Utah

Discussion in 'Wildcat Football Board' started by eastbaycat99, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. eastbaycat99

    eastbaycat99 Well-Known Member
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    There has not been very much posted about the Cats’ Holiday Bowl opponenent since Sunday’s announcement. Since I live in PAC-12 territory and am a season ticket holder for one of its members, I thought I would weigh in and with luck start a little discussion of the impending game with the Utes.

    My view is a little warped for two reasons. First of all, I think like most of you I have trouble getting over traditional biases in college football. Utah joined the now PAC 12 only in 2011, coming in with Colorado. While CU came from the Big 12, Utah came from the Mountain West, which took a little bit of washing down to swallow. Utah was probably viewed in the PAC 12 a little like Rutgers is in the B1G. However, Since they joined, Utah has belied the stereotype, as they have been a somewhat different style to many conference teams but a consistently decent team. Imagine a competent Rutgers! My second limitation is that Utah plays in the other division, and so I did not see them this year in person. My view is largely in snippets, highlights and a few big games, like their win over Stanford and loss to Washington last week, as well as weekly highlights, so it is not like the view I would have of an Oregon or Washington.

    With all of that in mind, Utah is a good team. They are a Mountain West team in some respects, that is, they are fast and open on offense, but unlike the Mountain West stereotype, they have a fast, swarming defense, one of the best in this power 5 conference.

    On offense, they are RPO based, with an emphasis on runs attacking the outside. The huge variable for the bowl is whether Tyler Huntley, their QB, will play or if he does, if he will be 100%. I think his participation is at least a 10 point swing, as he brings an accurate passing dimension to the RPO that Jason Shelley, his backup does not. The Utes offense is quick and stretches the field horizontally. With Huntley, they exploit this by hitting downfield selectively when a defense overcompensates. Without him, the Cats should be able to severely limit the damage the horizontal movement the Utes bring.

    The Utes defense is almost eerily similar to the Cats defense. The front 7 is active and quick rather than built for power. I imagine the Cats’ game plan will be built around slants to Green and Nagel, a few jump balls to Skowronek, and power runs and flat passes to Bowser. Bowser will be a problem for them, and I would expect him to get 20+ runs and 4 or 5 targets on passes.

    The area Utah has a clear advantage is kicking. Their place kicker is top 5,and their punter not far behind.

    Based on late season play, I think the Cats have a good chance, but the Huntley status could change that.
     
  2. Fitzphile

    Fitzphile Well-Known Member
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    Ugh, RPO. Communism at its worst according to Fitz.
     
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  3. Alaskawildkat

    Alaskawildkat Well-Known Member
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    I saw the last half of their final regular season game against BYU. BYU was up something like 20 to 3 at half time and Utah, although not keeping BYU from scoring in the second half, was able to go ahead for the win - and that was with their back up quarterback.

    They are definitely a scrappy team just like the Cats and we will need to stay aggressive even if we get what might appear to be a comfortable lead.

    Yeah, they won’t have any trouble putting points on the board even if NU can keep them out of the red zone. Certainly hope at least one of our top two kickers can come into the Holiday fully recovered as We May have limited trips into the red zone as well.
     
  4. bjm989

    bjm989 Well-Known Member
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    I think Fitz said that the RPO is the purest form of Communism, without expressing a positive or negative view of Communism.

    ...No Comminists were offennded during the making of this press conference....
     
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  5. Hungry Jack

    Hungry Jack Well-Known Member
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    Doesn't Utah employ 2 LBs and 5 DBs on defense (4-2-5)? If that is the case, I would Bowser them into oblivion between the tackles before attacking middle zones. It would be fun two have a two back set with Bowser and Moten and run some misdirection.
     
  6. d'son d

    d'son d Well-Known Member
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    Hmmmm. seems like the play book will be wide open for this one. Oh, wait, it was already. Okay, then what about a different approach say, like, great OL play and no three man rushes.
     
  7. CatMan2006

    CatMan2006 Well-Known Member
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    That may be true, but spellcheckers the world over were offended by your second sentence there. J/k.

    Either way, Utah will be a tough opponent. But we should be in a great position to win if our team comes prepared and plays our disciplined style of football.
     
  8. techtim72

    techtim72 Well-Known Member
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    I cannot recall a Utah game which I watched where they didn't come to play or were noncompetitive. Very good program from what I can tell and a tough opponent.
     
    8 techtim72, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  9. DaCat

    DaCat Well-Known Member
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    They don't lose bowl games either.
     
  10. bjm989

    bjm989 Well-Known Member
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    Oh my - very poorly done by me! I was simply trying to note that Fitz still had a shot at a college campus speaking tour if the HC gig got old for him.

    As for the bowl, I agree the Utes are solid but that our Cats are going to come ready after facing a tough opponent in OSU and learning a few things. We’ll be hungry. I see us taking the opportunity to put everything together one more time and going out on a very high note. Guys will get rested, and I bet Clayton has one of his best games of the year.

    Go Cats!

     
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  11. Frabjous

    Frabjous Well-Known Member
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    In Soviet Union, Option Run Pass you.
     
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  12. DaCat

    DaCat Well-Known Member
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    Utah is going to be a tougher opponent than many on this board is giving them credit for. I think we will win (I always do) but I am expecting another nail-biter down to the wire. There will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the usual suspects.
     
  13. dansnell

    dansnell New Member
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    Utah fan here. Utah's base defense is 4-3, but they play a lot of 4-2 depending on what the offense puts out there. The defense is stop the run and to that end a safety is almost always near the line of scrimmage and the CBs are locked in man-man. Spread teams tend to give the defense more problems than the power teams do.

    Looking forward to the matchup. I've been following NW from a far this season, and had you pegged to beat ND, but you let me down.
     

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