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GAME BLOG: (18) Utah 35, Utah State 17

GAME BLOG: (18) Utah 35, Utah State 17

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Score: Utah 35, Utah State 17

Quarterback Terrance Cain made his first start for the Utes, throwing for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns in Utah's 35-17 win in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah finished the game with 519 yards of total offense, but turned the ball over three times, giving Utah State chances to stay in the game.

The Aggies played far better tonight than the last time they played Utah. USU QB Diondre Borel is a terrific athlete and made some spectacular plays, while RB Robert Turbin ran for 148 yards on 13 carries.

After an offensive explosion in the first half, both defenses adjusted well. Only 9 points were scored in the 2nd half, with 2 of those coming on a safety.

But tonight was all about Matt Asiata. Utah's senior running back ran a whopping 36 times for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns, while David Reed caught 10 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown.

Next up for the Utes: at San Jose State
Next up for the Aggies: at Texas A&M

Time Remaining: 0:48 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 35, Utah State 17

Terrance Cain is playing like the Brian Johnson of 2005, running the QB keeper on third and 5 for a gain of 14 yards. I think he played a really good game, except for two or three passes he tried to force. But with that said, he solidified the quarterback position with his play tonight. Now the Utes can let Matt Asiata and company run some of the clock.

The Aggies took over on their own six yard line, but two plays into the drive Borel is sacked in the end zone by Nai Fotu, giving the Utes another 2 points on the safety.

Time Remaining: 5:22 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 33, Utah State 17

When all else fails, just let Utah State QB Diondre Borel scramble out of the pocket, as he just showcased on an impressive 32 yard run. The Utes almost had him locked up in a sack when Borel escaped to the outside and used his speed and athleticism on the big run. On that play, the Utes pressured the Aggies from the middle, not the ends, where they had been having success. Now the Aggies have the ball at mid-field, and a score here and 2 point conversion would make it a one possession game. Facing a 4th and 2, Borel runs a QB keeper 9 yards for the first down. Three plays later, Utah cornerback Justin Jones made a great play on the ball, intercepting Borel's pass at the Utah 2 yard line.

Time Remaining: 12:26 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 33, Utah State 17

Cain's next two deep passes are just out of the reach of John Peel, and the Utes have to punt.

The Aggies go for it on a 4th and 1 deep in Utah territory, but the playaction fake doesn't fool the Utes as the defense is ready for it. The Utes take over on their own 20.

After a nice pass to Jereme Brooks for 10 yards, the Ute offense again stalls and is forced to punt. The Utes are calling the right plays as receivers are open, but Cain seems to be struggling so far here in the second half.

Time Remaining: 2:37 Third Quarter
Score: Utah 33, Utah State 17

After forcing the Aggies to punt after gaining only 1 first down, the Utes start their next drive on their own 11 yard line. You would have to wonder with Cain playing well if we will see Jordan Wynn play at quarterback for the Utes. Cain is again the Utes quarterback on this drive. David Reed has been his number 1 target today, and on this drive it is no different, with the first 3 plays all being passes to Reed. On the 4th attempt, Reed fumbles the ball and the Aggies take over on their own 42 yard line. That is three turnovers for the Utes so far, and none for Utah State.

Utah's defensive adjustment has really been successful as the Aggies just can't get anything going. The Utes tipped two more Borel passes, forcing the Aggies into a three and out.

Time Remaining: 6:30 Third Quarter
Score: Utah 33, Utah State 17

The Utes take their opening drive of the second half 26 yards to mid-field, but the drive stalls and the Utes are forced to punt. Freshman Sean Sellwood's punt goes into the end zone and the Aggies will start on their own 20.

A defensive switch by the Utes has them bringing more pressure from the ends, and it pays off as they sack Borel and tip a pass at the line, forcing a quick Aggie punt.

The Matt Asiata show continues on the Utes' next drive. Facing a 3rd and 1, Asiata takes it up the middle for 13 yards, giving him a new career high (134 yards on 26 carries, and we are still in the 3rd quarter). Asiata finishes the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run to push the Utah lead back to 16.

Score: Utah 26, Utah State 17

Utah State has forced two Utah turnovers, one of which was an interception by James Brindley, setting up a 1 yard touchdown run by Diondre Borel. That turnover may prove to be more costly than just the 7 points that the Aggies scored off of it. Instead of taking a 16 point lead into halftime, the Utes' lead is now down to 9. The confidence in the locker room must be sky high right now for the Aggies, being only 9 points down to the 18th ranked team in the country, and having it be in their stadium. The Utes, on the other hand, are playing fairly well, but haven't capitalized on every opportunity.

Utah has ran the ball 26 times for 111 yards while passing 15 times for 198 yards. The Aggies have ran the ball 19 times for 158 yards and passing 9 times for 67 yards.

Key to the 2nd Half for Utah
Ball control, not making mental mistakes

Key to the 2nd Half for Utah State
Return to the hurry up spread offense attack

Time Remaining: 0:50 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 26, Utah State 17

Utah State did much better when running the hurry up spread offense, but for whatever reason, they are now giving the Utah defense more time in between plays to make adjustments. Utah State gets one first down on a nice option run by Marquis Butler, but the Aggie drive stalls near mid-field.

Utah punt returner Luke Matthews fumbles on the return, but Utah was able to jump on it first. Utah State then forces another Utah mistake as Cain's pass is tipped and intercepted by James Brindley, who returned it 23 yards to the Utah 5 yard line. Following an offsides penalty on the Utes, Borel keeps the ball and runs to the right side out of the shotgun, using his speed to score the touchdown.

Time Remaining: 4:25 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 26, Utah State 10

Utah's next drive starts on their own 24 yard line. Cain threw his first incompletion on a screen pass that was well defended by the Aggies, but then followed it up with three nice passes to Jereme Brooks, Elijah Wesson and John Peel. However, the Utes can't punch it in on third and fourth and goal inside the one yard line, and the Aggies take over on downs.

Utah State is forced into a three and out after playing relatively conservative having the ball inside their own 1 yard line. Peter Caldwell's punt is blocked by LB Matt Martinez, scoring a safety. That makes the score 23-10 for the Utes.

Starting at their own 40 yard line, the Utes move the ball down to the Aggie 37 yard line on a pass to David Reed and a nice run by Matt Asiata. We then see Cain scramble and run downfield, turning a near sack into a nice 16 yard gain. The drive stalls though at the Aggie 27, forcing the Utes to attempt a field goal. Ben Vroman makes his first field goal of his career from 44 yards out to push the Ute lead to 16.

Time Remaining: 12:52 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 21, Utah State 10

The Utes next drive features a heavy dose of Matt Asiata. When forced into a 3rd and long near the Aggie 40 yard line, Cain stays composed and hits David Reed on a nice in route over the middle for a first down. Utah is playing in a 4-wide set, which is keeping an extra Aggie defender in the box to keep an eye on RB Matt Asiata. Asiata finished the drive taking the direct snap up the middle, and Utah takes a 21-10 lead early in the 2nd quarter. As a side note, David Reed already has a career high 98 yards receiving. If you are keeping score on play selection for the Utes, its 6 passes and 13 runs so far, although 1 of the rushes was a QB scramble by Cain on a pass play where he didn't find anyone open.

Utah State QB Diondre Borel is playing fairly well in his first year playing the spread. It is never easy for a quarterback to switch offenses, but the spread fits him much better than the pro style offense the Aggies' ran under Brent Guy. Borel made a nice play, scrambling out of the pocket for more time, then passing it to Michael Smith, but the drive then stalls and the Aggies are forced to punt. The Utes dodge a bullet as Luke Matthews fumbles the punt but is able to recover it.

Time Remaining: 5:17 First Quarter
Score: Utah 14, Utah State 10

The Utes get the offense clicking with a 65-yard pass from Terrance Cain to David Reed on only the second play of their next drive. The route was a post from the left side and Reed used his speed and some great blocking downfield to get into the end zone. Cain has only thrown 2 passes so far, but showing a lot of confidence and has made good reads both times.

On the Aggies next possession, Borel tries to hit Stanley Morrison deep, but great coverage by Robert Johnson as he breaks up the pass, and USU is forced to punt. An excellent punt return by Luke Matthews sets the Utes up with great field position on the Aggie 36 yard line.

The Utes' passing attack is on fire as Cain hits John Peel for a 22 yard touchdown. Cain has yet to throw an incomplete pass. The touchdown pass was yet another post route where Peel was open over the middle, and Peel made a great play diving over defenders at the goal line for the touchdown.

After poor field position following the kickoff and a 5 yard infraction tacked on to that, RB Robert Turbin ran right up the middle and outraced the entire Utah defense for a 96 yard touchdown run, a Utah State school record (longest rush). The run puts the Aggies back into the game.

Time Remaining: 10:16 First Quarter
Score: Utah State 3, Utah 0

Utah won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Aggies will start at their own 20. Three plays into the game Diondre Borel connects on a 48 yard pass to Stanley Morrison. Folks, the Aggies have come to play and the spread no huddle offense is working to perfection. Borel is benefiting by being in the shotgun by having more time to make decisions.

Utah is putting pressure on him, but Borel is using his athleticism to avoid tackles and scramble for yards early on. Great game plan so far by the Aggies. After a timeout, Utah is able to regroup their defense, forcing an Aggie field goal attempt. Chris Ulinski's attempt is good, and the Aggies take a 3-0 lead early on.

Terrance Cain is your starting quarterback for the Utes. He completed a pass to David Reed on his first play, but RB Matt Asiata fumbled his first attempt and the Aggies now have excellent field position on the Utah 27 yard line. The quarterback-running back exchange was bad, and Asiata never gained control of the ball. Utah forces a three and out and dodge a bullet as the Aggies miss a 48 yard field goal attempt.

**Week 1 Game Notes** No. 18/19 Utah (0-0, 0-0 MWC) vs. Utah State (0-0, 0-0 WAC) **Date:** Thursday, September 3rd **Time:** 7:00 pm (MT) **Site:** Salt Lake City (Rice-Eccles Stadium/45,017/FieldTurf) **TV:** The Mtn. **Radio:** KALL 700 Sports Radio **Series Record:** Utah leads 76-28-4 **Last Meeting:** Utah 58, Utah State 10 **Kickoff Weather:** Partly cloudy, temps in the upper 80s
![](**Keys to the Game for Utah**

  • Establish the run - Matt Asiata will no doubt be the feature of the Utes' offense tonight, but expect other Utes to get into the action on the ground
  • Manage the game - all fall camp we have heard the Utes stress the need for whichever QB (Cain or Wynn) to just manage the game and not turn the ball over. Can they do it under the pressure of a sold out crowd and a defense that will throw everything they have at them?

Keys to the Game for Utah State

  • "The Diondre Borel Show" - The Aggie quarterback needs to put this team on his back and create plays with his athleticism.
  • Throw the kitchen sink at them - Expect the Aggies to throw absolutely everything they have at the new Utah QB early and throughout the game, forcing the Utes' QB to make mistakes and be able to capitalize off of them.

Key Match-up
Utah's rushing offense (2008 average: 156 YPG) vs. Utah State's rush defense (2008 average: 162 YPG)

My Prediction
This game has numerous story lines, but none other more important than Gary Andersen's return to Rice-Eccles to play against the team he helped coach to a perfect 13-0 season and Sugar Bowl Championship.

Andersen is extremely good at coaching the defensive side of the ball. Expect the Aggies to be more physical and throw everything they have at whichever QB the Utes decide to start.

The Utes will be breaking in a new quarterback, an offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator. However, the Utes have plenty of talent on offense, with RB Matt Asiata and WRs David Reed and Jeremy Brooks leading the attack. If the Aggies are unable to put defensive pressure on the Utes, this one could get ugly quick.

Expect the Utes to rely heavily on RB Matt Asiata. He was the team leader in rushing yards and touchdowns last season, though technically he was second on the depth chart. Should the Utes find success on the ground and control the time of possession, I like the Utes' chances.

MY PREDICTION: Utah 41, Utah State 17 . Let me know what you think. Post your predictions/questions in the comment board.

Utah Miscellaneous Stats

  • Utah has been ranked just one previous time in the preseason coaches poll: No. 21 in 2004. This is the first season the Utes have ever been ranked in the preseason AP top 25.
  • Utah owns the longest current win streak (14 games) in the nation
  • In Kyle Whittingham's first four years as head coach, Utah has beaten Utah State by an average of 34 points.
  • A true freshman has never started in a season-opener for Utah since the NCAA restored freshman eligibility in 1972. (Could Jordan Wynn become the first?)

Utah State Miscellaneous Stats

  • Utah State will be playing its 50th game against a ranked team. The Aggies are just 1-48 against teams in the AP poll while 0-38 on the road.
  • Sophomore QB Diondre Borel smashed USU's single-season rushing yards by a QB with 632 yards. The previous record was 338 by Leon Jackson III in 2007.
  • Gary Andersen will be trying to become the first new Aggie head coach to win in his debut since Phil Krueger in 1973. The last eight Aggie coaches have all lost their first game.
  • Utah State has lost 12-straight non-Saturday games since winning the Las Vegas Bowl against Ball State on Friday, December 17, 1993.


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