BYU Football: Previewing the Utah Offense
The Utah offense is the biggest mystery right now as BYU Football prepares to play them.
There is nobody who is doubting the defense of the Utah Utes. There is also no doubt that the kicking game is going to be inexperienced. The big question is the offense. The Utes may have a championship talented defense, but their offense is going to have to be able to put up some points at some time during the season and whether they can do that is a complete mystery.
Last season, the Utes with starting QB Tyler Huntley were hit and miss going 6-0 when Huntley threw for 60% or better and 0-3 when under. As far as how dangerous they will be in 2019 that is anyone's guess. Here is the complete preview of the Ute offense in 2019.
Returning Starters: 8
Players to Watch out for: QB Tyler Huntley, RB Zack Moss, WR Britain Covey, WR Demari Simpkins
Strengths: Maturity, Experience and Confidence
Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss, who both suffered season ending injuries in 2018, are going to be ready and motivated to play. While Huntley has had his ups and downs as a quarterback, his maturity and experience are going to give him confidence to be able to hang with any team this season. Moss is a whole other story. Moss has been a great player throughout his career and already has the confidence and ability to make huge plays.
Add those two to the fact that almost all of the Utes receivers and tight ends are coming back from last year and this team is a very experienced, mature and confident group.
Weaknesses: Offensive Line, Injuries
Part of what made Zack Moss great was he had really good blockers. Three out of the five of those blockers are gone now making the offensive line young, inexperienced and without any live game experience together. This group may be really good by the end of the season, but in game one, don't be surprised if there are missed assignments and errors that can only be learned with experience, something they won't have when they play BYU.
Also, sometimes players don't return to their same form after an injury, particularly running backs. While I am not suspecting that Huntley or Moss will have bad seasons, it will be a storyline to watch whether Huntley has the same accuracy or if Moss has the same speed that he had last season. Also, he was wearing a cast on his carrying arm about a week ago, and despite him claiming he is fine, it raises questions.
What BYU has to do to expose the Utes: Mixed blitzes and confusing formations.
The offensive line is going to be vulnerable in week one and the Cougars have to expose it. Whether that is by crowding the box, running blitzes or having odd formations, the defensive line has to get into the backfield and put pressure on Huntley. The BYU defensive line is BYU's best group and they need to take advantage of Utah's worst group. That is the only way that the Utes aren't going to put up a ton of points.
Prediction: Utah will have some long scoring drives and Huntley will make some big time throws but the defensive line will get some sacks on third down which will force the Utes to punt.
Check out the other previews here!