The Catzz were unable to overcome a slow start, losing to the Green Bay Bombers 47-37. Playing next to Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, Utah couldn't use cold weather as an excuse for its poor start.
Green Bay jumped to a 28-2 lead before the Catzz realized they were playing a football game."In the first half, we just kept giving up one big play every series," Vince Tauanuu, Utah's defensive coordinator, said. "When we quit giving up the big play, we got back in the game."
At one stretch of the second quarter, Green Bay's Jay Mc-Don-agh, the league leader in passing yards, threw four completions in a row-three for touchdowns to take a 28-2 lead.
Junior Tagaloa served as Utah's spark plug to get the Catzz back into contention with two excellent kickoff returns. Tagaloa's first return was for 26 yards, and with a 3-yard penalty added on, Utah had first and 10 at the Green Bay 16. Three plays later, Utah's Mike Borich connected with Pokey Eck-ford, who broke two tackles, and rambled into the endzone for the Catzz first touchdown.
Following another Green Bay score, Tagaloa returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards for a touchdown. Greg Hooks ran in the 2-point conversion to help Utah cut the Bombers lead in half 34-17, at the half.
Joe Borich led Utah to three scores in the third quarter, to cut Green Bay's lead to 41-37. But inexperience on the offensive line led to four sacks, killing Utah's momentum in the fourth quarter. "We had two new guys on the offensive line, at left tackle and at center," Tauanuu said.
With injuries to nine of Utah's 16 starters, bad health is not limited to Catzz players. Tauanuu and Lee Leslie filled in for head coach Gordon Hudson, who was recovering from a kidney ailment and did not make the trip.
Utah benefited from the return of Nick McDaniel and Artis Jackson, who have missed games due to injury. The two anchored the defensive backfield in the second half and helped Utah get back in the game.
Overall, Tauanuu was pleased with his team's effort. "This is the best we've played in four weeks," he said.