That’s how Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham described Thursday’s game against Southern Utah.
While a 24-0 shutout isn’t going to get a lot of complaints from most head coaches, the way it happened gave Whittingham more questions than answers after the first game of the season.
“The degree of difficulty is going to get higher every week,” Whittingham said after the game. “That’s why it’s bittersweet because we know that performance won’t be good enough down the road. We have to get better.”
Troy Williams – a highly touted JC quarterback – looked very impressive at times. The junior from Carson, California passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns, and while he had some great moments, he wasn’t able to turn a lot of drives into points.
But thanks to a stout defense, the Utes held the T-Birds to just 158 yards of total offense.
Safety Marcus Williams was the MVP of the game as the junior shined with an interception, a fumble recovery as well as a forced fumble.
What We Learned
UTAH: Let’s face it, everyone expected the Utes to score more than 24 points Thursday night. Maybe it was first game jitters, maybe it wasn’t, but we do know that the running game has to get better after SUU held Utah’s top two running backs (Troy McCormick and Joe Williams) to just 55 and 49 yards respectively. The passing game looks a lot better than it has in recent years and that Troy Williams can flat out play.
SUU: The T-Birds – who had two guys taken in the NFL draft last year – came to play and didn’t roll over. The defense played above expectations, but the offense has a lot of work to do. It didn’t help that starting quarterback McCoy Hill went down with an injury early in the first half as backup quarterback Tannon Pedersen was 0-for-6 with an interception.
UTAH: The Utes welcome BYU to Rice-Eccles Stadium next Saturday. The game will be broadcast on national television (FOX). Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. Both teams met in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl where Utah held on for a thrilling 35-28 victory.
SUU: The T-Birds will host Southeast Louisiana in the home opener next Saturday. The two programs last played in 2014 with the Lions winning 41-14.