Welcome to Hooked On Golf College Football Blog. I’ve almost recovered from the biggest game, and greatest victory in the history of my University of Utah Football team. Two nights ago my BCS busting Utes CRUSHED Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl, despite being 10 point underdogs and getting almost NO respect or chance of winning by the talking heads in the national media. I’m proud of my Utes and proud to say I am a Utah Man.
Some highlights of the Sugar Bowl
I said the Utes “crushed” Alabama and that isn’t just a fan being a homer. Let’s look at the ways Utah dominated:
The Utah defense dominated Alabama’s offense
Alabama was supposed to destroy the Utah defense with its huge offensive linemen and amazing running game. ESPN said that if Utah held Alabama’s running back Coffee to under 150 yards they’d be doing well. The Utes not only held Coffee to under 150, they him to 36. The Utes held the entire Alabama offense to 31 yards rushing in 33 attempts. Yes 31 yards. It isn’t a typo. (Gets calculator out…) Hey that is an average of 1.06 yards per carry!
Alabama’s huge offensive line was supposed to have no problem pass protecting against Utah’s defense since they outweighed each player by an average of 40 pounds. Utah proved that size isn’t all that matters. Utah’s speed, determination and defensive scheme put them in ‘bama’s backfield almost as much as their own backs.
Utah sacked Alabama’s quarterback a record eight times. They knocked him down many more times.
Alabama’s offense entered Utah’s red zone once, following a turnover. Alabama wasn’t able to put on sustained drives from their own end of the field and get to Utah’s red zone otherwise.
Alabama converted 4-13 3rd downs, for 31%.
The Utah offense dominated Alabama’s #3 ranked defense
Utah steamrolled Alabama in the 1st quarter, racking up a 21-0 lead with a no-huddle offense. The ‘bama defense was in shock. Alabama had only given up 37 first quarter points in the 13 games they’d played before that.
Utah quarterback Brian Johnson carved up the Alabama defense like a Thanksgiving turkey. The Alabama D couldn’t keep up with the faster Utah receivers. The result was Brian Johnson winning the Sugar Bowl MVP and racking up 336 yards passing with three touchdowns.
Utah: 353 (Alabama gave up an average of 263 for the season)
Utah won the turnover margin 3-1.
Utah came into the Sugar Bowl more prepared. They came in more focused. They came in with a better scheme which they executed in impressive fashion.
The Utah offensive coaches knew they’d have a difficult time trying to run against Alabama, so they didn’t. They let the spread offense do it’s thing, using short passes as run plays.
This is one category I’d say Alabama tied with Utah. Bama ran back kickoffs (of which there were many by Utah) well. They ran a punt back for a TD yes, but lost my consideration for winning the special teams battle with two missed field goals.
If you payed attention to this game at all, you saw a ton of big hits, many of which were delivered by Utah’s defense. The Ute D pounded Alabama’s QB and running backs. A look in the eyes of ‘bama QB Wilson showed he was beat up.
There were a few stoppages of play due to player injury. All injury times out were for ‘bama players. The Utes just plain beat them up physically.
Why Utah should be considered for the national championship
For good measure…