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Upon Further Review-Where the Game Changed Saturday Night


Utah fell to Washington on Saturday night 21-7 in a game where the Utah Defense did enough on their side of the football, but the Utes Offense came up short in their duties. Utah managed just 261 yards of total offense, 123 on the ground and 138 through the air. After tying the game up at 7 on a Zack Moss four yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, Utah wasn’t able to find the end zone again on the night. The Utah offense followed it’s pattern of inconsistency that has been the MO this season so far.

However, despite it’s inconsistencies on Saturday night, trailing 21-7 in the fourth quarter, Utah had two HUGE shots at turning the game in their favor.

Let’s start at roughly the 13:00 mark of the Fourth Quarter, when Morgan Scalley dialed up pressure on Washington QB Jake Browning. What resulted was a poor decision by a veteran QB and a great play by Utah Defensive Lineman Pita Tonga, but could have been even greater…

If Tonga scores, instead of fumbling, it’s a 21-14 game with 12:45 to play in the game and Utah with all the momentum in the game. Instead, it’s 1st and 10 at the Washington 11 yard line. Still a very good situation for Utah. Over the next four plays Utah moves 9 yards to the Washington 2 yard line. On 4th and 1, Utah opts for a rollout pass to tight end Connor Haller, which he drops and turns the ball over to Washington. It was one of five drops by Utah Pass Catchers on Saturday. Drive summary 4 plays and 9 yards.

After forcing a Washington three and out from their 7 yard line and a 21 yard punt, Utah took over 1st and 10 from the Washington 28 yard line, with exactly ten minutes remaining in the game. Still plenty of time to get a touchdown and make it a one score game on a short field. After completing a pass for 11 yards on 3rd and 7 to the 14 yard line, Utah commits a procedure penalty, then has a holding penalty nullify a 16 yard completion to the Washington 3 yard line. Utah gets stopped on downs after a 4th down and 16. Drive summary 7 plays and 8 yards.

Of the 11 plays that Utah ran on the two drives above, Zack Moss got two touches. Utah finished the night 1-3 in the Red Zone, their one successful red zone trip ended with a Zack Moss four yard touchdown run.

The Utah Defense, as they have done so many times over the year, set up the Utah Offense with a pair of golden scoring chances and the Offense came up empty. Between the empty red zone trips and the wide receiver fumbles on back to back possessions in the 3rd Quarter, Utah did as much to give the game away as Washington did to win it Saturday night.

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