After the 45-10 drubbing the Utah Utes laid on the Colorado State Rams in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, the 2014-15 season came to an end for a school that opened the eyes of many in the Pac-12 and will finish the season ranked inside the top-25.
This isn't a memorandum to the Utes, not yet at least; that's to follow in days to come. For now, we will revel in the mutilation that took place on the gridiron. One that involved a whole lot of Seth Rollins induced curb stomping. (For that to make any sense, click here for the full story.)
Run West young man
At the incept of the season, Devontae Booker was a back not many folks outside of Salt Lake City knew about. Even within their own camp, I'm not sure they understood how dynamic he could be when given the ball an ample number of times each contest.
After rushing for 162 yards on 26 carries, including a 60-yard touchdown run that promptly answered the Rams' only touchdown of the game, Booker was the Utes' home run hitter.
When combined with mobile quarterback Travis Wilson, the threat of Booker was almost as dangerous at times. Jumping out to an early lead, they were able to feed Devontae the ball and have him quite literally hammer the will out of a Colorado State team that was still shell-shocked after having their coach leave for higher water down in the Swamp.
Just for good measure, Bubba Poole would get in on the act to drill the final nail into the coffin, punching in a 10-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter that gave us our final score.
It's all about the U...tes' D
Outside of their 16-13 win over Utah State back on October 18, 2014, the Rams scored at least 24 points in every single regular season game they played this past season. They would go as high as putting up 58 on New Mexico in their second-to-last game of the year on November 22, looking to carry their momentum into the collision with Utah.
After the two teams combined for 31 points in the first quarter, it appeared as if the shootout was beginning to commence. Apparently, Colorado State missed the memo, because absolutely nothing worked over the games final 45 minutes.
On 19 rushing attempts, the Rams would gain just 12 yards (those numbers are skewed due to quarterback Garrett Grayson's 12 "carries" for -21 yards). On third down, they'd convert a first down just once in 10 attempts. No matter what they tried, the superiorly talented Utes had an answer for.
The Utes have made it cool to punt again. In a day and age where every offensive coordinator is seemingly coming up with hip new ways of keeping his quarterback on the field longer, Utah has the ultimate secret weapon: a bad-ass punter.
In a halfway-kinda-serious fashion, when will there be a day where punters can unleash a vicious spiral or two the way we all know Hackett can? Rather than the dopey rugby kick, or pooch punt, or take off and try not to get clobbered by a man 100+ pounds his size, how about the men with the leg, become the men with the arm?
Hackett would hammer out only three punts for 117 yards with just one falling inside his opponent's 20-yard line, but he wins the day for being...well, Tom Hackett.