How has lack of consistent kicking game affected Utah this season?
Ute placekicker Jadon Redding missed a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter before making a 45-yarder later in the period against Oregon
Utah’s lack of a consistent kicking game has hurt the offense at times this season, according to coach Kyle Whittingham.
In the Utes’ 20-17 loss at Oregon, placekicker Jadon Redding missed a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter before making a 45-yarder later in the period.
In the fourth quarter, Utah went for it on fourth-and-2 in Oregon territory instead of trying to tie the game with a field goal. The fourth-down attempt failed on an incomplete pass.
What went into that decision?
“Analytics; watching field goals in practice,” Whittingham said. “It’s the benefit of making the first down at that point in time. Everything goes into it.”
Whittingham admitted this week that the lack of an effective kicking game has negatively affected the red-zone offense “four to six times this season.”
That’s probably an issue Whittingham and his staff will address during the offseason.
Meanwhile, Utah’s punt team came up big on a fourth down earlier this month.
In the Utes’ 42-7 win over Stanford on Nov. 12, punter Jack Bouwmeester converted a fourth down in Utes territory on the first drive of the game. On fourth-and-5, Bouwmeester rolled out, saw an opening and rushed 14 yards for a first down.
“It’s built into the system. When we rugby punt, we roll out, if the punter feels that there’s nobody forcing the issue with nobody to contain the play, he has the green light to, anytime he wants, pull it down,” Whittingham explained. “So he did that on his own but it’s coached and it’s part of the system.
“If you remember Mitch Wishnowsky, he did it several times when he was a player here. Jack’s a great athlete and he saw it. We saw it on film study that sometimes they don’t play this correctly. He was exactly right in his decision and got the first down.”
Utes on the air
No. 10 Utah (8-3, 6-2)
at Colorado (1-7, 1-10)
Saturday, 2 p.m. MST
TV: Pac-12 Network
Radio: ESPN 700