Dissecting The Wynn-less Utah Offense

September 7, 2012; Logan, UT, USA; Utah Utes quarterback Jon Hays (9) winds up to throw down field during the second half against the Utah State Aggies at Romney Stadium. Utah State defeated Utah 27-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Yesterday I broke down film to see what happened in the plays where Riley Nelson took a hit. Today, I've re-watched the second half of Utah's game against Utah State to chart how the offense worked, what kind of plays Brian Johnson called, and how Jon Hays performed. Here you go!

Hays did lead the final first half drive which led to a Utah field goal. Simply for time restraints, I was not able to include that in the numbers.



Run Plays (19)
Inside: 12 carries, 29 yds
Outside: 7 carries, 44 yds
RB: 2 carries, 9 yds
WR: 3 carries, 23 yds
Scramble: 2 carries, 12 yds

Pass Plays (22)
By yardage of target
0-7: 5-11, 49 yds
8-15: 1-3, 9 yds
15+: 2-8, 58 yds, TD

Total: 8-22, 116 yards, 1 TD 0 INT

Simply put, Hays was extremely woeful when throwing to a target further than 7 yards away -- 3-11. Of those three, two were 29-yard jump balls to Kenneth Scott, who helped Hays tremendously.


Run Plays (5)

Inside: 4 carries, 13 yards
Outside: 1 carry, -1 yard

Pass Plays (1)
15+: 1-1, 28 yards, 1 TD

Wilson is brought in to run the ball. While Johnson didn't dial up any play action, the one pass play was a flea-flicker, which Wilson completed to Scott (guess who) for a 28-yard TD pass.


All of Travis Wilson's 6 plays were in Shotgun (4 in one-back, 2 in two-back). Here is a look at formations with Hays at QB:


I-form (one tight end) (4)
4 carries, 16 yds
No pass plays

I-form (double tight) (3)
3 carries, 8 yds
No pass plays

No passes out of 7 plays from the I-formation

1 back, 3 WR
4 carries, 12 yards
2-3, 25 yds

1 back, 2 tight
4 carries, 28 yds
1-5, 9 yds

Shotgun, no back
No runs
0-2, 0 yds

Shotgun, 1 back
2 carries, 8 yds
5-12, 82 yds 1 TD


These were Utah's possessions in the second half:

Possession | Starting field position | Yardage gained | Result

1) Own 47 | 4 plays, 53 yards | TD
2) Own 14 | 3 plays, 5 yards | PUNT
3) USU 44 | 5 plays, 22 yards | FG
4) Own 20 | 4 plays, -5 yards | PUNT
5) Own 5 | 5 plays, 9 yards | PUNT
6) Own 28 | 3 plays, 0 yards | PUNT
7) Own 25 | 3 plays, 6 yards | PUNT
8) Own 33 | 5 plays, 58 yards | TD
9) Own 19 | 8 plays, 41 yards | MISSED FG
10) OT | 6 plays, 28 yards | DOWNS (OT)

Of four potential scoring drives (counting the missed field goal), only once did the Utes put together a drive from further away than midfield. Drive 8 saw Hays complete his only 8-15-yd pass, a nine-yarder, followed by a short crossing route that turned into 16 yards, and finished by the 29-yard jump ball to Kenneth Scott.

Drive 9 that resulted in a missed field goal really came all one one play (a 29-yarder to Scott), which is why Utah didn't really get close enough for a solid FG attempt.

There may be something to the philosophy of keeping everything in front of you and not allowing big plays.


While it's hard to say definitively out of an 8-22 QB performance, I thought Hays looked most comfortable in the shotgun when it was run consistently. The formation was sprinkled in throughout the half until it was used in Utah's final 11 of 13 plays of the game.

Utah also ran two successful WR end-arounds from the one-back, double-tight formation (2 carries, 25 yards). This means the two handoffs to John White from this formation went for just three yards.

Kenneth Scott is #MANSGAME

Utah needs more effective ways to get Devonte Christopher and Dres Anderson the ball. Scott seems to be a great deep threat who can win jump balls, but I'd be interested in dialing up more screens, end arounds, and short crossing routes for Christopher and Anderson -- especially because that allows Hays to be most effective (5-11 in passes 0-7 yards).

Anything else jump out to you? Leave it in the comments!

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