Instant Takeaways From #14 Utah’s Dominating Performance Against SDSU
Sep 18, 2022, 12:56 AM | Updated: Sep 19, 2022, 11:04 am
(Photo Cred Michelle Bodkin)
SALT LAKE CITY- #14 Utah needed another dominating performance and they achieved just that against SDSU. In fact, despite a slower start on offense for the Utes in the first quarter or so, they still played their most aggressive football as a team so far in 2022 beating up on the Aztecs 35-7.
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) September 18, 2022
Offense Starts Slow, Defense Off To The Races
Utah’s offense didn’t get off to the quickest start with quarterback Cam Rising having a hard time completing passes to start. Rising was only 4 of 12 for 39 yards in the first quarter, but finished the game 18 of 30 for 224 yards and four touchdowns.
The defense on the other hand was nasty from the jump. In the first quarter they held SDSU to just 35 yards on 11 plays. Utah’s defense did a great job applying pressure from start to finish holding the Aztecs to just 173 total yards of offense, nine first downs and only converting 3 of 15 third downs.
Utah Has Wide Receivers And Can Use Them Too
The Utes were very vocal about wanting to use the receivers all through spring and fall camp, but the first two games they were relatively absent. However, against San Diego State they found a groove with Rising.
Solomon Enis and Devaughn Vele were responsible for three of Utah’s five touchdowns. Tight end Brant Kuithe and running back Tavion Thomas accounted for the other two. The Utes also featured seven different pass catchers throughout the game, utilizing their talent all over the field the best they have all season.
Juggernauts On Defense
One of the biggest issues with Utah’s defense early on was a lack of anyone noticeably making plays. That changed tonight against SDSU.
Defensive end Van Fillinger disappeared the first two games of Utah’s season, but made his presence known against the Aztecs. He was constantly in the quarterback’s face and making him force plays.
Safety Cole Bishop led the team in tackles with nine and was virtually all over the field against the Aztecs.
Karene Reid snagged an interception that set up a later touchdown in the third quarter. He was also disruptive in the pass rush and responsible for four total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Special Teams, A Mixed Bag
At first it seemed like special teams was going to be on the epic end of the spectrum for the Utes in their matchup with the Aztecs. They recovered a muffed punt by SDSU to set up a touchdown. However, later would muff their own punt return that would set up San Diego State’s lone touchdown of the night.
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