GAME BLOG: Utah 24, Colorado State 17

GAME BLOG: Utah 24, Colorado State 17

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Score: Utah 24, Colorado State 17
FORT COLLINS, COLO. -- Utah safety Robert Johnson completed the hat trick, intercepting three passes, the last of which sealed a 24-17 Utah victory over Colorado State.

Utah (4-1, 1-0 MWC) was down 17-3 in the third quarter before finally clicking on offense as Terrance Cain hit David Reed from 47 yards out to cut the lead to 7.

Eddie Wide III did a great job in his first start in replacing injured Matt Asiata, gaining 102 yards on 17 carries and scoring two touchdowns, one on the ground and the second on an 8 yard pass from Terrance Cain.

Colorado State (3-3, 0-2 MWC) seemed to have all the momentum in the 2nd and 3rd quarter as Leonard Mason ran all over the Utah defense. Mason finished the game with 130 yards on 24 carries.

Next up for the Utes: at UNLV
Next up for the Rams: at TCU

Time Remaining: 1:30 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 24, Colorado State 17

Hat trick by Robert Johnson as he intercepts Stucker again, this time returning it down to the CSU 29 yard line. Utah can now run out most of the clock. Eddie Wide picks up a key first down on a run to the left side, allowing Utah to run out the clock.

Time Remaining: 3:40 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 24, Colorado State 17

3 plays into the CSU drive, Robert Johnson comes up big for the Utes again, intercepting Grant Stucker and giving Utah the ball on their own 25 yard line. What a fantastic play by Robert Johnson to come across the field and intercept the pass.

Utah again turns the takeaway into points, marching 73 yards in 7 plays, capped off by an 8 yard play-action pass to Eddie Wide III. Great drive by the Utes to take the 7 point lead, 24-17.

Time Remaining: 9:29 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 17, Colorado State 17

Utah turns the Robert Johnson interception into a 17 play, 73 yard drive capped off by a 1 yard touchdown run by Eddie Wide III to tie the game up at 17. Great drive by the Utes to get back into this game.

Time Remaining: 3:14 Third Quarter
Score: Colorado State 17, Utah 10

That woke the Utes up. After being stagnant on offense since the first quarter, Cain hooks up with David Reed for a 47 yard pass for a touchdown to bring the Utes back within 7, 17-10. The Utes' drive took just 29 seconds.

On the Rams' next possession, Utah safety Robert Johnson picks off Stucker's deep pass. Utah now has the ball on their own 22 yard line.

Time Remaining: 4:53 Third Quarter
Score: Colorado State 17, Utah 3

Utah will start with great field position on their own 41 yard line following a 34 yard kick return by David Reed. After a great run by Eddie Wide and a nice pass from Cain to John Peel, the Utes had the ball inside Ram territory until Wide fumbles the next carry, giving the ball to CSU who has all of the momentum right now in this game.

Colorado State is simply overpowering the Utes right now up front. Leonard Mason is running all over Utah, and on 4th and short Mason jumps over and picks up the first down, where the Rams now have the ball on the Utah 36 yard line. The Rams capitalize on the drive as Dion Morton pushes off RJ Stanford's coverage and easily catches a 36 yard pass from Grant Stucker and goes into the end-zone to give the Rams a 17-3 lead.

Time Remaining: 11:10 Third Quarter
Score: Colorado State 10, Utah 3

CSU will start the half with the ball. Running back Leonard Mason puts the team on his back, carrying his team into Utah territory on 5 carries. The Rams then run the double reverse to perfection, as Rashaun Greer runs 45 yards on the right sideline all the way down to the 1 yard line. Leonard Mason goes right up the middle untouched to give the Rams a 7 point lead, 10-3.

Score: Utah 3, Colorado State 3

Last year, Utah's offense scored at will against the Colorado State defense in a 49-16 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Today's game has been nothing like that, turning into a defensive battle. Utah won the first quarter, gaining 132 yards and scoring first on a 41 yard field goal by Joe Phillips.

The second quarter was won by CSU, gaining 125 yards to only 65 for the Utes. Ben DeLine tied the game up at 3 with his 43 yard field goal.

Utah Key Stats

  • 3rd down efficiency: 2-7
  • Terrance Cain: 12-19 94 yards 1 INT
  • Eddie Wide: 6 carries, 49 yards

CSU Key Stats

  • 3rd down efficiency: 3-8
  • Grant Stucker: 8-16 105 yards
  • Dion Morton: 3 catches, 55 yards

Key call of the half
Facing a 4th and 3 on the CSU 29 yard line, Utah elects to go for it, calling a short dump pass from Cain to Wide which results in only a two yard gain and a turnover on downs.

Time Remaining: 0:14 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 3, Colorado State 3

Utah leaves points on the board as instead of kicking a 46 yard field goal, the Utes elect to go for it on 4th and 3 and end up a yard short on a dump pass to Eddie Wide from Cain. Colorado State seems to have all the momentum heading into the half. Why not at least try for the points when your kicker is doing well?

Time Remaining: 1:11 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 3, Colorado State 3

Utah is hurt by a holding call that turns a 3rd and short into a 2nd and 14. The Utes are forced to punt, and the Rams will take over on their own 20.

The Rams are putting another great drive together with the ball inside Utah territory on the 39 yard line. The play calling has been excellent, confusing the Utes defense. Key stat: 1st quarter total offense: Utah 193, CSU 44, 2nd quarter total offense (so far): CSU 104, Utah 37. Facing a 4th and 6 from the 35, Stucker's pass is broken up by Stevenson Sylvester, giving the Utes a chance to score before the half.

Time Remaining: 8:57 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 3, Colorado State 3

Utah's drive stalls at the CSU 37 yard line, and Sean Sellwood comes in to punt for the Utes. The punt goes into the end zone, and the Rams will start their next drive on the 20.

Injury Update: Shaky Smithson has a high ankle sprain and has gone to the Utah locker room. Now Eddie Wide III is the only running back for the Utes...

Grant Stucker now has the Rams clicking on offense. Stucker is able to hit Deon Morton for a big gain on a post route down to the Utah 39 yard line. Rams kicker Ben DeLine makes a 43 yard attempt to tie the game up at 3.

Time Remaining: 1:50 First Quarter
Score: Utah 3, Colorado State 0

The Rams force the first turnover of the game as Cain's deep pass intended for Aiona Key is slightly underthrown and is intercepted by Nick Oppenneer, giving the Rams the ball on their own 40 yard line.

After a Leonard Mason run to the right for 11 yards, Utah's defense once again comes up with the stop, forcing the Rams to punt for the third time.

A costly holding penalty on the punt return negates a nice 35 yard return by Luke Matthews, moving Utah start position back to their own 6 yard line. Eddie Wide puts three great runs together to start the drive, digging the Utes out of the shadow of their own end zone. Shaky Smithson comes back in the game for the Utes, but is really limping and is only to gain two yards on an end around sweep.

Time Remaining: 3:26 First Quarter
Score: Utah 3, Colorado State 0

The Utes are putting a nice 2nd drive together. I like the composure of Terrance Cain: facing a safety blitz and knowing he was going to get hit, Cain stayed calm and hit David Reed for a 12 yard gain and a first down. Shaky Smithson takes the direct snap on the "Asiata" formation, taking it on a sweep right for a 22 yard gain. The bad news for the Utes is that Shaky was injured on the tackle, so now Eddie Wide is now the only running back available for the Utes. I'll check on the situation on Shaky and how bad the injury is. Joe Phillips makes a 41 yard field goal attempt to put the Utes on the board first, 3-0. Phillips is now 6-6 on the season.

Utah's defensive line is playing really well against the front 5 for CSU. On 2nd down Stucker's pass is batted down, and on 3rd down Koa Misi strips the ball away, which the Rams did recover, but it forced another 3 and out for the Rams.

Time Remaining: 11:46 First Quarter
Score: Utah 0, Colorado State 0

Colorado State won the toss and has deferred to the second half, so the Utes will start this game on offense. Eddie Wide III begins the game at running back for the Utes. Wide gains 13 yards on his first two carries to start the Utes off on the right foot. Facing 4th and 1 near midfield, Wide fumbles the ball and is unable to pick up the first down after recovering it. The Rams now have the ball with great field position.

Utah's defense puts two great plays together, the latter being a sack on QB Grant Stucker by Ute DE Derrick Shelby that force a 3rd and long that the Rams are unable to convert. After a 53 yard punt by Pete Kontodiakos, the Utes will start their second drive on their own 20 yard line.

![](![](**Week 6 Game Notes** Utah (3-1, 0-0 MWC) at Colorado State (3-2, 0-1 MWC) **Date:** Saturday, Oct. 10 **Time:** 4:00 p.m. MT **Site:** Fort Collins, Colo. (Hughes Stadium/34,400) **TV:** The Mtn. **Radio:** KALL 700 Sports Radio **Series Record:** Utah leads 53-22-2 **Last Meeting:** 2008 (Utah 49 - CSU 16) **Kickoff Weather:** Snow showers, Temps: upper 20s
![](**Keys to the Game for Utah**

  • Red-zone production - Utah ranks #112 in the country in red zone efficiency at 67%. That is not good. With the weather conditions playing a big factor in today's game, the Utes will need to score on every opportunity they get.
  • Play-action pass defense - Colorado State loves to set up the run, then hit you with the play-action pass over the top for a big gain.

Keys to the Game for Colorado State

  • Open the field - Utah's bump-and-run pressure defense took CSU's receivers out of the last year's game. If the receivers can't open the field, the Rams will have a difficult time finding running lanes against a Utes defense that stacks the line of scrimmage.
  • Stop the run early - if the Rams can create some doubt early on in the Utes rushing attack (minus Matt Asiata), it may cause the Utes to change their game plan and put more on the plate of Utah QB Terrance Cain.

Key Match-up
Utah's rushing offense (204 YPG) vs Colorado State's rush defense (92 YPG). With leading rusher Matt Asiata out for the season, who will step up for the Utes to lead the rushing attack?

Update: Running back "Shak" (Sausan Shakerin) will not play today for the Utes.

My Prediction

With weather conditions being as poor as they are (temps in the 20s with a few inches of snow on the ground), I see this game being defensive, low scoring battle. Colorado State has one of the best rush defensive teams in the country, while the Utes are in the top ten in pass defense.

Utah will turn to Eddie Wide, Shaky Smithson and Sausan Shakerin to run the ball a lot today. Expect the Utes gameplan to be simple: run the ball, control the clock and win the battle of field position.

MY PREDICTION: Utah 24, Colorado State 17. Let me know what you think. Post your predictions/questions in the comment board.

Utah Miscellaneous Stats

  • Utah leads the nation in opponent third down conversions, allowing just 10 on 52 attempts (including 14 straight stops to start the season) for 19.2%.
  • Utah quarterback Terrance Cain ranks second in the Mountain West Conference and 18th in the nation in total offense (281.0 yards per game).
  • Senior wide receiver David Reed ranks second in the MWC in receiving yards per game (90.0) and fifth in receptions (6.50 per game). Nationally, he is 27th and tied for 29th in those respective categories.
  • Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is 2-2 in conference openers, with wins against San Diego State (2006) and UNLV (2008), and losses to TCU (2005) and Air Force (2007).
  • Whittingham's teams are 4-0 coming off bye weeks, beating Wyoming (2005, 2007), Colorado State (2006) and New Mexico (2008).
  • Utah has won the last three meetings against Colorado State, dating back to a loss in Ft. Collins in 2005, and is 53-22-2 all-time against the Rams.
  • Senior All-America candidate Zane Beadles, a four-year starter and a 2008 first-team all-conference left tackle, left the Louisville game on Sept. 26 with a calf injury. He is probable to return for today's game

UtahColorado State Edge
Passing Offense
\#52 NCAA 228.5 YPG
\#26 NCAA 262.0 YPG
Rushing Offense
\#23 NCAA 204.3 YPG
\#81 NCAA 123.0 YPG
Total Offense
\#23 NCAA 432.8 YPG
\#49 NCAA 385.0 YPG
Scoring Offense
\#57 NCAA 28.3 PPG
\#66 NCAA 26.8 YPG
Rush Defense
\#64 NCAA 135 YPG
\#16 NCAA 91.6 YPG
Pass Defense
\#13 NCAA 159.8 YPG
\#101 NCAA 261.0 YPG
Total Defense
\#27 NCAA 294.8 YPG
\#60 NCAA 352.6 YPG
Scoring Defense
\#36 NCAA 19.0 PPG
\#81 NCAA 26.6 PPG
Special Teams
Strength- - - - - -

Punting (Sean Sellwood)
#25 NCAA

Strength- - - - - -

Punt Returns
#28 NCAA


Colorado State Miscellaneous Stats

  • CSU has won three straight home games
  • The Rams have not lost three consecutive games with Steve Fairchild as head coach. CSU looks to get back into the win column after dropping its last two games. The two opponents to whom CSU has lost this year, BYU and Idaho, are a combined 8-2.
  • The Rams have now intercepted a pass in six consecutive games
  • Through five games, CSU is one of only five teams among 120 in the Football Bowl Subdivision to have not lost a fumble this season, joining Cincinnati, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon State
  • Under Steve Fairchild, the Rams are 1-1 facing teams coming off a bye week.
  • Based on 2008 combined winning percentage, no other team in the nation has a taller three-game hurdle to begin its conference schedule (BYU, Utah and TCU).

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