The Utah Utes will be taking on Big Ten representative, Indiana in the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl.
Tom Allen has taken over coaching duties from Kevin Wilson, who was relieved of his duties after allegations of him assaulting players surfaced. The Hoosiers went 6-6 on the season. Their only win over a bowl eligible team was over Maryland. The good news is that Indiana lost to six bowl teams.
Richard Lagow makes the offense go for the Hoosiers. He is a gun-slinger with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Lagow picked up a lot of yardage for Indiana throwing the ball. He finished with 3,174 passing yards, but hasn’t always been accurate with the ball.
Lagow has a lot of good receivers to throw to, but Nick Westbrook is the best. He has 915 yards receiving and five receiving touchdowns. The sophomore has great size that he uses to advantage at six foot three inches tall.
Running back Devine Redding has been the bell cow for the Hoosiers. He has 1,050 rushing yards this season to go with his six rushing touchdowns. Redding has been good at keeping defenses honest, so Lagow can throw the ball with more open targets.
The Hoosiers have been above average at stopping the run, giving up only 152 yards per game. Their pass defense is also decent, allowing 220 yards per game.
Junior linebacker Tegray Scales leads the nation in solo tackles with 87 and has been making plays for the Hoosiers all season long.
The Utes started off the season hot, but then faltered down the stretch to finish at 8-4. They have good wins over BYU and USC. Utah lost to two teams who didn’t make bowl games in California and Oregon.
Troy Williams didn’t have the greatest season in his first full season as a starter, but was a decent signal caller. He threw for 2,579 yards and 15 touchdowns. Williams adds the ability to make plays with his legs, but doesn’t always do do. Taking care of the football has to be his top priority in this game, as the Utes rely on winning the turnover battle.
Utah has a variety of receivers that they can go to. The best target is Tim Patrick, who finished the season with 684 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.
The running back position had so many injuries that Utah got a guy out of retirement to help them. Joe Williams surged back out of retirement to rush for 1,185 yards and nine touchdowns in just eight games. His ability to run the ball and control the clock, with the help of the offensive line, is what makes Utah’s offense good.
Utah has been physical at the point of attack on defense, which has resulted in them allowing just 130 rushing yards per game. Unfortunately the pass defense is suspect at best, giving up 257 yards per game.
Hunter Dimick has been one of the best pass rushers in the country with 14.5 sacks. Defensive back Marcus Williams has helped them win a lot of turnover battles with four interceptions on the season.
The Utes will win this game because of their physicality and their ability to control the clock. Joe Williams won’t regret coming out of retirement.
Utah Utes 43 Indiana Hoosiers 21