This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Well that has to be one of the wildest season openers I've ever covered. Nothing really went as planned, from the expected debut of Utah's varied offense to the expected struggles of Utah's defense to the predicted power run game of the Pitt Panthers' Dion Lewis. Heck, even the normally reliable internet in the press box was on the fritz. It was a wild night all around but somehow, once again, the Utes prevailed. The game story will be up shortly but for a quick analysis, these are the things that stood out to me. DeVonte Christopher has arrived. Many of us thought he'd have a big year last season and he was never a factor. Thursday, with Shaky Smithson struggling, Christopher stepped up and delivered with eight catches for 155 yards. Matt Asiata is back. He rushed 16 times for 65 yards but looked strong and didn't show any hesitation on his surgically repaired knee. John Cullen did himself proud. Jordan Wynn wasn't sacked despite Pitt having two very good defensive ends. Jereme Brooks is himself. The leader of the receivers, Brooks was Wynn's escape route several times. It was good for Brooks, but Utah needs some other receivers to step up and help, outside of Christopher. Utah's defense is the same. The names have changed but Utah's defense is still stingy against the run. Lewis' Heisman bid could be over before it starts. Joe Phillips deserves his scholarship. The most accurate kicker in the MWC was awarded a scholarship recently. He earned it in one night. The offense needs work. Utah wasn't nearly as explosive as it wanted to be and there are plenty of things to correct, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game. Luckily for him, he is making those corrections with a 1-0 team, not a 0-1 team.