Coming off a great season opener against in-state rivals Utah State, the Utah Utes look to keep rolling against FCS team Weber State.
Last Thursday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the Utes came back from being down at halftime to eventually win the game by a final score of 30-26. The Utes were not able to fully contain the Utah State Aggies quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, who threw for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for 85 more, but with the offense putting up 30 points Utah was able to do just enough to come out with the victory.
Any team with a quarterback who has an outside shot at the Heisman will be dangerous on offense, and holding the Aggies to 26 points shows that the defense did not take too big of a step back after losing so many starters from last season.
Tomorrow at noon, the Utes kick off against the Weber State Wildcats at Rice-Eccles stadium. With the Wildcats being FCS team (formerly Division I-AA), the Utes will look to have a solid victory over the smaller school. Does this mean Utah should take them lightly?
If week one around the country was a sign of things to come, the Utes should be a little weary of the team from Ogden. Last week eight FCS teams upset the bigger FBS teams. Football powerhouses like Oregon State and Kansas State went down to schools most people have never heard of, making this game against Weber State a little more nerve wracking than it should be.
The Wildcats are also coming off a victory, beating Stephen F. Austin by a 10 point margin. On paper the Utes should look to dominate the Wildcats, but as we all know football isn’t won on paper. I believe this game will really show us what kind of team the Utes have this year. If Utah wants to beat the likes of Stanford or Arizona State later in the season they will have to put on a clinic against the team from up north.
Improvements need to made on defense, as Coach Kyle Wittingham expressed his displeasure with the defense as a whole, “We have to work on our alignments on defense, figure out the run game and improve our pass coverage. In general, we’ve got to get a lot better.”
This game provides a perfect opportunity for the Utes to work out some of these defensive kinks. With the Wildcats sporting a less than potent offense, this should be a great opportunity to see the defense progress and become more congealed as a unit.
Tomorrow I hope to see some progression from the offense as well. Last game I was actually mildly impressed by the offensive unit, who I believe had a better game than the defense did. Tyler Wilson had a solid game, and since he will be most likely under less pressure from the defense tomorrow, I look for him to have a big day and show that he will be the quarterback to lead The Utes to their first winning season in the PAC-12.
Some people say that the most improvement in a football team is in between week one and week two. That was not the case for the Utes last year, as they suffered that brutal overtime loss to the Aggies in Week 2 but this year is a whole different story. Playing a FCS team should give Utah a great opportunity to see improvements both offensively and defensively, and hopefully give the fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium a lot to cheer for. I am expecting a blowout win by the Utes, and anything less would be a disappointment.