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Impressions of the game: Utah vs. Montana State

Impressions of the game: Utah vs. Montana State

By Josh Furlong | Posted - Sep. 1, 2011 at 9:11 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utes opened up their season in the Pac-12 Thursday, dominating the Montana State Bobcats in what was an expected win for the team.

Although the level of competition was not what Utah will expect over the season, the game provided insight into how the Utes will work as a team.

Impression 1:

In what is arguable the most controversial play of the game, Kyle Whittingham pulled out his bag of tricks, faking a punt on the Utes' own 12-yard line. Whittingham has been known for some trick plays over the years, but faking a punt when up by 24 points appeared to be a showboating move for an obviously better team.

However, only in game play can a team understand what will work. And what better time to learn than when the team is up by 24 points?

Impression 2:

Utah's defense is what will keep them winning games in the Pac-12. Obviously it takes points to win a game, but with a defensive line like Utah's, teams will struggle to put points on the board.

The Utes' defense completely shut down the Bobcats in the first half, giving them little options. However, the team can't be complacent. There was a bit of a letdown against the Bobcats in the second half of the game. The defense must be consistent throughout game.

Impression 3:

If there were any questions about the running back position, John White completely answered the call. For his relatively small size, White was nearly unstoppable, finding the open gaps and picking up some yardage.

Impression 4:

The overall offense was less-than impressive. Jordan Wynn played a careful game but didn't shine. Wynn stayed away from a passing game and kept the ball in the hands of the running backs, particularly John White. Had it not been for White, the Utes' offense would have little to show for itself. As a whole, there wasn't a sense of urgency and the team appeared to be sluggish.

Impression 5:

Utah has to take the next week and prepare, both mentally and physically, for a tough game against USC in Los Angeles. How the Utes fare against the Trojans will determine much of the rest of the season. With rival BYU following, the Utes can't afford to enter next week's game in the same sluggish approach on the offense.

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