This is the mystifying thing about the loss to Washington. According to Bill Riley, he and Scott Mitchell did not see Washington or the Utes doing anything different in the second half, either an offense or defense. Riley says the Utes simply “failed to execute.” Whittingham said essentially the same thing.
But Riley also said that he’s never seen a bigger contrast between two halves in a game involving two ranked P5 teams. How do we all think Washington “adjusted” at halftime?
I don’t. I think we didn’t block as well. I think the rain played a slight (more psychological) factor. It’s been said ‘halftime adjustments’ are made up by TV. It’s more re-emphasizing the game plan, reminding of a few things (and maybe only them noticing tendencies or better understanding signs to steal haha).
I think first half, both teams got caught and players realized they had to do better at their jobs. Some did worse.
It seems to me that the difference was the pressure on Barnes was upped in the second half. That could be either an execution or a change up on rushing lanes by WA. I don’t know enough to know the difference, but I thought the pressure on Barnes was much higher in the second half.
I don’t think they really did much adjusting. Their elite dudes simply wore down our not-as-elite dudes over the course of the game. To me, it looked like the team who had more talent just woke up and started playing like it. That’s not a knock on Utah, btw. I think we win that game if we have our starters healthy.
Back to the original topic, Arizona absolutely makes me very nervous. Not just because they’re a good team who has vastly improved over last year, but because I worry about a “hangover” effect after such a tough, physical loss.
I liked Pima Air & Space museum. San Xavier del Bac mission is kind of cool. There are various outdoor desert parks/museums and Saguaro Nat’l Park. Back when we went, In-N-Out wasn’t close to us so we stopped there. But there are obviously better places to eat - Sonoran dogs, cafes, Mexican, etc.
Sagauro National Park is definitely preferable to the more distant Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the official NPS web site cautions against visiting the southern parts of the monument. This portion of our sovereign country, part of the national park system, unfortunately was seceded years ago to human traffickers, drug traffickers, and the like.
My interpretation of the Washington tale of two halves is that Washington’s defense increased their effort and intensity and Utah did not another gear to go to. The Utes went up-tempo several times in first half after positive plays. In the second half, they didn’t generate positive plays and could not use that strategy.
Arizona will be a tough game and the Utes will need to play their best on both sides of the ball. Arizona plays a bit of a quirky Rocky Long style defense, one that few teams implement. We are a zone blocking team and this defensive fronts makes it tough to zone block due to the movement and shifting.
These next two games will determine whether the Utes have a very good year or just a good year. It will also give us a preview of the BigXII as we will play both UA and CU next year. Right now we are 2-0 against future BigXII opponents. It would be great to go 4-0.
To be honest, this game is meaningless to me.
I find both Arizona schools to be so uninteresting that I often just check the score every now and then when we are playing either of them.
It’s a shame we couldn’t escape them in our conference switch.
I hope our traveling contingent shows up loud and proud. Given Arizona is now starting to fill the win column, they might see a bigger attendance today, not like the one I saw several years ago on the roadie to Tucson. We had almost as many fans as they did that day.