After seeing much of Utah's win at Michigan to start the season, and hearing them mentioned as a possible BCS spoiler, I wanted to get an opportunity to watch them this weekend. I didn't really think UNLV would provide much opposition. However, the Rebels did tag them with a 27-0 loss last year, and maybe the Utes were still a little high after that win in Ann Arbor. Here are my thoughts and observations from the game....
....Todd Christensen was on the call for the Mountain Network. Couldn't help but think of the glory days of the Charlie Jones/Todd Christensen tandem from the late game on NBC in the NFL. I also remember Christensen was on the call in the Carrier Dome when the Orange and Donovan McNabb beat Virginia Tech on the last play of the game on a tight end throwback.
....Utah was very sluggish early. UNLV scored an early touchdown, on its first possession, and seemed to be slowed as Utah tied the game at 7. But then UNLV promptly went through the defense and retook a touchdown lead. It seemed as if UNLV was in the game for the long haul. But Utah tied the score before the halftime, and rolled in the second half.
....The Utes were good enough to score five straight touchdowns. But they just never really seemed to be sharp. Although, they did get the Rice-Eccles crowd into the game with their third quarter flurry. The Utes didn't have one player stand out, and maybe that is some of what makes them so dangerous. Eight different Utes caught passes, while seven different Utah players ran the ball. 5 of those players ran for 15 yards or more and the Utes totalled 225 on the ground.
....The thing about Utah is they could go 12-0. They really don't play anyone out of a comfort zone the rest of the way. Certainly, there are teams that could beat them with the Mountain West conference, including BYU and TCU. But there isn't one game that you look at think, wow if they find a way to get by that, they'll go undefeated. So it will be interesting to watch.
....UNLV head coach is Mike Sanford. He's 7-30 through three years and two games. He's officially battling Greg Robinson for the worst record in that timeframe. I love when I compare Syracuse football to UNLV.