CRIMSON CORNER

Utah Football Have Goals Intact After Physical Battle With Arizona

Nov 13, 2021, 4:16 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm
Brant Kuithe - Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats...
Tight end Brant Kuithe #80 of the Utah Utes runs with the football after a reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the third quarter of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. The Utes defeated the Wildcats 38-29. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Utah needed a gutty performance but was able to sneak past Arizona with a 38-29 win on Saturday afternoon.

Utah was able to pick up the win despite committing multiple costly penalties and miscues. They also didn’t have their leading rusher Tavion Thomas, who was held out due to precautionary reasons.

Despite what happened in the game against a struggling Arizona program, Utah still has everything in front of them to play for.

Here is the Crimson Corner’s three-point-stance from Utah’s gutty win over the Wildcats.

Overcame Penalties

Utah had eight penalties for 85 yards in their win over the Wildcats. Arizona had just five penalties for 33 yards. The Utes had multiple chunk plays of 20 yards or more called back due to penalties. Plus, the defense was involved in penalties as well, getting multiple unnecessary roughness calls.

Utah was still able to get the win despite the penalties but can’t have that happen against Oregon next week.

Defense, Special Teams Had Issues

Missed tackles was the problem for the Utes on the defensive side of the ball against Arizona. The Wildcats racked up 329 yards of total offense, including 227 passing yards. Will Plummer completed 18 of his 32 pass attempts for 219 yards and one touchdown through the air. He also ran the ball 10 times for 50 yards and another TD.

Plummer was their leading rusher. Utah had trouble getting off the field with the Wildcats converting 7-of-15 on third down. The Utes allowed Arizona to convert on third and 19. They also have plenty of penalties that tact on extra yards with unnecessary roughness calls. Whether those were questionable calls, the officials still threw their flags.

Special teams was an issue, particularly in the punt game. Michael Williams took the punts on Saturday rather than Andrew Peasley. Early in the fourth quarter, Williams had a punt blocked and Arizona returned it for a touchdown. That’s the second time this season that a punt has been blocked and returned for a touchdown. The last time was at Oregon State.

It’s strange to see a Kyle Whittingham-coached team struggle on defense (at times) and special teams but thrive on offense.

Oregon Comes To SLC

The Ducks come to town on Saturday, November 20 and are currently in the College Football Playoff if it were to start today. Oregon is facing Washington State on Saturday night in a big Pac-12 North showdown.

Utah could see some key players missing from that game which means the depth will certainly be tested in the biggest game of the season.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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