The Utes had a second half to forget Monday night in San Diego. Jason Shelley was bold and effective in the first half throwing the football. He was not worried about the pass rush from Northwestern and he got the ball out of his hands quickly. Jaylen Dixon was seemingly open all the time. Then the mistakes started showing up in the second half.
First there was a mistake on an interception from Jason Shelley. He clearly did not see the linebacker standing in the way of his receiver. Then a few possessions later the Jason Shelley fumble in the redzone was a huge momentum shift after Northwestern was able to run the fumble back 86 yards. Shelley needs to be more aware of the danger around him and protect the football when the sack could be coming from behind. The Jaylen Dixon fumble seemed to be a fluke situation. Careless football nonetheless Utah had put their defense in a horrible spot at that point. Utah’s offense gave up actual points or field position to Northwestern almost every possession in the 3rd quarter.
Jason Shelley showed the complete dichotomy of of outcomes a backup QB can get you in college football. He was fresh and confident in the first half but like most QBs with little experience he did not know how to get himself going after making a big mistake. The more experience you get as a QB the better you become at adapting to sudden change situations.
Jason Shelley still had a great year filling in for Tyler Huntley. Shelley won more games than he lost. Utah should have the most returning starters in 2019 of any school in the conference. the future is bright for the Utes after a 9-5 season in 2018.
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