Monday, October 17, 2011

Bring on the Bears

The second half of Utah’s season begins this week when the Utes will take on the Cal Bears.  Short of an epic Arizona State meltdown, Utah’s chances at a south division championship probably have to wait for next season.  But there’s still plenty left to play for and the Utes seem to have remained focused if their 26-14 victory over the Pitt Panthers last Saturday was any indication.

The Cal Bears seem to be Utah’s mirror image in the north division.  Both teams stand at 3-3 on the season and both teams come into this ballgame looking for their first conference victory.  Both teams feature strong defenses and offenses that rely heavily on running game.  Here are some of my keys to this ballgame for the Utes—

·        Utah MUST MUST MUST stop spotting their opponents 14+ points a game.  Whether its fumbles, interceptions, or blocked punts, Utah hasn’t played a clean ballgame since BYU the third game of the season.  That must change to get a win against a very capable Cal team.

·        Jon Hays has to become more than a game manager. By now the word is out….Utah wants to give the ball 30+ times to John White and see if they can pound the ball.  If Jon Hays can’t defenses pay for bringing 8 in the box, the Utes offense will continue to struggle.

·        Trevor Reilly and Derrick Shelby must continue to play at a high level.  Reilly and Shelby are providing the Utes with one of the better pass rushing duo’s in the country right now and the results last week was holding Pittsburgh to a total of 50 PASSING YARDS.

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