Nate Johnson and the offense

The Weber game was well needed, especially for the offense.

Nate checked off the things he needed to work on - took care of the ball, was decisive in decision making, good accuracy, definitely has the arm strength. There are still things to work on, unquestionably - decision-making in the run game, putting some air under long balls - but even though it was against a FCS team, he accomplished what he needed to.

The foundation is set, the frame is up, the roof is covered, the walls are coming. Don’t call the interior decorator, yet.

We saw more receivers yesterday, guys that will need to step up: Money is…well… money. Mathews is making nobody wince at the comparisons to Covey, McClain and to a lesser extent King are showing they can be secondary targets. I wouldn’t sleep on Caldarella.

OL is looking deep, and should continue to get better. Clean up the execution, adjust to having a run threat at QB (release to avoid holds), progress in run blocking.

JJ is showing a LOT of leadership. I don’t know what his nagging issue is, but he’s shaken it off so many times we all kind of ignore it. Glover has a lot of wiggle and good acceleration, and Curry is back.

I’m confident the O can continue to take care of the ball, and keep progressing.

Nate won’t be perfect, but he shows the right mentality, has done everything right so far. When the time comes to really stretch his game and become the difference maker, I think he’ll be ready.

Agree. It is all looking great other than the injuries. If Utah can get healthy, they have a great shot at another outstanding year.

Obviously, we are weak on offense. I don’t love ESPN ratings, but I was looking through the offensive, defensive, and SP efficiencies and a couple things stood out:

  • We are #3 on defense (efficiency). #31 ST, so good enough. But #82 on offense. We all know that’s where we need to improve.
  • UCLA is #10 on defense. So, once we had a lead and our defense was stopping their #37 offense, we took no risks and kind of shut the offense down. I don’t necessarily agree, but it yielded a win.
  • UF is #30 on defense and #31 on offense. That win is going to look better as the season goes along.
  • Baylor sucks. I did see a note on Texas beating Baylor, which was a team Utah barely beat (what a piece of crap rhetoric - not only did we have 2nd string offense in 100º weather in our first raod game, Baylor lost to freakin Texas St. - bigly!)
  • Oregon St. is #43 on defense, so hopefully we can score more points. They are #16 offense, but I think our defense can handle them
  • Cal is actually #30 on defense. #69 on offense. Winnable, but our offense might not look as good and we’ll wonder why
  • UW, USC, Oregon are #1, #2, #3 on offense. Let’s see if our ‘defense first’ counter-culture can pay off. We WILL need to score some offensive points, maybe 30. UW defense so far is #21, Oregon #19. USC is #71, so it should be easier to score than all the beforementioned opponents.
  • Not worried about UA or CU (offense/ defense 54/64, 40/78). ASU is awful but still scored on USC (some TO gave them short fields).

I’m mostly worried about this Friday since I don’t think Cam plays (hope he does, but makes sense to wait until after the bye). Glover/Vincent need good games either way. Nate will need to get into a passing rhythm and hit some various receivers. Happy to see Vele getting some balls last game. Need Yassmin more (King had the good TD catch). Money and Mikey have been good with Nate.

Hopefully Cam and some RBs are back by USC and not too worried about that game if that’s the case. USC will be amped up to not let it be 4 in a row (!!!), but our defense will want to prove it’s no fluke they have Nail’s number. It’s at home in the cavernous Coliseum. I’ll be there, so there’s that.

Oregon and @UW are going to be the toughest games of the year. At full health, they are still probably a pick 'em - likely coming down to who is home and a few bounces one way or the other. They are both great offenses with good defenses. Maybe they haven’t played anyone hard yet, but are demolishing those they have played (sans Ore @ TT, giving hope Ore isn’t good on the road). When we play Oregon, they will just have played @UW, v WSU, then coming to Rice Eccles in consecutive weeks. Brutal. But we will have just returned from @USC. UW plays @USC, then has us at home before @OSU, then Apple Cup (could be 4 straight ranked teams to end).


I recall Oregon being elite when we hung 52 points on them in Corvallis. Since we didn’t win the PAC10 that year, it was easily brushed aside by media wonks.
I have come to appreciate when human beings engage in combat, it’s a dynamic and unpredictable outcome - despite athleticism or talent.
I hope we surprise everyone - including ourselves.


I don’t remember playing Oregon in Corvallis… :wink:

Too bad Zack Moss isn’t on the team anymore!

I believe you mean 62 in Eugene.

Yeah, I got a little excited there…

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