, is Jake Heaps as good as everyone thought he was? Have the Utah’s players grasped Norm Chow’s offense yet? Does Brandon Doman know what he’s doing? Amidst all of the questions there are two things that we know for certain….Bronco is going to be wearing old khaki pants, a black belt, and his Band of Brothers tee, and this is going to be a spectacular game.
Do I believe in moral victories? Absolutely. It would have been great if Utah would have been able to pull of the victory on Saturday in the Coliseum, but the gritty performance proved a lot about this team’s ability to go on the road and smack a big-time opponent in the mouth, especially after getting off to a slow start. (And did I use an Ivan Drago analogy to better illustrate this during the show? Absolutely again.) Utah fans should take comfort in several things that happened on Saturday: Jordan Wynn didn’t turn the ball over, moved the chains, and put his team in position to win a tough game on the road. Devonte Christopher, Dres Anderson, and Reggie Dunn proved that Utah has some legit playmakers. Joe Kruger is a monster. Brian Blechen is a crazy person. John White IV may be the toughest dude on the field and is quickly winning the hearts of every Utah fan on planet earth. With that said, what can we expect to happen this Saturday in Provo? Flip a coin….it’s honestly our best option.
The atmosphere at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah is a little different than what I’ve been experiencing these last few years at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium in the Bronx (home of the Columbia University Lions!!!!). The Utes got off to an interesting start last night. The 27-10 final can be deceiving in either direction. After jumping out to a dominant 24-0 lead, the team seemed to relax and then allow an inferior, but better than expected, opponent to make the game seem respectable. Is Norm Chow’s offense going to work? Does Jordan Wynn have the mettle to lead this team to a possible Pac-12 Championship? Is Kyle Whittingham ready for a 12 game season of tough games every single week? Based on what we saw last night, what are we excited about and what are we nervous for? Can we schedule Wyoming and New Mexico in the middle of the year so we can pad some stats and rest our starters? MUSS President, Sean Davenport, joins the show to break down the game and talk about the future of Utah football.